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Hedgehog Population

Hedgehog in leaves

As seen in many news articles week commencing 5th Feb 2018 the population of the European Hedgehog in the UK is diminishing.

It is great to see that the plight of our beloved hedgehog is getting some well-deserved publicity but we at Brambles were appalled to see some broadcasts showing a hedgehog eating from a bowl of mealworms!

Hedgehogs are Omnivores meaning that they will eat virtually anything and they are opportunistic feeders. Generally, however, insects such as beetles and earthworms in particular, make up a large part of the diet.

As hedgehogs are now on the endangered list they need all the help they can get and many people are rising to this challenge. However, it is very important to feed them nutritionally beneficial food as many rescue centres are reporting hogs with dental disease caused by foods containing sugar.

Also, increasingly hedgehogs are being seen with Metabolic Bone Disease in which bones & teeth are soft, deformed and easily fractured. The cause of this disease is Calcium to Phosphorus ratio imbalance in the blood due to food containing too much Phosphorous. To redress this blood imbalance Calcium leaches out of the bones and teeth resulting in very painful bone and dental abnormalities.

We do not recommend giving Hedgehogs any foods containing high levels of Phosphorous such as:

  • Mealworms
  • Peanuts
  • Sunflower Hearts

In addition hedgehogs lack the enzyme Lactase and so cannot digest lactose found in milk. If given milk they can get digestive problems and diarrhoea.

So, please do keep feeding Hedgehogs but check ingredients of foods that you give them as you could inadvertently be causing more harm than good.