After finding two young hoglets in our garden earlier this month, I've spent the last couple of weeks reading up about hedgehogs and the right way to go about supporting them from people who really know their stuff. I hadn't appreciated just what complicated little creatures they are. I had been labouring under the misapprehension that our prickly friends hibernate all over the winter, but apparently this isn't the case.
At this time of year when natural food is scarce they are in a race to put on enough weight to see them through the cold months. However, not all hibernate and many will need to have a top up feed every few days to build up their fat reserves. There are many things they can't eat, bread and milk being two of the worst things alongside suet, pumpkin and mealworms [some also say fish, but the jury seems to be out on that particular one]. I was concerned that if you "help" them by putting appropriate food out for them on a regular basis you might make them dependent and prevent them from following their natural behaviours, but this isn't the case apparently and they continue to travel and forage. With that worry allayed we have gone for it....one new plastic box [100% recycled plastic though], dishes from the charity shop, wood from home and appropriate complete dried kitten food and we now have our very own cat-proof hedgehog feeding station. We have put it out in the garden well away from the hedgehog house with plenty of clean water outside it so fingers crossed that we might get some prickly visitors!!🦔