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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 get up to all sorts in our gardens. You can find out more, and see video examples of lots of different behaviours here.

There’s still time to take part in Hedgehogs After Dark. If you want to tell us what your hedgehogs have been up to, take part today!

Please note: You’ll need to be a registered Hedgehog Champion to take part, so you may be redirected to register or log in via the button above. It’s free to sign up, and you’ll also get access to lots of free downloadable resources.

Hedgehog