DIY hedgehog feeding station
Helping hedgehogs

DIY hedgehog feeding station

Want to feed hedgehogs but not your neighbourhood cats? A hedgehog feeding station may well be the answer. It also helps to keep the food and the hedgehog dry when it is raining. Hedgehogs aren’t keen on rain!

There are lots of options for feeding stations. You can buy a ready made one – I use a wooden hedgehog house or you can also build your own very cheaply from a plastic box. Please remember that a feeding station should only be used for food – don’t mix dinner with bed and breakfast. Use a separate hedgehog box to provide a house.

You will need:

  • A plastic storage box with a lid. A minimum of 12″ wide by 18″ (but can be bigger)
  • A stanley knife or strong scissors to cut the hole
  • Measuring tape to measure the size of the hole
  • Strong tape to cover the cut edges of the hole
  • A brick
  • Small but heavy ceramic bowls for food

Building the box

  • Decide whether you want to have the box with the lid on or whether you want to turn the box upside down with the lid underneath.
  • Carefully cut out a hole around 4.5″ square.
  • Tape up the edges of the hole – they may be jagged
  • Line the box with newspaper
  • Put the food at the far end of the box
  • Place a brick on top to help prevent the lid being taken off by a fox/cat
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Feeding station lined with newspaper. Pic courtesy http://www.thehedgehog.co.uk
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Place a brick on top of the box. Pic courtesy http://www.thehedgehog.co.uk

Check the box daily and change the newspaper when it gets dirty. Wash the food bowls regularly to keep them clean. Hygiene is very important to prevent spreading bacteria, as it is with all wildlife and bird feeding stations.

You can also decrease the risk of cats getting into the feeding station by placing the entrance up against a fence or wall with only a hedgehog sized gap behind it. Try building a tunnel on the outside of a wooden hedgehog box and build a baffle wall on the inside or create an internal brick wall in a plastic box. It may also be worth having a go adding a plastic tunnel using something like this. Nothing will stop the most persistent cats but please do let me know if you have found any other ways to keep cats out…

Homemade DIY hedgehog house hedgehog box
An extended baffle wall inside the hedgehog box may help to keep cats out and gives hedgehogs extra protection

If you want to check that your visitor is, in fact, a hedgehog, the best way is to invest in a night camera. You can place a non-toxic ink pad at the entrance followed by a white paper lining. You should then be able to spot hedgehog footprints made by the ink….

If you haven’t spotted a hedgehog before but want to know if they are in your area, you can also check out the Big Hedgehog Map.

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Hedgehog footprints. Pic courtesy http://www.hedgehogstreet.org
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Remains of a hedgehog feast

Another tell-tale sign of a hedgehog visiting your feeding station is what is left behind. A hedgehog will leave some crumbs like in the picture above, whereas a cat will wipe the bowl clean. A hedgehog may also leave you a calling card in the bowl or nearby. For this reason it is also vital to keep your feeding station clean. I change the newspaper lining daily – to avoid any parasites or bacteria passing between hedgehogs. I also move the feeding stations around regularly to new locations. I site the feeding stations in open areas where I can monitor them with my night cameras and easily access them to top up the food and water. I keep them separate from hibernation boses.

For suggestions of what food to put in your feeding station please read my blog.

I run a hedgehog rescue in York. My work is entirely self-funded. If you have found this information useful you can read more about me here and also how to support my work.

I also make silver jewellery inspired by nature and wildlife to raise funds for my hedgehog rescue work. Please check out my online jewellery shop here.

Silver wildlife jewellery
Silver wildlife jewellery

 

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24 thoughts on “DIY hedgehog feeding station”

  1. Thanks so much for this hedgehog feeding station instructions! I can’t wait to make one for the hedgehog that comes into our garden! Just fantastic!! Thanks for this great blog post!

  2. LSH you are a marvel in every way and I have been reading your blog voraciously since discovering it – but am I right in thinking the top photo shows 3 hogs eating mealworms? Elsewhere you’ve talked about the advice NOT to feed mealworms due to risks of metabolic bone disease? Or maybe it’s my tired eyes on a Friday night playing tricks on me, in which case sorry!

    1. You are absolutely correct. This is a very old pic and sadly the best pic I have of the night visiting hogs but it does show mealworms. I used to feed them myself until a couple of years ago when I learnt of the research. I will definitely update it when I get a better pic x

  3. Hi, you talk about neighbors cat, but you forgot the rats. I feed hedgehogs for a couple of years. All of a sudden, there was no food in the mornings left. My neighbor showed me a couple of days later Fotos of a ratfamily. Since this time I don’t feed anymore. I feel sorry for the hedgehogs, but I don’t like rats in my garden.

  4. Hello, unfortunately there is no way to stop rats but I generally don’t find that hedgehog food causes a rat problem. It is more likely something else that causes the problem. Rats are everywhere so seeing the occasional one is normal but, if you are seeing lots, and in daylight then there is a rat problem that needs investigating. I have fed hedgehogs for a decade and only ever seen the occasional rat…..

  5. I made a feeding station exactly as instructed but a cat got in. We saw it on the wildlife camera. It isn’t a small call either.

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