Hedgehogs are notorious for being covered in spikes making them look pretty tough for a predator to consume. But is this actually the case? Will those hedgehog spines harm a predator, such as a fox, or do foxes eat hedgehogs anyway?
Yes, foxes do eat hedgehogs. Even though hedgehogs have spines all over their body, they still have a lot of predators including birds, badgers and, of course, foxes.
No matter how much of a strong defence mechanism an animal would have, every animal has a predator, so no animal is truly safe in the wild. Foxes are omnivores and are opportunistic predators, meaning they will eat anything and everything.
Even if they’re full and they come across potential prey or food then they’ll still kill it for a later meal. If they have excess food, they’ll take it to their dens to eat later.
Hedgehogs live in the same habitat as foxes, so killing and eating them is easy, even if they only fulfil a tiny portion of their diet.
Yes, foxes will eat baby hedgehogs. This is because they will anything they can easily get hold of. Baby hedgehogs have no way to defend themselves making them an easy meal for a fox.
Foxes are opportunistic predators which means they will consume any food they come across. If you leave our hedgehog food there is a small chance a fox will come across it and eat some of it. It is unlikely to provide much in the way of nutrition or satisfaction, however.
Should You Feed Foxes and Hedgehogs?
It’s nice to give food to wild animals in your garden. It feels like you’re helping nature, right? And generally, it’s fine to do. Of course, feeding animals like foxes by hand is sometimes risky as they can carry diseases and their bite can cause diseases, leaving some food outside is better.
Another small risk is that the animal you feed may come to you instead of hunting on its own and starts to depend on you for food, so don’t provide food every day and only give food on certain days. So, should you feed foxes and hedgehogs or not?
Foxes are omnivores, and they like to eat anything they can find. They have a very diverse diet and can eat insects, worms, small birds, eggs, small rodents, fruits, vegetables, larvae of insects and even some pets.
Many people like to feed foxes. It’s exciting and there’s no denying that they’re cute… But they’re still wild animals, so feed them and watch from afar. Avoid trying to tame them as they can still be unpredictable.
You need to also avoid giving foxes too much food. Foxes eat a lot and like to take the excess food to their dens for later use. The concern here, however, is that a fox slowly becomes reliant on you for their food supply.
They’ll come to your garden each and every day expecting to see food that you have left out. This may not sound like a problem initially but it can mean, over time, a fox loses its natural ability to hunt effectively.
If you’re worried if a fox will get dependent on you for food then try to not feed foxes regularly and consistently. Instead, make it appear as if the foxes have foraged for the food itself. Try not to put the food out in the same place every time too if you have a large garden. You can learn more about feeding foxes here.
A hedgehog eats a lot of insects, and its main diet is of earthworms, millipedes, centipedes, earwigs, and ground beetles. These insects become scarce during extremely cold or dry weather, so even a dish of water will greatly help hedgehogs a lot.
Apart from water, hedgehogs need a lot of protein in their diet so you can give them a combo of meat-based wet cat food or dog food. Dry cat food works, too, as these pet foods are rich in protein.
However, remember that if you have foxes into your garden and then you start to feed hedgehogs then you might as well set a trap for the hedgehogs and kill them because the foxes will soon eat the hedgehogs up.
Why Do Foxes Pee on Hedgehogs?
Foxes are known to urinate on areas that they mark as their territory, and when it comes to objects, they urinate on objects that interest them too!
A rolled-up hedgehog may be interesting to a fox, or the fox may want to eat the hedgehog but is unable to do so as it’s rolled up with all of its quills coming out. The fox urinates on it to safely eat the hedgehog, hoping the hedgehog will unroll and then the fox can attack it.
You may think a spiky creature such as a hedgehog may not have any predators, but foxes are such opportunistic predators that even if they’re full, they will try to kill a hedgehog to take it in their den as food for later use.
You can feed foxes but don’t do it regularly, or else they’ll get a habit of being fed by humans. Feeding hedgehogs is easier as they eat pet food, but their diet mostly consists of insects, so it will only be counted as supplementary food.