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Hedgehog menu

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  • #34517

    I am aware of the feeding advice on Hedgehog Street, and in fact for the past three years have fed the hedgehogs who just visit or who live in any of our 8 houses Spike. I noticed that they left the dry food and only ate the semi-moist, so that’s what we put into their feeding station every night. I have been wondering about their diet, though, as the stuff you like eating isn’t necessarily the best for you. In terms of hedgies mealworms are a case in point, if I understand it correctly.
    I have tried Lily’s Kitchen dog food which has a 65% meat content, but they hardly touch it. The Spike in the bowl next to it goes down the hatch, though. Yesterday I spoke to someone who runs a wildlife hospital and he suggested several things, one of which was a chopped up hardboiled egg. Tried that last night, but no takers. The Spike had all but gone, though.
    He also suggested a mix of Weetabix for roughage, a little grated apple and carrot, and raw 12% fat beef mince. I’ll give this a try, but am beginning to think my husband wasn’t kidding when he said he was sure he’d seen a small banner on the feeder, which read ‘We Strike For Spike’.
    Just wondering what other people’s experience with food is?

    #34519

    Hello hedgie59
    I’ve only been putting out food for this past year, so haven’t your experience. I now get Brambles biscuits because they really seem to like it.
    I also put 2 dishes of dog food chunks in jelly, but it is obvious that a few sniff it and go to the biscuits instead – though there seems one big fella that only eats wet food!
    I haven’t tried the semi-moist Spikes but as they seem content to crunch the dry biscuits I stick to that. Also on the very rare occasions a cat passes through they are only interested in the wet food and don’t touch the biscuits.
    Interesting the menu suggested by the wildlife hospital, could that be especially for sick, infirm or underweight hedgies?

    #34521

    As I understand it, they get used to certain foods and are reluctant to try new things, so it may just be a case of persisting. Regarding the fruit and veg though, I quite often put overripe fruit and vegetable peelings in the garden (on the theory that if the slugs eat it they’ll eat less of my plants) and the hedgies have never shown any interest in either.

    #34523
    Nic
    Nic

    I am surprised that a hog rescue is recommending that slightly strange menu for hogs, but perhaps as Daffydill suggests maybe for sick injured hog – not sure about that. But it does feel a bit as if we are going back in time.

    Apart from anything else raw beef apparently has a higher Phosphorous ratio than peanuts or sunflower hearts as seen in the information from Vale Wildlife http://www.valewildlife.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Feeding-wild-hedgehogs.pdf

    The reputation hogs used to have for eating windfall apples – has more recently been suggested that they were in fact eating the insects attracted by the windfall apples. They will also eat small birds eggs, from ground nesting birds, but obviously not boiled.

    Personally I think the information given by BHPS
    i.e. “either a good quality meaty hedgehog food, meaty cat or dog food or dry biscuits for cats. TIP: Check meat is first ingredient listed.
    Only ever offer water to drink.”

    Seems a sensible way to go and also fits in with the information from Vale and Hedgehog Street.

    #34525

    Thank you all so much for responding. Yes, it may be that the wildlife rescue misunderstood and was talking about sick hedgies …. The phosphorus contents of beef certainly is interesting information.
    It seems the best decision to continue feeding the semi-moist Spike they like (I hear a faint ‘yippee’ coming from the garden…) and I’ll try a good brand puppy food too. We do have a few youngsters around who might like a nibble of that.
    Sometimes I guess it’s a case of ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. They are eating well, love the pond with the beach, and seem very healthy.

    #34529
    Nic
    Nic

    Hi hedgie59

    Yes, I think you’re probably right ‘if it aint broke, don’t fix it’

    Spikes seems to be one of the hog foods which have a better reputation than some others, although possibly more pricey. But it sounds as if your hogs have voted with their appetites! Vale say they mix different flavours together to ‘to reduce the chance of individuals favouring certain flavours or varieties.’ Although that’s probably isn’t all that practical with smaller numbers of hogs to feed, as well as it only being supplementary feeding.

    Pond with a beach sounds great!

    #34612

    Sorry, don’t want to open a whole new can of worms (!!!!!) on feeding but yet again I have learnt something valuable from this forum 🙂
    I have two late born hoglets coming through the garden who are tiny. They are out at night, appear bright and active so I just want to stuff them to the gills so they may put on weight before hibernation!
    Still got lots of hedgehogs coming through who munch their way through Spike’s dry biscuits. However, wanted to give the little ‘uns the best chance so bought a bag of Calciworms today because I thought it would give them extra protein without problems.
    Have just a read a (very) heated debate on the forum from earlier in the year. I also feed the birds (but never mealworms because of the hedgehogs) but I now realise the calciworms are not going to be my hoglets best chance. They are going back to the shop and I just hope the little ones can put on enough weight with the Spike’s pellets and a friendly garden.
    Thank you to all for helping to advise and support each other.

    #34614

    Hi Celeste,

    Good to hear you’ve looked through the forum, as you say the calciworms are best avoided. Are the hoglets eating the food alright? You can weigh them every so often to see how they are getting on. I’d be tempted to try them on some kitten food as well as the Spikes. The kibble is smaller so easier for small hoglets to manage, plus it’s full of protein and has a high calorific value. Keep us posted with how the hoglets are getting on.

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