What do hedgehogs eat?

  • European hedgehogs (the species found in Britain) mainly eat insects and other mini-beasts. Slugs, earthworms, beetles, caterpillars, earwigs, millipedes and other insects all form part of their diet.
  • Hedgehogs are omnivores and, in addition to insects, they will also eat birds’ eggs, young birds, frogs and fish.
  • On occasion they will also eat fruit and mushrooms.
  • Every night, the European hedgehog travels several kilometres in search of food.
  • If you are putting out food for hedgehogs in your garden you should not leave milk or bread (as traditionally recommended – hedgehogs are lactose intolerant). Instead, you should go for meat-based dog or cat food (without gravy), dried meal worm, or unsalted nuts.
  • Hedgehogs can hibernate during the winter months when their food sources (insects) are more scarce. In order to give themselves a good chance of surviving hibernation, European hedgehogs must weigh at least 600 grams. (Click here to learn more about hedgehog hibernation)
  • Hedgehogs are very noisy eaters.
  • Garden centres and pet shops now produce hedgehog feed for people to safely feed hedgehogs in their gardens.
  • Not ¬†all individual hedgehogs like the same things. They can be quite fussy eaters and each individual has their preferences.

What next? Discover more hedgehog facts.

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