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Feeding amounts

Home Forums Champions’ chat Feeding amounts

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 22 total)
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  • #7394

    Hi all

    Paul here, new member for a few days now following the discovery of a couple of new neighbours in my back garden.

    I have a couple of hedgehogs which are both regular visitors, but look very small. Not having much experience in the hedgehog field, I am not sure what to compare them to so not sure if they are babies, adolescents or fully grown. Not sure how to post a picture here but if you look at my profile pic, there is a photo on there.

    I am keen to keep them in the garden and safe as I just love watching them bumble around. I watched the video about care and what to feed them, not to feed them and have got some dry cat biscuits and some wet food for them. Only thing is though, I am not sure about quantity. Since putting the biscuits out of an evening, I have seen the hedgehogs feeding on them, but have noticed a larger than normal amount of slugs! I assume that I am probably putting too much out? Seems my 2* Mitchelin food may be too tasty for them to bother with the slugs! 🙂

    Any advice would be gratefully received.

    Great website and happy to help with any surveys and anything else to help my new friends.



    Hi Paul.
    It is perfectly normal to put lots of food out for our Hoggies. We too have loads of slugs&snails that go on their ventures nightly. And never seem to get eaten! After many years experience, we have come to the conclusion that “fast food” for hoggies don’t harm them. We have lots of time away from home and obviously we can’t put food out for them… but they always return, when we do. So pile it up for them…. but NEVER put slug pellets out, please!

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    Hi Paul

    It is not easy to tell from a photo, but it looks as if that new neighbour might be a youngster. Usually, the hoglet’s heads look slightly bigger in relation to their bodies than the adults. I know we always want to keep the hogs safe and sound in our gardens, but you will not be able to keep them in your garden – they need several gardens to forage in. The best thing to do is to try to link your garden with others, by making hedgehog sized holes in fences, etc. so that they can go from one garden to another without having to go on roads, etc.

    Even more than food, the best thing you can do for the hogs is to try to improve the habitat in your garden (as well as linking it with other gardens) and encourage your neighbours to do likewise. There are some tips at
    This will hopefully provide them with more wild food, which is better for them than any artificial food we can give them, as well as nesting sites. Anything we feed should only ever be supplementary to what they can find in the wild. It sounds as if you are feeding the right things. (cat/dog food, cat/kitten biscuits or reputable hedgehog food).

    Please don’t feed the hogs mealworms, other than in very small amounts and preferably not when hoglets are around. They do not have sufficient nutritional value and don’t have a good Calcium to Phosphorous ratio. This can be particularly harmful to hoglets, and they are particularly prone to becoming addicted to them and not want to eat anything else. All hedgehogs love mealworms, but that does not mean they are good for them. You might be interested to see

    I only feed for 2 or 3 hours each night – when I am up to see the hogs. This gives them some extra food, if they need it, but leaves them with plenty of time to find ‘wild’ food. It is very important to make water available to them at all times. If you feed this way, you will soon be able to work out how much you need to leave out each night, so not too much gets wasted. It also has the advantage that the hogs learn to visit at the time the food is out, so you will able to watch them in real time.

    The large slugs, unfortunately seem to be a frequent presence, especially if it has been wet. The hogs seem to pretty much ignore them. I think it is the small ones which they eat, but they say those are the ones that do most damage to the plants, so that is good.

    Some youngsters move on somewhere else, after a while, but often if hogs have found a good place to visit, others will follow.

    Good luck. I hope you continue to enjoy their visits.


    Put out some dried mealworms (Homebargains are cheapest) Hoggies love them… And you will too when you hear them crunching on them!

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    Hi Mealwormer

    You might like to look at the two links mentioned in my reply to Paul, to find out how much damage too many mealworms can do.


    Hi “Professor” Nic.

    You might like to accept that all views (subject to proper scientific research) are acceptable on this forum. My personal postings are from many years of personal studies and written recordings. But I thank you all the same. With MY upmost kindest regards to yourself.


    Also sir.
    Please read my posted facts. I stated “some” And you stated “Please don’t feed the hogs mealworms, other than in very small amounts” Your wording is a contradiction account! But at at the end of the day Nic… we ALL love OUR hoggies!

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    Hi Mealwormer

    You say that all views (subject to proper scientific research) are acceptable. All views. Including my views and those of the people who have to deal with the hogs which are coming into them with metabolic bone disease.

    This is not a competition about who loves hedgehogs most, or a lesson in grammar. Neither is it a criticism of people who fed mealworms, if they didn’t know about the problems they can cause. Most of us, I believe, are are here to help each other to help the hedgehogs – and to learn. That includes drawing people’s attention to the recent opinion on the dangers of dried mealworms. If you looked at the video, you will have seen that Vale Wildlife Hospital ‘advise not to feed mealworms to hedgehogs at all’.


    Nic. Have played chess for 51 years now, and my conclusion is… Stalemate. Hope you accept this!


    Happy to report at 0120hrs on Wed; 23.08.17. That Mum&Dad&baby Hoggies, are feeding and drinking rain water from troughs. Don’t give them tap water though… because it’s got bleach in…from “our” caring water suppliers!. And our resident Owl is quite noisy tonight!


    Dearest Nic
    If I maybe as bold to suggest.
    Please don’t post a boring waffle posting. Please post exact positive that comprises of a “few short lines” that strike a musicle chord. Waffling is negative…..And boring! But I will alway’s respect your learned comments. Thank you.


    Hello Tony

    Nic has posted advice to someone who asked for it on this thread. If you find it too long and boring to read then don’t bother to do so, but there is no need for sarcasm and rudeness.
    This is a help forum for people who want to learn more and reach out to a friendly community.
    Nic is correct with her mealworm advice. You are lucky you have a few hogs in your garden but you could do with listening and learning from the advice given here. I see hundreds of hogs every year and a lot of hoglets come in addicted to mealworms. This is fatal if they cannot be weaned off them as I’m sure you can understand. I am sure you wouldn’t want the same fate for any hoglets born to ‘your’ hogs.


    Well said Stef, glad that you are back.

    Sorry to bang on about the mealworms again, but there is another reason why I think we should all be cautious about feeding them. Mealwormer, AKA Tony mentions how cheap they are to buy at Home Bargins. Well, there is a reason why they are so cheap; large commercial producers feed them on ‘juvenile’ hormones to keep them in their larval stage for longer so that they can grow larger (around 2cm or more) before they pupate into an adult beetle. Mealworms reared naturally are much smaller. I am no expert, but it all sounds a bit ‘Frankenstein’ to me.


    I completely agree with Stef and Penny. I have never found Nic’s posts boring and have appreciated the advice and insights given.

    I saved this document from this website a while back concerning the dangers of feeding hogs the wrong stuff (apologies to anyone who posted it themselves recently, I haven’t had the time to check).


    Hi Penny

    I’m always here I just lurk in the background listening 🙂

    Unfortunately like everything both we and the animals eat it’s being messed with.
    I think like us they need a mixture of foods and not one thing as that is what they would do in the wild.

    One year when I only fed small dog biscuits ( royal canin so nothing cheap ) to my overwintering hogs some of them started to get a little thin on prickles ( and it wasn’t ringworm/mites etc ). I added various other things as well as a zinc supplement and the problem reversed very rapidly on all of them.
    Oh and by the way some of my rescues and wildies like dried banana and other fruits. Again I suspect things they may take a bite of in the wild on their travels ( although perhaps not the banana lol ) But again tiny quantities in a very varied diet

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