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Thread: frozen acorns kill squirrels

  1. #81
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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyCoxJoe View Post
    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!
    Nor will anything kill the toxins that have already been excreted by the mold...

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    Exclamation Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Is this the word you are all looking forCampylobacter3 this is what I found about giving nuts to people and dogs that are molded. Hopefully this is what we are all looking for
    Original Hebrew Manuscript Text
    Genesis 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the soul of life according to its kind: the cattle, and the creepers, and it's beast of the earth, according to its kind, and it was so.
    25And God made the animals of the earth according to its kind, and cattle according to its kind, and every creeping thing of the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
    ALL SOULS belong to God. Amen



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  3. #83
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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    IS IT OK TO FREEZE THE PROPELLER THINGS OFF MAPLE TREES FOR WINTER FEEDING AN INDOOR SQUIRREL

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Yes it is. I would wash them well, lay them out to air dry and then into baggies and into the freezer.

  5. #85
    Kristi S Guest

    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Is this one tragic incident of Unikorngrrl's the reason no one feeds acorns to their squirrels?

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi S View Post
    Is this one tragic incident of Unikorngrrl's the reason no one feeds acorns to their squirrels?
    No. We have had many cases through the years. There is just too much moisture in them to store safely. Chestnuts have similar problems.

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    I keep both in the fridge, but never freeze anymore. Even the chestnut growers tell you not to freeze them.
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  8. #88
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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Quote Originally Posted by island rehabber View Post
    I keep both in the fridge, but never freeze anymore. Even the chestnut growers tell you not to freeze them.
    Interesting. I wondered if freezing was part of the problem somehow.


    The whole nut/mold thing is intriguing to me, considering how common it is for squirrels to cache them, even underground, and eat them later. Wilds must be able to choose well those that are safe.

    ...Ah! This is very interesting: http://www.nsl.fs.fed.us/collection%...f%20acorns.pdf It discusses proper techniques for collecting and storing acorns to be used in planting. Moisture content is key - it needs to remain high for the seed to survive. I suspect that as long as the seed is alive, it will remain mold-resistant. Freezing kills the seed (makes me wonder about what happens in the north. Germination before winter??). It's also possible that acorns that are immature when collected are not suitable squirrel food, which is a reason for not picking them straight from a tree without knowing what one is doing. The first 5-10% of acorns that fall are often no good. They talk about the float test, and storage, too. Well-worth reading the appropriate sections if one is considering collecting acorns for their squirrels. I know it's often frowned upon around here, and there's reason for it, but perhaps the risks can be minimized with knowledge of best practice.

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    I am sure that there are people who use them. However, because we have had so many incidents that ended in tragedy, there is not an acorn that will ever be given to my squirrels while they are in my care. There are too many alternatives that do not come with the risks. Once they are in the wild they can use their squirrelly senses to figure it out. While they are with us, we are their "moms" and they trust whatever mom gives them is safe. We can't make those choices with our noses in the same way that squirrel moms do so we are conservative in our recommendations here.

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Quote Originally Posted by SammysMom View Post
    I am sure that there are people who use them. However, because we have had so many incidents that ended in tragedy, there is not an acorn that will ever be given to my squirrels while they are in my care. There are too many alternatives that do not come with the risks. Once they are in the wild they can use their squirrelly senses to figure it out. While they are with us, we are their "moms" and they trust whatever mom gives them is safe. We can't make those choices with our noses in the same way that squirrel moms do so we are conservative in our recommendations here.


    We don't have the luxury of testing this, way tooooooooo many uncontrolled variables. We have see enough cases of suspected liver failure and death due to aflatoxins that we simply can NOT recommend that NR squirrels be given acorns. Search for UnicornGirls's thread, several otherwise healthy squirrels simply passed on regardless of top notch response/treatment. Wilds know something we don't know.
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  11. #91
    Kristi S Guest

    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    I understand, and I'm not advocating feeding captive squirrels acorns, I just wanted to make the information available to those who do.

  12. #92
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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Too many great postings to quote, and as Ms. Kristi mentioned on SlowcarIX's thread, corn + moisture can create aflatoxin, also peanuts and most treenuts. We experienced a 'touch' of acute aflatoxicosis a few years ago from using black pepper that had accumulated moisture while in the original container. It was like having the flu for 'two' months, we began to detect a sickening sweet taste using the pepper, nothing but fresh ground since then.

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Quote Originally Posted by TubeDriver View Post
    Unikorngirl from Squirrel Nation fed some almost ready for release squirrels some frozen acorns she had. Within 48 hours, 6 of her squirrels were dead. She broke up 4 acorns and found some type of mold growing in 2 of them.

    I bring this up not as recrimination since Unikorngirl is as dedicated to and loving of squirrels as anyone but rather as a warning for all to keep in mind. Six healthy, happy babies dead in a manner of hours. What a tragic and sad accident.
    I'm so very sorry to hear this poor babies... How old were the babies? Reason I'm asking is because I also have been feeding frozen acorns to my Tweegie I started feeding her when she was a little more than a year old and she is going to be three in August and as a matter of fact we still have some frozen ones. This is very scary. I'm getting rid of my frozen bags. I cleaned them and inspected each one then froze them. Please let me know how old were the babies and again so sorry

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Hey. For my Squirrelly, I didn't want to try to use the frozen stuff. We put some in the freezer but, we never used it. I always bought boxes of fresh acorns and pecans off of eBay. He could go through about 2 ten pound boxes a year. I was just very careful about who I bought from and I made sure of when they were grown and picked. I always emailed the seller and got to know them a little before I would buy from them. Just FYI.






    Quote Originally Posted by TWEEGIE918 View Post
    I'm so very sorry to hear this poor babies... How old were the babies? Reason I'm asking is because I also have been feeding frozen acorns to my Tweegie I started feeding her when she was a little more than a year old and she is going to be three in August and as a matter of fact we still have some frozen ones. This is very scary. I'm getting rid of my frozen bags. I cleaned them and inspected each one then froze them. Please let me know how old were the babies and again so sorry

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Good to know, thank you. I am new here and I'm finding so much help here, this board is amazing. I'm sorry for the loss of those precious babies :-( A question kind of a long these lines, I've read that green acorns are also poisonous to squirrels, is this correct?

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Quote Originally Posted by BarbieJean View Post
    I've read that green acorns are also poisonous to squirrels, is this correct?
    I believe that is suspected due to the high volume of tannic acids in the green (unripe) ones....

    While many animals in the wild depend on the acorn for their nutritional needs, the acorn poses
    a toxicity risk to some animals. Large amounts of ingested acorns can induce severe illness.
    This is due to the tannic and gallic acids in the acorn, which can cause severe damage to the
    gastrointestinal system and kidneys.

    I just spent the night supporting a friend who's adult NR squirrel got into a bag of collected acorns,
    gorged herself and became lethargic having a couple mild seizures. Vet found her to be very dehydrated
    and put her on IV for subQ. She's acting a little better today, condition is being guarded. We think she will
    be alright. Others have not been so lucky...
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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post
    I believe that is suspected due to the high volume of tannic acids in the green (unripe) ones....

    While many animals in the wild depend on the acorn for their nutritional needs, the acorn poses
    a toxicity risk to some animals. Large amounts of ingested acorns can induce severe illness.
    This is due to the tannic and gallic acids in the acorn, which can cause severe damage to the
    gastrointestinal system and kidneys.

    I just spent the night supporting a friend who's adult NR squirrel got into a bag of collected acorns,
    gorged herself and became lethargic having a couple mild seizures. Vet found her to be very dehydrated
    and put her on IV for subQ. She's acting a little better today, condition is being guarded. We think she will
    be alright. Others have not been so lucky...
    So would even a dozen or so freshly picked green acorns once a month during acorn season be detrimental?

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    First off, i am so so sorry for your loss


    Forgive me if this was covered already and i just missed the posting, but i was wondering what benefits people have found by freezing or refrigerating their acorns for storage, instead of storing them in open containers or bags you get oranges in? Squirrels have a great sense of smell; They can smell food a far distance away and are even said to be able to smell which acorns are currently housing Grubs. My thought was that, since things generally lose their smell when they are frozen, wouldn't that just make the squirrel's unable to tell a safe nut apart from a bad nut? Wouldn't even a nut that was previously frozen but allowed to thaw out also smell weaker due to the separation of water from the other compounds?

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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    I think it's just one of those things... some people freeze/store acorns and feed them to their squirrels and others don't. It's risky, like playing with fire. You could feed acorns for years and nothing would happen but that's just luck. You don't want to be that person who decided to collect them and bring them in to feed to your baby and then something terrible happens. It's better to be safe than sorry.
    JMHO though, I'm not an expert by any means and I have no idea what the structural makeup is of an acorn once it's been frozen vs freshly fallen one that contains a toxin. I just spend some money and order nuts online for my babies and I make sure they are safe for them to consume.
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    Default Re: frozen acorns kill squirrels

    Quote Originally Posted by island rehabber View Post
    I would put it in Emergency, and then stick the thread.
    I just wonder how many in the wild die this very same way.

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