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Squirrel Diet

The diet of squirrels consists of hard-shelled nuts, seeds and fruit. They will also eat bird eggs, bugs, and even an animal carcass if there is no other food source available, which are a good source of protein.

Squirrels require some salt in their diet and may find this salt in the soil along roads where snow and ice has melted. Squirrels chew on tree branches to sharpen and clean their teeth and also keep them short, because they continously grow. That's why you may see many small branches on the ground around large trees.

Foods adult Squirrels enjoy:

Rodent Block:
Daily Recommendation: 2 - 4 small blocks
Recommended brands:

  • Harlan Teklad Rodent Diets
  • KayTee Forti-Diet for Rats and Mice

Vegetables that are High in Calcium
Daily Recommendation: 5-7 small pieces

  • beet greens
  • endive
  • carrots
  • celery
  • chicory
  • chinese cabbage
  • cilantro
  • chrysanthemum flowers
  • collard greens
  • dandelion greens
  • escarole
  • fennel
  • kale
  • lettuce
  • mustard
  • spinach
  • parsley
  • radicchio
  • radishes
  • romaine lettuce
  • squash
  • turnip greens
  • watercress

Healthy Vegetables
Daily Recommendation: 2-3 small pieces

  • asparagus
  • artichokes
  • bell peppers
  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • carnations
  • cauliflower
  • cucumber
  • green beans
  • okra
  • peas
  • pumpkin
  • squash
  • sweet potato
  • zucchini.

Wild and Natural Foods:
Daily Recommendation: unlimited while in season.

  • magnolia cones
  • pine cones
  • pine branches
  • pine bark
  • branch tips
  • roses
  • purslane
  • plaintain
  • dandelion greens
  • whatever the wild squirrels outside in your neighborhood are eating is what's natural to their diet. Be careful while gathering them and rule out that the area hasn't been treated with pesticides.

Animal Protein:

  • live or dried mealworms
  • crickets
  • live moths
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • cheese
  • plain yogurt

Fruits:
Daily Recommendation: 2 slices

  • apple
  • apricot
  • bananas
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • cantaloupe
  • cherries
  • crabapples
  • cranberries
  • grapefruit
  • grapes
  • honeydew
  • kiwi
  • kumquats
  • lemon
  • lime
  • mangos
  • oranges
  • nectarines
  • papaya
  • passion fruit
  • peaches
  • pears
  • pineapple
  • pomegranates
  • raspberries
  • strawberries
  • watermelon

Nuts and Seeds:
Daily Recommendation: 2 nuts, still in shell.

  • acorns
  • almonds
  • hazelnuts
  • macadamia nuts
  • pecans
  • pistachios
  • peanuts
  • roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • sesame seeds (high in calcium)
  • walnuts

Something to Chew On:

  • antlers
  • tree branches
  • sea shells
  • cuttlebone

CAUTION: SOME SEEDS AND PITS CAN BE TOXIC

FOODS TO AVOID:
  • all dried vegetables or fruits
  • avocados (high in fat, toxic skin and pits)
  • pototato sprouts
  • garlic
  • onions
  • palm hearts
  • fresh or dried corn
  • yams
  • figs
  • fruit juice
  • plums
  • prunes
  • raisins
  • cashew nuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • pine nuts (will cause severe calcium loss)
  • commercial squirrel food at stores, pet treats, seed mixes
  • pasta
  • bread
  • sugary foods such as candy, cookies, sodas, sweetened yogurt, candy nuts, sweetened breakfast cereals, chocolate etc
  • junk foods, chips, crackers, anything salted
  • artificial sweeteners or any food items that contain them.

The squirrel diet varies with the seasons and the availability of plant material (such as nuts, fruits, flowers, and plant buds) that almost entirely makes up the animal's larder. Squirrels also occasionally eat bird eggs or nestlings, and may even pounce on small birds at feeders-much to the dismay of human witnesses who assume that squirrels are passive vegetarians.

 

 

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