The food chart below shows the natural diet of a hedgehog and slugs and snails feature way down the list. Hogs will eat them but the less they eat the better. Why? Because we humans like to remove slugs from our gardens and the way we tend to do that is by liberally sprinkling slug pellets around. The slugs eat it, the hedgehog eats the slug, and the rescue centre ends up with one very sick (or dead) hog. Slugs also carry the intermediate stage of lungworm. When a hog picks this up it can be life threatening, resulting in pneumonia and rapid death.
You can do a lot to rectify this by feeding hedgehogs in your garden. It's not difficult. all you need to do is put out some cat or dog food and plenty of fresh water.
Put out a dish of chicken flavoured cat biscuits or meaty dog or cat food each night (not fish flavours) along with a dish of fresh water. If there are hedgehogs around they will come to know where there is a reliable source of food. If you want to keep them around make sure you do this every day, you could supply a feeding station and maybe a house as well. If you're lucky one may stay.
At the rescue we use Royal Canin or Purina One Bifensis chicken flavoured cat biscuits, for example.
Please do not give mealworms to hedgehogs. They are high in Phosphorus and low in calcium. The parathyroid tries to balance both out in the blood and takes the calcium from the teeth and bones causing metabolic bone disease (MBD), resulting in fractures and deformities especially in developing little ones.
Milk and milk based products are positively dangerous. Hedgehogs, and most other animals after weaning, are lactose intolerant. The resulting diarrhoea can kill them.
Peanuts and Sunflower Heart Warning
As with mealworms, these are too high in phosphorus and too low in calcium. Peanuts can also get stuck across the roof of a hedgehog’s mouth preventing it eating.