What is the hedgehog diet

What is hedgehog food

Hedgehog food in nature

The hedgehog is a carnivore and an insectivore,[١] Here is a list of favorite hedgehog foods:[٢]

  • Invertebrates, because most of its diet is made up of invertebrates, including:
  • towards.
  • ladybugs.
  • the caterpillars.
  • Centipede or centipede.
  • slugs.
  • Earwig insect.
  • It usually feeds on carrion.
  • frogs.
  • little birds.
  • small rodents;
  • Bird eggs.
  • Fruits fallen to the ground from the trees.

hedgehog pet food

High quality cat food is the favorite food of hedgehogs when kept as pets.[٣] Because it contains at least 30% protein, and it also contains a small percentage of fat, less than 20%.[١]

There are other types of food that can be given to hedgehogs that contain different elements besides chitin. It is the main source of protein found in the skeleton of insects, and among these foods are the following:[١]

the fruit

A small amount of fruit can be offered to the hedgehog, such as apples, bananas, berries, and watermelon, but dried fruit should be avoided.


Fresh vegetables can be served to the hedgehog, such as: tomatoes, green beans and cooked squash, but legumes and starchy vegetables, such as: corn, carrots and potatoes, should be avoided.

cooked eggs

Soft-boiled or scrambled and cooked eggs are a protein-rich food and a good treat for your hedgehog.

cooked meat

A small amount of cooked chicken can be offered to the hedgehog, and low-fat, high-protein canned dog or cat food can be offered.

Live or dried worm meal

Live or dried mealworms can be offered to hedgehogs, as they are chitin-rich foods, a good source of mental stimulation for hedgehogs, and help them move more and work harder to get their food.


Crickets also make a chitin-rich meal which is good for your hedgehog’s mental stimulation.

Hedgehog and hibernation

Hedgehogs are classified as hibernating animals. It spends the winter sleeping in hidden hiding places such as burrows and piles of wood and hay, and during this time it consumes the fat which it had accumulated in its body during the hot periods of the year, and it wakes up in the spring, and becomes active in the summer, and goes in search of food and reproduction. By nature, he lives exclusively on land, but he can swim and climb trees when he needs to.[٤].

Hedgehog and its nocturnal behavior

The hedgehog is considered a nocturnal animal, since it hides during the day under the leaves of plants or in the cracks of rocks and caves, and it can live in an underground hole that it digs with its small feet, and wait until evening falls.

Hedgehogs come out in the evening to feed and eat, and become more active at this time of the day than other times, and despite this, hedgehogs tend at certain times to come out and hunt during the day, and this occurs especially after a light rain.[٤].

Hedgehog breeding

Hedgehogs reproduce between July and September, and their pregnancy lasts about one month to less than two months, more precisely 35 days to 58 days, and this period depends on the type of hedgehog; Because hedgehogs represent a whole family of mammals which includes about seventeen species divided into five genera (subgroups).

The female gives birth to between 3 and 6 babies called (Shahoub).[٤].

Formal characteristics of the hedgehog animal

The hedgehog belongs to a group of mammals. His female gives birth and nurses her young. He is small in size. It has two small ears and a small oblong mouth. Its neck is very short and almost invisible, and its feet are also short.

The hedgehog is also known for the fact that the back of its body is covered with several thousand sharp spines to protect it from its enemies, and these spines are hollow hairs covered with a layer of keratin, and unlike spines from some other animals they are attached to the body of the hedgehog and do not easily separate from it.[٥].

Hedgehog height and weight

The hedgehog is a relatively small animal, the weight of most of its species does not exceed 700 g, and the heaviest type (which is the Western European hedgehog) does not exceed 1.1 kg, and its length varies from 14 to 30 centimeters, of which several centimeters consist of its thick, furless tail.[٤].

Hedgehog locations

The hedgehog is considered a common animal in general, as it is found in abundance in most parts of the European continent, as well as in Asia and Africa, and humans have helped relocate it to many remote islands where it did not exist before. , such as the Mediterranean islands and the island of New Zealand.[٦].

How a hedgehog defends itself

The hedgehog is considered a high defense animal, and it begins to protect itself very quickly when a creature approaches it that makes it sense danger, so it emits warning hisses and bends its spines to threaten its enemy. And the spines of hedgehogs (or as they are called Al-Hasak) are very difficult to penetrate; When the hedgehog senses danger and the presence of its enemies such as snakes, dogs and other large animals, it resorts to curling up, as all types of hedgehogs are able to coil around them themselves to protect each side of their body. with their sharp thorns.

The hedgehog pulls its tail with its mouth so that no part of its body is visible to its enemy; It is very difficult to penetrate or eat this ball, causing most types of predators to stay away.

Hedgehogs can coil themselves with a special muscle that wraps around their entire body, from neck to buttocks, and this muscle is located directly under the skin from which the hedgehog’s spines emerge, and when ‘it contracts, it allows the whole body of that organism to bend easily[٤].

The hedgehog feeds primarily on invertebrates and a variety of insects, in addition to frogs, carrion, small birds and their eggs, and fruits. Cockroaches, mealworms, a small amount of cooked meat and boiled eggs.

the critic

  1. ^ a B J ADRIENNE KRUZER (05/04/2021), “What do hedgehogs eat?”, the domestic animals. Edited.
  2. What do wild hedgehogs eat? HEDGEHOG DTREET, retrieved 2021-09-26. Edited.
  3. Ethel Minton (10/30/2020), “What do hedgehogs eat? List of foods, diets, treats and snacks”, The world of the hedgehog, retrieved 2021-09-26. Edited.
  4. ^ a B J w vs “hedgehog”, British, retrieved 2021-5-10. Edited.
  5. “Armored Animals: Episode 2: Series 2”, eden.uktv., retrieved 2021-5-10. Edited.
  6. “Western European Hedgehog”, iucnredlistretrieved on 10-5-2021.





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