Encouraging hedgehogs to visit

Encouraging them to visit or stay

Once you feel you have a relatively safe environment for a hedgehog, you can encourage them to visit more often. Provide a hedgehog box in a quiet and shady spot (boxes can be purchased from the shop on this site if you are not in a position to make one) or provide piles of leaves or hay under bushes, sheds, in pampas grass etc. for them to nest in. Put out food everyday.  It is a good idea to feed your hedgehogs where you can see them. Either out of a window, by the patio or for a real spectacular by CCTV camera. The enjoyment of watching these lovely mammals feeding is a delight and with little effort involved you could soon have your own regular hedgehog visitors.

They  will eat almost anything from dog or cat food to household scraps.  Chicken cat food is usually well liked, but as well as this try small helpings of sultanas, dry banana and other fruits, cooked potato and other cooked vegetables, baked beans, raw liver or mince, rice, peas, pasta, mealworms or dried cat food. Both tinned (Spike’s dinner) and dried food especially for hedgehogs is available. The crunchy cat biscuits or puppy complete food will also be of benefit to the hedghog’s teeth.

Please DO NOT EVER feed bread soaked in milk. This has very little nutritional value and milk is known to cause severe stomach upsets. There are far more appropriate foods available that are nearer to the hedgehogs natural diet.

Of course it is all very well putting out food, but how can you be sure that it is the hedgehogs that eat it!!

Firstly if you have a rat problem putting out food is not advisable. If cats try to eat the food, try putting the dish under a shed or low object so that cats cannot gain access to it. Or you can put it inside a box which has a small entrance hole, again which cats cannot get into. Hedgehogs  can get through some surprisingly small spaces.

If you are having your boundary wall or fence replaced or repaired consider leaving a small hole in it so hedgehogs can continue to visit your garden, and those of your neighbours. When you are putting out food, try not to use a torch, if they associate torch light with food, they might also associate motorbike or car headlights with food – not a good idea!