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Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Hedgehog seen in the morning – could this be a problem? Reply To: Hedgehog seen in the morning – could this be a problem?

#9828

Nic

Hi Senya

It has been quite dry in some places recently and that makes it harder for the hogs to find food – especially earthworms, so they might welcome some food at the moment. Other times they would probably especially welcome food is, as you say, pre-hibernation, but also just after hibernation when all their fat resources will be depleted. Also possibly when they are caring for young and need to nip out and get some food quickly.

It is good that part of your garden is wild and 24 hours access to water is good. The ideal is to create good habitat for the hogs. It isn’t all just about leaving your garden wild, but maybe introducing log piles, etc. The following is a link you might find useful. https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/help-hedgehogs/helpful-garden-features/
At the same time, link your garden to others by leaving cd sized holes in fences, etc.

As things stand, it is debateable whether there is sufficient habitat for hogs to survive in the wild without a bit of help, and I suspect they can in some locations but not in others, so they would probably welcome some food. In the past, as a compromise, I have tended to only leave food out whilst I am still up to watch – so 2 – 3 hours. I have been doing this for many years and the hogs round here have done very well on it. It gives me the opportunity to keep an eye on them and at the same time, they have plenty of time to forage for ‘wild’ food themselves. It also acts as a safeguard, that at least they are getting some food if they really need it.

There are, though, some differing opinions as to whether they really need supplementary food and whether with too many people feeding them they could be getting a less than ideal diet. Obviously, wild food is best. It may be that if you have had hogs there for ages that they are doing ok by themselves that they don’t need regular ‘extra’ food except at the times of special need. It is sometimes a case of personal choice. Ideally, there would be enough suitable habitat and none of us would need to feed the hogs at all, but I’m not sure we are there at the moment.

You probably already know, but in case not – cat food is fine – wet or biscuits. Otherwise good quality hog food. They shouldn’t ever be given bread and milk. Also it is best not to feed mealworms and if fed at all it should only be very small quantities very occasionally.

Sounds like it is possible the hog is making a nest, so hopefully some hoglets on the way soon! Good luck. I hope you enjoy watching them.

Hedgehog