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Should I keep feeding hedgehogs over winter?

14th October 2019

It’s fantastic that so many dedicated Hedgehog Champions leave supplementary food in the garden for local hedgehogs. This extra food and water is a valuable resource for wild hedgehogs.

With the cold winter approaching, hedgehogs are fattening up for hibernation by eating plenty of food. During the autumn, it’s therefore best to put food and water out continually.

Photo by Grahame Ritchie

But should food continue to be left out over winter?

The answer is YES… as long as it’s being eaten. It’s difficult to tell exactly when hedgehogs will begin hibernation, so when you start to see that food is not being taken, you can stop putting so much out and perhaps just offer a few dry cat biscuits. A shallow dish of clean, fresh water is always a good idea as well, just be careful in case it freezes.

Hedgehogs do sometimes wake up from hibernation, especially in response to milder weather. If you notice any particularly mild periods over winter, or spot a hog out and about after dark, you could put more food back out to help them along.

Cats pinching the food? Have a look at our tips for keeping curious cats away.

If you’re ever concerned about the welfare of a hedgehog, or have found a sick or injured hedgehog, please contact BHPS for advice.

Find out more about hedgehog hibernation.