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Slugs eating food!

Home Forums Champions’ chat Slugs eating food!

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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  • #7506

    Can anyone advise how to stop all the slugs in our garden from eating the food for the hedgehogs? We have a plastic feeder with cat food in for the hogs but we can’t stop the slugs from eating it. Is there hedgehog food that slugs won’t touch? Any slug advice greatly received.

    #7539

    I imagine you are feeding cat meat, have you tried cat biscuits mixed with sunflower hearts and mealworms. hogs will love it but the slugs may not. Alternatively try a shallow tray of gravel or sand and put you feed bowl in the middle of it.
    Hope that helps

    #7540

    Nic

    Hi Hogloopy and Baldwin Hedgehog

    I’m afraid slugs are a bit of an occupational hazard with feeding hogs. In my experience, they eat just about anything, if there is moisture around. I have even seen them eating dog poo (although that probably had something to do with what the dogs ate, I imagine).

    I agree, Baldwin Hedgehog, that they may not find cat biscuits so interesting, but I would urge caution about adding mealworms and sunflower hearts. Mealworms have a bad Calcium Phosphorous ratio which may cause leaching of calcium from the bones, causing Metabolic Bone Disease. This is particularly worrying when hoglets are around (i.e. now). Sunflower hearts are not quite as bad but also don’t have a particularly good ratio, so I would not introduce them to the diet either.

    The following is a video about Metabolic Bone Disease. You may find the beginning distressing, but it is worth persevering so that you can understand what the problem is.

    What can I feed visiting wild hedgehogs (that is good for them?).

    #7545

    Thanks Nic for your info regarding the risks from mealworms and sunflower hearts and i will take heed. We have a mum and at least two hoglets plus another hoglet from a rehab centre that couldn’t be re-homed and all are doing well. Whether mum is pregnant or has a 2nd litter in a nest we’ll wait and see. With regards feeding i don’t offer enough that they are dependant on it, its more of a treat really. They prefer our windfall plums and we have a large border covered in wood chips which is alive with beetles and worms which they forage on plus the lawn, that said i will get them off mealworms all together. I would prefer to feed cat meat as it has some moisture in it but then we get a cat problem. I also understand that hedgehogs are prone to worms have you any experience with feeding occasional pumpkin seeds as a natural wormer. I read about it for cats but no-one mentions it in hedgehogs. it would be interesting to see if a rehab centre would try it to see if it works.
    I have offered occasional pumpkin seeds to ours and they do like them and it could be a healthier alternative than drugs

    #7547

    Nic

    Love the sound of all those beetles and worms! The mealworm thing has only fairly recently been talked about and it makes me wonder what else we’re feeding the hogs which will turn out to be bad for them. So eating lots of natural food like they are there has got to be better for them.

    Good to hear about the Mums with hoglets. I had 3 hoglets visiting here very early in the season, but haven’t seen any smaller ones since. I hope they aren’t all going to have late ones which need rescuing.

    Re. the pumpkin seed – I haven’t tried it myself, but I remember Penny talking about it, but I think it was on the pre-renewed Forum. Hopefully she might see this and tell you what she found.

    #7554

    Thanks Baldwin hedgehog and Nic for your advice. I have been putting out wet cat food(chicken) and cat biscuits, maybe I will just try the biscuits instead. I haven’t used mealworms as I did read about the devastating effects of metabolic bone disease, thanks for posting the video Nic.
    I have tried gravel but these are super slugs and gravel doesn’t seem to stop them. I will continue to try and feed the hogs despite the slug invasion, I saw a baby hedgehog for the first time in my life a couple of months ago. Truly magical!

    #7556

    Nic

    Hi Hogloopy

    I had a good crop of super slugs here last night too. (it was raining). The hogs don’t seem to mind them sharing a dish, though.

    You’re right about the hoglets. Pleased to hear you have had one there. Each new hoglet that comes along is magical – so hopefully you have a treat in store.

    #7558

    Hi Baldwin hedgehog,

    I asked the question on here a while ago about feeding the hogs pumpkin seeds to help expel worms, but nobody seemed to know whether it was a good idea or not. I took the view that they couldn’t do them any harm and have used them to good effect ever since. If I spot the dreaded sloppy green, slimy poo for several days on the trot, then out come the pumpkin seeds. I put them in a blender, grind them to a pulp and then sprinkle about a teaspoonful over each dish of food for around a week at a time, so far it seems to have done the trick.

    As for the slugs and snails eating the hedgehog food, I don’t let it bother me as long as they don’t eat too much. A least they are not munching their way through my flower beds!

    #7559

    Hi Penny,
    Thats interesting and you’re right no one ever mentions it and me might be missing a trick, but i looked into it and there is a chemical element in pumpkin seeds that helps detach parasites from the gut wall. garlic has it to but i doubt hedgehogs would eat garlic. I took the plunge and tried it without knowing even if my hogs had worms but i think most would have at least some. The hogs do like ground pumpkin seeds so i’m with you a little in moderation must help. I didn’t know that green poo was a sign so i will keep an eye for that.

    I do occasionally have slugs on the hedgehog food and like you say better that than eating your plants.

    I’m now off to look for green poo ))

    #7560

    Nic

    Hi Baldwin hedgehog

    I think, although they can get green poo if they have worms, they can also get it for other reasons, i.e. digestive problems. For instance Pat Morris in his book ‘Hedgehogs’ referred to hogs getting green droppings when they had been drinking milk. I seem to remember being told that it could also happen if they are stressed. But, as Penny says, if it is for several days in a row, maybe it is more likely to be due to worms?

    I wonder if hedgehogs would eat wild garlic? Apparently dogs sometimes seek it out – thought to be self medicating.

    #7572

    Hi Nic and Penny,
    No signs of green poo’s here but its interesting to know, i don’t know about wild garlic but i know a place that has lots of wild garlic and hedgehogs so i might dig up bulb and offer it and see if the hedgehogs like it. i’ll let you know.
    Still no recordings of a second litter here yet but the female is coming to the feed station and producing giant poo’s so there is a litter in a nest somewhere.

    #7577

    Nic

    Hi Baldwin hedgehog

    I don’t know, but wonder whether they would be more likely to eat the leaves? Also, I think it is illegal to dig up wild plants unless it is on your property or you have permission – but maybe you’ve got that covered.

    The only way you can really tell whether they have worms is if you do a worm egg count. I think it is generally accepted not to be a good idea to treat for worms unless they actually have them. Not sure how a possible ‘natural’ treatment relates to that.

    #7579

    Hi Nic,
    i would have permission as the garlic has taken over my friends garden and gone mad so i think they’d gladly let me have some.
    I think you’re right and best not to worry about trying it anyway.
    if i suspect our hedgehogs have worms i’ll do an egg count i have the fortune of working in a veterinary laboratory and have experience with it but no need yet.

    #7587

    Nic

    That’s really handy working in a vet lab. So you could check the poos and if you find any eggs try out the pumpkin seed – brilliant!

    Luckily, I have seldom seen any green poos here and on the odd occasion I have, it has only been for one night. The other thing to look out for (or rather, listen out for) is if they sound very wheezy, or their breathing sounds laboured.

    #7588

    Hi,
    Yes it is handy i’ve learnt all sorts over the years and work with a large team of veterinary pathologists so i pick their brains all the time.
    i don’t have any concerns about the hedgies health here but i may check a sample for eggs in the future just for interest sake. if there was a high count i could feed a little pumpkin seed but then there is no guarantee the correct hedgehog would eat it. I suppose the whole thought behind it was to feed a little now and again to help prevent any hogs becoming overwhelmed and thus the need for care and meds. in reality i think its wishful thinking there’s not enough information available about it being a viable option or a waste of time.
    Lung worm sounds horrible i’ve seen it in dogs hopefully i don’t come across it

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