As winter starts to come to an end and warmer weather comes our way, we wanted to answer some of your questions about caring for hedgehogs when they emerge from hibernation. Find out more about what, when and how you can look after our spiky friends.
When do hedgehogs emerge from hibernation?
From March, depending on the weather, hedgehogs will emerge from their hibernation. They will have been hibernating since November and during this time will have lost around a third of their body weight. So they will be hungry! (Our Hedgehog Hibernation Bundle is perfect if you are reading this blog ahead of hibernation time.)
What should I feed hedgehogs?
Hedgehog specific food which is nutritionally balanced is perfect. Hedgehogs like a very varied diet. When using a dried food, take care to provide fresh water in order to prevent dehydration. You can use specially designed food and water bowls to help little snouts.
Do hedgehogs need shelter?
Shelters such as the Wildlife World Igloo or the Hogilo are perfect for providing shelter from the elements as well as protecting hedgehogs from competition or predation. You can tuck the food away inside the shelter during the springtime when they’re not hibernating inside it. As our Wildlife World ecologist, Chantal Brown says “these are perfect for use all year round. When hedgehogs come out of their hibernation, they can make a really good feeding station. This is important if you have cats or dogs visiting your garden. Take the feeding tray and you can put it into the box, tuck it around the corner, so that the hedgehog can go in and they will be the only one able to enjoy that food”.
When should I feed hedgehogs?
From March and April hedgehogs will be trying to eat as much as they can in order to be ready to mate and reproduce from June. The females are then pregnant for around 4 weeks. During this time they need to consume enough food to make sure they’re healthy enough to produce up to six or seven little hoglets. When they give birth in July they’ll then need to feed these hoglets.
How else can I help hedgehogs?
Make your garden hedgehog friendly by opening up areas of your garden so that hedgehogs can forage over larger areas and get natural food.
Avoid slug pellets and pesticides
If you have a pond, add a log into it so that if a hedgehog goes to drink from the pond it can then get out of the pond easily.