How to Feed Hedgehogs Without Attracting Rats | 10 Top Tips

This is a tricky one.  Rats, like hedgehogs, are a part of our native British wildlife. They are comfortable around humans; they’ve been living near us for thousands of years. They are smart, fast and they eat just about anything. But there are some steps you can take, so here are our top tips on how to feed hedgehogs without attracting rats.

Making your garden hedgehog-friendly by providing hedgehogs with food certainly could attract rats. And many of the things you could do to deter rats will also make life more difficult for hedgehogs, or even harm them.

But putting out food for hedgehogs won’t automatically attract rats. It very much depends on what other food sources there are in your area. You could feed hedgehogs for years and never see a rat. And remember, rats are most problematic in winter when natural foods are scarce. You won’t be feeding hedgehogs in the winter because they are hibernating.

If you do think you have a rat problem and you want to keep feeding your hedgehogs and keep a hedgehog friendly garden we have some suggestions for you.

Read on for our top tips on how to feed hedgehogs without attracting rats.

Feeding Hedgehogs Without Attracting Rats

Is The Hedgehog Food Really the Problem?

Before you start to worry about whether your hedgehog food is attracting rats it’s worth looking at what other rodent-magnets you might have in your garden.

First of all, do you feed garden birds? Birdseed dropping on the ground can certainly attract rats. There are plenty of things you can do to stop this being a problem. Read our guide here.

Check your compost heap. Compost heaps a terrific eco-option for your garden. But they can be a mecca for rats. They offer both food and a nesting site. Never put cooked food on the compost.

If you think you have a rat problem stop putting raw food waste there as well. Turn your compost regularly to be sure there are no nests.  If your heap is close to a boundary, fence or hedge consider moving it to a more open site.

You could also consider swapping your heap for a sealed compost bin.

how to feed hedgehogs without attracting rats
Check your compost head: they can offer food and nesting sites for your local rats.

Store food securely.  If you are storing pet food, hedgehog and bird food, or human food in garages or sheds make sure it’s stored securely. Rats will gnaw through paper, card, plastic and wood to get dinner. So keep outside food stores in garages or sheds in secure glass or metal containers.

Secure your food waste bins. If you store kitchen waste bins outside make sure they are secure. We have seen rats, foxes and badgers tip over food waste bins to get a look at what’s inside. A brick on top should solve the problem.

Clean up. Don’t leave unused food lying around. Clean up the uneaten bird and hedgehog food each day. Clean up any food you spill when transferring food to feeders.

If you are eating in the garden clean the table when you finish, just like you would indoors. Sweep underneath if your table is on a hard surface. And always clean up a barbecue as soon as possible after use.

A barbecue covered in fat and bits of sausage and steak is a ratty banquet!

Safer Hedgehog Feeding

If you still have a rat problem there are some changes you can make to the way you feed your hedgehogs.

Feed-in the open. Rats like to keep under cover if possible, whilst hedgehogs are happy to eat in the open. So think about moving your feeding station to the middle of the lawn.

Feed as late as possible. The less time the hedgehog food is out there the less chance it has of attracting rats. So if your hedgehogs feed later in the night put the food out late.

Supervise dinner time. If your hedgehogs come to feed regularly in the early evening (and many do) think about putting out the food as they arrive and staying to watch them feed.

Hedgehogs won’t mind a quiet human but rats will be much less keen. Then clean up when the hogs are finished.

Try cat food. There are some reports that rats are less keen on cat food than a dog or hedgehog food. We’ve not tried this, but it could be worth a go.

Go Natural. Whilst rats love most of the supplementary food that we put out for hedgehogs they are not much interested in the things that make up a hedgehog’s natural diet.

Beetles, caterpillars, slugs and snails are all loved by hedgehogs and ignored by rats. So instead of putting out extra food, you could work on encouraging natural hedgehog food in your garden. Take a look at our guide here.

Deterring Rats Without Hurting Hedgehogs

If you’ve tried everything we have suggested and rats are still a problem you may need more drastic measures. But here you must be careful. Many traditional ways of deterring rats may also harm hedgehogs. So here are some Do’s and Don’t.

Don’t block up holes in and under fences. Although these might be letting rats in they are also essential “hedgehog highways”.

Do try some mint. Rats apparently hate the smell of mint, whilst hedgehogs seem to quite like it.  Peppermint essential oil sprinkled by their bolt holes, or plenty of mint planted in your garden, could work as a deterrent.

Don’t use rat poison. Rat poison could also poison hedgehogs, other wildlife and even your pets. Bad idea.

Do consider getting a cat. If the rat problem is long term a cat could be the answer. Rats will do their best to avoid cats. Even the smell of cat pee can keep them away. Some people even suggest borrowing used cat litter from a neighbour to sprinkle around your garden if you don’t have your own cat. 

Don’t block up holes under sheds or get rid of your log pile.  Both places make great nesting grounds for hedgehogs as well as rats.

Do try a humane rat trap. Traditional or “kill” traps are probably not an option for you if you are an animal lover.  But a humane trap could be worth a go. These do just trap the animal, so no harm is done if you happen to trap a hedgehog by mistake.

The downside is that once you have caught your rat you will have to load the trap into the car, with the rat in it, and take it somewhere a good couple of miles away to release. 

Conclusion: Don’t Let Rat Worries Stop You Feeding Hedgehogs.

Most people, even animal lovers, don’t like the idea of rats hanging around the house. 

Rats will certainly enjoy many of the foods you might offer to a hedgehog. But don’t let rat worries put you off helping out hedgehogs with extra food.

Many people feed hedgehogs for years without ever seeing a rat. And if rats do become a problem there are plenty of things you can do to deter the rats whilst still offering hedgehogs the extra support that may help them to survive.

We hope you have found this article useful.

For more on how to help hedgehogs please visit:

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

Hedgehog Street

And if you have a question or suggestion we would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below.

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53 Responses

  1. Just to say, I fed hedgehogs throughout the winter since they only hibernated for about two weeks! I have film of them coming all through winter, November to March, & one going in and out of the nest box on my patio.
    I have three regulars coming now, two males & one female – there can be quite a lot of pushing and shoving going on and a fair bit of huffing and puffing! They tend to arrive just around dusk and carry on until about 4 in the morning at this time of year.

      1. Hi Clare
        We have a hedgehog in the garden who comes out to drink dishes of water i put out for it, and to eat the hard cat food. There is a rat (many i am sure) that was munching happily on the cat food last night. My husband wants me to stop feeding the hedgehog. I won’t poison the rats for all the obvious reasons and we do have two useless cats who ignore them. I don’t know what to do. There are chickens next door….

        1. HI Carol,

          How about humane traps? Or giving your local pest control guys a call and explaining the situation?

        2. Hi dont feed them the hard cat food, as rats like to take food back to nest. I use a type of hedgehog food which is ground down so rats cant take it back to nest. i have been videoing for over a year now and never seen a rat on camera near my hog food.

          If you have chickens next door the rats are coming from there. they love chicken food. they will wander into your garden as they can smell the cat food. I dont encourage its use. there are lovely well balanced hog food to buy really cheap enough. which doesnt encourage rats. IMHO. I have my own youtube channel, Hedgehog & Wildlife Junction. Just moved and finally have found i have hedge hogs again woo hoo.

          1. Hi Maria, That sounds like a really good tip about the ground up food – thanks for sharing!

          2. Maria, I would be grateful if you could give me the name of the hedgehog food you use. I also use a brand of hedgehog food but this doesn’t seem to deter the rats from eating it.

          3. I had 2 rats on video eating my hedgehogs food and one was pregnant I have taken food up as I can’t bear rats

  2. We seem to have two hedgehogs so I have two feeding stations. They seem to poo in the hedgehog house, so my question is, how often should I clean it out and can I just hose it out?

    1. Hi Hillary, if they are feeding in it rather than nesting them cleaning every day is fine. Wash it out, just hot water or hot soapy water is fine. And yes, they certainly can be little poop machines!

  3. Hi Clare, thanks for this article which is helpful to me. I would like to feed the hoggie in our garden using a crate with an aperture for entrance. However we have very big brown rats around which we prefer not to encourage. I’ve done this before elsewhere & rats took over. I’d like to try using peppermint essential oil around the entrance to the food crate to deter rats. Maybe also a piece of cotton wool in the crate with peppermint oil on it. Do you know if peppermint oil would be toxic to the hogs? They would enter to eat & leave. This isn’t a nesting site. It would be dry cat biscuits or Spikes dry food (or equivalent).

    1. Hi Joanne,
      Glad you found it helpful.
      Youve set me a challenge on the peppermint oil! I can’t find any reliable reseach saying it would be toxic. Tea Tree oil does seem to be recognised as toxic to hedgehogs but the jury is out on peppermint.
      However, as we know hogs have a vry sgrong sense of smell, so essential oil might put them off their dinner. How about trying putting a couple of shop-bought mint plants by the entrance and seeing what happens?

  4. Hi, I have a hedgehog feeding station which has a small LED light, movement activated in the entrance corridor to the feeding station. Hedgehogs don’t mind it at all but rats being very cautious definitely don’t like it and won’t touch the food at the back of the box. Very cheap light to buy (cupboard light) and batteries last for ages. I have a wildlife camera in the feeding station so I can monitor all activity.

    1. That sounds a great idea, I’ve not heard that before but it sounds like it could be very effective. From where did you get the light?

  5. Thank you so much for this helpful article Clare. I learnt some helpful tips re the peppermint oil and/or planting pots of mint to deter Mr Ratty! Next door’s open compost heap is up against the corner of our garden fence right down the bottom and I’ve seen his tail disappearing through here. Rather than ask my neighbour to move it I’m going to try placing shop bought pots as you suggest. Thank you so much!

    1. hi i am new to this site. i had rats coming in from next door, they had decking, whilst i like rats and their babies are cute i know i had to deter them, so bought peppermint and spearmint plants. well ratty, sat in the pot and ate the spearmint, never stopped him. my neighbours have now taken up their decking so no more rats.

  6. I am feeding a few hedgehogs in my garden but have attracted a rat, which is now under my conservatory. I have got a safe rat trap which I put poison in which the hedgehogs cannot access and also have put poison under the conservatory and blocked if off with slabs of concrete and bricks in the hope these things will eat the bacon laced with poison and kill them. I made the mistake of setting a snap shut trap concealed in a box slightly propped up on bricks just a couple of weeks ago and the hedgehog got caught in it which I then rushed to the vet to get him well again which they achieved for me thankfully (valuable lesson learnt, as I will never do that again). I don’t feed birds or have a compost heap but still manage to attract these damn things but hopefully I am getting rid of them with poison but I am very, very careful not to leave any trace for my hedgehogs to access the rat food/poison. I am going to keep the snap trap until the winter and set it up for when my hedgehogs have gone down to hibernate and see if I can eradicate them in the winter. Your advice is very useful. Thank you.

    1. Get 4 ft of 3 inch drain pipe. Half way along drill a hole the size of a small bath plug. Lay the pipe down along a wall or edge,put 2 bricks against it, drop the poison down the hole and put the plug back in.the type I use comes in tea bag style. Next day look down the hole to see if the bait has been taken. Has worked for me

  7. hi clare, iv’e been feeding a hedgehog in my garden for about 2 month’s dried cat food, he or she seam’s to love it.iv’e just order’d a hedgehog box with a compartment inside. I’m hoping he or she will nest in it for the winter, finger’s cross’ed. Is it all right to put some hay in the second compartment, and some dried cat food in the first, to try to get him/her in there? i’m also going to make a tunnel to the entrance to stop the cat (feral) getting in?… thanks

    1. Hi Ian,
      She will either nest in the box, or feed in it, but not both. So if you are keen for her to nest in the box I would maybe put the food just outside, so she will become aware that there is a next box there.
      Good Luck!

  8. I have just purchased a hedgehog house. I have placed it in a quite part of the garden away from our dogs. I am leaving food out n have placed nesting materials in side the house. We have field mice birds etc coming constantly into the garden. But I am concerned regarding rats, as we have had them in the garden before. Two very close neifhbours have now got chickens and ducks and I know this will attract them so going to try the mint suggestion as I love it boiled with new potatoes 😁😁😁

    1. Hi Zeta,

      Good luck! If your neighbours have ducks are chickens there will probably be far more to interest the rats in their gardens than you have in yours.
      Clare

  9. I have recently discovered that I have about 3 (could be more!) Hedgehog visitors in my garden. The first one I saw was a large adult, then two smaller ones, then for a while it was just one of the smaller ones. Recently I saw a hedgehog accompanied by a very small one, at the moment it’s still just one of the original small ones that visit every night. I have been putting out 30g of Spike semi moist food with some cat biscuits sprinkled on top and it is usually all eaten the next morning when I collect the dish. I have a few questions which I hope you will be able to answer:
    1. Do hedgehogs have more than one litter a year? If so how long do the females wait before having a second litter?
    2. I can see a definate trail of hedgehog poo in the garden, which to me (and my untrained eye) look normal, brown etc, but recently I came across some poo that was a runny whitish colour, does this mean that my hedgehog may be ill?
    3. A few weeks ago I placed a hedgehog home in a large Bush in the garden, I put some bedding hay inside it and scattered some around the outside, and thicken the surrounding outside of the bush with branches etc. My question is, how can I persuade little hedgey to move in?
    Thanks for your help

    1. Hi Jacqueline,
      Lots of lovely hoggy activity in your garden by the sounds of it – lucky you!
      In answer to your questions:
      1. Yes many hogs have 2 litters a year with the second one usually being in September or even October. so a good 2 month break between litters.
      2. I’m not familiar with white poo, but light brown sloppy poo could be stress or wrong diet. I am guessing you don’t put milk out for them? that could cause it. Take a look at our article on hedgehog poop here: https://homeandroost.co.uk/blog/hegehog-poo/
      3. The best way to temp the hogs to move in might be to place the food dishes close to the house for a couple of weeks. That way they may notice it.
      4. Very difficult to sex hedgehogs without picking them up I’m afraid – can be quite a challenge even when you do pick them up!
      Hope that helps!
      Clare

  10. Just thought of another question!
    How can you tell the sex of a hedgehog without picking them up?

  11. I recently bought a hoggie house and put shredded paper in to nest in, slightly away from it under a bush I put two bowls, one for water and the other hedgehog food, the first week all the food went then it started getting left and only eaten or part eaten every other day. I was thrilled thinking I’d got a hoggie but now neighbours are saying rats are in their gardens across the road and I don’t want to encourage them cos I can’t stand them, they frighten me to death so I haven’t put any food or water out for a couple of days, I did notice that when the bowl had been emptied there were sometimes what looked like very small fine white hairs in the bowl, (only 1or2) could these be from hoggies as they are soft underneath I believe
    I daren’t open the hoggie house in case there are rats nesting in it any suggestions?

    Margaret

    1. Hi Margaret,
      The hairs you have found could be hog hearts. Rat hairs tend to be quite coarse, so not likely to be them.
      If you have followed the advice in the article, and not seen a rat, then I probably wouldn’t worry. Maybe there is something in your neighbours garden that is attracting them, but if they are finding a ready source of food over there they probably aren’t going to be tempted in your direction by a little hedgehog food.
      Definitely don’t open the hog house, and fingers crossed for that.
      Personally I would keep putting the food out until I saw some definite evidence of rats myself.
      Clare

  12. Thanks for your help, Claire. Still having lots of hedgehog activity. On sunday saw mum and little hoglet. Little hoglet went straight to and inside the food station I’ve made, no hesitation what so ever, so I’m assuming that he is familiar with it although I haven’t seen him around.
    I’m absolutely loving all the hedgehog visitors I’m having, have been keeping a piggy diary ever since they began to appear. Been with us now for more than 2 months. I’ve even given them nick names…mum I’ve called “Bounty”, the middle sized one ( which was one of the first ones I saw) I’ve named ” Twiglet” and hoglet is “Twix”
    Just one question… when should I start to put extra food out to help them fatten up for hibernation? I’m particularly concerned about “Twix” is he going to have enough time to gain enough weight to survive the hibernation?
    Thanks

    1. Loving your Chocolate Bar hoggy names Jacqueline! They have a good 2 months and probably more to fatten up. And there is still plenty of natural food around now.
      I’m just working on an article on autumn juveniles, how to spot and what to do with them Should be ready next week so watch this space, and have your scales at the ready!
      Clare

  13. Hi Clare

    Thanks for the article, it was really helpful. We have a rat in our garden that we don’t actually mind. We are animal lovers and to us a rat is just another animal. I thought about putting a hedgehog house out, but we don’t know if there are any in the area (I don’t know anything about hedgehogs).

    At first I wasn’t worried if the rat did end up living in the hog house, but I was reading about the diseases they spread and I’m worried about whether we would contract something (we have 2 dogs and a 5 month old who will eventually play in the garden). The rat eats the food that drops from the bird table and feeders, but I don’t know how I’d clean it up because it falls into the grass. I’d imagine it would eat any food left out for the hogs too.

    Now I’m really unsure about what to do. If we captured the rat and moved it away, wouldn’t another just turn up? As suggested, I don’t want to block the holes up that have been dug under the fence, as then nothing will be able to get in. Should I really be that worried about the rat? If we make a hog house and put some bedding in and around it, would the rat likely move in?

    Thanks
    Laura

    1. Hi Laura,

      Lots of questions!
      First the bird food – we put a plastic box lid under our bird feeder to catch the seed, move it in the evening and tip away any spillages.
      The Hedgehog House – now would be a good time. They will start looking round for hibernation spots in October, so they should be familiar with your house by then. But really you could put it out at any time of year, most hogs “move house” a couple of times during hibernation.
      The rat – yes they can spread diseases – but then so can birds and hedgehogs. And it would be highly unlikely for you, your pets or family to catch anything from a rat visiting the garden. If he’s doing you no harm and not bringing all his friends round I would leave him be. I think it unlikely that he would set up house in hedgehog box.
      Let me know how you get on!
      Clare

  14. Also, what’s the latest in the year that I could put out a hog house? I don’t want to put it out too late for them to find it.

  15. Please note, the Brown Rat (the one that we see as a rule) arrived in the British Isles only in the 1720s it being a native of central Asia and is not, therefore, a native of the UK as the article states. https://www.mammal.org.uk/species-hub/full-species-hub/discover-mammals/species-brown-rat/#:~:text=Origin%20%26%20Distribution%3A%20The%20brown%20rat,especially%20by%20humans%20in%20ships.
    It is an invasive species that has killed off much wildlife.

  16. Very helpful hints about Mint and placing the food dish in the middle of the lawn . So far, only spiky animals , ans no long tailed sort . I’m delighted , as my son was threatening to evict them all! He has to deal with the rats, poor chap.

    1. Hi there you used mint I have some dried mint can I use that to deter the rat that keeps coming to eat the hogs food . The hogs don’t seem to mind sharing the food but I do .

  17. Hi, as a new hedgehog (person) we rescued a baby and whilst she was being brought back to health my husband made her a cosy 2 roomed house only to find that a bigger hedgehog had taken up residence so he made a second one and the little one is home and using it..so happy to have wildlife in our gardens 🥰🥰

    1. That’s great Olivia,
      You clearly have a very dedicated husband!
      so encouraging to have more than one hog in the garden.
      Best
      Clare

  18. Hi I’ve been reading all the comments about keeping rats away from the area where hedgehogs are.
    We have, maybe, two hogs that come to our feeding station, near our house, two or three times a night. The wildlife camera has recorded a rat near the feeding station but it doesn’t seem to go in and eat. My main worry now is the two nesting boxes at the bottom of our garden have been visited by the hedgehogs, but there is now no recording of them going in or out, there is evidence of the rat in that area, more than once. I think I can ‘deal’ with the rat later in the winter, but worry that its made its home in the hoghouse. Can rats harm hedgehogs? Do hedgehogs leave the area where rats are? What should I do? Many thanks.

    1. Hi Christine,

      Rats generally don’t bother hedgehogs, unless they fine a nest of very young hoglets. And as far as I know hogs don’t avoid areas with rats either.

      So if you are happy to deal with the rats later in the winter I don’t think you have anything to worry about.

      Best Wishes

      Clare

  19. Hi I was wondering if anyone could help? I’ve been feeding the hogs in my garden since I noticed them coming in back in the Spring. We live right next to some allotments, one of the allotments wasn’t taken up, so the council turned it into a nature reserve. It’s been brilliant at attracting birds, which come to the feeders in my garden. It’s one of my feeders that first seemed to attract the hogs. I caught one pinching bird seed late one evening, so I decided to buy them some more appropriate food. We’ve had several hogs coming and going all year until about 5 weeks ago. All of a sudden, all the hogs disappeared. I checked with my neighbours to see if they had blocked off the highway, but they hadn’t. Then one morning, I caught a rat in the garden eating the bird food. It seems that the rats have moved into the nature reserve allotment, completely displacing the hogs. I unfortunately, had to poison the rats as I have pets and kids in the garden and couldn’t risk their health. I blocked off their route in and moved all the garden bird feeders to positions that the rats couldn’t get to. I now also clean around all the bird feeders every evening so nothing is left on the ground. I’ve cleaned the garden (it’s all paved over) so that hopefully there’s no smell of the rats around. My question is, how do I lure the hedgehogs back to the garden? Now is the time they need to fatten up and I’d love to be helping them out. I’ve bought them biscuits, that can be fed both wet and dry and I’ve bought them some calciworms. Does anyone have suggestions that might bring them back? I’m missing my little prickly pals.

  20. Hi . Great post . Thank you for all the info.
    So we have a few hedgehogs passing through our garden at night and sometimes they used to sleep through the day in the hedgehog house that I’ve placed in this summer.
    I’ve noticed one wondering in the afternoon couple days ago so I gave him new bawl of food immediately and he emptied it and went to the place where the hedgehog house is ( in the other side of the garden ) to have some water .
    So the thing is that hedgehog house entry was full of hay for a wile now so I assumed one was there.
    But just the next day I’ve noticed a rat jumping out of that house , grabbing hedgehog food and jumping back in the house 😣. It’s all underneath a bird feeder as well …
    We’ve removed the hog house and there is a clear rat tunnel going underneath the tree roots that are next to it .
    So I don’t mind rats and it’s far from our house but it’s a bummer that they took over hedgehogs house and eating their food 😞.
    I’ll try to throw some peppermint around those tunnels and move hedgehog feeding stations away .
    But I’m worried that wherever I move the hog house the rats might follow ?
    Would you have any advice how to make sure the hog house gets the right resident ?

    And this morning new and old hedgehog food balls were still full . So no hedgehogs nor rats I assume …

    Thank you
    Aggie

  21. Our neighbour is asking both their neighbours (us included) either side to stop the feeding our hedgehogs. The rats appeared during winter whilst Covid restrictions. We have not had a problem before at all.
    For ourselves as neighbours we have no compost heap but two sheds which have been blocked at floor level to stop rats!!.
    Please can someone advise as said neighbours wish to put bait boxes out with poison –
    1 not good with hedgehogs around.
    2 we have neighbourhood cats visiting most days and evenings.
    3 we feed local birds.
    We understand the problem rats can do with digging, weeing and pooping everywhere as we have grandchildren like the neighbours. We are feeling as if we are the problem!! Can someone advise the best option.

  22. I have an occasional hedgehog coming to my feeding station but lately a rat has been taking the hedgehog food so I have read all the posts and think that I will plant some mint near the feeder and hopefully the rats will go and the hedgehog can feed in peace.

  23. Hello, I have various visiting hedgehogs, I have 2 feeding stations one end of garden and 2 hog hotels opposite end of garden as they normally don’t like to eat near were they nest.
    Issue is last night on my night cam I spotted GusGus the chubby cheeky mouse by one feeding station which legged it, I assumed boggy was close by but then I saw a much larger mouse/rat.
    My husband will go bonkers if I tell him and say to stop feeding our little spiky visitors!
    I’m going to put the night cams in each of the feeding stations tonight and brace myself for harsh conversation tomorrow and possibly divorce as I defend my visiting hogs and deal with the other issue eek!
    Read all advice and will get some mint from my sisters garden.

  24. Hi, I know there are hedgehogs in the neighbourhood but I don’t know if we have any using our garden or not. There is access to a street at the back so they can get in and out of our garden if they want.
    I bought a hedgehog feeding station and have started putting out water and hedgehog food. After 4 days the food is untouched. (I check in the morning and clean up.) Where is the best place to position the hedgehog feeder and the entrance to it? How far do hedgehogs travel to get food? Can they smell that there is food for them?

    I’d be grateful for any advice! I’m comleely new to doing this.

    1. Hi Kristina,

      Patience will pay off!

      I would put your feeding statin fairly near to the access to the street at the back of your garden. I’d also use tinned food st start with as this is stronger smelling and could draw them in.

      Best of luck!

      Clare

  25. Hi Clare, I have a feed-box that the hedgehogs go into to feed. I don’t have any problem with cats or rats. My main problem is with the hogs themselves. The first big guy arrives at dusk. I leave a good sized bowl of cat food and he eats the lot. I often watch him if the weather is ok. I then put some more food in the box. I’ve had to start doing this otherwise my second visitors (2 smaller hogs don’t get any food) they turn up more like midnight (I know this because I record them on a NightCam…yes I’m sad) anyway the two small hogs fight over the food but eat it all. My biggest problem is then the third hog that arrives often just before dawn 4ish. This could be the first one coming back for seconds or a hog that gets nothing. How can I be sure they all get some food..??

    1. Hi Vince,

      Good problems to have!

      I think you have two options. The first one would be to mark your first hog, perhaps with some animal safe paint on the spines on his back (you would need to check out what to use, but researchers do this) so you can tell whether it’s him coming back for a second feed.

      The second option would be to get a second feeding station. But there is always the danger that Mr Piggy would just hoover up the food in both I guess!

      Let us know how you get on.

      Best

      Clare

  26. If the rat poison is left high up say ,on a bird table, I know rats can climb, would that keep the hedghogs safe from poison?

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Autumn can be a confusing time for garden bird lovers. The weather is getting colder, the leaves are falling from the trees, but the birds who’ve entertained you all summer may be noticeably absent from your bird table. what is going on with our garden birds in autumn? Don’t worry, there’s a very good reason why you may not see them around so much, and they’ll be back soon!

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Hedgehogs

Hello Dormouse! Meet Britain’s Sleepiest Mammal

There are 29 species of dormouse worldwide and 3 present in the UK. But only one, the hazel or common dormouse, is a native species. The Hazel dormouse is an important indicator species, endangered and vulnerable to extinction here in Britain. So let’s find out a little more about dormice and what we can do to help them.

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Hedgehogs

Why Are Hedgehogs Important? 6 Good Reasons Why Hedgehogs Are Special

Of course, every creature on the planet is special (yes, even slugs!) and deserves the right to live out its life as nature intended. Hedgehogs are in decline and need our help. But lots of other wildlife is in the same situation. So why do the hedgehogs in our gardens get so much attention? Why are hedgehogs important? Here are just a few good reasons.

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Garden Birds

The Goldfinch | Your Essential Guide to The European Goldfinch

Did you know a group of goldfinches is called a “charm”? With its bright feathers, lovely song and entertaining antics there could hardly be a better name for these fabulous little birds. In this article, we are going to take an in-depth look at the European goldfinch: where and when to see them and how to attract them to your garden.

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Garden Birds

Birds Of Prey UK | Your Essential Guide To Britain’s Top 10 Raptors

Birds of Prey are some of the most majestic wildlife we have here in the UK. In the late 20th century many species were driven to the brink of extinction. But fantastic conservation efforts up and down the country mean that many of our hawks, falcons, kites and owls are thriving once again. Here’s our guide to some of the species you might spot when you are out and about, or even gazing at the sky above your garden.

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