What Do Hedgehogs Eat in the Wild?

Hedgehogs are found in the wild and are native to the UK, Central Asia and the Middle East. You may know what a domesticated hedgehog can eat, but what do hedgehogs eat in the wild?

Hedgehogs in the wild survive on mostly insects. However, they can eat all sorts of other things, including small rodents, roadkill, and snakes.

Hedgehogs eat a variety of insects and love to munch on beetles, caterpillars, worms, and slugs. Apart from this, there have been instances when hedgehogs have eaten small rodents and animals when there has not been food available.

Therefore, if you decide to put food out for hedgehogs, a good option is protein-based cat food.

What Can You Feed a Wild Hedgehog?

Hedgehogs are an important part of our ecosystem. These small mammals are always found going from one garden to another. You may have found wild hedgehogs in your garden and wondered what to feed them.

It is important to feed wild hedgehogs as they may not have the chance to prey on something. Therefore, you can leave out a few things that will help these small mammals.

With so many available options, it can be easy to become confused. The first thing you should consider is putting out protein-based food for hedgehogs.

While hedgehog food is available, you also have the option of cat food because it meets all their dietary needs. Therefore, cat food kibble is a great source of nutrients for wild hedgehogs.

Furthermore, you can also put out cat biscuits and dog biscuits for the hedgehog. We are sure hedgehog will love to munch on these biscuits.

However, in addition to food, hedgehogs may also be thirsty. Hence, it would be best to leave out clean bowls of water.

What Food Kills Hedgehogs?

While hedgehogs can consume almost anything, some food options still cause them harm and are lethal for them. Therefore, it is essential to know about these food options to avoid putting them out for wild hedgehogs or giving them to your pet.

It is a natural thing for people to want to feed anything and everything to animals. However, while the thought is sweet, some things can dangerously harm hedgehogs.

Milk

Many people tend to put out milk for hedgehogs. While milk is a good option for most animals, it is not for hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant which means they cannot digest milk. While milk may seem innocent, it can cause gastric issues in hedgehogs, causing them to bloat and be in pain.

Moreover, hedgehogs will also suffer from diarrhoea which is dangerous as they are small animals. Getting diarrhea weakens their immune system and makes them susceptible to other diseases.

Therefore, it is best to avoid milk and other dairy products.

Fruit and Vegetables

You may have heard about hedgehogs consuming plants and wondered about giving them vegetables. While it is good to give fruits and vegetables an occasional treat, you must never make them their whole meal.

Otherwise, hedgehogs will gain no nutritional value from the vegetables.

Some fruits can be toxic to hedgehogs. For example, grapes are toxic to hedgehogs because, in the long run, they can cause damage to the lungs and kidneys. In addition, you must also avoid giving avocado to hedgehogs.

Some sources declare avocados to be safe for hedgehogs. However, that is untrue, avocadoes are toxic for hedgehogs, and you must avoid giving them.

Seasoned and Spiced Foods

Moreover, you must also avoid foods that are seasoned, processed foods, and highly sweet foods.

What Can You Feed a Pet Hedgehog?

While they are the same animals, hedgehogs follow a different diet in the wild or are pets. A pet hedgehog will need to consume less food than a wild hedgehog as it does not get as much exercise.

Wild hedgehogs forage through the entire night, and while your pet hedgehog may be active, it still would not be as much as a wild hedgehog.

Since wild hedgehogs rely on insects, for the most part, pet owners have a difficult time deciding what to feed their hedgehogs. Therefore, it is important to stay close to the hedgehog’s natural diet.

Although cat food kibble or hedgehog kibble should remain the main meal for hedgehogs, you can still give them other things.

Hedgehogs love to munch on mealworms. Therefore, these worms are also a good source of chitin for hedgehogs. You can either give live worms or freeze-dried. However, live worms provide mental stimulation to hedgehogs as they move around.

In addition, you can also give waxworms to hedgehogs. However, due to the high-fat content, it is better to give waxworms as an occasional treat.

Moreover, you can give protein-rich meals like boiled chicken and meat. It is important to boil the meat first and never give it raw to your hedgehog. Also, you must give boiled meat to your hedgehog as a treat too.

Other things you can occasionally feed your hedgehog include boiled eggs and small pre-killed baby mice.

Summary

Hedgehogs are fascinating animals with their small noses, ears, and incredibly sharp quills. While hedgehogs are found in the wild, they also make great pets. In recent times especially, hedgehogs have become popular pets.

To know more about what pet hedgehogs eat, you must look closely at wild hedgehogs. Wild hedgehogs consume insects for most of their diet. These hedgehogs like to feed on beetles, slugs, worms, and caterpillars.

Hedgehogs also eat small rodents, roadkill, and small snakes.

You can feed wild hedgehogs that pass in your garden by putting out cat food kibble. However, there are some foods that you must avoid as they can kill hedgehogs. For example, milk is harmful because hedgehogs are lactose intolerant. In addition, grapes are toxic to hedgehogs, and so are avocados.

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Hey, I'm Brian and I love hedgehogs. They're curious little animals that fascinate me. Over the years, I've become extremely knowledgeable about hedgehogs so have decided to share that knowledge here