Do Squirrels Eat Acorns? Are They Healthy For Them?
You might have seen the acorns coming underfoot. For us, it can be annoying and messy but not for our little neighbors, the squirrels. There is no doubt in saying that fallen acorns will make their day.
Interestingly! You may find this fact new that these tiny fruits, acorns, have so many good qualities in them and they are edible by both; animals and humans. But, not in all situations, there are some of the conditions for having them as a food to eat.
Can Squirrels Eat Acorns
Squirrels are fond of eating, as their main aim is to stay alive, and for that reason, they have to eat and eat as much as they get. Mostly the squirrels have an appetite for foods like flowers, vegetables, fruits, and many other things.
Have you seen them eating acorn? You would definitely never find the squirrels choosy when it comes to food. They are not picky about the food; it is just that they will eat anything when feel hungry.
They literally have no idea what is a right to eat and what is not. What they know is that how should they get food and just after that they keep storing eat once the current need fulfills. So, if you are squirrel’s owner or you love these little creatures and are worried to feed them then;
Don’t think more just read…!!
What Is An ACORN?
It is very important to know about the back history of the food you are going to feed your lovely little squirrels. So basically, acorns are nuts and they are also called oak nuts. They are actually surrounded by a wooden coverage.
They are alive but do not have the features like teeth or claws, etc. but despite this fact the only weapon it haves inside is the Tannin.
You know anything about Tannin? If not just scroll down;
So, this tannin is basically a chemical that is bitter in taste, and especially for animals, it is very much bitter. Moreover, these acorns have so many nutrients in them but just because of the bitter chemical which is found inside many of the people do not consider them as a proper food.
You will see many wild animals eat these acorns and really like them as well. The nutrients inside it are very beneficial for those who eat it.
Animals That Eat Acorns:
Acorns are ordinary nuts just like many others out there on earth. Just like the animals eat different other fruits, vegetables and nuts, in the same way they consume it as a vital food for their health.
The wild animals and birds that depend upon these nuts and take them as an important part of their diets include mice, squirrels and ducks, pigeons, and many more respectively. There are so many different species that eat these bitter nuts and some of them even store them for later use. These nuts are termed mast along with many others.
Acorns are good for health:
Interestingly, like many other nuts, acorns also have so many species, and there are tons of nutrients in every single nut. Just because it has tannins inside it does not mean that it does not have the vital nutrients and efficient qualities.
The squirrels are very much into having food whenever they feel hungry. They start eating without considering the good and bad qualities of what they eat. This cannot be considered as a good habit. At least they should choose the suitable food to eat.
The Acorns are very high in vitamin A, calcium, potassium and have lots of proteins in them. Other than that, they make the animals feel full for a long time. So, we can say that acorns are good for health.
Do Squirrels Eat Acorns?
If you are still concerned with that whether the squirrels eat acorns or not then your answer is, YES!
Squirrels eat acorns and they really like eating them. Moreover, if you are much concerned about them then it is also important to tell you that generally, the squirrels eat seeds, different berries, acorns, and many other nuts.
In case you live in an area where there are so many squirrels then you will definitely see them engaged in eating. Other than this, you will not only find them eating and loving the acorns but also you will see them hiding and storing the acorns for later use.
These acorns are very rich in nutrients; they contain a lot of energy inside that small size. Amazingly, you will find them easy to open and eat concerning the other ordinary nuts.
Like humans, the squirrels also have the quality to store food and this helps them to keep it for later use. You might have seen them storing the food after they are done with having it. It is their habit to do so. They usually store these nuts to eat later in the winters.
There are so many species of these oak nuts and all of them have slight differences in color and taste. The important point you will notice over here is that these squirrels are very wise at the same time, from so many different types of acorns they only choose many less to store and keep them for later use.
Let’s talk about them in more detail;
Many of the squirrels eat red and white acorns. They usually eat and collect the oak nuts from white and red acorn trees. But, more importantly, we have seen that there is more tannin in the red one.
Read More About: Dying Squirrel Signs
Different Squirrels Eat Different Nuts:
Naturally, the red acorns are good for squirrels to eat and store, and the reason behind this that they are much better than the white or green ones. They do not even decay while staying under the ground.
The squirrels go for the white acorns more because they germinate in autumn. Also, there is a taproot on white acorns which are not liked much by the squirrels.
Other than this, you will see that the gray squirrels which are also called the eastern squirrels will be found eating more oak nuts. But on the other hand, it has been found that they do not store much of them.
Another amazing factor about this is that if you see them burying three oak nuts into the ground. There are chances of growing new trees from those buried nuts. This is one of the reasons for so many oak trees in a particular area.
Best acorns to eat:
As it is mentioned before that there are so many species and types of oak nuts and oak nut trees. You will find them in different colors and tastes such as there are; white, green, and red oak nuts which are more common.
The white oak nuts trees have so many types which has palatable acorns in them. So, all of them have different qualities somehow. The white ones are mildest and the chestnut acorns are good because of the larger size and also, they are easy to open.
More about squirrels and the acorns:
The acorns are very good for many of the things. Its upper part is more like a fruit for which the animals mostly go for. The squirrels and many other animals get attracted to these little nuts which are more likely fruits.
Moreover, the squirrels love to eat them. Another interesting fact about squirrels is that they have very sharp incisors. They can easily open up the hard shells and eat the seed which is inside the acorn.
Isn’t it interesting???
No doubt it is! So, with this, we got to know that these oak trees are also divided among certain groups of squirrels.
Usually, when the winters are about to come the squirrels start burying the acorns. They store it for long-term use throughout the winter season. Like so many other animals squirrels also spend all of their winter season while eating and sleeping.
The nuts they store plays role in the growth of new trees. You would not be wrong if you say that the squirrels invest in environmental growth which is just a mind-blowing thing to know!
Side effects of eating acorns:
Are you thinking that whether these acorns are poisonous or not?
The answer to this very question is that the side effects depend upon the consumer. Whoever eats the acorns or the oak nuts the reaction totally depends upon him.
Similarly, here while we are talking especially about the squirrels then this is important to see whether it affects them or not.
The amount matter a lot, if a squirrel is having so many acorns at one single time then there is a need to worry. Tannin is a bitter chemical, well this is a defensive chemical but yes it is poisonous!
Furthermore, you will see that this poisonous chemical is a typical ant nutritive substance. It has the quality to absorb the vital nutrients from the food they eat. Thus, if the squirrels will eat a lot of acorns at a time then this may cause harmful effects.
How frequently do the squirrels eat acorns?
By this time you have come across so many important facts about squirrels and acorns, let’s see what else is coming your way!
Frequency is a very important part of consumption. When you are consuming or eating something the major thing to focus on is that how often you have food. And so does in the case of squirrels.
Much of the wild animals use acorns which play a vital role in their diet. These fully nutritional oak nuts are very good for the survival of these animals. Thus, the squirrels are not affected by the tannin much unless they took it in excessive quantity.
Squirrels eat various kinds of food and so like the nuts. But at the same time, there should be a setting in the quantity!
Squirrels love to eat:
Other than these nice and lovely nuts squirrels are barely found eating apples and many other fruits. Basically, the squirrels are the food lovers. Especially when the food is sweet they will go for it.
Moreover, the squirrels love eating walnuts, almonds, pine cones, chestnuts, cashews, and many other yummy nuts and fruits. All of these fruits and nuts are a great source of nutritional elements such as fats, proteins, and many more.
In short, the acorns are not bad for squirrels, but all the important facts you need to know are described in detail. You will surely find all of this helpful while taking care of these little foody creatures.
Q1:Are acorns bad for squirrels?
No! The acorns are not bad for the squirrels to eat but whenever there is excessive intake of these nuts the squirrels might get affected with this. If they eat green acorns they will gain some weight for sure.
These green acorns are rich in energy so the weight gain element gives more and more energy and strength to the squirrels. So if you ever heard that green acorns are poisonous or bad for squirrels then you need not worry about this because it is just a rumor.
Q2:How many acorns does a squirrel eat a day?
The squirrels should eat 4 to 5 acorns in a day. The excess of anything is not good at all so if you see them eating more than this you need to stop them at any cost.
Q3:Do squirrels eat live oak acorns?
During the season of acorns, the squirrels depend upon only them because they like to eat these little oak nuts. Naturally, you will not see the squirrels eating as many acorns alive. Rather they store them for later use and this is the only habit that also affects the environment.
Q4:Can acorns kill squirrel?
The tannin inside the acorns is poisonous for sure but it is a defensive chemical. But on the other hand it cannot kill the squirrels directly if the consumption is not more than the requirement.
Not the acorns but the excess can kill squirrels!
Other Related Post:
Can You Have A Squirrel As Pet
Do Squirrels Have Good Eyesight?