What do these Spiky critters eat?
Our humble hogs really are ‘a gardener’s best friend’ and are a very helpful presence in any garden. They eat beetles, worms, slugs, caterpillars and a variety of other creepy crawlies and garden pests. Invertebrates top their list and this diet is just perfect for them and keeps them fit and well. Anything that eats holes in your plants is likely to be the prey of these spiky critters. In a single night, a hedgehog can eat more than 100 caterpillars! Grace relies on her hearing and exceptional sense of smell to forage for these tasty invertebrates and slippery suckers at nighttime.
Although invertebrates are their most typical food source, Grace have been known to eat a wide array of different foods, from fallen fruits to roadkill. They are meat eaters so will eat baby birds, rodents and eggs from ground nesting birds. (Hedgehogs diets will vary in different areas across the UK.)
In private gardens, Grace's natural diet has been changed with the prevalence of bird feeders and this has seen them eat fallen nuts.
We would always recommend growing food in your garden that supports the invertebrate and the natural diet that Grace thrives on. Planting nectar rich flowers and an array of local plants and vegetables should bring in lots of lovely bugs and don’t forget the ‘no pesticide rule’. If you poison the bugs Grace will be compromised on two fronts:
- Grace may eat the poisoned bugs and so be affected by secondary poisoning
- You will be removing Graces natural food from your space and she will go hungry of the perfect snacks
If you want to feed Grace in your garden you can do so with a mixture of the following:
- Hedgehog specific food such as ‘Spike’s Hedgehog food’ Spike's hedgehog food is designed with hedgehog nutrition in mind and provides a great balanced diet for them. We use Spikes at the rescue and recommend it.
- Wet or dry dog or cat food and always mixed brands
- Wet or dry kitten or puppy food is great for young hoglets but still remember to mix the brands.
- Live Mealworms
- Raw eggs
We always recommend a mixture of the above, it is always better to mix food and varieties to keep Grace healthy.
Water is essential for Grace but it must be safe click here to find out more
No sugary food for Grace
Whilst, like most wildlife, they have a sweet tooth the lack of dentists in the wild mean that sugary items should be avoided even though they may like them. Grace is already challenged with her usual higgledy piggledy teeth so an assault of sugar giving even poorer gnashers will prevent her from feeding and could signal an early death. Just like humans health is paramount.
N.B. Grace’s Five Point Charter always advocates natural planting first to encourage the natural, invertebrates, slugs and bugs that feed Grace. After all, Grace is known as a gardener’s best friend for a reason! You will want her to rid you of your garden pests Hedgehogs foraging for a natural diet in a well stocked garden, are independent of humans and able to survive when people move house or go away on holiday.