While some go, some stay

Fresh, Regular Water is Vital to Birds

Feed your hedgehogs before they hibernate

October 8, 2015
A few weeks from now, our fine spiked friends will go into hibernation. It is no menial affair that these hedgehogs must put on as much fat as possible; otherwise they risk dying in their sleep. And this, for such as beloved creature, one that resonates with symbolic pleasure as it gives us a glimpse of true rambling nature in our gardens, is simply unacceptable. Let us try not to bow down to nature red in tooth and claw, let us give a helping help to the spiked ones.

See our range of hedgehog food

We love hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are nocturnal, and come out when the sun goes down. Their sense of smell puts our human nasal abilities to shame, and they can even sniff out prey an inch under soil. When faced with a sense of danger, they curl up into cute little balls and protect themselves with their dense layers of thick spikes. And when we talk about rambling, well, hedgehogs would put Alfred Wainwright to shame. They can clock up to 2km every night, given the appropriate network of dense neighborhood shrubbery. And this is the key, maintaining a garden that is friendly to hedgehogs is to create a haven for all sorts of other wildlife, including birds, insects and all manner of interesting creepy crawlies.


Hedgehogs go into hibernation around the end of October/mid-November, but this is of course dependent on how mild and severe the weather is. They normally come out of hibernation in March/April the following year, and are off on their usual ways. During hibernation, hedgehogs reduce their bodily temperatures to match that of their surrounding environments, and thus enter a ‘torpor’ in their hibernaculum. Of course, a typical hedgehog would slow down its bodily function so as to preserve as much energy as possible, with the heart beat dropping from 90bpm to 20bpm. In fact, it is impossible for a hedgehog to work at any level of normal physical activity during hibernation.

How you can supplement a hedgehog’s diet prior to hibernation?

Don’t dismiss the importance of giving your hedgehog’s a helping hand. The more fat reserves they can build up before their big sleep, the better chance of survival through the harsh winter period. There’s lots of nutritious and beneficial food out there available for garden hedgehogs, including tasty treats from companies such as Spikes.

See our range of Spike’s hedgehog food.
Read all about Hedgehog Week 2015

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  1. Our little hedgehog seems to have gone into hibernation in the last week. I have checked his little house and it is packed solid with bedding. No food or water has been touched. I have checked his sleeping quarters and they are packed to the roof and his entrance hall is solid with bedding. Will he suffocate as there seems to be no air flow. If he has gone into hibernation does that mean he could waken around Christmas time.

  2. We had Hedgehog(s) in the garden for years and then they suddenly disappeared. We also started getting Foxes and Badger(s) – are the two things connected?

  3. If you find a small hedgehog, that could be a young one that will not be able to put on enough weight to go through the winter however well it is fed in the garden this month, please refer to Hedgehog Rescue website for information and who to contact for advice.

  4. I have always fed hedgehogs. I have 5 hedgehog boxes around our garden under the hedges.last year they were occupied.we used to have 8 hedgehogs in our garden. Unfortunately this summer we noticed that they were gradually getting less and less. Our neighbors and us noticed hedgehogs had been half eaten.later on we discovered that a a badger was around.could this be the explanation? We are not sure . Very upsetting. We got very attached to the lovely little friends. We only have one visitor now. H Davies Wiltshire