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Thread: frozen acorns kill squirrels

  1. #61
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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    I promise you that as well Uni. Very well put DM!!!
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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    For those asking, yes, it is the aflatoxins that are toxic. Aflatoxins are a type of mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus spp. of fungus. There are several types of aflatoxins, some worse than others. If the acorn is moldy or discolored on the inside, don't use them. The fungi producing aflatoxins are dematiaceous so checking for discoloration or actual mold on the inside is the only reliable way to tell outside of a culture. Because they are dematiaceous, the spores and/or rhizomes will range from reddish-brown to black in color. In this particular species, the spores/rhizomes will start out white and then turn to these colors. The float test is not a fair test of the integrity of the nut shell. There can be partial holes that reach only to softer tissues but do not completely penetrate. Mold rhizomes can also spread from the shell into the nut but not necessarily be visible on the outer shell. Roasting/baking the nuts also does nothing. Once the aflatoxins are produced, there is no getting rid of it, though it would possibly kill existing mold spores. The best thing you can do is to keep them frozen and cut them open to check before feeding them.

    Please also check your sunflower seeds! Aflatoxin-producing fungi regularly infects those as well, even those meant for human consumption. Nuts and seeds are often mixed with contaminated ones (instead of contaminated ones being removed) in order to keep the levels of aflatoxin below FDA requirements. But, they often exceed them, especially in sunflower seeds and peanut products.

    Uni, I am very sorry about your squirrels. This was a tragic accident and this thread will help people be more aware of certain dangers in the future. Thank you for sharing this.

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Thank you all for your kind words again and again! Leila thank you for your post, I can hardly post from my phone and USPS doesn't think I need my chargers! If there is anything else I'll post it...

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    So we should cut them open n look for black or white fuzzy stuff? I have a whole bag but I might just throw them out since they don't need them anyways. My babies will be sad!

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Quote Originally Posted by Negerto30 View Post
    So we should cut them open n look for black or white fuzzy stuff? I have a whole bag but I might just throw them out since they don't need them anyways. My babies will be sad!
    It won't always look fuzzy. It can look just like black or reddish-brown spots, too.

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Quote Originally Posted by Negerto30 View Post
    So we should cut them open n look for black or white fuzzy stuff? I have a whole bag but I might just throw them out since they don't need them anyways. My babies will be sad!
    I would highly recommend you throw them out. While they might be mad at you for a short time (they probably won't even miss them!), they will be alive and thriving. It just isn't worth the chance!
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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Quote Originally Posted by Duckman View Post
    I would highly recommend you throw them out. While they might be mad at you for a short time (they probably won't even miss them!), they will be alive and thriving. It just isn't worth the chance!
    I concur!! I'm too scared now. Six little angels. Shay made it through being orphaned, peenie and bladder issues, bone infection and abscesses just do die from a d@mn acorn that mommy fed him. Cayde came to me b/c the girl and her mother didn't think they could raise and release him and trusted ME to do it, and I killed him. The other 4 the same. It's a SUPER CRAPPY feeling to say the least. They were supposed to be safer with me, healthier with me, and happier with me. Instead...

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Quote Originally Posted by Unikorngrrl View Post
    I concur!! I'm too scared now. Six little angels. Shay made it through being orphaned, peenie and bladder issues, bone infection and abscesses just do die from a d@mn acorn that mommy fed him. Cayde came to me b/c the girl and her mother didn't think they could raise and release him and trusted ME to do it, and I killed him. The other 4 the same. It's a SUPER CRAPPY feeling to say the least. They were supposed to be safer with me, healthier with me, and happier with me. Instead...
    Uni, you didn't kill them. Please believe that! You didn't know. If you had known and THEN given the acorns to them, then you would have, but you didn't know! You are doing the right thing, but you can't wear that guilt because it doesn't belong on you. Please forgive yourself and do what is right in their memory. Champion their cause so their deaths have meaning and save others who also don't know yet.
    Squaddy to Rex - The Forever Baby boy!, Winkers , the One Eye Foxy Squirrel Princess!, Hanzel , The sweetest Maloccluded boy in the world!, and now Mr. Cuddles , the very young Old Man!


    Successes that we thought were not releasable
    -

    Blue Belle (the squirrel who got braces and is now running wild in the trees!) and Felix, the cat bit squirrel who decided to be a stay at home squirrel and then changed his mind and is now running wild in the trees too! Clifford A beautiful Foxer who is now the wild squirrel he was supposed to be.

    Mittens Who is FINALLY wilding up to go back to the trees as of October 2019. If that fails, he will come back home where he is welcome!!

    Gone to the Rainbow Bridge, but not forgotten -

    Stevie , the Blind Foxy Wonder Squirrel! - I tried, but wasn't able to save you beautiful Foxer girl.

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Uni they were safer and happier with you!!!!! This was a freak accident ....it's not like you fed them something exotic or unusual....you fed them their natural food...which is to be commended and takes a lot of time to forage this could have just as easily happened in the wild ....I take solace (and you should too) that however brief their time, it couldn't have been filled with more love and nurturing anywhere else on God's green Earth You're probably the most selfless, dedicated person I've ever met and I love ya girl!!!! and I miss you
    Make the world a better place...one animal at a time



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    I go and lie down where the wood drake
    rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
    I come into the peace of wild things
    who do not tax their lives with forethought
    of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Quote Originally Posted by Duckman View Post
    Uni, you didn't kill them. Please believe that! You didn't know. If you had known and THEN given the acorns to them, then you would have, but you didn't know! You are doing the right thing, but you can't wear that guilt because it doesn't belong on you. Please forgive yourself and do what is right in their memory. Champion their cause so their deaths have meaning and save others who also don't know yet.
    Make the world a better place...one animal at a time



    The Peace of Wild Things
    BY WENDELL BERRY
    When despair for the world grows in me
    and I wake in the night at the least sound
    in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
    I go and lie down where the wood drake
    rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
    I come into the peace of wild things
    who do not tax their lives with forethought
    of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
    And I feel above me the day-blind stars
    waiting with their light. For a time
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

  11. #71
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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Quote Originally Posted by Shewhosweptforest View Post
    Uni they were safer and happier with you!!!!! This was a freak accident ....it's not like you fed them something exotic or unusual....you fed them their natural food...which is to be commended and takes a lot of time to forage this could have just as easily happened in the wild ....I take solace (and you should too) that however brief their time, it couldn't have been filled with more love and nurturing anywhere else on God's green Earth You're probably the most selfless, dedicated person I've ever met and I love ya girl!!!! and I miss you
    Please do forgive yourself...they surely wouldn't hold it against you nor does anyone else.
    Squirrels, squirrels and more squirrels....
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    savesquirrels@sbcglobal.net



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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Your head can know the reality of a situation, and I appreciate and know that you guys are right. However it doesn't make my heart feel better. My hope is that people will consider how it will make them feel if they continue to feed them and it happens to their babies. Please do understand that it is NOT a feeling that you can shake. It's with me, painful and horrible...

    You guys are sweet and you know I love you too Sweeper!! xoxo

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    I am so sorry. This had to be heartbreaking. But I have read from other sources to never give acorns from ground for this reason. Although I am guilty of doing it. If you watch wilds, most pick them off tree and not ground.

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Sorry I have been away from the boards so long. Lots going on here. Hugs Uni! All our hearts are breaking for you. I have been giving Parkyr and Jordyn a few acorns each week but after reading this, those are going to be eliminated totally from their diet. I just won't risk it with these precious boys that you entrusted me with.
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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    We got our hands on a big cache of HUGE Bur Oak acorns last year - they were humongous and I looked forward to cutting them up and drying them into little hard treats for our overwintering guests. They were all thoroughly inspected - intact and not discolored. They did not float. But they had been on the ground for a little while...

    So I then boiled them to sterilize them, because we had P. Tiddlywinks who had been a previous "pet" and she had never had wild food - we figured we would introduce it to her slowly.

    After I boiled them, I dried them in the oven at 175 for about 12 hours. They felt really dry. I did not shell them thinking that they would "keep"

    Then I put them in our "nut" drawer - a filing cabinet which makes a distinct sound that Roo learned meant he was about to get a treat.

    Went to go get them 2 days later to finally shell them and cut them up - and I could "feel" something different about them. I mean with my allergies I could "feel" it - it wasn't a smell. And they had let off a great deal of water vapor which had collected on the inside of the cabinet...

    So I cut the first one open - it was covered with mold between the nut and the shell. I am sure the boiling killed any live mold/mildew, but that obviously did not "kill" the mold spores. ( I have a strong background in biology, and I was still surprised)

    SO - remember that acorn shells are porous, and water can get in or out. This promotes mold growth. ANY mold growth can result in mycotoxins.
    You would have to get the acorns fresh under the tree and before they get rained on, then do the worm detecting float test, then open them, cut them, heat dry them, then freeze them. My mistake was letting them sit.

    No squirrels ever even came in contact with those acorns. I threw them away in the regular trash. It was a loss, but I learned how to process Bur Acorns and now the pieces make GREAT little treats!

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Quote Originally Posted by LeilaNami View Post
    For those asking, yes, it is the aflatoxins that are toxic. Aflatoxins are a type of mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus spp. of fungus. There are several types of aflatoxins, some worse than others. If the acorn is moldy or discolored on the inside, don't use them. The fungi producing aflatoxins are dematiaceous so checking for discoloration or actual mold on the inside is the only reliable way to tell outside of a culture. Because they are dematiaceous, the spores and/or rhizomes will range from reddish-brown to black in color. In this particular species, the spores/rhizomes will start out white and then turn to these colors. The float test is not a fair test of the integrity of the nut shell. There can be partial holes that reach only to softer tissues but do not completely penetrate. Mold rhizomes can also spread from the shell into the nut but not necessarily be visible on the outer shell. Roasting/baking the nuts also does nothing. Once the aflatoxins are produced, there is no getting rid of it, though it would possibly kill existing mold spores. The best thing you can do is to keep them frozen and cut them open to check before feeding them.
    This why I only feed fresh nuts and never freeze my nut supply (never have) --and why it is important for people to know that Aflatoxin is not just a problem with acorns, but with all nuts and this problems have been around for a long time.... years and years. Here are two pics I took recently of an almond that was infected (this nut came from a fresh bag of mix nuts). You can see the black color on the shell that indicates there is problem and then the discoloration along the edges of the nut it self.






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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Thanks for the updates. Very scary!
    See my wild squirrel adventures in the thread "Squirtle's yard!":
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...quirtle-s-Yard!

    See the sisters Pip and Nip!
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-(Pip-and-Nip)!

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    I always see a few of these blackish almonds in the bags I buy......I throw them out just because they don't look 'right' but now I know why. Thank you for this valuable info!
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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    A few comments I have read have made me feel like I should clarify something. The acorns that I fed were frozen in late 2012, NOT in 2013. If you're thinking that acorns are safe b/c they aren't from the 2013 harvest, you may want to reconsider...

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Thank-you for clarifying Uni!
    Squirrels, squirrels and more squirrels....
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