Hungry Badgers in Your Garden
Badgers are increasingly having to adapt to urban life, due to
pressure on our
Countryside. They may occasionally be a minor
nuisance by eating fruit, flower
bulbs or root vegetables, or by making shallow
pits in lawns when searching for
insect grubs or earthworms.
Apart from a minor nuisance, remember that badgers also eat garden
insect pests, and other small mammals
(especially vermin species like mice, rats and rabbits) as well as clearing
up any small animal carcases/carrion
so are not 100% bad in gardens.
Providing badgers with an alternative food-supply may help
reduce any garden damage, and badgers can make fascinating visitors.
You can help badgers by providing a bowl of water and
occasionally a little wet
or sloppy cat food or dog
food, as badgers will come out of their setts to feed during the evenings. They will also eat
seedless grapes, apples, pears, plums, plain peanuts or brazil nuts (no salt or chocolate), peanut
butter sandwiches, a few Sugar Puffs. Whilst a pile of peanuts on
the patio makes life easier for the badgers, you may find it more
entertaining to scatter them across the lawn - the badgers will
then have to sniff them out - meaning you have longer to watch
them. However, wild animals will come to rely on artificial
feeding; so it's best if you provide food in times of greatest
need (winter and spring) or as an occasional treat.
In terms of quantities, we would recommend no more than the
equivalent of a large handful of peanuts plus the same amount of
soft wet fruit (such as grapes) per visiting badger -
except when badgers are looking hungry or poorly; when they may
be given a little more.
Note: If you leave out a dry dog food or cat food, then
leave a spill-proof metal dish or trough of water too. Water
is especially important in hot periods; as many badger cubs die of
dehydration if they can't get enough wet food to drink.
Providing fresh clean water in the summer is a great benefit for
badgers and other species; and we would encourage gardeners to do
this if they can.
Remember, when feeding badgers you are essentially trying to
replicate their natural diet (mainly earthworms with their high
protein and high moisture-content).
If you wish to use a feeding bowl (!), then use a heavy metal
dog-food bowl; and was it in very hot water with a good detergent.
Do not use the same wash water, dishcloths or tea towels for
animal-dishes and human-dishes.
Hedgehogs, Foxes and Badgers
Some people wish to feed a variety or nocturnal visitors to
their gardens - including
Foxes and badgers, and wonder
what to do for the best.
Hedgehogs are daft enough to eat soggy bread in cows milk BUT IT IS NOT GOOD FOR
THEM (as dairy products can damage their digestive system). Experts
often advise putting out wet cat food for
hedgehogs. As some badgers have acquired the skill
of opening up a rolled-up hedgehog and eating it; your hedgehogs
might stay away if they can sense badgers having visited or being
Badgers are in competition for some types of food.
Both animals will eat wet cat food and other meat products.
Normally a badger will "muscle-in" ahead of a fox and
eat first, whilst the fox maintains a safe distance. However, if
the badger is outnumbered by foxes, they may try and rush in a
grab a bite to eat. For this reason, feeding foxes and badgers is
best done with a mixture of small lumps of cat food (for the
badgers who will eat things where they find them), and larger
lumps like burgers (for the foxes who are more inclined to manage