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What to feed the squirrels?


So, what do we feed our little friends? Let's get one thing straight first. Squirrels are perfectly capable of providing food for themselves. However, you can help mother nature when times are tough. So, when are the times tough? Winter is always rough for wildlife and it's the perfect opportunity to give squirrels a helping hand. Your leftover fruit and vegetables are a welcome addition to their diet doing the winter, as these items are impossible to find otherwise. Nuts are like candy and should be given as such, in moderate amounts. Doing the winter, it's alright to spoil them with extra nuts. I would recommend sticking to the basics, such as hazelnuts and walnuts. Occasionally, you can give them cashew, almonds and pecan nuts as an extra luxury treat, as they are very fattening. Make sure the hazelnuts and walnuts have shells on them! This is important as they last longer and they can be store for later consumption. The shell also helps the squirrel maintain their teeth! Many grey squirrels, in public places, suffer from extreme teeth overgrowth, which can be fatal. This is because they live on mostly soft foods, such as French fries, bread, peanuts and nuts without shells. If you wish to see the results of this, google: 'squirrels with overgrown teeth'. Warning, the images are very graphical. So what do you feed them doing the summer? A rough handful of nuts per week for 2/3 squirrels. Make a compost pile! If you have a corner of your garden you don't use, throw your leftover and/or over ripe veggies in a pile. This can be anything from potatoes, kale, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cucumber and such. Be careful with corn and seeds as they can contain the same mold as peanut shells. You can purchase dried corn cobs for pets in your local pet store. The squirrels are experts in their own diet! Given a big variety, the squirrels can consume what they need at the given time. However, a lack of variation is harmful as they will eat bad things if there's nothing else. General rule: If it doesn't grown naturally in your country, don't give it to wildlife.

Of course, there are a few exceptions, such as cashew nuts and avocado's. Be careful! If it's not grown naturally in your country, make sure you do your research before feeding it to wildlife. For an example, fresh, brown or over wripe avocado's are fine to give them, in moderate amounts, but! Not the shell and not the pit of the avocado, as both are highly toxic for wildlife. So be careful when feeding our little friends and make sure you research properly before giving them "exotic foods".

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