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Feeding hedgehogs

Home Forums Champions’ chat Feeding hedgehogs

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    I have been seeing lots of reports that meal worm is bad for hedgehogs and would love advice on this . I have been feeding the hedgehogs that visit my garden a mixture of wet chicken cat food dried meal worm and fresh cooked chicken . I don’t seem to be able to get them to eat hedgehog foods I have bought so gave them to local rescue in the hope they may be able to use them .


    Hi Lorraine,
    There has been a lot of talk about the problems with feeding mealworms to hedgehogs.
    Some say don’t feed mealworms at all, others offer them occasionally. My view is that if you only feed occasionally and mixed with other food it won’t do any harm, but i am no expert on the subject. Mealworms fed exclusively i don’t think is a good idea especially to young animals.
    I believe the problem is that mealworms can cause a depletion of calcium in the diet and adversely effect growth and development.
    You could argue that if there is a potential issue why feed mealworms at all, hedgehogs can do perfectly well without them, but then you could argue the same with wild birds.


    Hi Ian . Thankyou for you’re help . I guess that I will continue to feed the mixture of cat food chicken and mealworms . At least I know they are getting some proteins and minerals . Hopefully it will be enough to get them through the winter . I have 2 autumn babies nesting at the moment and so far they are doing everything hedgehogs are supposed to do . But I am keeping a very close eye on them any sign of trouble I’m going straight to a lady who will take care of them . Thankyou again

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    Hi Lorraine

    The following are a few links, which will give you some more information regarding the mealworm problem.

    Basically, it is probably best to avoid mealworms, as they are not good nutritionally, but maybe reduce them gradually. Hoglets are probably at most risk as they can also become addicted to them and not want to eat anything else. If you have hoglets still in the nest they will need good nutritious food if they are to have any chance off reaching the minimum weight to survive hibernation. You are probably best off sticking to the cat food, which should provide better all round nutrition.


    Thankyou for all you’re help . Mealworm will only be offered in very small amounts and more cat food offered . Here’s hoping the little guys make it through the winter .


    Hey guys and gals, am new to having a hog in the back garden, am or have been feeding him or her some branded hedgehog food and a few meal worms thrown in as a titbit. My question is as to when I should stop putting food out? October has been very mild, but it’s getting chilly. Will they stop coming for food when they’re ready for hibernation or not?
    Any good advice appreciated..
    Ps read the posts on meal worms, but I have a takeaway on Saturday so Nettie gets a treat too.


    Hi jamie,
    I would keep feeding until the end November at least. Since early October the hedgehogs here have been coming for food less and less, and some nights not at all so they may be slowing down a bit but i will continue to feed until December. I believe as soon as the temperature drops enough, hedgehogs begin hibernation regardless of whether there is food available, so don’t worry you are not preventing hibernation by continuing to feed in my opinion.

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