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What Does A Hedgehog Eat In The Wild? | What Do Pet Hedgehogs Eat?

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What does a hedgehog eat in the wild? For starters, we know that hedgehogs are wild animals, but in some states, you are allowed to keep them as exotic pets. It means that what you feed a pet hedgehog is quite different from what a wild hedgehog will eat. It has no one to cater to its nutritious needs, like buying pet store food.

But it has to eat, either way. So it will forage for food in gardens and woodlands.

Many new hedgehog pet owners wonder what wild hedgehogs eat. We have the answers.

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What Does A Hedgehog Eat In The Wild?

Wild hedgehogs are not fussy about their food. They are also opportunistic eaters, meaning they take advantage of eating within their diet that is available.  

Naturally, hedgehogs are insectivorous (a classification that has long been abandoned) and omnivorous. As insectivorous, it means that they eat insects. Omnivores eat both animals and plants.

A wild hedgehog’s diet is bulky when it comes to plants and animals:

  • Fruits – wild hedgehog eat fruits like melons, berries, bananas, apples and watermelons
  • Vegetables – mushrooms, grassroots, green beans, and fresh tomatoes. ‘
  • Hedgehogs eat animals like snails, frogs, worms, beetles, slugs, earwigs, caterpillars, millipedes, toads, snakes, insects, and carrion. They also eat mice, baby rodents, and baby birds. Wild hedgehogs also feed on eggs from birds. 

Hedgehog Habitat 

The typical habitat for hedgehogs is hedgerows, which is part of the reason why they are called hedgehogs. They also emit a grunting sound, the reason for the hog part of their name. Other areas you are likely to find a hedgehog include gardens and light woodlands. 

Their foraging nature in gardens and on the hedges is part of the reason why some people keep hedgehogs as pets. They will help keep away pests in their gardens.

Hedgehog Hibernation

One of the conspicuous features of a hedgehog is its skin with sharp and prickly spines. Unlike a porcupine, a hedgehog’s spins do not detach but are picky when you touch them the wrong way. 

If you attack a hedgehog, it will curl itself up into a ball-size, and hide the soft parts of its body under the spiny coating. It is also the same position that the hedgehogs fall asleep in. 

The other use of this position is during the cold season when the hedgehog hibernates. During this period, its body temperatures drop up to 2 °C. Its temperature rises to 5 °C when it wakes after hibernation, and up to its normal body temperature of 30 to 35 °C.

Aestivation works for hedgehogs living in hot climates like the desert. During this period, a hedgehog will also hide and sleep skin through the heat and the drought. 

Hedgehog Reproduction  

Hedgehogs are not social and prefer the company of their mates for reproduction purposes only. A female hedgehog can birth a litter of young ones, up to 14 younglings. A mother hedgehog will stay with its babies for only 4 to 7 weeks before they are finally let out on their own.

The answer to what does a hedgehog eats in the wild is a plethora of animals and plants from snails to toads, frogs, melons, and berries. 

 

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