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Monthly Top Tips: October

2nd October 2020

Help hedgehogs store enough energy for hibernation by leaving some supplementary food out.

With the cold winter months approaching, it’s an extremely important time for hedgehogs. As well as putting together a sturdy winter nest, they need to eat plenty to ensure they have enough energy stored to last until spring.

Photo by Alison Austwick

Hibernation is not actually sleep; it’s a survival strategy. While their insect prey is limited, hedgehogs reduce their body temperature and processes in order to save energy. It’s a bit like pressing the pause button. Some energy is still required to keep them alive though, hence the need to eat plenty in the autumn. Check out our Hibernation FAQ page for more info.

Hedgehogs don’t actually hibernate all winter; they’ll wake up every so often to forage for food. In some cases they may not hibernate at all if the weather is mild and food is plentiful. You can find more advice about winter feeding here.

For autumn, our advice is food food food! Meaty cat or dog food, cat biscuits, or high quality specialist hedgehog food is perfect. Human foods as well as bread and milk should be avoided. A shallow dish of water is also a great idea. If cats are pinching the food, check out our tips for keeping cats away.

Keep an eye out for hungry hogs and remember to log your sightings on the BIG Hedgehog Map!

If you haven’t already, why not download the free Hedgehog Street app, so that you can receive monthly tips and updates straight to your phone or tablet.