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Thread: Acorn question

  1. #1
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    Default Acorn question

    I read here that acorns are a no! But, just asking, if they are a natural nut for squirrels here where we live ( Mississippi), and they are still on the branch ( not rotted or moldy) could they be ok for Snickers? I just picked her some fresh oak branches, and they have new, little acorns. I bet she would love to tear them up. Still not ok?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Acorn question

    There is a risk. Indoor squirrels do not appear to be able to tell which acorns are bad like wilds can. We have seen acorns that look fine turn out to be bad and the usual result is death.

    I can't put a number on how risky this is but understand that you are potentially giving your squirrel something that will kill her. I would probably just give her an unsalted almond or some other treat that she will enjoy and that is safe.


    Quote Originally Posted by Snicker Bar View Post
    I read here that acorns are a no! But, just asking, if they are a natural nut for squirrels here where we live ( Mississippi), and they are still on the branch ( not rotted or moldy) could they be ok for Snickers? I just picked her some fresh oak branches, and they have new, little acorns. I bet she would love to tear them up. Still not ok?
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Acorn question

    Oh my gosh !! Ok, no acorns! Thanks!!!!

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    Default Re: Acorn question

    Quote Originally Posted by Snicker Bar View Post
    I read here that acorns are a no! But, just asking, if they are a natural nut for squirrels here where we live ( Mississippi), and they are still on the branch ( not rotted or moldy) could they be ok for Snickers? I just picked her some fresh oak branches, and they have new, little acorns. I bet she would love to tear them up. Still not ok?
    What TD mentioned is for the most part correct but usually applies to fallen acorns. A wild knows how to sift through them and ignore the bad.
    I had gone out once after a hurricane downed several acorn trees and thought I hit the mother load. I picked and collected bags of acorns from the fallen trees. Neither my captives or my wilds would eat any of them. I surmised maybe they had not "sun" ripened enough.
    As for the tiny acorns on the oak branches I have fed them to my captives without incident and your right, they tear them up! I will only suggest moderation, if the branch is loaded pull some off first before giving and allow what remains to be a treat. You don't want them to be makeing a complete meal out of them.
    Step-N-Stone
    State of Maryland, Licensed
    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


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    Default Re: Acorn question

    And bear in mind that acorns have tannins in them and will color the pee anywhere from pink to brown!

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    Default Re: Acorn question

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    And bear in mind that acorns have tannins in them and will color the pee anywhere from pink to brown!
    Step-N-Stone
    State of Maryland, Licensed
    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


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    Default Re: Acorn question

    I'm reading this and am really worried. Jenny got ahold of a few brown acorn bits while she was outside yesterday. Is she going to be ok?

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Acorn question

    She will probably be okay. The first time Imp ate an acorn scarred the life out of me because his urine turned dark bown. I thought he had kidney failure.

    I can only assume it's some kind of fungus or bacteria that causes bad nuts. I only feed Imp nuts from our oaks when they have just fallen. You can also order them online; thry are meant for human consumption.

    Imp seems to prefer hazel nuts to acorns and I think they are "fairly" healthy. They are as common in the wild as acorns across the pond.
    Sciurus meus amicum optimum est!

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    Default Re: Acorn question

    Quote Originally Posted by niapet View Post
    She will probably be okay. The first time Imp ate an acorn scarred the life out of me because his urine turned dark bown. I thought he had kidney failure.

    I can only assume it's some kind of fungus or bacteria that causes bad nuts. I only feed Imp nuts from our oaks when they have just fallen. You can also order them online; thry are meant for human consumption.

    Imp seems to prefer hazel nuts to acorns and I think they are "fairly" healthy. They are as common in the wild as acorns across the pond.
    I have hear that the gray squirrels in England can eat the acorns earlier than the English red squirrels, I do not know about the red squirrels In the US but they tend to live where there are pines and pine cones and I think the English red squirrels also do well in pine forests. The kind of squirrel you have may affect how well they tolerate acorns. I have noticed that some nuts I give to wild squirrels they reject and when I open them I find they are bad. The nuts you buy can also be bad. I have also noticed that when I open nuts (usually a filbert)that a squirrel has buried in a flower pot they have all gone bad. This concerns me because I do not want the squirrels to be burring nuts that they may depend on in bad times if they will be going bad by the time the squirrels need them. I wonder if there is something about potting soil or too much water rots nuts.

    Hazel nut have a good calcium to phosphorus ratio compared to a lot of other nuts.

  14. #10
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    Default Re: Acorn question

    On the tree fungus is not an issue; it is when the fall to the ground where fungus is located, could contamination occur. Seeing that squirrels consume them by great amount in the fall, even fallen, it isn't a high issue to occur in the wild all the same save in years there is a high level of rain fall. Moreover it is in harvesting and storing acorns that most all contamination occurs from toxic forms of Aspergillus fungus.

    That said I see they are on the no feed list, not then seeking to counter that here, just share information.

    In acorn ingestion, tannins that contain pigments, give urine a brown to red color. For this reason nut shells highest in tannins have been used for the purpose of staining leather and other porous materials.

    The good news is that tannins are a natural parasiticide for tree squirrels; so don't be surprised of a worm is seen in the stool.


    https://www.jstor.org/stable/3016431...n_tab_contents


    Abstract

    Acorn tannins may affect food preferences and foraging strategies of squirrels through effects on acorn palatability and digestibility and squirrel physiology. Captive eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) were fed 100% red oak (Quercus rubra) or white oak (Quercus alba) acorn diets to determine effects on intake, digestion, and detoxification activity. Red oak acorns had higher phenol and tannin levels, which may explain the lower dry matter intakes and apparent protein digestibilities and the higher glucuronidation activities observed in squirrels. Although the white oak acorn diet had lower apparent protein digestibilities than the reference diet, it did not suppress dry matter intake for a prolonged period or stimulate glucuronidation. Negative physiological effects of a 100% red oak acorn diet suggest gray squirrels may require other foods to dilute tannin intake and provide additional nutrients. To distinguish the roles of different tannin types in the observed effects of acorn diets on squirrels, squirrels were fed rat chow containing no tannins, 4% or 8% tannic acid (hydrolyzable tannin), or 3% or 6% quebracho (condensed tannin). Apparent protein digestibilities were reduced by tannic acid and quebracho diets. Only the 8% tannic acid diet tended to increase glucuronidation. Specific effects of tannins may largely depend on tannin type, composition, and source and on other nutritional and physiological factors.

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