Squirrel Feeding Tips
Since they will eat almost anything you give them, it’s important to make sure you’re not feeding them junk food. You want to make sure you’re feeding squirrels foods that are high in nutritional value. Unfortunately, our furry little friends are vulnerable to something called metabolic bone disease, or for short, MBD.
This is a very damaging disease because it causes a squirrel’s bones to weaken. A lot of people help rehabilitate wild animals, and they’ve noticed an increased occurrence of MBD. Since these furry little guys love sunflower seeds and peanuts, it’s easy for people to get carried away and feed them too many.
It’s not that sunflower seeds and peanuts are incredibly harmful to squirrels; it’s just that they have very low nutritional value. Raw peanuts can be especially dangerous because they can harbor toxic mold.
Our furry little friends need a proper balance of essential minerals because these minerals are crucial for maintaining adequate bone health. It’s important for squirrels to consume a balanced mixture of nuts, seeds, corn, fruit, leaves, fungi and bark.
What about bones?
Wild squirrels get their calcium intake from gnawing on deer antlers and animal bones. If you can’t find these specific bones mentioned, you can go to your local pet store and ask them about bones that you can give to them – they should understand what you need!
What about Water?
Ever wondered how much water they drink? As it turns out, squirrels actually drink a lot of water, and they need even more water during warm weather, lactation and pregnancy.
It’s crucial that they have a clean source of water, and if they cannot get this from their natural environment, then there is nothing wrong with helping them out.
Some squirrel feeders come with an attachments for fresh water, or you can purchased a product that is specifically designed to provide them with fresh water. Some people even set up a heated birdbath for squirrels to use during winter.
Give Them Natural Foods
In Wisconsin, a great natural food to give squirrels is the hazelnut. However, in other areas, there are many other natural foods that can be given to squirrels.
You can even grow or purchase hazelnuts and feed them to the little furry creatures in your backyard. A lot of people actually plan their backyard’s landscape to make it beneficial for squirrels, birds and other types of wildlife.
If you have a burning desire to feed the ones in your backyard, then that is perfectly fine, but it’s important to be respectful of your neighbors. There are some people who absolutely hate squirrels, as hard to imagine as that might be.
Even if your neighbors don’t like them, you can still feed your furry little friends, but you should avoid placing food near the property line. Set up your squirrel feeders in an area that is in the middle of your property, towards the back. At the end of the day, nature watching and squirrel feeding should be enjoyable.