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Feeding hedgehogs

We have been regularly feeding a 'family' of hedgehogs. Each night a mother and two young appeared for their breakdast/dinner.  We put the food out at the same time every night and without fail all three appeared.  The young would feed first then the adult. However over the last 3 nights only the adult has appeared. The two young ones are around 5 or 6 inches long. 

Will the young have gone into hibernation already?  Or will they have gone off and found their own space?   

I am very happy to continue putting out food but does there come a point at when this should stop?  I'd hate to be putting out food and therefore discouraging them from going into hibernation. A neighbour tells me they live in the wild part of his garden and he is always cautious of them being there and leaves the area undisturbed.



  • We have been feeding a parent and two youngsters for a month or more now. At first the hoglets were small, but gradually they have grown to be teenage size and no longer come with a parent. I am hoping that they will all make it through the winter, but as Angie asked - when do we stop feeding them, so that they naturally hibernate? In other words, when do they hibernate.  The temperature is around 14 - 16 degrees during the day, not sure of nighttime temps though.

  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,448

    I feed my hedgehogs all year round (or at least I put food out all year round!).Not seen them for a few days but one was back last night.

    Could be they are checking out places to hibernate.If the weather is warm they don't always do so.Two winters ago I had one visit every day throughout so obviously did not hibernate.Some hogs will wake up during warm periods and move to other nests.

    I agree if you can find the hoglets and weigh them then you can decide if you send them where they can be cared for if underweight or OK to fend for themselves if weighty enough.

    If you can't find them I would at least be leaving food and water out all the time.

    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    Slightly off topic but FYI Aldi are selling hedgehog houses...

  • Thanks madpenguin and Zoomer. We have a house, but it isn't used by the hedgehogs - I think they prefer what comes naturally - leaves and undergrowth etc. although I know that someone on this forum is lucky enough to have a hedgehog using their hhh. As yet no other rodents are eating the saucer of food that we put out for the hh every evening, so I will do as you suggested a just keep feeding them madpenguin.

    We don't have the usual wild animals here that you see in the U.K, so we really do love and appreciate having these hedgehogs and want to encourage them into our garden.

  • AngieRAngieR Posts: 347

    Thank you all.  I'll investigate the neighbour 's tomorrow. . We are all worried for the little uns.  

    There was two adults this evening.  We are feeding them a mixture of meat based cat food and a specialist Hedgehog food. I'll keep you all posted on events.  

  • Mark56Mark56 Windsor, BerkshirePosts: 1,653

    Yes, they should weigh at least 600g, 500g is on the borderline. At the rescue centre, we are taking in lots of autumn juveniles (these sound like the ones you have). I fed quite a small one up until Mid November last year and he managed to survive after disappearing, I was very worried because he was definitely not 600g. Where are you based? Hibernation time will be dependent on how Northernly you are - but bare in mind baby hogs will venture off from mum to make their own homes quite early on. They simply follow mum for a few weeks to learn how to find food. It's probably her second litter this year - we can only hope mild weather continues like it is here. Keep food out and available - if you put out mealworms you will hear them munching a mile off and can locate them, failing that a night sensor infa red camera.

    Last edited: 28 October 2016 11:32:38

  • AngieRAngieR Posts: 347

    A brief update guys.  I've had a good search of my neighbours garden and my own and can't find signs of either the adults or the young.  There was a couple of areas that I could not physically get into so fingers crossed this is their actual hiding place.  

    There is a new neighbour over the fence that has a dog out in the garden all day long and wonder if they have moved on from their previous home due to the barking/dog activity.  Thankfully there is no way the dog can escape his own garden.

    I'll be on hog watch all weekend and I'll get Jim the neighbour in on the act too.  Long may the milder weather continue up here in Scotland.  

  • Wishing your little hedgehogs luck AngieR and that they manage to get through what we hope will be a mild winter for you and us. Hopefully dog will steer clear of the hedgehogs, for his sake and theirs.

  • AngieRAngieR Posts: 347

    Me too GD2.

    Cheers 1Runnybeak1

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