If you have ever observed a squirrel coming to your backyard, you will notice that squirrels are not picky eaters. This is because that surrounding is not very favorable for them. Whatever is available to them and is edible, they will eat it as we all know that squirrel has a great love for nuts besides the love for vegetables and fruits. Squirrels are omnivores it means that if they don’t get food from plants, they quickly shift to animal-based food.
Feeding squirrel with nuts is a treat for them. They enjoy hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, and sure, they will run towards it if you give them peanuts.
Here is a question that does squirrel eat peanuts? The answer is, of course, yes. Squirrels do eat peanuts. If you feed them with peanuts, they will run for it. The other reason behind this is, a squirrel eats whatever is available for its survival.
In this article, we will discuss the nutritional values of peanuts, should squirrel eats peanuts. How many peanuts should be given to them? Are peanuts safe for them and some more things related to them?
Can Squirrel Eat Salted Peanuts :
Squirrels not only eat peanuts; instead, they enjoy them. There is always a yes for peanuts if they see it. So if you want to create a bond with squirrels, offer them peanuts. But here is a question. Should squirrels eat peanuts? Are peanuts healthy for them? Although squirrel eats peanuts, though peanuts are not as healthy for them as they are healthy for human and other animals. We cannot say that you cannot give peanuts to squirrels. You can feed them once in a while to change the variety, but a healthy diet must be accomplished that fulfills all nutritional requirements.
Can we feed raw peanuts squirrel :
Before feeding squirrels, you must be careful about squirrel health. Get aware that raw peanut is good for them or not. So the answer to this query is we cannot feed raw peanuts to a squirrel. Raw peanut is either not suitable for birds and other animals. Raw peanuts have a toxic compound known as aflatoxin, which can damage birds’ and animals’ liver, and also squirrels can be harmed from this.
Raw peanuts have trypsin which is an inhibitor and prevents trypsin production in the pancreas. Trypsin helps to absorb protein from the food squirrel eats. It is a vital enzyme present in the body. So before feeding peanuts, you should observe and take care that it is not raw.
Peanut and its nutritional value:
Peanuts are a treat for the squirrel, but peanuts do not have balanced nutrients for squirrels. With a proper diet, such as seeds and vegetables, peanuts should be provided for a fun treat. You cannot only rely on peanuts for a balanced diet.
Peanuts are equally beneficial for animals and humans. It is a great source of protein. Humans usually get protein from peanut butter.
It contains healthy fats such as monounsaturated fats, which are best for the heart. It reduces the chance of cardiovascular diseases by up to 21 %
Proteins are low in carbs and suitable for diabetic patients. Proteins are rich in vitamins and minerals .the vitamins and minerals include biotin, copper, niacin folate, vitamin e .magnasium, thiamine, phosphorous, and manganese. Recent research shows that it has resveratrol which helps in blood flow in the brain by 30 %.
Peanuts belong to the legume family, and technically it is not a nut. Peanuts are related to soya, beans, and lentils, and they are low in carbs and much advisable to people with diabetes.
Different forms of peanuts :
Peanuts are available in many forms, such as cajun, candy, dry, raw roasted spiced, shelled, unshelled, and many more. We will see in this article which form is best for squirrels and in which quantity we should give peanuts to them.
Salted peanuts :
A small amount of salt can be tolerated by squirrels, but we cannot give them large quantities. Squirrel has tiny kidneys, so many salts cannot be filtered out by squirrel kidney. However, if you are planning to feed them salted peanuts, make sure you have arranged water near them to drink water while eating salted peanuts. It is also recommended to taste the peanuts to check the salt proportion before feeding them to squirrel.
The roasted peanuts are of two types, oven-roasted and dry roasted peanuts. Oven-roasted peanuts are more oily and add calories to the body, which can cause obesity and other health issues. In comparison, dry roasted peanuts have more sodium in them as squirrels cannot tolerate more salt, so it is not recommended to feed them with roasted peanuts. If you have a pet squirrel, you must consider its health before feeding it.
Peanut butter is one of the favorite food for squirrels. It is also used for trapping squirrels as squirrels cannot resist it. While you think of feeding peanut butter to squirrels, make sure it is not salted. Peanut butter is a good source of protein for humans and animals, and it is not toxic at all. Peanut butter brought to feed the squirrel must be less in sugar, salt, and fats. Peanut butter can be harmful if it is fed in large amounts .so it is not a fully balanced diet for them as it lacks calcium in it.
Shelled nuts or unshelled :
You can feed squirrel un-shelled or shelled nuts. Both have the same nutritional values, but shelled nuts are preferable to unshelled nuts. Shelled nuts are a natural way to make teeth healthy. Besides it, it is best to exercise for chewing and gives essential protein healthy for squirrel body. So try to feed the squirrel with shelled nuts. But we should also keep in mind that peanuts are not a nut and do not fulfill all nutritional needs.
Can we feed baby squirrels with peanuts?
Until or unless the baby squirrel reaches 8 to 10 weeks, you cannot feed the baby squirrel with food. You only have to give formula milk or mother milk. Once the baby reaches 8 to 10 weeks, it is old enough to feed solids. You can also give them a peanut butter sandwich. A small bread loaf socked in milk and having a tiny amount of butter on it. But always serve them in moderation .excess of peanuts or peanut butter will cause disturbance in the stomach.
How to feed the squirrel?
It is worth watching a squirrel eating food in your courtyard. It is always fun to feed them, but it may be difficult and tricky as squirrels are not easy to catch. It is also not recommended to feed them with your hand as they will become dependent on you. The best way is to arrange a feeder for them. But always have a separate feeder for them and birts in the courtyard. You can hang the feeder with peanuts on the tree for the tree squirrel and place a separate feeder on the ground for the ground squirrel. However, you must feed them within limits. Exceeding the limit will cause health disturbance.
Feeding limits :
The peanuts are not a nut but a legume. As it is earlier discussed that it belongs to soya, lentils, and beans. Squirrels usually do not eat peanuts because they have poor nutritional content in them. You can feed one peanut or two occasionally .it is recommended to give shelled nuts instead of unshelled. But beware that the shell should not contain any toxic compound. It would help if you always fed squirrels a healthy diet. It is advisable to feed peanuts after you feed them with healthy food.
Pros and Cons of feeding peanuts :
There is always a dark side and an excellent side to a thing. Peanuts on one side are beneficial, and on the other hand, they may be harmful if we feed them in large quantities. It usually does not fulfill all balanced diet requirements for squirrels. It has minerals, vitamins, fats, and carbohydrates, which are healthy for the body. It is a rich source of protein, but on the other hand, it lacks calcium. Similarly, a salted peanut may cause trouble for kidneys as the salt is not filtered properly.
Peanuts in raw shape are very harmful as it has aflatoxin compound which damages squirrel liver.
Raw peanuts inhibit trypsin production in the squirrel body, which is a vital enzyme and helps in the absorption of protein in the body through the food squirrel eats.
Roasted peanuts have an oily layer, so it causes health issues.
The squirrel never denies the food you offer to them. Everything which seems edible to them, they eat for their survival. As squirrels are dependent on humans for their food, we must feed them healthy.
Peanuts are healthy for humans but not for squirrels. It is not a healthy diet for them. So it is not recommended to feed squirrels with peanuts. However, you can feed them with peanuts once in a while, along with a healthy diet.
Never feed the squirrel with raw peanuts as it has a toxic compound on it. Always feed your pet healthy and nutritious food .roasted peanuts, salted peanuts, and raw peanuts are not recommended for them.
Frequently asked questions:
Q1:Are peanuts toxic to squirrels?
Peanuts are not incredibly harmful to squirrels, but it has poor nutritional value. Because of poor nutritional value, it is not recommended to feed them peanuts. However, raw peanuts have a toxic mood on them. While feeding them peanuts, you should check it should not be raw.
Q2:Does salt kills squirrel?
Salt does not kill the squirrel, but usually, it has effects on the heart. It increases heart rate and elevates blood pressure. It also damages the kidneys of the squirrel.
Q3:Do squirrels like salts lick?
Yes, like the other animals and birds like salts, lick squirrels also like a salt lick.
Q4:Can we feed squirrels with peanuts?
Yes, squirrels can be fed with peanuts, but it is not recommended because it does not fulfill nutritional needs. Peanuts can be given but along with a balanced diet and once in a while.