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Thread: What food should I feed my grey squirrels here in PA

  1. #1
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    Default What food should I feed my grey squirrels here in PA

    Hi I am a new member. I have been feeding the local gray squirrels for a couple years now around my place. I always seem to get close to one in the group. Probably the one that fights off the others lol. They are the nicest cutest little things and also they are very smart and friendly. What more can you ask for.
    I have been feeding them mostly peanuts and recently added store bought chestnuts but I read on here that chestnuts are not that great for them.
    What kind of food can I feed them that will be healthy and nutritious? I feed them every day and will do so always so I am not too concerned if they become dependent on me. I do not mind spending the money for their food.
    Also can anyone suggest a way to give them water? Sometimes it is hot out during the summer. I guess they get water from fruits, I have not yet found a fruit that they like a lot, though sometimes grapes are liked.

  2. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Richard:

    Chirps (12-08-2020), MyBushyTail (12-05-2020)

  3. #2
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    Default Re: What food should I feed my grey squirrels here in PA

    I have been caring for and feeding the squirrels since 1999. I offer them black oiled sunflower seeds, mixed nuts (almonds, brazil, filberts/hazelnuts, hickory, pecans and walnuts) and sunflower hearts. Once in a while cut up Yellow Delicious apples. I have Cleveland Pear trees in my yard which the squirrels love eating their berries. Plus I have Black Walnut trees and Pin Oaks which the squirrels also love eating their nuts. I used to offer unsalted dry roasted peanuts but recently had to stop offering them since a new neighbor is/was using them as bait to trap squirrels. I have never had a problem with any of the foods that I offer - the squirrels know what they need and will forage natural foods along with eating what I offer. As for the water I just put it in a medium sized cat bowl. It can get expensive feeding squirrels, right now I spend over two hundred dollars a week but it is well worth it to see the squirrels happy, thriving and surviving many years.

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    Default Re: What food should I feed my grey squirrels here in PA

    I feed my wilds year round even though I live in Florida and food is available year round. We feed a lot of nuts....unshelled walnuts, almonds and pecans from Sams and in-shell hazelnuts and pecans I buy online. Because we feed so many nuts I am very conscientious about providing other nutritional food items. I make boo balls from ground Harlan Teklad 2018 rodent block that I mix with dry Fox Valley 20/50 formula, dry Fox Valley Ultraboost, ground nuts, assorted fruit and veggie baby foods, coconut and avocado oil. Once mixed together I roll it into small balls. I fill a bowl with these then top it with fresh coconut chunks, avocado chunks (no skin or pit) and fresh corn chunks. Sometimes I also add sugar snap peas, blueberries or apple chunks. They always eat every bit and I feel better knowing they’ve gotten some rodent block and formula which is 100% complete nutrition, as well as some veggies.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: What food should I feed my grey squirrels here in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by MyBushyTail View Post
    I have been caring for and feeding the squirrels since 1999. I offer them black oiled sunflower seeds, mixed nuts (almonds, brazil, filberts/hazelnuts, hickory, pecans and walnuts) and sunflower hearts. Once in a while cut up Yellow Delicious apples. I have Cleveland Pear trees in my yard which the squirrels love eating their berries. Plus I have Black Walnut trees and Pin Oaks which the squirrels also love eating their nuts. I used to offer unsalted dry roasted peanuts but recently had to stop offering them since a new neighbor is/was using them as bait to trap squirrels. I have never had a problem with any of the foods that I offer - the squirrels know what they need and will forage natural foods along with eating what I offer. As for the water I just put it in a medium sized cat bowl. It can get expensive feeding squirrels, right now I spend over two hundred dollars a week but it is well worth it to see the squirrels happy, thriving and surviving many years.
    Thanks. 200 a weak or month? That would be a lot squirrels

  6. #5
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    Default Re: What food should I feed my grey squirrels here in PA

    Will have to try some of those. I have mostly been peanuts and lately chestnuts but I just read that chestnuts can be bad for them.
    Some love corn. I bought a hard piece of corn but the little guy I am feeding had no interest, will try fresh corn with him.
    Going to make some of those vegie balls you described. My main concern is that they get good nutrition especially for the winter.

    chunks (no skin or pit) and fresh corn chunks. Sometimes I also add sugar snap peas, blueberries or apple chunks. They always eat every bit and I feel better knowing they’ve gotten some rodent block and formula which is 100% complete nutrition, as well as some veggies.[/QUOTE]

  7. #6
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    Default Re: What food should I feed my grey squirrels here in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Thanks. 200 a weak or month? That would be a lot squirrels
    Over two hundred dollars a week. Yes it is a lot of squirrels; my neighborhood is overpopulated with squirrels, I have over a hundred squirrels that I feed daily and I have about twenty squirrels that live in nests and nest boxes through-out my yard.

  8. Serious fuzzy thank you's to MyBushyTail from:

    Buddy (12-06-2020)

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    Default Re: What food should I feed my grey squirrels here in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by MyBushyTail View Post
    I offer them black oiled sunflower seeds, mixed nuts (almonds, brazil, filberts/hazelnuts, hickory, pecans and walnuts) and sunflower hearts.
    Brazil nuts should not be given to squirrels. They contain massive amounts of selenium. This can be fatally toxic to squirrels. A cup of Brazil nuts contains 3600% of the human RDA.

    Here is one such example from this forum.

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...+Nuts+can+Kill

  10. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Rock Monkey from:

    Mel1959 (12-07-2020)

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    Default Re: What food should I feed my grey squirrels here in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    I have been feeding them mostly peanuts and recently added store bought chestnuts but I read on here that chestnuts are not that great for them.
    Peanuts are cheap, but they aren't the best for squirrels. Peanuts are a legume and legumes are on the "Do Not Feed List" for squirrels. Legumes are high in phytic acid which can bind to calcium in the digestive tract and block its absorption.

    Almonds, walnuts and pecans are better choices. Check out www.anuts.com, it is a good source of nuts in the shell. I have purchased nuts from them and have never had a bad nut. Aesthetically they are probably 'seconds.' Some of the almonds shells are chipped, for example. The packaging is simple. However, I don't think a squirrel cares about any of those things.

    Prices are low, $2.27 for English walnuts and $2.47 for California almonds, currently.

  12. #9
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    Default Re: What food should I feed my grey squirrels here in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Monkey View Post
    Brazil nuts should not be given to squirrels. They contain massive amounts of selenium. This can be fatally toxic to squirrels. A cup of Brazil nuts contains 3600% of the human RDA.

    Here is one such example from this forum.

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...+Nuts+can+Kill

    Thanks for sharing the link. Yes I have heard all about the toxicity before and read all about it. I have given all of my pet squirrels Brazil nuts their entire lives and have never had any issues.

  13. #10
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    Default Re: What food should I feed my grey squirrels here in PA

    Hi, Richard! Nice to see another Pennsylvanian. If you have a feed mill/store near you, they may have one of the rodent blocks available. Mine (in Bucks County) has the Mazuri. I used to just give my wilds a peanut party to divert then from my bird feeders so the poor birds had a shot while the squirrels were eating peanuts. (Dry roasted in shell, no salt.) After coming here for advice on my baby I raised, learned about rodent block, and am lucky that the feed store I frequent carries the Mazuri. It's cheap ($17.95 for 25# bag) and my wilds love it. The only downside is feeding it in wet weather, but even that's not a problem if you just put out enough that they clean it up quick. They sell feeders with lids to keep the food dry, but haven't pulled the trigger. Kinda pricey for me.

    Best wishes to you and your furry friends!
    "I hope everyone got or gets their Baby Love today"~Shewhosweptforest

    https://www.henryspets.com/1-baby-squirrel-care-guide/

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    Default Re: What food should I feed my grey squirrels here in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Monkey View Post
    Peanuts are cheap, but they aren't the best for squirrels. Peanuts are a legume and legumes are on the "Do Not Feed List" for squirrels. Legumes are high in phytic acid which can bind to calcium in the digestive tract and block its absorption.

    Almonds, walnuts and pecans are better choices. Check out www.anuts.com, it is a good source of nuts in the shell. I have purchased nuts from them and have never had a bad nut. Aesthetically they are probably 'seconds.' Some of the almonds shells are chipped, for example. The packaging is simple. However, I don't think a squirrel cares about any of those things.

    Prices are low, $2.27 for English walnuts and $2.47 for California almonds, currently.
    Hello,
    Do you purchase them raw, or roasted?

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    Default Re: What food should I feed my grey squirrels here in PA

    Raw peanuts is what I use, but it’s not the only thing I offer them. Avocado (no skin or pit), coconut chunks and fresh corn chunks are all well liked. I have water bottles strapped to a tree trunk or limb with a bungee cord and also provide water in a stainless bowl at their feeding station.

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    Default Re: What food should I feed my grey squirrels here in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by Littlesha View Post
    Hello,
    Do you purchase them raw, or roasted?
    Just raw, in the shell, not modified in any way, not roasted, not salted. Under the Bulk Nuts tab at www.anuts.com (Argire's Snacks) you will see a sub tab, that is labelled Nuts for Squirrels.

    Nuts in the shell will stay fresh longer and be cached by the squirrels for when they need food on some date in the future.

  17. #14
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    Default Re: What food should I feed my grey squirrels here in PA

    This past year, among the rest of its horrors , was a no-acorn year for my release sites. Both sites, 8 miles apart, have plenty of red and white oaks but had NO acorns in 2020. So, I am supplementing my releases and their wild friends with cut up squash, fresh corn, cut up apples & pears, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts in the shell for burying. Also the occasional avocado. I go two or three times a week before work to leave them a nice buffet. So far everyone is fat and fluffy, which is good preparation for February and March, our worst months weatherwise in the NYC area.
    Island Rehabber
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    Default Re: What food should I feed my grey squirrels here in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by island rehabber View Post
    This past year, among the rest of its horrors , was a no-acorn year for my release sites. Both sites, 8 miles apart, have plenty of red and white oaks but had NO acorns in 2020. So, I am supplementing my releases and their wild friends with cut up squash, fresh corn, cut up apples & pears, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts in the shell for burying. Also the occasional avocado. I go two or three times a week before work to leave them a nice buffet. So far everyone is fat and fluffy, which is good preparation for February and March, our worst months weatherwise in the NYC area.
    I have found that in my area what few oaks we have seem to produce in a cyclical cycle. One year they may produce tons of acorns...the next barely any. I attributed it to having strong hurricane force type winds that break of the tips of branches when the trees are budding and establishing their nut heads. .

    Because we don’t have many oak trees on the barrier island I drive around the mainland with a pair of hand pruners in my car and “trim” branches from oak trees in parking lots of places like Lowe’s, abandoned gas stations, BJ’s etc. and toss them in the trunk of my car. I just act like I know what I’m doing and no one has ever said anything to me....but I do get some funny looks.

  19. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Mel1959 from:

    island rehabber (01-11-2021)

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    Default Re: What food should I feed my grey squirrels here in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    Because we don’t have many oak trees on the barrier island I drive around the mainland with a pair of hand pruners in my car and “trim” branches from oak trees in parking lots of places like Lowe’s, abandoned gas stations, BJ’s etc. and toss them in the trunk of my car. I just act like I know what I’m doing and no one has ever said anything to me....but I do get some funny looks.

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