Hedgehogs and coming out of hibernation

Hedgehogs and waking up from hibernation.

As spring approaches and temperatures rise hedgehogs begin to wake from their winter slumber. The metabolic rate gradually increases, and they usually wake briefly to forage for some food before returning to their hibernation spot. This is why sometimes you may catch a glimpse of hedgehog activity and then they seem to disappear again. However, once the weather warms up consistently, hedgehogs will fully emerge from hibernation ready to resume their normal activities.

This whole process of gradual awakening can take several days or even weeks depending on external conditions.  One of the first things hedgehogs will do is search for food and water. Their fat reserves will have been depleted and they will need to replenish their energy stores quickly. They primarily feed on insects so they’ll venture out in search of beetles, worms, slugs and other small creatures. Our Hedgehog Biscuit is a great treat for you to put out sparingly for your garden friends. We also have a Hedgehog ‘Biscuit Boost’ which contains some extra calci worms for an extra special treat.

Hedgehogs should not consume mealworms as these are high in phosphorus and low in calcium and this can cause metabolic bone disease. Offering calci worms as an occasional treat actually provides hedgehogs with some extra calcium which is needed as part of a balanced diet.  

They will also need to rehydrate, you can offer a very shallow dish of water for them to quench their thirst.

After a long period of inactivity hedgehogs’ may spend some time exploring their surroundings and stretching their little legs. This also helps them regain their strength after months of hibernation. They may also seek out further sheltered areas under bushes, piles of leaves or dense vegetation.

As spring progresses, hedgehogs may also engage in social behaviours such as finding a mate. Spring is the breeding season and males compete for females, while females will seek out and prepare nests for their young. Hedgehogs can travel up to 1 mile every night on the lookout for food and a mate.

Once a pair has mated, the gestation period is around 4 to 6 weeks. After giving birth, the female hedgehog will care for her offspring for several weeks before they become independent. In order to do so successfully she will need lots of food for energy and her babies.


If you are lucky enough to share your garden with hedgehogs caring for them is a rewarding and enjoyable thing to do. Providing some of our hedgehog biscuit will certainly be appreciated by your spikey friends.

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