How to build a hedgehog feeding station

, 30 September 2018
How to build a hedgehog feeding station
Feeding station © Gillian Day

By Charlotte Owen

WildCall Officer

Have you ever put out a delicious meal intended for your local hedgehogs, only for it to be gobbled up by the neighbourhood cats or foxes?  The easiest way to solve this problem is to create a simple feeding station, which aims to let little hedgehogs in and keep larger animals out.

  • You will need a sturdy box, either plastic or wooden, with a removable lid. 
  • Cut a small entrance hole (13 cm x 13 cm) in one side
  • Cover any sharp edges with tape so that the doorway is safe for hedgehogs to pass through
  • Line the box with some newspaper
  • Choose a quiet, secluded spot in the garden to position your café
  • Wait until evening falls, then add a shallow dish of suitable food to the box, replace the lid and weigh it down with a heavy brick
  • Put out a shallow dish of water too, either inside the café or nearby 

What should I feed my hedgehogs? The best options are meaty cat or dog food, either tinned or dry, or a commercial hedgehog food. 

What foods should I avoid? Never feed bread or milk as these will cause an upset stomach. Hedgehogs go mad for mealworms but these should be fed in strict moderation, if at all – they are the hedgehog equivalent of biscuits and crisps, so not great nutritionally and they are very high in phosphorous, which can lead to serious health issues.

When should I stop feeding? Hedgehogs need to fatten up ready for winter and it’s fine to keep feeding them right up until they hibernate – the exact date will vary depending on the weather but you’ll notice their visits start to drop off as it gets colder. 

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Comments

  • jackie mather:

    How can we keep rats out of the feeding station?

    14 Apr 2020 21:34:00

  • Hi – thanks for this article. I wanted to check it is ok to share it? We have a community group here in Cornwall working to manage our village churchyard for wildlife and i’ve added this advice to our website with a link to your page – i’ve also credited the photo. Let me know if there’s a problem. Thanks, Karen.

    That's fine Karen, thank you. Emma

    20 Nov 2020 13:44:00

  • Marie pearce:

    My husband has just made a load of hedgehog houses for family and friends etc and we already have activity in them all. I’ve just seen this fo the feeding station so he’ll be busy on these also now.
    We need to help these little guys as much as possible

    22 Oct 2021 11:14:00

  • Marie pearce:

    My husband has just made a load of hedgehog houses for family and friends etc and we already have activity in them all. I’ve just seen this fo the feeding station so he’ll be busy on these also now.
    We need to help these little guys as much as possible

    23 Oct 2021 14:58:00