Accessibility Homepage Skip navigation Sitemap


Register and log in to gain access to our forums and chat about everything 'hedgehog'!

Thank you for looking to contribute to the Hedgehog Street forum. Please note that when submitting replies or posts, these are run through our spam-checkers, so there may be a slight delay in your posts appearing, and reflecting in the forum post details below. However, if you think anything has gone awry please contact us.

The views and opinions expressed in this forum do not necessarily represent the views of PTES or BHPS.

Loads of good info sheets! (feeding etc.)

Home Forums Champions’ chat Loads of good info sheets! (feeding etc.)

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
  • #13216

    I found this German website with some very informative leaflets about caring for hedgehogs writes by a vet. It includes caring for hog lets, what to feed etc. For those who can’t read German. Copy paste the text into google translate. 😉

    Avatar photo

    Hi LalaBlanca

    Thanks for all the information. I noticed on this leaflet, there was the option to click English, but only for the first part. I haven’t ready any yet, but will try when I have more time. I’m glad to hear that they are interested in hedgehogs in Germany too!


    No thanks…all for the hedgehogs!

    Greetings from The Netherlands 🙂


    I translated the one on feeding for you guys in english by copy pasting bit by bit in google translate.

    The other sheets can be done by yourself following the above methods and are about following subjects;

    1. Wild animal hedgehog
    2. Danger detected – danger averted
    3. Hedges and feeding houses for hedgehogs in the garden
    4. Needy hedgehogs
    5. Nutrition needy hedgehog
    6. Rearing orphaned hedgehog infants
    7. Needy youngsters in autumn
    8. Hibernation in human custody released hedgehogs.

    4. Nutrition Needy Hedgehog
    by Monika Neumeier

    1. General ………………………………………… ……………………….. 2
    2 Natural Food ……………………………………….. …………….. 2
    3 nutrition needy hedgehogs ……………………………………… 3
    4 problems with the diet ……………………………………… ….. 7
    5 Unsuitable foods ……………………………………….. .8th

    1. General

    The composition of the food given to a needy, impoverished hedgehog must be based on the diet of a hedgehog in nature.
    Hedgehogs belong to the family of insect eaters (Insectivora). This can be seen in the hedgehog bit, in the composition of the gastric juice and in the type of digestive system: in cats (carnivores) the ratio of body length to intestinal length is 1: 3, in the hedgehog 1: 4, in the pig ( Omnivore) 1:14 and in cattle (P zander) 1:20.

    2 Natural food
    Thanks to scientific studies of the gastrointestinal tracts of overrun hedgehogs and hedgehog feces, one knows quite well about the natural diet
    2.1 What do hedgehogs eat in nature?

    The main food is ground beetles, which we barely register, because they – like most of the food animals of the hedgehog – are nocturnal. Butterfly larvae, colloquially “caterpillars”, are also among the important prey animals.
    Especially in spring and late autumn, earthworms are at the top of the menu.
    Earwigs are delicacies, but hedgehogs – much to the chagrin of gardeners – do not particularly like snails for their slime.

    Table 1: Importance of some food animals for the hedgehog (after Wroot, 1984)
    food Animals
    Importance for the diet
    Share of the feed gross energy
    very important
    butterfly larvae
    very important
    very important
    beetle larvae
    less important
    Mosquitoes and flies
    less important
    Hundred and millipedes
    less important
    Eggs of ground-breeding birds play virtually no role in most scientific studies of hedgehog diets.
    However, it is known that hedgehogs appear in some seabird colonies as quite serious egg predators.

    Mice are way too fast for the rather sedate hedgehog. The fact that vertebrate remains were found in the hedgehog feces rather indicates that the sting knights were eating carrion, that is, the remains of other prey claws.

    2.2 Ingredients of the food

    The hedgehog’s insect food is protein-rich and fatty: 100 g of an average mixture of insects and molluscs, such as those found in a hedgehog, contain about 16% protein, 4% fat, 2% carbohydrates and almost 3% undigested. Liche components, ie Ballaststo e.

    2.3 The fairy tale of the fruit

    In most of the gastrointestinal tracts of run over hedgehogs or in the faeces samples, p material was seen. Partly it was finely chewed and came from the digestive tract of caterpillars or earthworms. But uncooked and undigested plant material, especially grass, was found in the samples. The researchers assume it was accidentally eaten with other food.
    Contrary to popular opinion, fruit does not belong to the food spectrum of hedgehogs. If you see a hedgehog on an apple, it only picks up insects and worms there. Like many mammals, hedgehogs also appreciate sweets. That’s why they sometimes snack on overripe fruit.

    3 Nutrition Hedgehog in need of help

    The diet of hedgehogs in nature is inevitably diverse. This principle of variety should also be in the diet of a needy
    Do not disregard hedgehogs in human custody. Often only the same cat food is given out of the can during the entire mealtime.
    In addition to the medical treatment of peeling, its nutrition is the most important contribution to health. Especially there you should not be too economical or comfortable.
    A feed mix of basic and supplementary feed is much more calorific rich than the sole feeding with cat can feed. Moreover, the hedgehog’s digestive system is not so heavily loaded because the portions can be smaller. 100 g cat food is equivalent to 75-80 kcal, 100 g cattle but about 225 kcal. 50 g of cat food + 50 g of beef (cooked) have approx. 150 kcal. So the mixture contains – with the same amount of food – twice as many calories!

    Nutrition needy hedgehog 3 Good food is made up of basic feed and supplementary feed.
    The mixing ratio should be 50:50, i. one half canned food, one half supplementary food
    (e.g., meat, egg, fish).

    3.1 basic food

    High quality cat wet food with a meat content of at least 60% is recommended as a “basic food”. Wet cat food contains 7.5 to 10% less protein than natural hedgehog food and is therefore relatively low in calories; but it is useful as a basic food because of its high vitamin and mineral content. The crude protein content should be at least 10%, the crude fat content at least 5% and the moisture content at a maximum of 78%.
    In addition, the canned food should, if possible, not be mixed with: animal or vegetable protein con- centrations, sugar, molasses, cereals, vegetable by-products, preservatives, colorants and gelatine. So that the hedgehog does not commit itself to one flavor, you not only feed different types of a brand, but also the products of several manufacturers. The “basic food” is valued with “supplementary feed”, ie with different kinds of meat, with egg or fish.

    Table 2: Nutrient information (after M. Neumeier / C. Schiller)
    Nutrient e1
    Natural food (mean)
    Cat wet food (average, usual standard quality)
    Cat wet food (mean, good quality)
    </ = 4
    1 The di erence of 100% of the sum of the nutrient information results from the averages of the nutrient contents and the raw fiber and crude ash content not specified here.
    2 Rp = crude protein; Rf = crude fat; KH = carbohydrates; H2O = water

    3.2. Supplementary food

    Basically, meat, fish and eggs are only fed through to kill pathogenic germs, especially Salmonella. The most common supplement is chopped beef or pork. It is fried or cooked in very little water. There is often confusion about whether piglets can be given to hedgehogs. In the feeding of carnivores, it is generally not used because of possible allergic reactions. Thoroughly cooked pigs, in which not only bacteria but also pathogens of viral diseases – e.g. Aujetzky – be killed, but is compatible with hedgehogs. Cooked chicken
    or turkeys you cut small; You can also turn larger portions through the meat grinder.
    Eggs are particularly popular as scrambled eggs with hedgehogs: the fried egg is roasted in the pan – of course without spices, but with a little fat – until it is fixed. Of course you can also feed hard-boiled eggs, but some hedgehogs sort egg whites, which is not possible with scrambled eggs. Depending on the local or current supply options, other foods may supplement the basic feed: e.g. Mutton or venison, innards such as liver and heart, salt and freshwater, marine animals and single-headed chicks.

    Table 3: Recipes for feed mixtures (after M. Neumeier / C. Schiller)
    Attention: All recipe ingredients (except cat food) must be cooked, ie cooked / fried!

    Recipes (100 g feed mix1)
    50 g cat food + 10 g chicken liver + 40 g chicken egg with skin
    50 g cat food + 50 g chicken hearts
    50 g cat food + 50 g day old chick
    50 g cat food + 50 g chicken wing
    30 g cat food + 70 g scrambled eggs
    50g cat food + 20g beef liver + 30g beef egg (medium fat)
    50 g cat food + 25 g beef heart + 25 g beef (medium fat)
    50 g cat food + 50 g mutton eisch (fat)
    50 g cat food + 25 g scrambled eggs + 25 g ground beef
    50 g cat food + 50 g hake
    50 g cat food + 50 g paci klachs
    50 g cat food + 50 g ink sch
    50g cat food + 50g shrimp (shrimp)
    50 g of cat food + 25 g of dried silkworms soaked in 25 g of water

    1 The di erence of 100% of the sum of the nutrient information results from the averages of the nutrient contents and the raw fiber and crude ash content not specified here.
    2 Rp = crude protein; Rf = crude fat; KH = carbohydrates; H2O = water
    Supplementary food, because of the unfavorable calcium-phosphorus ratio, requires supplementation with calcium, such as calcium. Feed lime (without vitamin supplements) or eggshell powder (dry raw egg shells, pulverize, sterilize in the oven at 120 ° C for 30 min.). For each 100 g of supplemental feed add 0.5 g (1/2 pinch of full) calcium powder. Further additions of minerals or vitamins are unnecessary with a varied diet.

    For critically ill hedgehogs and feed refusers, feeding with relatively expensive reptile feed, which largely corresponds to the hedgehog’s natural diet, is often life-saving. Suitable insects (grasshoppers, crickets, crickets) and insect larvae (Buf- falowürmer, mealworms, Zophobas, wax caterpillars, drone brood).

    3.3 When the feces stinks

    Exclusive feeding with cat wet food almost always causes soft, smelly feces. It is possible to dampen the unpleasant effects of such a one-sided feeding with the addition of ballast substances: both crude vegetable fiber (for example wheat bran, oats) and animal substances (cartilage, connective tissue, chitin) are suitable for this purpose. Even with disorders of the intestinal motor system (caused, for example, by inflammatory bowel syndrome, feed intolerances), an increased proportion of ballast substances may be helpful. However, in the long run a varied diet mixed with freshly prepared foods will be much healthier for the hedgehog.

    3.4 Heated meat feed

    The feeding of commercial hedgehog dry food is not recommended, and certainly not as – as it is on some packs – alone, main or rearing feed. Especially emaciated and growing hedgehogs have a particularly high protein requirement. In addition, natural food contains only small amounts of carbohydrates, but
    constitute the largest component of feed. In addition, the dry food is usually eaten selectively, i. not all ingredients are consumed evenly. In addition, dry food – as the name suggests – is dry. The hedgehog must therefore consume a sufficient amount of water so that the mixture in the intestine is right. In a wild animal that is not accustomed to such dry food and whose water intake can not be actively influenced, one must ask oneself whether and how such food is tolerated at all.
    As a “notration” during winter sleep, i. As an indicator of whether a hedgehog has hibernated and is interested in food, you can put Hedgehog dry food, but should provide a waking hedgehog again with normal wet food.
    Table 4: Nutrient composition
    in% dry matter (according to Struck / Meyer 1998)
    Insect larvae may be fed only in small amounts because of the high fat content and the consumption of B vitamins.

    Hedgehog dry food
    Recommendation for hedgehog food
    Raw protein
    Raw fat
    up to 58%

    3.5 Feed amount and weight gain

    Jungels can grow up to 20g per day in the first few days after ingestion. Such high increases in weight can be explained by the filling of a previously empty intestine, but also by the “filling” of an exsiccotic (dried) animal by increased water absorption. In the further course of the progestin, an increase of 10-15 g per day should be aimed for.
    Expected, emaciated, adult hedgehogs should gain about 10 g per day, well nourished adult hedgehogs should
    be kept only on their weight. In any case, an obesity should be avoided. Young hedgehogs should never weigh more than 750g during the breeding season, the average weight of adult hedgehogs is around 1000g.
    At the beginning of the day, undernourished or severely emaciated animals are given very small portions so as not to burden their circulation too much.

    Table 5, in conjunction with Table 3, shows the amount of calories needed to achieve the desired weight gain.
    Table 5: Energy demand of growing hedgehogs according to Struck / Meyer (1998)
    Nutrition needy hedgehogs 7
    Body weight of the hedgehog
    Increase in body weight per day
    Daily energy requirement
    up to 100 g
    32 – 42 kcal
    100-200 g
    5 – 10 g
    42 – 84 kcal
    200 – 500 g
    10 g
    84 – 120 kcal
    500 – 1000 g
    10 g
    120 – 180 kcal

    Beware of malnourished hedgehogs! If you are allowed to eat as much as you like in the first hours after taking the picture, you may experience a Kreislau ollaps!

    3.7 Tooth size
    Once or twice a week, you can use the normal wet food to make boiled, skinned chicken with bones, boiled bovine soup bones or peeling ribs for nibbling. This is good for the teeth and helps against boredom, as well as the dried chicken necks available in the zoo trade.

    4 problems with the diet

    The most common cause of food refusal is an infestation with internal parasites. Then bring the best food too
    the hedgehog not to eat; First, the internal parasites have to be removed by medication. Other infections can cause anorexia.
    Not infrequently problems in the oral cavity prevent a hedgehog from eating. He may have loose teeth, massive calculus attachment, a foreign body in the palate, even a jaw fracture or pathological changes in the esophagus. It goes without saying that in all cases an immediate visit to the vet is indicated.
    If a spiky patient is so sick or weak that he can not eat himself, he must be forcibly fed

    Otherwise it may dry out or lose too much weight. Dietary supplements include protein-rich diet foods for cats and dogs, such as “Hill’s Prescription Diet Canine / Feline a / d” or Royal Canin “Convalence Support Instant Diet Canine / Feline”. They are available from the vet.
    Transiently, one can also feed a lactose-poor, ready-to-use cat milk. Portions of 10 to 30 ml are administered four to five times a day, depending on the weight of the animal. In addition, normal hedgehogs are offered to the hedgehog so that they begin to feed themselves as soon as possible (see the book “Hedgehogs in Surgery”).

    5 Unsuitable foods

    Hedgehogs do not feed on fruit, s. Cape. 2.3. At most, they eat it out of boredom, in times of hunger, or when a pear is overripe and sweet. One or two slices of banana as a dessert
    no hedgehog. But not everything that man eats is also beneficial to animals. Avocados, which are very popular as an addition to the hedgehog food, contain the poison perine. Persin has no negative effects on humans, but it is toxic in large numbers in some animals. In the absence of appropriate studies, it is not known where the dangerous dose of hedgehogs is. But do hedgehogs really need avocados? The answer is NO!
    Also not suitable for feeding hedgehogs are milk and milk products (yoghurt, quark, cottage cheese) because of their lactose content. Although hard cheese hardly contains any more lactose, it is salty and therefore taboo.
    Salty and sweet foods are generally not recommended. Therefore, steer clear of smoked or fried meat, honey, raisins and biscuits!
    Walnuts or hazelnuts count on the pesticides that hedgehogs do not need. In nature there are almost never cracked nuts (not even peanuts!). Sunflower seeds are also not part of the food spectrum of hedgehogs.
    Since many hedgehogs who are taken care of have problems with the stomach and intestine, it is all the more unreasonable to administer dubious supplements to them. determine whether the green feces is a sign of an intestinal inflammation or just the result of a Quarkgabe.

    Avatar photo

    Hi LalaBlanca

    So you’re in the Netherlands! That’s brilliant. We have had some people from Sweden on Hedgehog Street as well. I’m guessing that you have the same species of hedgehog there as we have here (erinaceus europaeus)? Are there many people interested in hedgehogs there as well?

    It’s worth noting, that there is a huge amount of information about hedgehogs here on Hedgehog Street, also, and well worth exploring all the different areas. Also the BHPS (which can be accessed by clicking their logo above) have lots of leaflets, etc. with information about hedgehogs, including a rehabilitators area. You might like to have look sometime.


    Hi Nic,

    There is a fair amount of people rescuing hedgehogs over here. Although I do think autumn hedgehogs are taken in too early. When they came and got my first hedge hog and then found the two others which they did not take, or wanted. I started reading about them. And found out loads of info such as an english scientific research which said autumn juvenile grow quicker then other juveniles, so if they are given or find enough food they will be fine and even the same size as their country parts from earlier. So I red quiet a lot and as I speak multiple languages I could go abroad as well in search fro information. 😉 So thank you for pointing out the info at this website but I already red it 😉

    What doesn’t exist in he Netherlands is communities like you who open up their gardens with hedgehog doors. Or people making their garden hedgehog or even nature friendly. There are a few but most people do like their slabs in their little gardens. Luckily for us we live at the border of a park and have a very natural garden so we get lots of wildlife even though its a small garden 6-15 meters.

    Keep up the good hedge work!
    My hedgies are finally off to bed, I just found a uneaten tray again.

    Avatar photo

    Hi LalaBlanca

    That’s really interesting. It’s good that you speak lots of languages so could find out what different countries were saying about hedgehogs. If only there were enough of us to make our gardens more friendly for hedgehogs, life would be so much easier for them. That doesn’t mean it has to be untidy, which some people think, but just to think a bit about what they might like.

    You may already have found it, but there is lots of information about hedgehogs on:

    I still have at least one hedgehog here.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.