Hey there, fellow squirrel lovers! Are you curious about the answer to – can squirrels eat walnuts? Yes, they can and you’ve come to the right place to learn even more about those nutty nutritious snacks. In this article, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about feeding walnuts to squirrels, keeping them happy, healthy, and safe.
Can Squirrels Eat Walnuts?
So, can squirrels eat walnuts? Absolutely! These backyard critters are omnivorous, which means they enjoy eating both plants and meat. Their diets typically consist of nuts, fruits, and seeds, and with four front teeth that never stop growing, they make easy work of eating nuts.
Do Squirrels Love Walnuts?
But do squirrels actually like walnuts? You betcha! In particular, these curious creatures seem to have a special affinity for English walnuts, pecans, and other nut varieties that they can find in their environment. They’ll eagerly search for and consume any available nutty treats, often carrying them away to store for later consumption.
And let’s not forget about black walnuts – another nut variety that squirrels go nuts for! These small, furry creatures can spend up to 10 minutes trying to extract the tasty meat from a single black walnut. It’s a delight to watch squirrels crack open these tough shells with their nimble paws and sharp teeth while also providing them with a source of nourishment.
Are Walnuts Good for Squirrels?
Squirrels can benefit from eating walnuts because they are rich in fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. When you offer walnuts to squirrels, it encourages them to behave naturally by foraging for food in your yard.
Also, squirrels may share the walnuts with their little ones by bringing them back to their nest. They may also collect and hide the walnuts to save for the winter.
Overall, walnuts can be a nutritious and enjoyable treat for squirrels.
Walnut Nutritional Information
About one ounce (14 halves) of walnuts contains:
- Fat: 18.5 grams
- Water: 4%
- Sugar: 0.7 grams
- Protein: 4.3 grams
- Fiber: 1.9 grams
- Carbs: 3.9 grams
- Calories: 185
In addition to being great for humans, these nuts make a great healthy treat for squirrels.
Why Do Squirrels Crack Walnuts?
Have you ever seen a squirrel chomping on a walnut and wondered how they do it? Well, wonder no more, because we’re about to go nuts with all the fascinating details about how squirrels crack open those tough shells!
Specialized Front Teeth (Incisors)
First off, let’s talk about their teeth. Squirrels have four front teeth and eight molars, which help them grind and chew their food. Their front teeth, or incisors, are super sharp and curved, making them perfect for cracking open hard shells like walnuts.
Squirrel Incisors Never Stop Growing
But get this, their incisors never stop growing! That’s right, they’re like little toothy beavers, always chomping on something to keep those teeth in check. It’s a good thing they have plenty of nuts to snack on, or else they might have to start gnawing on your tree branches or fence!
Once the outer layer of the nut is cracked, the squirrel’s molars get to work. These teeth are located towards the back of their jaw and are perfect for grinding and chewing the softer parts of the nut. It’s like a nut-cracking assembly line in there!
What Kind of Walnuts Do Squirrels Eat?
Did you know that squirrels have a preference for three different types of walnuts? It’s true! And each variety is packed with antioxidants and omega-3 essential fatty acids that are essential for maintaining good health.
First up, we have English walnuts. These are the most commonly found and consumed walnuts in the United States. They have a smooth, gnarled shell that’s easy for squirrels to crack open, revealing the ivory-colored meat inside. Mmm, sounds delicious, doesn’t it?
Next, we have Black walnuts, which are native to North America, specifically the Mississippi Valley and Appalachian area. These nuts have thick, hard shells that are difficult to crack open, but that doesn’t stop our little squirrel friends from trying!
They seem to love the challenge of getting to that tasty meat inside.
Last but not least, we have white walnuts, also known as butternuts. These are a rare and endangered species that can only be found in specific regions, including the Mississippi Valley, the Appalachian area, and parts of Canada.
But if you’re lucky enough to come across them, you’re in for a real treat! These nuts have a sweet and oily flavor and can be recognized by their light-colored, jagged shells.
Squirrels love all kinds of walnuts, whether they’re English, black, or white. And who can blame them? With all those essential nutrients packed inside, it’s no wonder these little critters can’t get enough of them.
Where To Buy Walnuts for Squirrels
We’re nearing the end of our walnut-filled adventure! But before we wrap things up, let’s talk about where you can buy walnuts for your furry friends.
One great option is to check with your local pet store or other retail stores that cater to feeding backyard critters like squirrels and deer. You can also find walnuts on popular online marketplaces like Amazon.
One of our amazing followers, Cynthia P. suggested natural walnut butter! ? And suggested anuts.com as another great place to shop for squillys. In the drop-down menu, it says “nuts for squirrels” ?? makes my fuzzys happy! ? Thanks Cynthia for that great tip.
What Alternatives Are There to Walnuts?
But what if you want to switch things up and offer your squirrels something besides walnuts? No problem! Squirrels also have a strong affection for other nuts like pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, hickory nuts. And don’t forget, they’ll also happily chow down on unsalted peanuts from time to time.
It’s no secret that squirrels love nuts, so no matter what you choose to offer them, they’ll keep coming back for more with enthusiasm. And with all the nutritional benefits that walnuts and other nuts provide, it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
The Nutty Conclusion on Walnuts for Squirrels
Please remember to be respectful of your neighbors if they’re not too keen on having squirrels in their yard. Feeding them in an area that is away from their yard is always a good idea. Some people are crazy about squirrels like we are!
Feeding squirrels walnuts is a fantastic way to help them forage for food easily and provide them with essential nutrients. It’s a rewarding hobby that will bring joy to both you and your furry friends. We hope this guide has answered all your questions about squirrels and walnuts. Keep on nuttin’!