Hedgehogs often struggle to find enough natural food so providing them with a regular food source is important to keep them healthy.
Do not give hedgehogs bread or milk! For many years, it was believed that bread and milk were appropriate for hedgehogs, but we now know this not to be the case as hedgehogs are lactose intolerant. Instead, please provide the following:
- Shallow bowls of water (a life saver, especially in hot, dry weather)
- Meat based cat/dog food in jelly (fish and gravy varieties can upset their stomachs)
- Meat based cat/kitten/hedgehog biscuits
A diet of mealworms, peanuts and seeds are great for birds, but can cause metabolic bone disease in hedgehogs due to an imbalance of calcium / phosphorus. This is of particular concern in younger hedgehogs with developing bones. You should not feed any of these foods to hedgehogs.
If you are worried about local cats or foxes stealing the food that is placed out for the hedgehogs, a feeding station can be used. This could be an empty hedgehog house where the food is placed inside, or you can use a plastic box with a hedgehog sized hole cut into one end. Place bricks on the top to weight it down and only the hedgehog will be able to reach the food inside.