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how much to feed?

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog how much to feed?

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    we have a family of hedgehogs living in the hedge in our garden. 5 little ones plus mum. spotted them two or three days back as they were out during daylight hours. they all look quite active but they also are out and quite late in the morning (9 – 10 am) and occassinally sighted in the afternoons too, though never far from their hedgehog hole (is that the right word?!)

    we’ve been feeding them wet catfood in the evenings which they seem to love and now also some dry Ark hedgehog food which they seem a bit less keen on.

    my question is how much food should I give them? I guess they must be pretty hungry if they are out in daytime ? Should I just feed till they stop eating for now? I don’t want to deskill them and create dependent hogs!


    Hi dgd17,

    How lucky are you!

    I wouldn’t be too worried about over feeding hedgehogs out in the wild. Its more of a problem for captive ones held for months. I think they instinctively prefer to forage if they can – but you can imagine that its difficult in very hot and dry weather. With 5 little ones, I expect mother hog is very grateful for a ready supply that supports her growing brood currently and she will need building back up after having a good sized litter!
    Ensure lots of water supplied at the same time – and that any wet food especially, is changed regularly, as it will go off very quickly and attract flies that lay eggs in it (disgusting I know!).
    You will probably find they will use the food less and less as their independence grows – and you’ll miss them terribly when they stop showing up and start exploring more. with any luck – they will return year after year.

    Avatar photo

    Hi dgd17

    I agree Jan Marie. In this dry weather it is really helpful for hogs if we put food out. Some of their natural diet – such as earthworms – are not so easy to find and water is vitally important 24 hours a day. And whilst you may not think there are flies around at night, they are probably active early in the morning so with wet food, I would change it daily if any is left over. When it is this hot and dry I leave enough food out that there is usually some left in the morning, in case, but at more normal times I tend to adapt it according to how much they are eating.

    As I mentioned it’s a good idea to leave as many sources of water around as you can 24 hours a day, in case, as yours have, they come out during the day and are desperate for a drink. You are right that it isn’t normal for them to be out in the daytime, but this isn’t normal weather! They sometimes sleep outside in hotter weather. If they venture further from cover or if you see them just standing or lying, in the open (some people describe it as sunbathing) that is not normal and they need help. Leaving plenty of water around should help to prevent that happening. Large plant saucers, dotted around the garden, are ideal for this as the hogs are very good at tipping bowls over!

    Good luck.

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