FAQ

Q: What do hedgehogs eat and drink?

Hedgehogs are scavengers and will eat almost anything. They eat mainly beetles, caterpillars and earthworms and occasionally slugs and snails! If you want to feed hedgehogs in your garden the best food to offer them is good quality, meat based cat or dog food and cat biscuits. Fresh water should always be available. Bread and milk is extremely harmful to hedgehogs and cows milk can even be fatal to them as they cannot digest lactose.

Q: Why do hedgehogs hibernate?

Hedgehogs avoid the coldest times during winter by hibernating, usually between November and early April depending on the weather although they do wake and forage for food during milder spells. In order to survive the winter, hedgehogs need to weigh at least 600gms by the late autum (750gm preferable as 1/3 of body weight can be lost during hibernation). Any that have not reached this weight will need to be taken in and looked after until they have gained sufficient fat reserves.

Q: How can I help hedgehogs in the garden?

Solid fences and walls restrict a hedgehog’s movement through gardens so leave small gaps at their bases or provide a tunnel so the hedgehogs can pass through easily.

Hedgehogs can swim but often drown in garden ponds because of their steep and slippery sides. Provide them with an easy escape route.

Provide a small wildlife area in your garden. Long grass, log and leaf piles and undergrowth provide foraging and nest places for the perfect hedgehog habitat.

Bonfires make good places for hedgehogs to nest. Check them to make sure a hedgehog has not made its nest before lighting.

Provide a hedgehog feeding station but please provide dog/cat food and not bread and milk. Click here to find out how to make a simple hedgehog feeding station.

Q: Do hedgehogs make good pets?

Hedgehogs are wild animals and contact with people is very stressful for them. Hedgehogs offered for sale are usually the ‘African Pygmy Hedgehog’ which is a hybrid bred for the American pet trade. They are not wild animals, do not hibernate (will die in winter) and cannot be released into the wild. We cannot take them in as carers.

Q: Aren’t hedgehogs full of fleas and ticks?

Hedgehogs can pick up the odd flea or tick just the same as cats and dogs although hedgehog fleas and ticks only live on hedgehogs. Sometimes they become infested when they are very poorly and in desperate need of help.

Q: Should we report hedgehogs sightings?

It would be excellent if you could report any hedgehog sightings to the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust or email Hedgehog Manager simon.thompson@wkwt.org.uk who is compiling a list of all sightings.

Q: Can I make a donation?

Yes please!

We are are in real need of money to pay for vet bills, medicine, food and equipment.

Use the PayPal button

or send a cheque to
Warwickshire Hedgehog Rescue,
29 Sywell Leys
Rugby
CV22 5SD

 

Thank you!