can hedgehogs eat bird seed

I was perplexed as to why all of the food I had left out late was being consumed by birds. about 6-8pm in the evening. When I saw three hedgehogs in my garden the previous evening, I was excited to see these spiky animals and shocked to learn that they enjoyed bird food. However, after doing some research, I learned that hedgehogs will eat just about anything. All I can hope for is that the bird food won’t harm them. I dare not give them dog or cat food because the last time I did so, I encouraged rats and had to call a rat catcher twice because they had poison down and I was afraid the birds would eat it!

Feed safely with our simple expert tips

Thousands of hedgehogs receive annual care from one of the biggest specialized facilities in the UK, Vale Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre. Many arrivals are malnourished orphans or underweight autumn juveniles. Hedgehog food advice can be found all over the internet, but sadly, a lot of it is incorrect. This pamphlet provides answers to your inquiries regarding what’s best for the hedgehogs that come to your garden. What do hedgehogs eat?.

The majority of hedgehogs are insectivores, and they frequently travel a mile or more at night to find food. They consume fruit, bird eggs, caterpillars, earthworms, beetles, and the occasional small animal. A hedgehog’s natural diet is precisely balanced to meet its nutritional needs thanks to such a broad menu. What should I offer them?.

Many foods are suitable. These include premium meat-based dog or cat food, complete cat biscuits, and the extensive selection of commercial hedgehog foods available online, at garden centers, and pet stores. Your diet ought to be a small addition to a hedgehog’s typical diet. Think of it as a fortunate discovery: tasty, nourishing, and aiding in optimizing limited foraging time without deviating from the hedgehog’s diet’s overall composition. Frequently serving excessive amounts of food, particularly excessive amounts of a single ingredient, may unintentionally cause more harm than good. Each night, add a small amount to a shallow bowl and make sure fresh water is available. Are commercial hedgehog foods suitable?.

can hedgehogs eat bird seed

In almost all cases the answer is ‘yes’. They will not materially change the overall composition of a hedgehog’s diet because they are made from a blend of several ingredients. Conscientious producers will guarantee that the calcium to phosphorus ratio in their recipes is safe, with no more than two parts phosphorus to one part calcium. There’s more on this below. Check the pack or contact us if you’re in doubt. Just like with any food you serve, moderation is key. What foods shouldn’t I offer?.

Once upon a time popular advice was to feed ‘bread & milk’. We now know this is wrong. Hedgehogs can’t digest the high lactose content of cow’s milk, and it can even be fatal. Also be careful with ‘wet’ pet foods. While they’re OK as a supplement when natural food is scarce, remember they deteriorate more quickly than semi-moist or dry foods. They should therefore be disposed of regularly if uneaten. bread-please-do-not-feed-to-hedgehogs What about mealworms?

Online publications assert that mealworms are bad for hedgehogs and may be the source of metabolic bone disease. This is especially true for growing juvenile hedgehogs whose bones are still developing, if they are regularly fed large amounts of them.

MealwormsSo what’s happening? The ratio of calcium to phosphorus in mealworms is very low compared with a hedgehog’s ideal diet. This imbalance causes calcium to be pulled out of the hedgehog’s bones into the animal’s bloodstream in an attempt to ‘correct’ the balance. This in turn can eventually lead to weak and brittle bones. Mealworms can be safe and nutritious when they form a small part of a nutritionally balanced diet. However, we don’t recommend giving them on their own. What about peanuts and sunflower seeds?

Sunflower Hearts & PeanutsHigh in energy, protein and other nutrients, nuts and seeds are safe for hedgehogs when – like mealworms – they’re part of a mixture with an acceptable calcium/phosphorus ratio overall. Again, we only recommend giving them as part of a nutritionally balanced diet. What more can I do for hedgehogs?

Making sure hedgehogs can enter and exit your garden is the most crucial thing you can do. To accomplish this, make a tiny, roughly 13 cm square hole in the bottom of the fence. If your neighbors follow suit, you’ll build a system of “hedgehog highways” that will let them go anywhere in the neighborhood. Also, plant hedges where you can in preference to fences. Dead leaves that accumulate beneath gardens not only make it easy for hedgehogs to move between them but also give them places to forage and even hibernate. Any calm areas of the garden should have a little wild and unkempt appearance. Hedgehog-friendly habitat can be quickly created with stacks of leaves and logs, or even an abandoned compost pile. They provide a quiet place to nest and hibernate, and they’re an excellent source of insects for food.

can hedgehogs eat bird seed

Guide by Vale Wildlife Hospital

can hedgehogs eat bird seed


Is bird seed good for hedgehogs?

What about peanuts and sunflower seeds? High in energy, protein and other nutrients, nuts and seeds are safe for hedgehogs when – like mealworms – they’re part of a mixture with an acceptable calcium/phosphorus ratio overall. Again, we only recommend giving them as part of a nutritionally balanced diet.

What shouldn’t you feed hedgehogs?

BAD food for hedgehogs
Cheaper cat/dog food brands
Poor calcium:phosphorus ratio Chemical additives High sugar content
Dairy (cow’s milk and cheese)
Lactose intolerance
Raisins, sultanas, currants, berries
High sugar content
Hedgehogs cannot digest this well

Can hedgehogs eat bird peanuts?

Don’t feed them the following: Dried nuts, such as peanuts, sunflower seeds or sunflower hearts.

What is poisonous to hedgehogs?

Tea Tree oil/ Eucalyptus/Thieves – this includes: tea tree shampoo, tea tree oil, tea tree sprays and anything tea tree. Even Candles inhaled can harm your hedgehog! This can be fatal in as little as one dose or application.