Do you have a squirrel at home? Do you want to know how to offer you a complete and balanced daily menu so that you are healthy? We tell you everything that squirrels eat in nature and also domestic ones. Keep reading!
Squirrels are nice animals that we can find both in nature and as pets in homes. They belong to the rodent family and live in forest areas , although we can also find them in parks with abundant trees. They are very active and agile little ones that spend most of the day at heights, jumping from branch to branch; However, it is common to see them go down to find food.
It is a sociable, playful and very curious animal that, when it lives in the parks, usually accepts our presence without being scared and even asking for food. It does not happen the same when they live in forests, where they are not accustomed to humans and flee before any noise or movement that they interpret as danger.
Depending on where the squirrel lives, it will follow one diet or another. Not only do differences exist between what wild and domestic squirrels eat, but it will also depend on where they live in nature. The squirrels adapt to the environment in which they live and also to the time of the year; in summer and spring they choose light foods, while in the colder months they opt for the most energetic ones to cope with winter.
A curiosity is that squirrels have a kind of cheek pouch in which they can store several pieces of food to transport them.
What do squirrels feed on in the wild?
Squirrels are omnivorous and can eat practically everything, but the basis of their diet consists of seeds, nuts and vegetables . In addition, they occasionally feed on small animals and the eggs of some birds. It depends on the type of vegetation and the trees where they live will have a diet or another, also influencing the species.
The most common nuts and seeds that squirrels eat are pineapples, pine nuts, acorns, nuts and pecans. They also choose the most tender and appetizing herbs and plants , such as stems, buds, roots and leaves and also some flowers. The mushrooms and fungi are also found in your diet. As for small animals, they choose worms, grasshoppers, crickets, ants, cockroaches … Sometimes even baby birds.
They can also consume fruits , but in nature it is rare. They usually eat them when the rest of the food is scarce.
What do house squirrels eat?
Mix seeds and nuts, vegetables and legumes daily, trying to offer different varieties every day. The fruit can be offered in a moderate way, maximum 3 days a week, since its sugar content can be harmful. You must give it at room temperature and in very small pieces. Also, keep in mind that they like greener than mature. The insects provide them proteins, so they are also important in their menu; A couple of times a week will suffice. If your squirrel is loose at home, she may also hunt them herself.
How to make a suitable menu for your squirrel?
Now that you know what squirrels eat, you should make sure you provide all the proteins, fats, hydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals your squirrel needs to be healthy. The best way to provide a complete and balanced diet is to imitate your natural diet as much as possible .
- Water always available, fresh and clean.
- Vegetables every day: mix of 4 or 5 vegetables such as pepper, carrot leaves, canons, arugula, spinach, stems and sprouts of various plants, broccoli, cucumber and corn.
- Mix of nuts and seeds daily and a good amount: hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, oat flakes, sunflower seeds, birdseed … Whenever possible with shell, so use your teeth and nails and wear out
- Legumes (those that eat squirrels should preferably be sprouted) as part of the daily menu: lentils, beans, peas, beans …
- Fruits 2-3 times a week: apples, bananas, cherries, peaches, grapes, strawberries, watermelon, melon, blueberries, blackberries …
- Small insects 1-2 times a week: worms, crickets, grasshoppers.
- Calcium : extra calcium with cooked eggshell, fresh cheese without salt, yogurt without sugar, milk powder.
Not only have to take into account what squirrels eat, but also the amount of food . It is recommended to give ¼ of its weight, about 20-25 g per day. The young eat less (about 15 g). We recommend that you distribute the food in different places since squirrels love to collect it.
What should not squirrels eat?
In addition to knowing the foods that squirrels eat, you should consider which ones to avoid and which ones are dangerous for them. For example, bitter almonds have a practically lethal substance for squirrels, cyanide. Sweets like chocolate are also harmful to your health because of their high sugar content. Nor should they take dairy or processed foods such as cereals or bread.
Don’t forget that squirrels are nervous and active animals and that the best place they can live is nature. In order for them to live happily as pets, you must take good care of their food and offer them a suitable place, with plenty of space and the possibility of climbing, climbing and jumping, what they like best.