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Thread: pine nuts will cause calcium loss?

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    carolphae Guest

    Default pine nuts will cause calcium loss?

    I am brand new to this board and hope I am doing this right. I got a list of food for squirrels off internet today and surprised to see it say pine nuts will cause calcium loss. Also says not to give sunflower seed. Another site said not to feed striped sunflower seeds as they make them jumpy. Another site says to provide sunflower seeds once they are released. Sooo... do they mean only give sunflower seeds upon release and only then? Rescued 3 babies last month and are ready to release in two weeks or so in our back yard where there is a pine tree and pond. They are in big pre-release cage outside all the time now. The three babies are very healthy and happy. Estimate them to be about 11 weeks now. I live in Southern Ca. on a street with pine trees where several squirrels live.

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    Default Re: pine nuts will cause calcium loss?

    Here is the healthy diet chart:

    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...-Pet-Squirrels

    A quality block needs to be the core of the diet. Henry's are best (a bag lasts a month) but cheaper blocks like Harlan Teklad or Oxbow will do to. Many blocks are crap.

    Yes, pine nuts are horrible. Many nuts are very bad, bu these are probably the worst. They contain a huge amount of phosphorous, which blocks calcium absorption - and sqs are very sensitive to low calcium levels. A poor diet is the cause of probably the majority of problems we see.

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    Default Re: pine nuts will cause calcium loss?

    It should be pointed out that the seeds they will dig out of the cones from the trees on your property are NOT the same type of pine nuts that you buy in the grocery store (if you are RICH) to make pesto. The pesto type are what they are talking about. Do not worry about what they forage on their own on your property.

    Sunflower seeds are very popular, but they are not very good for squirrels. The healthiest nuts are hazelnuts and almonds, you can continue to supply fresh fruit and veggies which they may or may not eat once released. I feed my wilds rodent block just like what they would get during rehab.

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    Default Re: pine nuts will cause calcium loss?

    carolphae
    to The Squirrel Board

    I think the Calcium to Phosphorus ratio chart will help you understand why pine nuts are so bad.
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/a...8&d=1232419601

    The desirable foods should have a ratio of 2:1 Ca:P.
    Pine nuts are 1:35.9. For every unit of Calcium there are 36 units of Phosphorus. This is a horrible imbalance. It takes a lot of calcium to balance out pine nuts. When the diet is calcium poor, the body will pull calcium out of the bones. This leads to a deadly condition called Metabolic Bone Disease. The symptoms are seizures, paralysis and then death. If not treated it is fatal. It is a condition of captive animals. In nature animals are able to balance their own diet. In captivity, they can only eat what we give them.

    If you study the chart you will understand why a diet rich in nuts, seeds and corn will cause the death of squirrels. I hope this helps to explain why the diet is so important.

  5. #5
    carolphae Guest

    Default Re: pine nuts will cause calcium loss?

    Ferelli, Critter Mom and HRT4SQURLS,
    Thank you so much for your replies. I figured the store-bought pine nuts were not the same as the ones in nature. I only rubbed the pine nuts (from store..yeah they were on sale, thank God) on rodent block to get the darlings to take them and eat them. I sure hope it wasn't enough to harm them. Doesn't seem like it...they are crazy healthy, fat, sleek, furry, and acrobatic! I give them carrots, kale, broccoli stem, green bean, celery, cilantro, spinach leaves--all in small pieces. Oh yes, and a grape each once in a while. After looking at chart, I see they can have more fruit than this. They will be glad! They also munch on pine twigs, bark, pine cones, soft baby pine cones and pine cone "blossoms" ( a branch fell into the front yard last week and I got to glean all kinds of goodies for them from it! ) My husband made an awesome large cage, attached pine and avocado tree branches, shelves and a perfect pine nesting box. One of them, Hunter, is the most adventurous about new food. Good boy. "Baby" and Eve are a bit more picky but will eventually eat these (real name Alfred, but we call him Baby cuz he was the first one found, terribly dehydrated, weak and a bloody nose, very small, poor thing. The next day his brother came running toward me from our lawn after dropping out of pine tree and bouncing!--gasp!-- and climbed screen door trying to get to Baby!...so we named him Hunter. He was dehydrated but not as bad; the next day Eve was calling and crying for them from pine trees and ran up to cage we had out on lawn for sunning--that's how we ended up with three! After Pedialyte and subsequent formula, they thrived and flourished). So glad to learn about sunflower seeds as well. Dang, I bought a big bag so it'll last a very long time after they get released. They get a walnut each every other day or so...can crack 'em open really well with their amazingly strong little teeth and jaws. Glad they don't bite us! They still guzzle formula twice a day now...I expect them to self wean completely soon as they probably need to be released in two weeks at the latest. I have done SO much research since getting them and sometimes sites contradict each other's info. I just want to do the very best for these little ones. I love them so much. Again, thank you!

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    Default Re: pine nuts will cause calcium loss?

    No, they will be fine! The problem is, they LOVE pine nuts - the grocery store kind - and will stuff themselves, and many people, not knowing they are bad, will let them do so. Do that for a while and you will have a problem.

  7. #7
    carolphae Guest

    Default Re: pine nuts will cause calcium loss?

    Just printed out the chart of Fruits and Vegetables headed with "The Good" "The Fair", and "Getting Risky" VERY HELPFUL. Now I can go shopping! We have an orange tree loaded down with fruit, so am glad to see these are on "The Good" list as opposed to grapes which are on "The Fair" column. Oh, THANK you! Carol

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    Default Re: pine nuts will cause calcium loss?

    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...-Pet-Squirrels

    Here's a link to the healthy diet for captive squirrels. Keep in mind that fruit is in the 'treat category'. They can have fruit (and they love it ) but it needs to be limited because it is high in sugar. They love grapes but they must be peeled because the skin is a choking hazard.

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    Default Re: pine nuts will cause calcium loss?

    I am not sure how safe the avacado tree branches are. The peel and pits are toxic. Perhaps someone who knows for sure could chime in.

    I almost bought an avacado tree for one of my indoor cages this year, but had second thoughts, and put it back, because I wasn't sure of the safety of the leaves and branches.

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    Default Re: pine nuts will cause calcium loss?

    Quote Originally Posted by czarina View Post
    I am not sure how safe the avacado tree branches are. The peel and pits are toxic. Perhaps someone who knows for sure could chime in.

    I almost bought an avacado tree for one of my indoor cages this year, but had second thoughts, and put it back, because I wasn't sure of the safety of the leaves and branches.
    Good point! I would probably just avoid avocado trees since it is not clear if the leaves or branches are safe.
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