Usefulness of the hedgehog in farming

This little animal, the object of persecution, not only to little boys but to the farmer and gamekeeper, on account of its supposed mischievous propensities, is in fact one which the agriculturist should endeavor to preserve, as it is the most effectual destroyer of snails, worms, and insects, on which it almost entirely subsists. A garden in which a hedgehog is kept, will, in the course of two or three nights, be entirely freed from slugs; and that enemy to fruit, the millepede, is a favorite food to him. The London gardeners are so aware of this, as often to purchase hedgehogs to put in their grounds. If it ever has been found eating poultry or fame, as has by some been asserted, they must previously have been killed by rats, weasels, or some more ferocious animal than the hedgehog, whose habits are those of gentleness and timidity, who is not formed for attack, and whose sole mode of defense is rolling itself up in a ball and opposing its strong prickles to the enemy. This statement is given in the hope of rescuing a harmless and useful creature from the general abhorrence in which it is held, and the unmerciful treatment it meets with.

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