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feeding advise required

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog feeding advise required

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    I recently contacted a local hedgehog rescue centre about the health concerns of having over 20 different hedgehogs feeding from 4-5 bowls per night. they advised that the number I was receiving was due to people updating their gardens during covid which has seriously reduced the number of gardens with natural feeding areas.
    They then asked what i was feeding them & i told them “Nature hedgehog pellets”. I got a scathing response from them saying that I should immediatly stop feeding it as the main ingredience was rice & that it was flavoured with diseased slaughtered animal remains and was not licensed. Also advised that there aren’t any licensed hedgehog specfic foods & should only use regulated kitten or puppy food.
    could somebody confirm if this is correct? I have checked the ingredients on the label as it doesn’t show rice as an ingredient, the first few ingredients are poultry meal, wheat & maize.
    I am confused as I have been feeding 5 full bowls per night since March & they are being licked clean by the hedgehogs each night.
    would really appreciate advise on this


    Hey KM,

    That doesn’t sound like it was a very comfortable conversation for you!

    It makes sense regarding more people spending time gardening and maybe patching up fences and inadvertently blocking hogs’ access.

    As for the food, I’m fairly new to feeding hedgehogs, but I’m a little dubious about hedgehog food as in a lot of cases it’s much the same as cat or dog food but with a higher price tag, and often a lower meat content. I totally understand why you chose to feed them hog pellets as you didn’t want to feed the local cats. I had looked at some hog food online but found it was difficult to find a detailed nutritional profile, I wanted to check the calcium/ phosphorus ratio.

    From what you’ve said, it sounds like there’s a lot of grain in the hog food, but the same could be said of the cat or dog foods, unless you fork out for grain-free recipes. As for the diseased animal carcasses, there’s a lot of crap put in pet food as well, although I think I heard on QI that all pet food sold in the UK has to be fit for human consumption- I’m not sure if hedgehog food is regulated in the same way- maybe that’s what the shelter meant by licensed.

    All I can suggest is that you look into it further and see what the experts on here advise. It’s certainly very concerning to be told such things about the food.

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    Hi KM-Basingstoke

    It doesn’t sound terribly helpful them being scathing! You can’t know about something until you find out about it!

    But, yes, as things stand, anyone can pretty much put a food together and call it hedgehog food, so generally it’s the meaty type ones which are usually recommended. Probably similar to cat/dog food which may be cheaper. The important thing is that they do not need any extra ‘treats’ on top of those.

    Water is best left available for the hogs all day every day.

    Here are some links (one on next post – the Forum doesn’t like more than one link per post!).

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    Sorry the second link didn’t work, for some reason, but it was pretty much the same advice.

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    Just to avoid misunderstanding – I couldn’t edit it in time, but for my second paragraph please read:

    ….. as things stand, anyone can pretty much put a food together and call it hedgehog food, so generally it’s the meaty type ones which are mentioned in feeding information. Probably similar to cat/dog food which may be cheaper. …..

    In other words, those meaty hedgehog foods are not actually recommended, as theoretically, anyone could put them together and call them hedgehog food as well. So, some may be better than others. Which is probably why many people say stick to cat/dog food.

    Hope that makes sense.


    When I was unsure what to give as food I saw BHPS sell Spikes dry hedgehog biscuits and moist food too, so I have assumed that was a decent brand to use.

    I also put out meaty dog food in jelly. Both appear to be devoured with relish.

    On the very rare evening visit by a wandering cat the wet food seems to be what attracts them, I haven’t seen a cat at the biscuits.

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