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What do hedgehogs eat?

I have found a hedgehog what can I give it to eat?

Important information about Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs in the wild 

Hedgehogs in their natural habitat will feed on insects, earthworms, small worms, larvae and other protein-based food.

They may also eat medicinal plants and very ripe native fruit. Never give food or drink to a hedgehog in hypothermia

(feeling cold and less than 35°C).

Their diet varies according to their age and weight.

Hedgehogs are not vegetarian and need a protein (even a high protein) diet.

Fixed rule:

Never give a hedgehog of any weight suffering hypothermia any food or drink until it is warm ~ 35°C

Never give cow's milk and derivatives.


For a complete explanation, click the button.

Never give bread or flour and derivatives.

Flours ferment. They do not exist in nature. Many of the flour-based foods have yeasts, sugars, natural flavours and additives.


Feeding them dried fruits can also sometimes be dangerous.

Mealworms should only ever be given once or twice a week in very small quantities. Mealworms are bad for them, but a favourite amongst hedgehogs. To such an extent they sometimes refuse to eat anything else.


The problem is that an excessive amount of these mealworms can change the phosphorus/calcium ratio in the hedgehog's metabolism, creating major bone problems.

We use these foods for our recovering hedgehogs

Piccoli ricci in svezzamento in recupero. Royal CaninMother and Babycat Mousse. Progetto Riccio Europeo. Italia.
Hills AD Mousse. Piccoli ricci in svezzamento. Progetto Riccio Europeo. Italia.
Ricci Neonati Royal Canin Baby Milk Powder Progetto Riccio Europeo
Piccoli ricci in svezzamento in recupero. Royal Canin Second Age Kitten Nutrition also good for rescued hedgehogs. Progetto Riccio Europeo. Italia.

Adult Hedgehogs 

In recovery can be fed quality cat biscuits. Please remember that, in doubt, you should always contact competent authorities for advice.


Young Hedgehogs 

If they weigh around 180 to 230 grams when rescued and in recovery can be fed with good quality kitten mousse and small biscuits again for kittens.


By this age they should be weaned off their mother's milk, so avoid special milk when they are this old. Kitten biscuits may sometimes need to be crushed if teeth are not fully developed. 


In the case of newborn hedgehogs, we recommend immediate delivery to a CRAS (Wild Animal Recovery Center in Italy), or to a qualified centre or to a vet.


Younger infants can die if suitable milk is not used or if they are not breastfeeding properly.


Depending on the age of the hedgehog, refer to the Eating, Young Hedgehogs and Newborn buttons.

This is a hedgehog that had been recovered and kept by private individuals and fed too much.


When he got to us, he couldn't even make the ball, so before we freed him, we put him on a diet!

Riccio ALIMENTAZIONE: Sono arrivato troppo grasso. Non riuscivo nemmeno a "fare la palla". Prima di liberarmi, mi hanno messo a dieta!
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