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Hedgehogs After Dark: Feeding and Drinking

22nd June 2020

It’s the seventh week into the Hedgehogs After Dark and we’re looking at a hedgehog behaviour that many people frequently see in the garden – feeding.

Hedgehogs are opportunistic and feed on a wide range of things. Most of a hedgehog’s diet is made up of large invertebrates, with worms, beetles, caterpillars and earwigs featuring on the menu. As well as these, they also eat a wide range of other insects, and more infrequently they will take advantage of carrion, frogs, baby rodents, baby birds, birds’ eggs and fallen fruit. We know what they eat from scientific studies that have analysed hedgehog poo or looked in the stomachs of hedgehogs killed on roads.

When putting out supplementary food for hedgehogs, you can replicate the hedgehog’s natural diet by providing meat-based dog/cat food, hedgehog food or cat biscuits. A feeding station will ensure the food isn’t pinched by pets.

Photo by Ann Livermore

In terms of water, hedgehogs ingest water from their prey and natural sources like dew and puddles. Ponds also provide a water source so it’s important to ensure garden ponds have sloping sides or an exit ramp so ‘hogs don’t fall in and get stuck. You can also leave out a shallow dish of water for hedgehogs and other wildlife to drink from.

Video submitted by Hedgehog Champion Paul

**Hedgehogs After Dark has now finished, but you can check out the highlights on our YouTube channel, and log hedgehog sightings on the BIG Hedgehog Map!**