Do Hedgehogs Eat Mice? (Explained)

  • By: Fabrizio
  • Date: February 23, 2024
  • Time to read: 5 min.
Fabrizio
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In recent years, there has been an uptick in the number of people keeping hedgehogs as pets. This is likely due to their small size and adorable appearance.

In this article, we will explain why hedgehogs eat mice, how often you can give them as a treat, and whether hedgehogs are capable of hunting and killing live mice.

Let’s dive in!

Do hedgehogs eat mice?

Hedgehogs have been observed consuming mice, but these instances are primarily attributed to scavenging carrion rather than active predation.

First-hand accounts suggest that some hedgehogs might engage in hunting behavior, but they face challenges due to their limited ability to capture live prey efficiently.

Studies and observations indicate that hedgehogs are more likely to consume mice that are already deceased or weak, rather than healthy adult mice1. Therefore, while hedgehogs may occasionally eat mice, they should not be relied upon as natural mousers.

What do hedgehogs eat in the wild?

In the wild, hedgehogs primarily eat insects and other invertebrates such as beetles, earwigs, caterpillars, earthworms, and more1. They are opportunistic eaters and may also consume carrion, fallen fruit, and bird eggs if available. 

Hedgehogs can also eat small animals like frogs, snakes, and mice in the wild. 

Additionally, they enjoy fruits like berries and melons as part of their diet4

Hedgehogs are omnivores, so they have a varied diet that includes both plant and animal matter.

Can hedgehogs catch mice?

While hedgehogs are not typically kept as mice-hunting pets, there is evidence that they can be effective at catching these pesky rodents. Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals with sharp senses of smell and hearing. These abilities help them to locate their prey, making them skilled hunters.

Their diet consists mainly of insects, but they will also eat small mammals like mice if given the opportunity. When hunting, hedgehogs use their long noses to sniff out prey and their sharp claws to dig into the ground.

Once they’ve caught a mouse, they usually kill it by biting its neck or head. While hedgehogs are not the most efficient mouse-catching machines, they can be helpful in controlling the local populations of these unwanted pests.

Do hedgehogs eat baby mice?

Yes! absolutely. Hedgehogs will eat baby mice if given a chance. They make no distinctions between adult and baby mice when it comes to their diet.

If you have a hedgehog as a pet, it is important to be aware of this and take precautions to prevent them from coming into contact with small mammals like mice.

How often can you give hedgehogs mice as a treat?

While it is okay to give hedgehogs mice as a treat, it is important not to overdo it. You can feed your hedgehog with mice twice per month. Mice should only make up a small part of their diet, as they are omnivores and need to eat a variety of different foods to stay healthy.

If you do give your hedgehog a mouse as a treat, make sure it is small and, more importantly, sourced from a reputable breeder. Do not give your hedgehog wild-caught mice, as they may be carrying diseases that can make your pet sick.

Do hedgehogs kill mice?

Hedgehogs are capable of killing and eating live mice, but this is not something that you should encourage.

In fact, this behavior is related to wild hedgehogs rather than pet hedgehogs. That’s because wild hedgehogs are forced to hunt for their food, whereas pet hedgehogs are typically fed a diet of insects, fruits, and vegetables.

So, you can give them as a treat every now and then, but it’s important not to make it a regular part of their diet.

Do hedgehogs eat rodents?

 Yes, hedgehogs will eat rodents. Rodents are a large part of their diet in the wild. Hedgehogs will also eat other small mammals such as:

  • Shrews
  • Voles
  • Lemmings
  • Mice

They will also eat reptiles, amphibians, birds, and fish. However, these make up a small part of their diet relative to rodents.

But what about rats? Do hedgehogs kill rats?

Here things started to get a bit more complicated. Rats are a bit too big for hedgehogs to take down and kill on their own. Moreover, rats tend to be more aggressive than mice and can pose a serious threat to hedgehogs.

In fact, there haven’t been documented facts that hedgehogs kill rats. That’s because rats can be dangerous, and hedgehogs usually avoid them.

But mice aren’t the only thing on the menu for these prickly creatures. Hedgehogs are also known to eat snakes!

If you are curious to dive deep into it, you can learn more in a recent article I wrote.

Just click the link above to learn more about it on my site.

Do hedgehogs and mice get along?

As a rule of thumb, hedgehogs and mice don’t tend to get along. This is because hedgehogs are predators, and mice are their prey. However, if properly socialized, there is a chance that these two animals can coexist peacefully.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re considering getting a hedgehog and a mouse as pets.

Note: The below tips can be helpful in preventing your pets from fighting or getting hurt.

  • First, it’s important to get them both at the same time so that they can grow accustomed to each other from a young age.
  • Secondly, you’ll need to keep them in separate cages and only let them out to play under close supervision.
  • And lastly, it’s important to provide each pet with enough food and attention so that they don’t feel threatened by the other.

So, while it is possible for hedgehogs and mice to get along, it’s important to be aware of the risks involved.

That being said, here is a video that shows more in detail how a hedgehog is fed with mice:

Summary

Before we move on to the conclusion, we’ve summarized this article into a short list of key points for you to remember:

  • Hedgehogs are capable of hunting and catching mice if given a chance.
  • Mice should only be given as a treat, not included in their regular diet.
  • Hedgehogs also eat other small mammals such as shrews, voles, lemmings and reptiles, amphibians, birds, and fish.

Conclusion

In this article, we have looked at whether hedgehogs eat mice or not. We found out that even though they are carnivores, mice isin’t in their diet. Hedgehogs will only eat mice if there is a lack of other food sources or if given a chance.

We’ve also offered some tips on how to prevent your hedgehog and mouse from fighting if you’re considering keeping them as pets.

Want to learn more about chinchillas?

Ready to boost your knowledge to the next level? If so, check out the articles below:

Sources

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