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Tasty Foods You Can Feed Squirrels And What To Avoid

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ALTERNATIVE FOOD FOR SQUIRRELS


If you’re like us, then you absolutely love feeding squirrels. We love to feed many different types of wildlife, but squirrels are probably our favorite. When people first start nature watching and feeding squirrels, they’re not quite sure what to feed these cute little creatures.

It’s obvious that we don’t want to feed them anything that is going to cause harm, and we don’t want to feed them what would be considered the equivalent of junk food for squirrels. If you’re just starting to feed them, you don’t have to feel intimidated. Squirrels are incredibly picky, and you can actually feed them a mixture of different foods.

Nuts

If you’ve seen any of the recent Ice Age movies, then you’re well aware of the cartoon squirrel that just cannot seem to get the elusive nut. While growing up, most of us have been taught a little bit about squirrels, which is that they eat nuts.

This is very accurate, and the nuts that are still in their shell happen to be a squirrel favorite. If you watch them often, you will frequently see squirrels either eating nuts or stashing them somewhere in your yard. Nuts that are in a shell are actually critical to squirrel nutrition, and they gnaw on these nuts with their teeth.

 

The reason why this food source is so beneficial is because it gives squirrels chewing exercise, and it also delivers natural protein and essential fatty acids, and it’s very important that squirrels receive these dietary components.

Although nuts are certainly important, a squirrel’s entire diet should not consist entirely of nuts – they also need other types of food. If they could, it’s very likely that squirrels would feast on scrumptious nuts 24 hours a day, but what they really need, like humans, it a balanced diet.

Since a squirrel is predominantly an herbivore, it needs a decent amount of vegetables, minerals and vitamins. You can do what we do and reserve the nuts for squirrel desert. For example, you can feed squirrels some nuts as desert after they’ve eaten all of their vegetables.

Unfortunately, squirrels can be a lot like children because if left up to them they would eat only the food that gives them the most pleasure – aka, nuts. If feeding squirrels in your backyard, you should always try to feed the little critters some nuts that are native to the area. In our area, we would feed the squirrels Beech, Hickory and Butternut nuts. However, you CAN feed them other nuts as well.

Avoid Corn and Peanuts

foods to feed squirrels

Aww — isn’t he cute?

It’s hard to imagine that peanuts and corn could be bad for squirrels; after all, they do love nuts don’t they? As it turns out, peanuts are not really a type of nut. In fact, they’re known as legumes. Most squirrels do not regularly eat peanuts because they’re a type of food that has poor nutritional content.

It’s acceptable to feed them a peanut or two occasionally, but it’s crucial to make sure the outside shell isn’t growing toxic mold. You should also know that field corn isn’t healthy for squirrels, and it can grow the same type of toxic mold as peanuts, which can kill our little friends.

Veggies

As mentioned earlier, squirrels are predominantly herbivores, so they need to eat vegetables. You can get your local squirrels used to eating veggies by feeding them small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables.

Many squirrels love to eat apples, peas, watermelon, grapes, broccoli and yellow squash. However, it’s important to go easy on the fruit because it can reduce a squirrel’s ability to absorb calcium.

Nut Squares and Balls

You’ve probably never heard about squirrel nut balls. These balls are actually created with a special recipe, which was originally created by a squirrel nutritionist/rehabilitator. You should know that captive squirrels have different nutritional needs when compared with wild squirrels. A nut ball is almost like a super potent vitamin supplement that is made for squirrels.

This type of food isn’t nearly as important for wild squirrels, but if you have a pet squirrel, these balls and squares are quite important. At the end of the day, you can potentially feed squirrels ALMOST anything, but you should try to feed them the foods mentioned in this article while avoiding peanuts and field corn.