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Thread: need help and advice with feeding the outdoor squirrels

  1. #1
    mtycork Guest

    Red face need help and advice with feeding the outdoor squirrels

    Hi, I've been feeding my outdoor squirrels a variety of nuts, and breads, with corn thrown in for about a year. Recently my next door neighbor has been leaving me phone messages telling me I am harming the squirrels and to stop. I really love the squirrels, enjoy watching them, and stared feeding everyone out there because I had a squirrel with an injured arm coming everyday. I told the neighbor I would stop feeding peanuts, as I didn't realize I was hurting anyone, and would never do that. What I am trying to find now is a good substitute. I have a dozen or so in my back yard at any one time, and need to figure out what I can put out at various times so every little squirrel gets something. I was spending about 200 dollars a month feeding them, which is more than I spend on my dogs, and cats I think, so if I could find something good for them, that I could leave out at different intervals and not be so expensive I would really appreciate the help. I also don't know for sure where I should be going to buy them other food. Most of the pet stores stock bird food, but nothing for the squirrels. Any help and advice anyone can share is deeply appreciated. Thank you, Quinn

  2. #2
    Somebody's Mother Guest

    Default Re: need help and advice with feeding the outdoor squirrels

    quite a dedicated squirrel lover. welcome to the board.
    there is a mix for squirrels you can sometimes get at walmart. it is called wild squirrel food. it has a mix of corn and sunflower seeds and peanuts.
    unsalted sunflower seeds won't hurt them in limited quantities. you could offer them sweet potatoes or yams or berries or apples.
    the other day i put half an apple and two small sweet potatoes out with the squirrel food and those were the first to go.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: need help and advice with feeding the outdoor squirrels

    Welcome!!
    A few things you can feed them that are excellent for them are:
    Pumpkin seeds, unsalted only infact everything needs to be unsalted.
    They have a mixture at Petco called chuckanut or feed stores would have it.
    Some peanuts are ok just not all peanuts..hazlenuts, pecans, wallnuts, If I put out uncracked nuts they bury everything so I put out slightly cracked and they eat it. Small amounts of plain cheerios in the winter I have been giving, like 1x a week for variety. Cut up apples cut up veggies if you can get them to eat it.
    The pumpkin seeds are the #1 staple lots of protein.

    Pa. licenced Rehabber

  4. #4
    Gabe Guest

    Default Re: need help and advice with feeding the outdoor squirrels

    I agree, The walmart mix for squirrels is fine for outdoor squirrels. It is affordable and is meant as a treat. They will eat that and balance it with their natural food. Peanuts, unsalted, are okay too as a treat food. Many people like to feed the nuts in the shell, but most squirrels tend to bury them. It's okay to use nuts in the shell if you are very rich and can afford it. But to just put something out to enjoy the squirrels is ok too.

  5. #5
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    Wink Re: need help and advice with feeding the outdoor squirrels

    Everyone has given you good advise.....squirrels in the wild can eat what you were already giving them. Wild squirrels also eat wild berries, roots and fresh branches with bud or new growth. I don't think the squirrels are dependent on you for all thier nutrition.
    I would ask your neighbor what she/he suggests you feed them. Then ask if they will help you fund the diet they suggest .....that is if it's too costly. Sounds like you were spending lots of money already. Happy feeding and welcome to the nut house!!!:wott
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Rebecca <
    SC Wildlife Rehabilitator
    I'm a squirrel watcher, I'm a squirrel watcher, watching squirrels go by, my my my!

  6. #6
    Bobo's Mom Guest

    Default Re: need help and advice with feeding the outdoor squirrels

    I have 1 small flying squirrel so I also have lots of leftovers for the outside squirrels. We give them Wild Delight Nut N Berry from Walmart (very cheap), peanut butter, pumpkin seeds, kale, romaine lettuce, collard greens, spinach, brocoli, squash, sweet peas, carrots, most all fruit (they love grapes & berries). The list goes on & on. We usually sprinkle alfalfa sprouts & chopped pecans, almonds or walnuts on top. If we have nuts in the shell we might include a few for burying. The only peanuts we give are those that come in the seed mix. We also discovered they appreciate timothy hay & orchard grass. I don't know if they're eating it or using it for nesting material, probably both. Grains are given in small quantities (corn, raw oatmeal, Cheerios, Grape Nuts, etc). I learned early on to freeze some fruits & veggies so they don't go to waste. All your seeds & nuts can be frozen as well. Bojangles is rather picky & usually won't touch anything that's been frozen but the outside squirrels don't seem to mind at all & it sure beats throwing it out. You don't have to put out a huge plate everyday. We just use a pie tin. Put the seed mix in the bottom & few goodies on top.

  7. #7
    TexanSquirrel Guest

    Default Re: need help and advice with feeding the outdoor squirrels

    Dang! I wish you were my neighbor! lol Then I could just sit and watch the squirrels eat up all your money! lol Take care and good luck!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: need help and advice with feeding the outdoor squirrels

    I throw corn on the cob in small pieces... I even throw corn on the cob I've eaten! They clean it up! We throw bread. We buy pounds and pounds of unsalted in the shell nuts that they shell and eat and also bury. You should see out back patio right now... soooo many empty shells in the snow lol! I throw out my morning bagel with penut butter if I don't finish it all. I even just throw left over scraps out there rather then throw them away. With the large # of animals and birds we get back there, it is bound to make someone very happy !
    But it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life.

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