Hedgehog, Wildlife

Hedgehog feeding station success!

For seven nights we have followed the visits of a hedgehog to our garden. For five of these nights we had a feeding station set up experimenting with foods to tempt it in. After a few days it looked like a hedgehog might actually be exploring our upturned box, with a 13cm entrance hole cut out at one end. Last night’s video footage below confirmed our suspicions.

Brilliant, the smell of hedgehog food from inside must have taken it inside to get to this valuable food source. It must have been expecting it too, entering the feeding box only 15 mins after the food went out! Watching out a back window, we saw it arrive LIVE. It was seen following the side of the box before entering. It fed on the experimental sultana side of the twin dish inside, for 4 mins.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Since this blog was uploaded more information and articles have become available. Please avoid feeding bird food to wild hedgehogs. Although they will enjoy it (especially dried mealworms) these foods can cause Metabolic Bone Disease in hedgehogs. Sultanas are bad for their teeth too. Please follow the following link to the August 2020 update on feeding wild hedgehogs after reading this post.

The video capture below, taking through the window, shows a fade transition over the longer feeding spell. Unfortunately it probably heard our hushed voices inside or another noise outside and left quickly. Hedgehogs can move! Would it make a return visit? I was pretty sure it would as on other nights every single sultana has gone.

Can I be sure it is the same hedgehog visiting? No, even if I was to stay at my window all night. Perhaps there are more than one visiting at different times during the night. Did this hedgehog return with friends last night? Well, by the condition of the box this morning I would say ‘yes’ and they had themselves a party too!

Initially when I saw the hedgehog feeding box this morning I thought something else had come along and moved it around. However, evidence had been left on the ground and in the feeding dish. Taking a guess, I typed hedgehog droppings into Google Images and confirmed the party animals were indeed hedgehogs!

The photos below show the state of the feeding box as I found it this morning. However if you are about to eat, you may not want to scroll further down to the third image, quite yet. I have very generously decided to share images of hedgehog droppings. There’s good reason share this fine specimen too. Perhaps you have seem them in your garden too and didnโ€™t realise they belonged to a hedgehog.

Are hedgehogs new visitors to my garden? After seeing the droppings I can confidently say โ€˜noโ€™ to that question. I have seen these droppings on my grass before. I never considered a hedgehog. I can also fairly confidently say, that it is very likely that the sultanas that I throw out for the birds have brought hedgehogs back to my garden, slugs and snails too perhaps. Interestingly, they don’t seem to be eating the dried hedgehog food bought especially for them.

Video of hedgehog visit to feeding station, just after 10pm, on August 23rd 2007.

What next? Well, I wonder if I will see more than one hedgehog come to my feeding station at the same time? Perhaps then my feeding station will be too small. Of course you could guess what I would really love to see visit one day โ€“ a hedgehog juvenile!

This post was written by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in August 2007

12 thoughts on “Hedgehog feeding station success!

  1. Hi, shirl! I scrolled back to the wild flower link and found it very interesting. I know what you mean about the hawkweed looking an amazing flower, even though it is related to the dandelion. I have a pink hawkweed from Australia. It is an alpine flower and when fully grown, it looks like a bunch of hawkweeds growing as if they were a bunch of dandelions,if you see what I mean.

    I love your new video of the hedgehog coming to the feeding box. If you cover the box with an old carpet and lots of twigs, for camouflage, you might get them to hibernate there all winter ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hi again, Wildlife Gardener

    Yes, it was fun to get others invloved with ID’s for this post. Alpines – now you are talking! They were the first group of plants I began collecting. I always smile when I see rich plantings of Alpines.

    I was thrilled to capture the hedgehog going in the feeding station! Thanks, I had read about covering a box with carpet and twigs – although my daughters are very interested in building a hedgehog house ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Love the hedgehog video! I know I will never see those droppings here but now I have seen an actual hedgehog feeding and ambling around! Thanks!

  4. Hi again, Layanee

    Thanks I was delighted to be able to share this moment – it was new for us too. It really was a lucky piece of video capture of the hedgehog as we haven’t seen it since then! It has taken some sultanas but I am wondering if our drier weather is making it search elsewhere for food.

    There is also another thought – many hedgehogs do get hit by cars when they cross roads. However, I am optimistic we will see it again another night ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I have been happily feeding a hedgehog or two for a week and was really dissappointed to find a cat gorging on the food. Now I’ve seen your feeding station I can have another go – thanks, it was very instructive

  6. Hi Heather,

    Thanks for your comment – I hoped my info would be useful.

    I have had problems with cats killing birds in my garden so putting out cat food would never be an option for me – unless I could hide it from the cats! When I read on the Hedgehog Society website about a feeding station I thought it would be interesting to try it. The box I used was nearly transparent which meant we could watch through it.

    It is raining here this evening – I wonder if the hedgehog will return again tonight – I haven’t seen it for a few nights now.

    I wish you success with your feeding station and many hedgehog visits – let me know how it goes ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Hello.

    Thank you for sharing your fanastic feeding station footage.

    We have been feeding hedgehogs for over 18 months now and think they are beautiful animals.

    We think your feeding station – especially being see through, is a great idea and will be putting one in our garden at the weekend.

    We also have a hedgehog box that, as far as we are aware hasn’t been used yet – but you never know one day.

    We also have two badgers that vist our garden and unfortunately, hadn’t realised until one fateful day. However, we do fully appreciate, as hard as it is, that this is wildlife and you can only do your best. Hopefully, however, the feeding station will protect our little friends.

    Thank you once again.

  8. Hi there Anonymous ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank-you!! Receiving comments like this really make writing this blog worthwhile. It really did make me smile ๐Ÿ˜€

    I wish you well with your feeding station this weekend. My present plastic box that I made into a feeding station was bought from Tesco but the first one that was used in this clip was bought from Ikea and it was much clearer. They are a pretty average size and I am sure you may see almost clear boxes in other stores too.

    Ahโ€ฆ the badgers. I didnโ€™t know about this until I read it recently. The entrance hole of 13cm x13cm I would think should help keep it out although it does have a long nose doesnโ€™t it? I do know if I go out (not realising) when a hedgehog is in the box it just says where it is. It stops eating for a little while then starts again. I would guess it feels fairly protected there.

    I would love to know how your hedgehogs get on if you wouldnโ€™t mind updating me here on your feeding station. I am sure others would be interested too!

    Wishing you success with your feeding station ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Hi Shirl just found your hedgehog video, I have been wondering how to fix up a feeding station that will stop the food getting waterlogged when it rains.I put a hedgehog box in the garden this year after the dog found I had a hedgehog hiding in the long grass, I put some straw in it and he moved in almost straight away and has filled it up with leaves and he eats whatever I put out every night – mostly oatabix that friends have bought and hate – so he has quite a store.Thanks for the tip on the feeding station will be looking for a suitable box to get it set up before the bad weather.Poppy

  10. Hello there Poppy ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am delighted that you found my postings helpful. This very basic feeding station really does work and it is especially good on wet nights!

    Good luck with yours! It is great that you are seeing these delightful characters visit your garden too – enjoy them ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. Don't forget to stop feeding your hedgehogs now. Lack of food is an important catalyst for hibernation. A lot of hedgehogs get caught out by the weather this way & they usually don't make it through the winter.

    Take care & nice page ๐Ÿ™‚


  12. Hi there bw ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks, yes, I am still putting out food. Thanks for the reminder to everyone ๐Ÿ˜€

    Glad you liked the page ๐Ÿ˜€

Comments are closed.