Anyone who has a hedgehog in their garden can do a number of things to prepare a winter-friendly environment for them before the cold season begins. You can do the following so that he can sleep in peace and protected from people and animals.
Sometimes hedgehogs need human help in winter – Image: Shutterstock / AlexKZ
To ensure that a hedgehog has access to your garden at all, you should avoid using a fine-mesh fence. Sources of danger such as basement shafts should be secured and anyone who has a garden pond is doing the spiny animal a great favor if they put a board in it that they can use to escape from the water if the worst comes to the worst. If it then starts to get cold, you can start supporting the hedgehog with food.
When food is scarce: feed hedgehogs in autumn
You can easily help your prickly garden dweller put on a little extra fat for the winter. Since finding food usually becomes more difficult for him from mid-October, it will help if you provide him with fresh food. Unsalted scrambled eggs, ground beef that has been fried in a little fat, and wet dog or cat food are options, as is special hedgehog food available at pet stores. If you want to offer him something to drink, it is best to put water there – under no circumstances should you choose milk, because this is intolerable for the hedgehog and harms him.
A winter quarters for the hedgehog
Well-armed for the cold days, the hedgehog retreats to its winter quarters when the temperature falls below five degrees. This can be a heap of compost, leaves or brushwood, but also a hedgehog house that was set up especially for him. You can also get such a house from online mail order or pet shops, build it up according to the instructions and cover it with leaves to make it as beautiful and protected as possible.
Anyone who has one or more such hibernation options in the garden and – very importantly – does not touch them throughout the winter is doing the popular garden dwellers a favor. Overall, be very careful when mowing the lawn, clearing bushes or piles of leaves, and of course when spraying herbicides and other poisons to avoid endangering the hedgehog.
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