Squirrels are omnivores who snack on fruits, vegetables, roots, insects, eggs, and meat, but out of all these foods, they greatly prefer nuts.
Nuts are delicious and nutritious to squirrels, these animals happily eat a wide variety of nuts, but how about walnuts? Do squirrels eat walnuts? This article looks into it.
Squirrels do eat walnuts, in fact, squirrels love walnuts. Walnuts are one of their favorite nuts. These nuts contain copper, phosphorus, folic acid, manganese, vitamins B6 and E which are great for the squirrel’s health. When feeding squirrels feed them from a distance from a squirrel feeder. Also, remember to feed them shelled nuts.
Do squirrels eat walnuts?
Squirrels are some of the most visible wildlife in large cities and suburbs. They naturally belong in the wild, but can be found living in human environments too.
These animals, whether living in the wild or in urban areas, are open to eating a variety of foods. Walnuts included
Squirrels eat a lot of nuts and one of their favorite nuts is the walnut. Squirrels love walnuts for their taste and the nutritional value that the food provides.
Walnuts aren’t eaten by squirrels alone. Humans also snack on this nut and enjoy the many benefits that they offer.
Benefits of squirrels eating walnuts:
A good source of vitamins and minerals: Walnuts contain vitamins and minerals that are vital for human and animal life. This nut is an excellent source of copper, phosphorus, folic acid, manganese, vitamins B6 and E. All these nutrients will boost the squirrel’s health
Prevents oxidative damage: Walnuts are rich in antioxidants. In fact, studies have shown that walnuts have more antioxidants than any other nut. The powerful antioxidants in this nut help prevent oxidative damage in squirrels
Fights inflammation and autoimmune diseases: The omega-3 fat in walnuts is an essential fat that fights inflammation, autoimmune disease and can improve eye health. It is vital that squirrels get this fat in their diets.
A healthy source of protein: Squirrels need protein in their diet. When protein is lacking, a lot of things go wrong. While walnuts do not have more protein than beef and fish; they can serve as a good source of protein nonetheless.
With a delicious taste and all the many nutritional value walnuts offer, it becomes clear why squirrels can’t get enough of this food.
Should you give squirrels shelled or unshelled walnuts?
When feeding squirrels walnuts, experts advise that you give them shelled and not unshelled nuts.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that unshelled walnuts are bad for the squirrel’s health, the only reason why shelled ones are better is that the hard shell helps to sharpen squirrels’ teeth, shelled nuts also provide them with some exercise.
Another way that they maintain their teeth is by nipping at branches, this article explores it in more detail. Click the link to read
It’s in the squirrel’s nature to want to crack open the shell covering of a nut before getting to the delicious snack. So don’t think you’re doing them a favor by taking off the shells.
How to feed squirrels walnuts
Watching squirrels feed on walnuts is such a fascinating sight. These creatures can be all the entertainment you need on a boring day.
To feed your wildlife neighbors, it’s important that you set up a squirrel feeder somewhere in your yard and have them eat from it. Please note that the feeder should be where squirrels feed from and not your hands.
It’s always best to maintain a safe distance from these animals when feeding them as getting too close may cause them to lose their natural fear of humans.
If a particular squirrel is your pet, then it’s totally fine to have it feed from your hands. But when it comes to wild squirrels, set up a squirrel feeder and watch them feed at a distance.
All the walnuts you need to feed your pet squirrel and wild neighbors can be purchased on Amazon.
Alternative nuts you can feed squirrels
Some other nuts that squirrels enjoy eating include:
Acorns: Acorns are one of the many nuts consumed by squirrels. These nuts come from Oak trees and contain protein, carbs, and fats. They are also high in vitamins and minerals including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A and E, and other essential minerals.
Hazelnut: Hazelnuts come from the Corylus tree. These sweet nuts are rich in protein, dietary fiber, unsaturated fats, magnesium, calcium, thiamin, phosphorus, iron, vitamins B, and E.
Pine nuts: Pine nuts are one of the safest nuts to feed squirrels. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber, fats, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and selenium.
Almonds: Squirrels are remarkable almond feeders. These animals can harvest an almond tree overnight. Almonds are packed with nutrients and essential vitamins and minerals including protein, fiber, fat, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and vitamins E and B2.
Macadamia: Macadamia nuts are tree nuts with a butter-like flavor. The macadamia is the hardest nut to crack, but squirrels still find a way to get it open. These nuts contain protein, fats, fiber, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and other essential minerals.
Walnuts are a healthy snack that you can feed squirrels. They love them and are happy to crack the hard shells of these nuts. Walnuts are incredibly nutritious and can be eaten by both humans and animals.
Feeding the squirrels that come to your backyard is a superb idea, just make sure that the walnuts are placed in a feeder. Squirrels should never be hand-fed.
These animals may look cuddly and we may be entertained by their antics, but we must never forget that they are wild animals.