Do squirrels eat popcorn? Do they like it?

Squirrels eat a variety of human food. Some of the human food that they eat is good for them, so do squirrels eat popcorn?

Squirrels eat popcorn and they enjoy it too. Popcorn contains vitamins and minerals such as copper, manganese, vitamin B1 vitamin B3, zinc and others. Popcorn is also a good source of fibre. Leave a bowl of popcorn out in squirrel populated areas and allow squirrels to freely come and eat as they please.

Squirrels are the cute members of the rodent family. They are definitely more loved and adored than their family members rats and mice. Well, to the average homeowner they are.

If you find a squirrel in your area and are looking to feed it you may be thinking of feeding them nuts. But squirrels are omnivores and eat much more than nuts. In fact, they can eat popcorn as well.

If you see a squirrel in your area it’s probably a grey squirrel. This squirrel is common in North America. Another common squirrel that lives in North America is the fox squirrel otherwise known as the red squirrel.

Feeding these cute animals as they play in your garden is a generous thing to do. If you don’t have any nuts or seeds handy then you can go ahead and feed them some popcorn.

Nutrients in popcorn

Popcorn is actually a wholegrain food, it is packed with various nutrients and minerals including vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc and manganese. Popcorn also contains high amounts of fibre, it is one of the best sources of fibre per gram.

Do squirrels eat popcorn?

Popcorn is a great squirrel food and squirrels love it too. As long as you don’t give squirrels popcorn drenched in butter or spice then the popcorn will be good for the squirrel.

Popcorn should also not contain salt, the addition of sodium to a squirrels diet will result in an increased heart rate. This could lead to the squirrel’s early death. Popcorn is one of the most healthy snacks when no additions are added.

That being said, you should not be feeding squirrels just popcorn. Popcorn is a great snack to give to a squirrel but because these animals are omnivores and have other nutritional needs, they need more than just popcorn to live a healthy life.

How to serve popcorn to squirrels:

You need to set up a squirrel feeding station in a way that lets squirrels know that this feeding station is for them. This will keep them from eating out of your trash or from eating out of bird feeders, this is how to do it:

  1. Pick a location that isn’t close to bird feeders or garbage cans. Pick a location where squirrels frequent in your yard
  2. Fill a bowl or squirrel feeder with your cooked popcorn and leave it in your designated squirrel feeding area.
  3. Leave the feeder out and don’t move it. Let the squirrels come and go as they please. This will get them used to the idea that this is a place that they can freely eat. The squirrels will keep away from your garbage cans and bird feeders.
  4. Remember to keep filling the bowls frequently. Add another bowl if more squirrels come.

NB: Feed the squirrel from the bowl, don’t use your fingers. The squirrel can bite your finger on accident as you feed it. This can result in a rabies infection or other disease if the squirrel is sick.

What else do squirrels eat?

In addition to the popcorn that you may be giving your squirrels, you also need to give your squirrel other foods. This will ensure that the squirrel has a varied and nutritious diet.

They eat a mixture of plants and animals including insects, amphibians, bird eggs, small mammals, nuts, tree flowers, tree buds, elm, cedar, dogwood, butternut and hemlock. They also love to eat seeds.

Other foods that humans can offer squirrels (that may not be a part of their regular diet) include corn, pumpkin, pistachios, strawberries, peas, zucchini and grapes.

What to avoid giving squirrels:

One of the things that you should avoid giving squirrels are peanuts. Squirrels love nuts but peanuts are not actually a nut. Peanuts are actually legumes.

Peanuts contain aflatoxin, this fungal toxin results in damage to the squirrels liver, the toxin has the same effect on birds as well. The raw peanuts also contain a trypsin inhibitor. Trypsin allows the body to absorb protein. In addition, peanuts have a pretty low nutrient content.

Also avoid giving squirrels banana peels. Find out why here.

Can squirrels eat peanut butter?

Raw peanuts aren’t good for squirrels but giving squirrels peanut butter isn’t a bad idea as long as the peanut butter isn’t salted. If you want to serve peanut butter to squirrels give the squirrel peanut butter from a spoon. Don’t feed them peanut butter often, rather give it as a treat

 

Is bread OK for squirrels to eat?

It’s ok for a squirrel to eat bread but you shouldn’t be feeding squirrels bread on a regular basis. Just like popcorn or peanut butter you can give the squirrels bread occasionally as a treat.

You shouldn’t be giving squirrels bread on a regular basis because bread contains quite a bit of sugar which is not good for them. Bread is not nutrient-rich, the squirrels will fill up on bread and won’t have room for other foods that offer more nutrients.

Squirrels don’t mind eating bread but they have a tough time digesting it. The salt content in bread is also quite high for squirrels, squirrels don’t do well with salt, their little bodies can’t take it. Is will be much better for the squirrel to eat some squirrel food over some bread

Is it safe for birds to eat popcorn?

Popcorn is not only great to give to squirrels but popcorn is also good to give to birds as well. Birds love eating popcorn. They eat both the popped variety and the unpopped kernel variety. You can boil the kernels, it makes the kernels easier to eat, use regular plain water to do this.

Just as with squirrels you shouldn’t give your birds salted, spiced or microwaved popcorn. The high salt and fat content of the popcorn is bad for the animal’s health. The salt can even cause kidney failure.

Conclusion:

If you want to give a squirrel a delicious snack then you can go ahead and feed it some popcorn. Popcorn offers squirrels vitamins and minerals, it is delicious as well.

To avoid getting bitten by squirrels serve the popcorn in a bowl for the squirrels to eat. Avoid giving them popcorn that is salted, spiced or has butter as this is not good for their health.

Another treat that you can give your squirrel is unsalted peanut butter, this is a delicious treat you can give them using a spoon. Don’t give your squirrels raw peanuts.

Remember to give the squirrel other foods, this will ensure that the squirrel has a balanced diet. Don’t give squirrels too much bread, it has salt and sugar which is not good for the squirrel’s health and it is not so easy to digest.

Do squirrels eat popcorn? Do they like it?
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