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Thread: Nutrition question!!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Thanked: 0

    Question Nutrition question!!!

    Hi everyone! Thanks for having me. I have two bunnies who are my world and Iím new to squirrelege since two weeks ago when I took in one who was paralyzed (and had been for some time by the wounds on his dragging legs) in my yard. I did everything I could, learning as I went, much information I got from here (thank you all) but he passed away 10 days later. Itís broken me in so many ways, (Iím tearing up as I write this.) Anyway, this has gotten me highly concerned for the other squirrels in the neighborhood. My question is in regard to what to feed them, if at all. Background: where I live every other house has a citrus tree, oranges,grapefruit,lemon etc. 5 minutes away thereís an orange grove park and the squirrels are all over it. And second, itís VERY sunny here. So correct me if Iím wrong, but they have a surplus in vitamin D, vitamin C, ....and calcium? Oranges are high in calcium right? I have left over Henryís picky bites, and kaytee and oxbow rat food which has added vitamin D... given these nutritional facts should I put these foods out for the local squirrels here? Would that do good or harm? And the squirrel I had- do you think he had too much calcium/vitamin c in his diet to give him mbd/mbd like symptoms or too little?
    Thank you so much for all your responses and time

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    North Carolina
    Thanked: 611

    Default Re: Nutrition question!!!

    This is a good website for finding detailed information about the nutritional content of various foods.

    Nuts likes almonds and pecans will be well received. Nuts have a high fat content so provide a lot of calories in a small package and can be safely cached for later consumption if they are in a shell.

    You can buy nuts in a shell from at very reasonable prices.

    Squirrels in the wild have access to all sorts of different things and they are usually able to keep their minerals in proper balance. Rehabbed squirrels on the other hand are limited to what is provided to them. Wild also get direct sunlight which allows them to manufacture vitamin D3 which is needed to process calcium.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    West Coast
    Thanked: 2735

    Default Re: Nutrition question!!!

    In the wild the Calcium to Phosphorus ratio is balanced over the calendar year; the squirrels getting more phosphorus in the fall from nuts and seeds, and more calcium in late winter through spring tree squirrels of all species consume the sap of their various food trees that contain more calcium than phosphorus, this by scoring the limbs and licking up the sap that leaks out. In the Spring, when the leaves and buds first appear, squirrels will eat those from their food trees, which also supply free calcium.

    As the weather warms up squirrels (especially grays) eat the carapace (exoskeleton) of sow bugs which contains 24% Calcium carbonate. They also consume the soil (geophagy) that surrounds the roots of grasses; this contains good gut bacteria, 'probiotics', which both supports the well digestion and so greater availability of the nutrients from their foods. With over 70 % of the immune system found in the colony of good gut bacteria, this is a vital source on many accounts. And though, it is not best in captivity not to feed soil to squirrels because they often contain worms and other parasites, there is a pure source (pre/probiotics without additives or flavors) "Pet Flora" by (Vitality Science); noted for cats. of "soil based organisms", aka: probiotics. In captivity (1/64 Tsp.) for weaned and adult tree squirrels daily.

    When supplementing wild squirrels with nuts that mainly provide protein and fats, but also are the main source of phosphorus in their diets, English walnuts and Pecans pieces misted with pure water then sprinkled with pure calcium powder (no additives), will lend support to a healthier Calcium to Phosphorus ratio in their diet.

    One form of powdered pure calcium available, Calcium Citrate an organic form of calcium that is naturally occurring in mammal's milk, is the same as that found in higher content in oranges and other citrate fruits. This form is easier to digest and more absorbable and so more available to the bones than calcium carbonate, that is a rock mineral commonly added to processed foods

    "Pure Bulk" produces pure Calcium Citrate powder with the highest elemental for this form by volume than nearly all other sources. It also is the only one in this category that has been verified for purity in the USA.

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