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Not eating new food

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Not eating new food

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    We have had hedgehogs visiting us for years. This year most nights we saw 3 or 4 and up till now we have been feeding them mealworms. I have now read that these are not good for them, so bought some dry Spike. I mixed mealworms with it for a while and they ate the mealworms and left the Spike. I have now run out of mealworms and am just putting some Spike out – not being eaten and not seen any hogs for a week now. I cannot put out cat food as we are surrounded by cats which not need extra encouragement to come into our garden. The Spike is being enjoyed by magpies! Worried about the hogs we used to regularly see – any ideas?

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    Hi Linire

    You are definitely doing the right thing cutting out mealworms, especially at this time of year when not only hoglets may be around, but hogs are preparing for hibernation so need good nutritious food, which mealworms are not.

    Many people have found that hogs are already disappearing and it may be that some of them are already hibernating. But I would keep leaving the hog food out in case some hogs appear. I have found that hoglets often appear, sometimes even after all the adults have gone off to hibernate. But hogs seem to be creatures of habit, a bit, and don’t always immediately take to changes in food offered, so I wouldn’t be tempted to change the food type until you have given it a really good try.

    You might like to try to create a cat deterring feeding station, if they become a problem (probably magpie deterring, too!). There are some ideas of feeding stations in the Gallery accessed via the home page. I use a fairly large sheet of perspex type material balanced on earth filled 2 and 3 litre flower pots with bricks on top to stop it being pushed up/blown away. An ideal place to locate it would be against a wall (with the food near the wall), so that the cats have further to go to reach the food. It can easily be moved out of the way during daylight hours. This arangement seems acceptable even to those hogs who aren’t keen on going into boxes.

    If you don’t see any hogs this year, don’t be tempted to give mealworms to any that return after hibernation. They will likely be hungry when they come back and more likely to eat what is offered. They will be in need of good nutritious food then, too, to put some weight back on.

    Hopefully you’ll see some hogs back in the Spring if not before.


    It does take a little while for hogs to change their diet especially when they’ve been fed mealworms but they eventually realise that food is food and will eat it. Last night, for example, my lot found their usual dry Spikes in the usual place but I’d made a new feeding station since the old one had succumbed to UV radiation and been broken by a cat jumping on it. New box = hogs don’t like it = not going in there! They’ll be in it tonight though, absolutely guaranteed. They just don’t like change!


    Hi Linire
    Are you putting out the dry spikes food or the spikes semi moist? I initially bought the spikes dry food and stupidly bought a large bag! The hogs visiting my garden have never touched the dry food although I’ve seen a local cat eat it. As a consequence I still have lots of the dry food from three months ago and they still won’t touch it!
    I now buy the semi moist and the hogs adult and babes gobble it up!

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    Hi Hettihog

    You might find dry food comes in useful in the winter, when wet food is more likely to freeze or go off more quickly if it isn’t getting eaten straight away. (I’m not familiar with Spikes semi-moist food, so not sure whether that has enough moisture to freeze). If the hogs don’t have a choice and are hungry, they will eat it.


    I started feeding my hedgehogs on just spikes semi moist to begin with, but it was getting very expensive as they were going through it like wildfire! I started to do half and half with Brambles dry hedgehog biscuits. They turned their noses up at it for nearly a month, but I persisted and they now love it. The bowl is always licked clean come the morning, and it’s lovely to hear them crunching away on the biscuits in the feeding station!

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