Endowed with an adorable muzzle, small black eyes and a face covered with very soft hairs, hedgehogs seduce, and that in spite of spines able to repel their predators. Also, anyone with a garden dreams of crossing one. But is it possible to attract hedgehogs? And if yes, how ? If you are looking for tips, tricks and tips, you have come to the right place!
When can you meet the hedgehogs?
Don’t expect to see a hedgehog in the middle of winter! Indeed, they are animals that hibernate. And it lasts between 4 and 6 months. Falling asleep in a ball, it is a question of moving as little as possible to conserve as much heat as possible. If it can happen that they wake up, it will be very briefly, and they will not venture outside the cozy nest.
They will point the tip of their nose again in March, at the beginning of spring, truly hungry since they will have lost about 30% of the weight they weighed before wintering. Once they have regained their strength, they can devote themselves to their reproduction.
If you see a hedgehog in the middle of winter, it is because it has encountered a problem that does not allow it to hibernate serenely. In addition, the hedgehog, as an animal active from sunset and during the night, should not be visible in broad daylight. Either way, go get your thickest gardening gloves to avoid getting stung while picking them up. Place the hedgehog in a closed box that is sufficiently ventilated, by drilling holes in it. Then take him without delay to a veterinarian, the only person capable of making a diagnosis. Moreover, the hedgehog is a protected species the capture and detention of which are prohibited.
Tip # 1 – Arrange your garden to attract hedgehogs
Hedgehogs love hedges and often take refuge in their thickness. They also appreciate the dead leaves littering the ground in favor of autumn. They gladly use them to make their nests. If you have deciduous trees in or near your garden and you collect your leaves, do not take them all to the recycling center or do not burn them all, keep them in a small pile in which passing hedgehogs can shelter. . If you ever need to move the pile of leaves, make sure no hedgehogs have settled in before raking it.
Hedgehogs also like to squeeze between logs. When you go looking for something to light your fireplace, inspect the premises carefully to avoid knocking out a hedgehog that may be sleeping there.
Tip # 2 – Food
You can’t give a hedgehog anything to eat. It is an animal initially insectivorous. It eats centipedes, ants, bees, earwigs, beetles, slugs, earthworms, snails, spiders, etc. It supplements its diet with plants, up to 12% of its total diet. Obviously, his meals vary according to what he is able to find during the seasons.
Like many animals, the hedgehog evolved because of its proximity to humans. As it got closer to cities, it expanded its diet to the point of becoming omnivorous. This is called the phenomenon ofopportunism. He will still be attracted to protein sources such as eggs and the carcasses of small animals.
You must therefore take into account its needs if you welcome a hedgehog in your garden. Unless you’re a fisherman and have fresh earthworms, here’s what you can feed adult hedgehogs:
- Croquettes or mash for cats or dogs with meat, ideally with chicken,
- Raw or boiled chicken,
- Cooked ham,
- Boiled carrots,
- Fresh fruit,
- Oleaginous fruits such as walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds, provided you break them into pieces before offering them to the hedgehog.
- Formula for puppy or kitten warmed up beforehand. Do not give other types of milk (cow or infant for humans), which may trigger acute diarrhea potentially fatal in the hedgehog,
- A mixture made from cooked or raw egg, cottage cheese and vegetable oil.
If it’s a young hedgehog, here’s what you can feed it:
Tip # 3 – Create accessible compost
The question of food remains a delicate point because the hedgehog must not be accustomed to being served food. It’s an animal wild which must remain so. Food should only be offered occasionally to have the pleasure of observing it from time to time.
Creating a small water point will be more useful and much less conducive to making the animal dependent.
In addition, you can create a compost. It is a truly win-win operation. On the one hand, you add value to your waste and on the other, you create a space capable of attracting insects which the hedgehog can enjoy.
Tip # 4 – Build a small hedgehog shelter
You don’t have to be a seasoned handyman to build a hedgehog shelter. A simple plank, long enough for a hedgehog to fit under, and propped up against a wall so that it does not fall on the animal, covering a small pile of dead leaves or straw, will do very well the deal. It is simply necessary to waterproof the whole, by covering it with a tarpaulin.
Because a shelter capable of seducing a hedgehog must shelter the animal:
- the wind,
- from the sun,
- and rain.
Four concrete blocks on the ground, arranged in a square and placed under a hedge, lined with dead leaves or straw and covered with a waterproof board can also satisfy a hedgehog.
Tip 5 – Eliminate the use of chemicals
The chemicals pose a danger to hedgehogs. If these products are designed to be of limited toxicity for humans, the same is not true for animals in direct contact with them and likely to consume treated plants without the possibility of washing them as we can. Chemicals are a real danger to hedgehogs and their use, at best, will scare them away.
Tip 6 – Make it easier for hedgehogs to pass
As we have already said, the hedgehog is a wild animal. But it is also an animal itinerant that should not be forced to stay in the same place. To make life easier for hedgehogs and increase the chances of crossing their paths, it is therefore recommended not to fence your land.
If you nevertheless feel the need to fence your garden, you will be careful not to stick the fence on the ground, but to keep a space of 10 cm above so that the hedgehog can pass.
You will understand: the hedgehog will decide whether or not to stop for a few days in your garden. He must feel good there and the environment is favorable to him, both in terms of food and shelter. The European hedgehog is present almost everywhere. By following our advice, you maximize your chances of encountering some of them.