As their natural habitat is diminishing all the time, so is their food source. Without a supplementary food source, hedgehogs will eat things that are not good for them.
A hedgehog’s diet should consist mostly of beetles. When these are in plentiful supply, hedgehogs flourish. But as they decline, so do hedgehogs who then rely on eating more slugs and snails, along with other foodstuffs. Whilst as gardeners we welcome this, it’s at the detriment to the hedgehog. Slugs and snails, whilst they make up only a small proportion of their diet don’t pose a problem, with increased intake, hedgehogs become overburdened with the parasites that these garden pests carry, and can die. Most “sunbathing” hedgehogs that are brought to Hoggies Respite have an overburden of these parasites because they’ve been eating too many slugs and snails.
So whilst us gardeners would love to be slug and snail free, it’s often at the expense of a hedgehog’s life.
What can you do?
Leave out a supplementary food for the hedgehogs. As hedgehog numbers increase because their diet is good, your slug and snail population will decrease, but not at the expense of a hedgehog life.
All hedgehogs that come in to Hoggies Respite graduate onto this food from Ark Wildlife. It’s a fully-balanced hedgehog food that contains all the vitamins and minerals they need. By clicking the Ark Wildlife banner to purchase direct from the supplier, they will donate a proportion of your purchase price to us, helping to cover the cost of us caring for these lovable creatures. If you order over the phone with them, please make sure to mention Hoggies Respite recommended you!
1kg of Ark Wildlife Original Hedgehog food is sufficient for 1 adult hedgehog for approximately 6 weeks, 3 adults for 2 weeks or 6 adults for 1 week.
Although Ark Wildlife’s FAQ advises that their Original food “will attract cats”, our experience is that the local cat population doesn’t like it. Neither do mice. Since discovering this food, we haven’t seen any cats or mice feasting on it via the wildlife cameras, unlike our previous hedgehog fodder that cats and mice also loved! We can now be confident that any food that’s been taken from the feeding station is taken by a hedgehog!
As hedgehogs can be fussy eaters, we recommend introducing this food gradually, mixing a small amount with existing food and increasing this food’s proportion over the course of a week or so until all you’re putting out is this nutritionally-balanced Ark Wildlife Original food.