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Hedgehog in the garden - how do you help it?

(19 Posts)
lixy Tue 16-Aug-22 16:50:53

I was really delighted to see a hedgehog in my garden the other night. I had saucers of water out anyway for birds and insects so it could find a drink, and it spent a while rummaging in the leaf litter under the shrubs.

However, talking to friends locally today, they too have had hedgehogs visiting and are concerned that there isn't enough food around as the slugs and snails are hiding and the worms are deep underground. They are putting out dog food each evening.

Do you have a hedgehog visiting your garden? What are your top tips for helping them without attracting local rats/ cats?

PhillyGee Tue 16-Aug-22 17:11:06

We feed ours ? hedgehog food (bought from the Garden Centre) and also put out a saucer of water in hot / dry weather. Cats don't seem interested in the hedgehog food and we've not had problems with rats

Dottynan Tue 16-Aug-22 17:20:45

We were recommended Scrumbles Kitten and Queen dried food. It has high protein and we were told by our local hedgehog rescue centre it was good for them. I get mine from Amazon as I can't find it locally. Also make a hedgehog feeding box as the foxes and local cats come and help themselves. You can upturn a large plastic box, cut a hole the size of a CD in one end and place a heavy brick to stop foxes etc moving the box to get at the food.

Shinamae Tue 16-Aug-22 17:28:10

I made this little feeding station … and the local hedgehog rescue lady said she uses Tesco kitten biscuits to feed her hedgehogs..

kittylester Tue 16-Aug-22 17:28:22

You should also make sure there is a way out of your garden. Lots of places are encouraging people to create hedgehog corridors so they can move around and forage.

Shinamae Tue 16-Aug-22 17:29:12


You should also make sure there is a way out of your garden. Lots of places are encouraging people to create hedgehog corridors so they can move around and forage.

My son is a bricky and he says all new houses are having hedgehog corridors built into the fences…

Georgesgran Tue 16-Aug-22 17:38:53

I’ve got 2 hedgehogs!! I’m so excited, I’m boasting!!
I’ve bought special food (called Spike) from the garden centre and mix a bit of cat food into it. Most wet dog food isn’t as good as cat food - so I’m buying that specially too. I know I need my bumps felt. I’ve had hogs now and again, but these two are coming every night. There’s plenty of escape routes for them, but I’ve a hedgehog box in a suitable place, so I’ve not my fingers crossed they might hibernate there.

Georgesgran Tue 16-Aug-22 17:43:37

Should add that if you see it during the day, that’s not a good sign.

Farmor15 Tue 16-Aug-22 18:04:56

We have 2 hedgehogs visiting. They seem to like cat food - usually a mix of dry and tinned that we put our for cat. Cat and hedgehog sometimes eat together!

Juggernaut Tue 16-Aug-22 18:07:09

Dried hedgehog food is excellent for them, but make sure there's plenty of fresh water for them to drink too, large, shallow pot saucers are ideal to use as they can be climbed in and out of.
If you're giving Hogs 'wet' food, cat food is better for them than dog food, and should be chicken or turkey, not beef!
You could set your watch by our Hogs, four appear late every evening, always between 9-00 and 9-30!
It costs an absolute fortune in Hedgey food, but we have no slug or snail damage to any of our plants, a lot of which are hostas, so it's actually great value!
We have four houses ready for them this year, increased from only two last year. Mr J has built beautiful houses, raised up on small blocks to stop damp, little ramps to get in and out, hinged roofs with roofing felt to keep them dry, and bolts to keep foxes etc out. They have to negotiate a tunnel and turn two corners to get to the 'bedroom', so they should be very comfy and safe in their 'bungalows'!

Septimia Tue 16-Aug-22 18:13:11

We have hedgehogs, too. A couple of times lately I've seen them looking a bit unhappy long before dusk - no doubt due to the hot weather. We tend to give them catfood. When we see a hedgehog we put a bowl of food and water close to it and retreat to a safe distance. We soon hear the smacking of hedgehog lips. That way there's nothing left out for rats etc.

Skydancer Tue 16-Aug-22 18:21:11

We also have hedgehogs. If you can do it you can make a kind of igloo-shaped construction to put the food under. This stops cats. Water needs to be in a shallow dish. Hedgehogs can swim so if you have a pond make sure it has a ramp so the animals can get out. They don't normally come out during the day but they do occasionally. My DD found one snoozing on her lawn - probably as its house was too hot. Good luck, everyone. Hedgehogs need our help.

lixy Tue 16-Aug-22 20:16:50

Brilliant ideas, thank you.
I have a igloo type hedgehog house so will put some food in there this evening - it'll keep the food dry! They'll have to make do with dog food today as i bought it earlier, but will be going to a garden centre on Thursday so will pick up some hedgehog food.
We don't have pets but do encourage birds to come into the garden. In return we get much enjoyment from their antics. I really hope this hedgehog stays around - and maybe brings the family to visit too!
Many years ago I did have a Jack Russell who was allergic to flea bites - cost a fortune in vets fees when the hedgehogs came to visit!

Whiff Tue 23-Aug-22 05:22:27

A word of warning for anyone who has a dog. My brother and sister in law have 3 Hedgehogs visit their garden. They put out Hedgehog food and water for them.

Monday last week their Jack Russell eat it . She had diarrhoea. The vet said there was nothing harmful in the food but it's not safe for dogs to eat. Luckily she was still drinking water and lively but had to have cooked rice and chicken until her tummy was back to normal .

RichmondPark1 Tue 23-Aug-22 09:36:45

I read that hedgehogs are doing much better in gardens than in farmland and it might just be down to Gransnetters!

We have an adult and a smaller hedgehog who visit our garden. I agree with the poster who said they arrive at the same time each day...9pm in our case. We have cut 'hedgehog highways' into our gates, leave out water in several different places and also keep wilder areas of garden for them to hide in. We made a stack of logs which attracts beetles, slugs and snails for them to eat and also we put food down each evening at's gone by 9.30 so no problem with vermin. Our dog isn't interested in the food, but she waits by the window for the hedgehogs arrive every evening. If she encounters one of them in the garden she has no idea what to do and runs away looking embarassed!

lixy Tue 23-Aug-22 09:47:32

I put the hedgehog food inside an igloo home and the cats don't seem to be interested in it thank goodness. It sometimes goes, sometimes not so I guess our hog isn't a regular visitor yet. We'll keep offering food and shelter and see what happens over the next couple of months.

I had read somewhere that hedgehogs don't hibernate as deeply as they used to as the Winters are warmer.

Caleo Tue 23-Aug-22 11:15:05

I keep shallow dishes of clean water at ground level for birds and hedgehogs and frogs if any. I don't encourage hedgehogs as sometimes in the darkness I have to struggle down the large garden to save one from my terrier. Fortunately for the hh my lurcher is now dead and the terrier is more easily driven off its prey.

Caleo Tue 23-Aug-22 11:17:39

I agree large pot saucers are ideal as shallow and easy to clean as they are smooth surfaces.

Athrawes Tue 23-Aug-22 12:02:00

We have hedgehogs visiting at night too and provide hedgehog food for them - plus water I hasten to add, in a separate dish. They are delightful little critters if somewhat mucky in their habits! We have a lot of places they can hide in but we've also got a 'hedgehog highway' through to next door. The man who put up a new fence for us suggested it and there's various ways these animals can explore the gardens on the other side too. If you come across a hoggie in daylight it's not good news and if you can, take it to a hedgehog rescue centre as it's likely it will need medical attention