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Which food do you find Hedgehogs prefer

Home Forums Champions’ chat Which food do you find Hedgehogs prefer

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    Which food do you find Hedghogs prefer

    I have been feeding Tom Chambers Hungry Hedgehog Blend for quite some time now and the our Hedgehog can’t get enough of it, but as a treat I thought I would try a meaty feed so I bought 20 tins of Brambles Hedgehog Feed, our Hedgehog will not even try it, I have been putting a small amount in a dish each night for the last couple of weeks and each morning not one bit has been gone, he still prefers the Tom Chambers blend.

    What feeds have you found work best.


    It might just take them a little while to get used to the new food. But it’s always a shame when you’ve bought something specially and it doesn’t get eaten. Sounds like it was expensive as well.


    That’s interesting to hear as I put out a mix and found my hogs left the Tom Chambers food. I have switched to Purina One kitten 1-12 months (pink bag) (mainly to replace the Tesco kitten biscuits that are hard to get and new recipe is different) and mix with Brambles dry, Gardman ‘hedgehog bites’ and sometimes Spikes semi moist. I do sometimes put out some tinned Brambles too over several nights but some hogs sniff and leave it others gobble away at it. The Purina kitten food works out cheaper than hog food but I like to offer them a mix of 3, mainly as they are different sizes and have a hoglet so the smaller kitten food may be easier to eat. I think they get a better food choice than I do !


    I found the small hoglets in the summer could only eat the kitten food, tut they’re on the adult food now! I tried them on wet food for the first time last night and it was totally ignored 😂 oh well


    Perhaps Hedgehog Street could do some sort of survey of foods. Maybe a form that could be filled in on the website. This would I am sure help others out.

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    It’s very unlikely a survey would be any help. There are people all over the country who would probably swear by what they feed ‘their’ hogs – which is likely to be a huge variety of different brands and types of cat, dog, or hog food.

    Hogs tend to get used to what they are normally offered and don’t immediately adapt to change. But they will eat what they are given if hungry. The problem is that people tend to think they don’t like whatever the new food offered is and try something else the next night, etc. When they just need to stick to it. That might contribute to why Vale mix all the different flavours together.

    But cat, dog or hog food is all they need. They do not need any ‘extras’. The cat, dog or hog food offered as supplementary food is treat enough for them.


    My hedgehog will not have any wet foods, whether its cat or dog food but, he’ll eat dog food and cat food if they are the dry type, biscuits too, I tried hog food from Wilko’s and he does not like that, I’ve also noticed that he won’t have dead snails or slugs, When Ive put them in his dish, I’m just assuming he eats live ones, 😀


    I briefly had a twitter account and followed a hedgehog rescue centre there, called Hedgehog Cabin. They’re very helpful with advice, if anyone us over there.

    One of the things they were very clear on is what food to give them. They recommended dry kitten food only – Purina I think was top of their list, but Sainsbury’s is also good. (I use it for my hogs, and it’s very good value for money. I mix in some jelly based wet dog food, but that’s only an optional extra). They used to rate Tesco’s kitten food highly, until Tesco’s changed their recipie.

    They also recommend avoiding hedgehog food, funny enough. Apparently, hedgehog foods are unregulated, which allows companies to put whatever they like into it – whether it’s good for hedgehogs or not. (Again, apparently, some hedgehog foods contain sunflower hearts and / or mealworms, both of which are bad for hedgehogs. Others are full of sugar, which will cause hedgehogs trouoble with their teeth).

    Cat and dog food is regulated, on the other hand. Kitten food is generally seen as best, I believe, because of the high protein content.

    Despite popular belief, snails and slugs are only eaten by hogs when they’re desperate and there’s nothing else for them. They carry parasites which will cause lungworm in hedgehogs – without treatment, they’ll die.

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    As I said previously, there are people all over the country who would probably swear by what they feed ‘their’ hedgehogs – which is likely to be a huge variety of different brands and types of cat, dog, or hedgehog food – although meaty cat, dog or hedgehog food, with meat as the main ingredient seems a pretty good guide.

    Vale Wildlife are widely accepted as being authorities on how to feed and look after hogs. This is their advice:

    There are all sorts of myths around. For instance regarding slugs. Some hedgehogs eat slugs and others may not, it doesn’t have anything to do with whether they are desperate or not. Some will eat slugs if there is a bowl of food nearby that they have just been eating from that is not yet empty. They normally eat the smaller or medium sized slugs. Slugs are most likely to be eaten whilst hedgehogs are foraging, so most people would have no idea whether they were eating slugs or not. Some of them are tiny. The large slugs are a bit big for hedgehogs’ small mouths and they normally ignore them. Some people assume that because the hogs ignore those large slugs which are attracted to food, that they do not eat slugs.

    Some slugs, no doubt carry parasites which cause lungworm, but that doesn’t mean that all do. But also, writing about the nematode which causes lungworm Pat Morris in the book ‘Hedgehogs’ says: “…. hedgehogs get these parasites as a result of eating worms and slugs within which the parasite larvae are living …..” it later goes on to say “ …It’s perfectly natural and hard to avoid. Sometimes infestations may be sufficiently severe as to result in death but normally a hedgehog carries relatively few of these parasites and the only evidence is their microscopic eggs in the hedgehog’s droppings. ….” People often seem to fail to mention that the nematode which causes lungworm can also be found in worms – which hedgehogs will also eat even if there is other food readily available.


    Thanks Nic, that’s really reassuring. I’d been worried they were playing Russian Roulette with every gastropod they eat, but it makes sense that they can carry a small amount of parasites without it causing their death in short order. I suppose immediately killing the host is not exactly beneficial for the parasites either, they need somewhere to live so it would be evolutionarily unhelpful for them to kill every creature that ingested them.


    My hedgehogs really like the brambles dry food and there is rarely any left in the morning and as we hosted recently up to seven different animals over one night. I scatter the dry food letting them search for it, it is in the same area but you wouldn’t know the I have used the same five or six square yards for several years. The big thing is that the cats do not touch it or the brambles meat which I use one tin over 4 or 5 nights and then a few nights without, if they don’t eat the meat the magpies will in the morning.
    I know how many we get as someone locally is marking them, it helps from a counting point of view but it should only be done if the animal is being treated to help identify the success of the treatment.

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    Hi Alan

    You might be interested in this:

    Maybe a better and more reliable solution to marking them, to monitor them after release.


    It is very reassuring to read so many people worry about what ‘their’ hedgehogs do or don’t, should or shouldn’t eat. ‘Ours’, as discussed in a different thread, only deign to eat Spikes semi-moist – served on a silver platter. Ok, I made the last thing up. I have learned from this forum, however, that if I should persist in putting out a high quality dog or cat food, in time they might get to like it. Most interesting.
    They are so funny in their set ways. How they eat the same thing, quite often at the same time, and how they take the same walk, also quite often at the same time. I started my love affair with them 3 years ago and despite my husband’s best efforts at holding out, this year he slid and tumbled down the slippery slope of adoration and now he talks about ‘our’ hedgehogs and looks up information online. It’s an honour and a privilege to look after them.


    Our hedgehog enjoys Waitrose & M&S dog food. He doesn’t eat slugs or snails.

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