A hedgehog in the garden

On more than one occasion we have met these friendly animals, especially when our home is surrounded by nature. These little animals, curious by nature, enter our garden attracted by the insects that live there, by the fallen fruit of some tree or by the food of our pet that is left over during the night, since hedgehogs are of nocturnal activity.

Hedgehogs are stubby, with a rounded shape, having a back covered with spikes and fine hair on the belly, face and legs. Hedgehogs usually weigh about 1 kg and do not exceed 30 cm in length, with males being larger than females. These animals have a large black snout, as they are guided by smell to locate their food. The eyes are small and black not far from the muzzle, giving it a very funny appearance.

The hedgehog is omnivorous, and its food is based on worms, molluscs, small vertebrates such as frogs or snakes, eggs, berries and seeds. In the case that it enters our garden and we find it pleasant to visit, it can be given cat food or dog food, in small portions, also giving them a point of fresh water with a conventional pet watering hole.

They live about 5 to 7 years in the wild, although in captivity they can live up to 10 years.

It is normal that these animals are only seen during the summer, since in winter they hibernate in small shelters made of dry leaves and moss.

Hedgehogs can be a great help in the garden and can find a predator-free home if they are given enough comfort and food to be comfortable. They rid us of the vast majority of insects harmful to our plants.

They are not very social with people, but if they get used to our presence they even let themselves be touched and manipulated. It is not a pet as such, but a perfect ally in the garden. So if any of them visit us, we will be with open arms when they arrive.

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