The best hedgehog food ever….
10th October 2018 at 8:25 pm #12389
After years of looking after and feeding my garden hedgehogs and finding ways of coaxing even the extremely fussy ones (fairly common) I’ve found that the food that is the most popular and most readily taken is, I’m afraid, a fairly expensive one. It is also a high-quality one that is packed with goodness and nutrition, especially good when they are getting ready for hibernation. My hogs love Royal Canin Mother and Babycat biscuits. They are very small kibbles, so easy to digest for the little uns and older ones and they can’t get enough.
I’ve tried lots of different cat biscuits and specialist hedgehog food and I’ve found a lot of the latter is just left uneaten day after day. I’ve also found that a lot of the tinned dog and cat food (chicken-based and in loaf rather than gravy) is also left uneaten by the hogs in my area.
But the Royal Canin Mother and Babycat is always polished off with empty bowls in the morning. The major problem is that it is also very popular with the pesky cats in this area. I use plastic storage boxes with a suitable hole and had to toy with various solutions as the cats seemed willing to contort themselves to force their way through even quite small holes to get at the food.
It was a long fight but one which I finally won but having seen what the cats are willing to squeeze into I do suspect that quite a lot of food put out for hogs by people may end up in greedy cat stomachs instead if they don’t employ enough safeguards.
I’ve had a good year for hogs and on one night counted four in the garden at the same time… it was a noisy night, I can tell you. I still have three or four visiting and am keeping an eye on one young one in particular which is fairly small but feeding up still. There’ll be a weigh-in one night, just to ensure the little un is at his fighting weight for hibernation!
My two hog houses have been in regular use over the summer and maybe one will be used for hibernation like last winter. I miss them during the hibernation months… but not having to scoop up the little black presents they leave for me all around the lawns each morning!
The one thing I have learned over the years is that if you make space for them and bear them in mind with a pond and a logpile and a little food and water and gaps under fences they will come. And what a welcome sight they are.11th October 2018 at 1:24 pm #12407
I’m pleased to hear you are enjoying having the hedgehogs around and that you have found something that the ones there like to eat. I would just say, however, that in other places hedgehogs may easily have different preferences and if they are hungry they will probably eat any hedgehog/cat/dog food offered!
It sounds as if you have got the cat problem sorted out. We hear about all sorts of ingenious methods on the forum to deter them – they can be a bit of a pest!
I agree with you, it is always a bit sad when the hogs are hibernating, although last year I had one here who didn’t, so it’s always worth keeping an eye out for any who do likewise. But I don’t think any of us miss the ‘little presents’.
It’s lovely to hear you have a pond and logpile. Ideal for all sorts of little creatures.
I hope you continue to enjoy the hedgehogs and that they all return safe and well after hibernation.11th October 2018 at 2:33 pm #12409
Cats…. arrrrgh! It got personal and was a battle I was determined to win and finally did with the plastic feeding box placed very close to a wall and paint pots inside the box a few cems from the entrance. Too many tight angles and twists and turns now and placed under a motion censor light just outside the patio door. Victory and happy hogs!!
The pond has been just about the best addition to the garden, although I suspect some of the hundreds of froglets that left it this year may have eventually been sniffed out by the hogs. Ah well, all part of life’s circle. There was the added benefit that the pond also brought lots of insects including flying ones which brought hunting bats to the garden. It’s like the Masai Mara out there sometimes!
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