- 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.