Feeding squirrels: You should pay attention to the feed
- First: incompatible food
- Food for squirrels
- to feed squirrels
Squirrels are among the most popular guests in the garden. Throughout the year, the bushy-tailed rodents visit small and large green oases in search of food and water sources. If you want to attract Sciurus vulgaris or already have some specimens in your area and want to provide them with food, you must pay particular attention to the composition.
The squirrel is probably one of the most characteristic wild animals in Germany and can be found even in large cities, if enough food is available. In many villages animals are part of everyday life and are looking for food all year round, which makes it easier to observe them. If you want to feed the croissants yourself, the right feed composition is important, so you do not offer the animals wrong foods. In addition, the "ingredients" for the meal of squirrels change depending on the season, as they require different feed in winter than, for example, in summer. The little rodents have a special appetite.
First: incompatible food
Squirrels, like other rodents, have a diet specifically designed for some components:
- Seeds and seeds
You see, you can feed the rodents mainly with plant-based foods and therefore animal foods should be avoided in any form. Although this would not poison the croissants because they do not even touch this food. However, this can attract other animals, such as predators like the cat, which permanently sells the croissants. You should also be careful not to distribute any exotic fruits or nuts that are not native to the area, including:
For many people, it is often surprising that squirrels should not be fed with peanuts, even though these are constantly displayed in peanuts. The croissants usually crack the shell only and then leave the peanuts just lie. Almonds, on the other hand, are poisonous to rodents due to their hydrocyanic acid . Another reason why indigenous fruits, nuts and seeds are not suitable is the long transport routes of these products. These can quickly mold, which is particularly dangerous for the small rodent organisms. Therefore, always check all feeds for mold or rotten spots.
Tip: do not be tempted by the squirrel's name to offer acorns to the rodents, they will not be touched. Namely, the name is a derivative of the Old German word for nimble, "aig", which has developed due to the pronunciation over the centuries to "Eich".
Food for squirrels
When looking for the right food composition for the animals, the natural conditions must be considered. The rodents are focused on the native food and have specialized in the development of the species on this. For this reason, the squirrels have adapted to the following diet:
- Spring: young shoots and leaves of trees and shrubs, buds
- Summer - Autumn: seeds, nuts, kernels, mushrooms, cones (firs, pines), berries
- Winter: arranged supplies of seeds, nuts and seeds
Since the animals are frequently pushed into the cities because of the spread of humans, it is necessary to provide them with sufficient feed. Thanks to their cute looks, people like to take care of the food of the croissants, similar to birds. However, while birds have no problem finding food year-round, Sciurus vulgaris rely on human help to get enough nutrients. The following foods are available for feeding:
1. Nuts: the following nuts are eaten by the animals:
- pine nuts
As already mentioned, you should refrain from adding acorns. These contain tannins, are not popular with the animals and are eaten only in very serious emergencies. Due to the tannins they can get upset stomach.
2. Seeds and seeds: here you should feed the following seeds and seeds:
- pine nuts
- Seeds of hornbeam
- Sunflower seeds
- dried corn kernels
- Seeds of pines, firs and spruces
You should not lay out the seeds of the conifers individually, but rather as cones. The squirrels are used to this work and sharpen their teeth by opening the pins.
3. Fruits and fruits: here you should feed:
- Raisins and grapes: choose one of the two options or rotate
- all berries not poisonous to humans
Be careful not to feed them too often when offering berries and grapes as they may cause diarrhea.
4. Vegetables and fruit vegetables: here are the following foods offer:
- Watermelon: this fruit vegetable is extremely popular among the animals on hot summer days
- Cucumbers: should definitely be ripe
It is particularly important for the animals that are wintering to have enough food supply from December to April, because at the height of winter the female croissants are pregnant and need a lot of energy. In February, young animals are born and start foraging in March and April. You do not have to offer mushrooms, they are sought by the animals themselves, because they tolerate poisonous fungi for humans.
Tip: if you prepare your garden for the winter, you may accidentally dig up and dispose of the squirrel's supplies. For this reason, you should provide the animals with a possible source of food, or watch out for where the animals are particularly likely to be, to find possible hiding places and avoid those spots.
Water is vital, as well as squirrels. In order for the animals to be able to absorb enough moisture, especially during dry and hot summers with little rainfall, you should provide fresh water daily in a shallow dish. This should not be too high, so that the rodent easily gets on all fours to the cool water. This is necessary throughout the year, even if the animals are eating snow over the winter and the rest of the year they drink from puddles, ponds or small streams. Watering ensures a safe water source for the croissants, which is also clean.
to feed squirrels
The feed mix is not the only thing you need to keep in mind when feeding the sweet rodents. How and where to offer the food is important so that they can eat undisturbed and ever find it. Furthermore, the animals are protected from predators by the correct placement of the feeding place. Proceed as follows:
1. The most important thing: never allow the water and food on the ground. If the squirrels have to eat on the ground, they are vulnerable to other animals. Especially in winter, they stand out because of their color and can easily be killed by birds of prey, if they can not escape to an elevated position in time. Therefore, you must offer both increased. For this offer:
- protected walls
- Walls that are in close proximity to trees
Tip 2: You also have to be careful that the feeding point must be in close proximity to a tree. If an escape is necessary, the squirrel does not have to spend a long time on the ground trying to escape the predator. Even if the croakers on the ground act fast, they usually can not escape dogs and cats on the ground. The longer the distances the horns have to travel to get to the food, the faster they are discovered by birds.
Tip 3: You must offer the food and water bowl in a bird feeder or on a board. If you only place them on a branch, it can cause them to fall off. A board can be attached quite quickly and bird feeders can be easily built by yourself or can be purchased ready. The costs are between ten to 30 euros. However, the following feed boxes are not suitable for the rodents:
- Feed dispenser with guillotine effect: Risk of pinching
- Solid wood houses: cover too heavy for the animals
- Completely compressed feeders: often lead to mold in winter
- Feeders made of chemically impregnated wood: leads to possible poisoning, as the rodents gnaw the wood
Feeders should be made of untreated wood, which is not too heavy and can easily be picked up by the rodents themselves. In addition, it should provide space for at least two animals, as the croissants like to dine in a double pack. The water is best placed on a board and changed daily.