Friday, 12 September 2008

Lessons in hedgehog

Too wet for voling tonight, so I give you this juvenile hedgehog who's currently living in our hedgehog house. He needs to put quite a bit of weight on before he hibernates - he should be over two pounds/a kilogram to get through the winter - so every day of eating counts. I'm feeding him cat food (NOT fish flavour, and not the gravy stuff either, and definitely not bread and milk) and I've put plain water down as they drink a lot. I've also put a wooden ramp leading into my pond, so if he falls in he can climb out again. Lots of hedgehogs die in garden ponds, unfortunately, not because they can't swim but because they can't get back up the banks.

Here he is in motion:

Something else I didn't know: they're not that keen on slugs or snails - they'll eat them if they're starving, but otherwise their preferred diet is worms and beetles. Slugs can give them a fatal parasite, apparently.


Mel said...

He's a sweetie Kate.

I feel guilty now - I've had a hedgehog in my garden for a couple of weeks. I was so pleased he was clearing up the slugs. I'm not sure if I should feed him. I'd be reluctant to encourage him because of Moses. I had to bring him in the other night because he had his eye on the hedgehog.

Kate said...

Oh, I'm sure you're right, Mel. All the best to your hog!
Kate X

Anonymous said...

I was at an NT place over the weekend and they sold “Hedgehog Food”. It seemed to be oats and seed – perhaps soaked in a bit of fat – and some dried grubs. I think you could make your own and at £3 for a small packet I’d say stick with the cat food. Our hog, years ago in London, was partial to Felix cat biscuits.

Kate said...

Yes, I've seen 'Spike's Dinner' in pet shops. But I think meaty cat food is OK. The main thing seems to be to avoid milk, and fish flavours.