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Home Forums Champions’ chat WHAT TO FEED HEDGEHOGS

Viewing 10 posts - 16 through 25 (of 25 total)
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    Hi Buddy42

    Glad to hear you are having some success with the feeding. I have found, over the years. that some hedgehogs just don’t seem to like going into feed boxes, too. It does become a problem if cats turn up, but there are some hog foods which are less attractive to cats (not sure about foxes). I feed mostly in the open and use a couple of small tables with a sheet of perspex between them as a shelter if it rains. You could make a similar arrangement using bricks to make it difficult for a fox.

    Good luck with the camera. It does add a different dimension to hog watching, although I find I get far more images of mice, cats and early morning birds than I do of hogs, at the moment at least.


    Hi Nic,

    Tried your idea with the perspex on bricks and the hog went in no problem. This morning however, the bowl was on the front lawn, so I imagine a fox came past in the night and pinched it! More bricks may be needed I think!!

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    Hi Buddy42

    Glad to hear the hog, at least, didn’t mind, but sounds as if you may need to be a bit more cunning with a fox around!! I have heard that some people use those under-bed boxes, so potentially it could be quite close to the ground and not bother the hogs. I imagine a fox could probably just tip the whole one of those over. Luckily I haven’t seen a fox herer for a very long time. I’ll be interested to hear how things progress.


    Hi Nic

    My attempts to thwart the fox seem to be working. I pushed the feeding station into the corner of the patio against the wall so it is only accessible from one side and I put the food bowl right at the back. The last three nights the hedgehog has been happily eating in there and the bowl still there in the mornings.
    I do wonder if having foxes in the garden may keep cats at bay to some extent??


    I run a hedgehog support group on Fb, I’m not a rescue, but I am a champion..trying to raise awareness..Food is something I am trying to get across to my followers as something quite important to get right!! I know not all “hedgehog foods” have been properly researched and which some pet shops garden centres sell ..for instance, I love Hedgehogs…the ingredients leave me wondering about it… this is the description…”The delicious blend includes nuts, fruits, sunflower hearts and cereals, laced with sweet energy-rich honey. Dried insects have been added which are the hedgehog’s favourite source of protein.!
    Well, we know honey and sweet fruit will rot their teeth, sunflower hearts, nuts and mealworms strip their bones of calcium, and can give them metabolic bone disease, Im wondering how can I get it across to the lovely people only page who are at least support feeding the wild hogs that not all hedgehog foods are good especially When the shops sell it and promotes as wild Hedgehog food! ive got people saying “they love it”..,well of course they do its sweet and is full of mealworms! like sweets to a child..!! too much of it will led to problems.
    I try I really try to promote Arkwildlifes original HH food, Spikes, and of course the cat, kitten dog kibble as well as pouches in jelly, meat flavours, etc the foods rescues feed, as we know there has been research done and they are balanced and better for the hogs than junk.
    But I am despairing at the rubbish food being sold to the public…and being fed to hedgehogs all up and down the country. there should be some kind of censor on many companies have jumped on the hedgehog bandwagon without researching whats actually good for hedgehogs to eat and whats not. What does everyone else think about this…??


    Hi Amanda,

    I agree with you completely about the hedgehog food. For a lot of companies it’s just another money spinner with little or no proper research done. However I also think that sometimes the science gets ahead of these companies and they don’t get chance to react to bring their products in line with current thinking. One company I heard (Spikes I think) changed from using mealworms in their food to calci-worms for a better calcium/ phosphorus balance. So things are changing a bit.
    People such as yourself are making a difference, so keep shouting about it!!

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    Hi Amanda

    I agree with you it can be very confusing with some of the different hedgehog foods. However, you have chosen the wrong one to criticise in ‘I Love Hedgehogs’. It is made by a reputable and responsible wildlife food supplier. In fact the recipe for it used to be very similar to that provided by one of Ark Wildlife’s foods. Both have since changed their recipes.

    ‘I Love Hedgehogs’ (which was probably one of the earliest hedgehogs foods available, so they have by no means jumped on the bandwagon) recipe was changed as soon as the knowledge about the problems with mealworms became more widely known. It is they who have replaced the mealworms with calciworms. (Spikes may or may not have done as well – I don’t know).

    I Love Hedgehogs information now says:
    {“This energy rich blend has been updated in line with latest research. We’ve removed sultanas and reduced honey levels – now shown to be a potential cause of tooth decay in hedgehogs. And to maintain an optimum balance of calcium and phosphorous (important for bone health) we’ve substituted mealworms with dried calci-worms, larvae of the black soldier fly.”}

    A few sunflower hearts/nuts as part of a properly balanced feed are not necessarily bad. It is when they are fed on their own that the problem mainly arises.

    Whilst I admire the intention behind what you are saying, if you are promoting hedgehog foods on Facebook or elsewhere, you need to be really careful that you do your research thoroughly before wrongly criticising one particular food. I suggest that if you have a problem with any type of food that you contact the makers in the first instance and have a discussion with them about it. That could clear up misunderstandings such as this one. It would also, I imagine, have a far greater impact, in a case where the recipe was not appropriate and they were persuaded to change it.

    In that respect, you might like to know that when I typed Ark Wildlife into Google part of the first item that came up said:
    Dried Mealworms
    Hedgehogs can’t resist the taste of
    Live & Dried Mealworms

    Clearly this also was out of date information, but for anyone that doesn’t look further they might take it as read. They do still sell mealworms for hedgehogs, suggesting that people only feed them as a treat. Since many people see treats as everyday things, these days, that doesn’t seem to me the best idea. We can all do better I feel.

    The message about mealworms is very far from known to everyone who feeds hedgehogs. There are very many people who are still feeding them. Some either think they are good for the hogs, or that they are better feeding them than nothing. I do not believe that is true. Feeding mealworms can be more harmful than allowing hedgehogs to find their own natural food. They could actually ‘encourage’ them not to find natural food, if they have filled up on mealworms. The problem with mealworms is not solely the calcium/phosphorous ratio, bad though it is. They also have very little nutritional value and hedgehogs fed largely on them will find it very difficult to put on the two types of fat they need for hibernation. This means that they may not survive hibernation. Serious stuff. That is the sort of problem we need to be working towards solving. It is far better for people to be feeding a hedgehog food such as ‘I Love Hedgehogs’ than to be feeding mealworms. Even with the old recipe, it was still more balanced than mealworms alone and with the new recipe even better.

    I think it might be helpful if you also tried to get over the message that feeding should only be supplementary and encouraging people to link gardens and improve habitat for the hedgehogs. If the hedgehogs are able to find their own wild food, that will be much better for them than any of the foods we can give them.

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    Hi Buddy42

    I’m glad to hear that you are being successful in outwitting the fox now. The new setup sounds a good solution.

    You may be right about the fox deterring the cats. Unfortunately I still have plenty of cats visiting here! My camera caught one of them the other night flying through the air and landing with a bat in it’s mouth. Not good news.


    Hi Nic,

    I know cats can be a bit of a menace to our wildlife but leaping up to catch a bat!! That’s unbelievable. I dread to think how much damage all the millions of cats do in this country. I do think there should be tighter controls on domestic cats and that they shouldn’t be allowed to roam at night. There’s no need for them to be out at night at all, they get well fed.
    I’m reminded of the story of the Stephen’s Island Wren in New Zealand, which was brought to extinction by the lighthouse keepers cat! A sad story if ever there was one.

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    Hi Buddy42

    I completely agree with you about cats being kept in at night. When I had a cat he came in before dark and was perfectly happy. Apart from the damage they do to wildlife at night and early morning, they apparently have more accidents at night – so it is actually better for their own welfare to stay in.

    That was a sad story about the wren. I hope that doesn’t happen to the bats here, but I keep seeing a cat lurking near the buddleia which is where bats often appear on video. I wouldn’t have thought there was much on a bat for cats to be interested in, but with well fed moggies it’s probably just a game which makes it even worse.

Viewing 10 posts - 16 through 25 (of 25 total)

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