There has been a recent article in a tabloid newspaper which suggested that you shouldn’t feed hedgehogs in the autumn as it is the lack of food which triggers hibernation.
This is absolutely wrong.
It is cold that drives hedgehogs to hibernate. And as the hedgehog population is now in such rapid decline, they need all the help we can give them. To get through the winter a hedgehog needs to weigh over 600 gms, and now is the time they need to put on lots of fat. Puppy food is the best food to give them, and cat biscuits are also good for extra vitamins and their teeth. They love mealworms, but to a hedgehog these are just non-fattening treats.
Since dog and cat food my attract other animals, I put my food out in a wooden box with a square opening 12 x 12 cm. That way, cats can’t get at it.
Hedgehogs can be lots of fun. I have a 3 legged hedgehog called Michael who barks at cats and moves plant pots around the garden. Although, when I say bark, it may have been a cough ? And when I say moves plant pots around the garden, that's because he gets stuck under them.
I also have far fewer slugs that I used to have.
Lots of us have the opportunity to help hedgehogs ……………… lets do it right.