Food experts consider carrot as a root vegetable in various colors and is a complete healthy food. However, the question that begs for concern is, “Do squirrels eat carrots?”
Gardeners who deal in carrots and individuals who own squirrels as pets are probably scratching their heads, wanting to know if squirrels are partakers of this nutritious vegetable. The former because of security concerns and the latter owing to feeding concerns.
Well, keep reading to find out if squirrels are fans of carrots and whether carrots are healthy for their consumption.
Do Squirrels Eat Carrots?
Squirrels are inherently herbivores hence have a food menu that revolves around nuts, vegetables, and fruits. So yes, squirrels do eat carrots.
Since squirrels are agile and active creatures, they tend to be fond of fruits because fruits are sweet and have high sugar content suitable for energy provision.
Carrots are highly nutritious, pretty delicious and are low in cholesterol. Squirrels would not part with such a meal but are usually skeptical in initial attempts. They, however, become comfortable with carrots if it is regularly offered to them.
Carrots contain vitamin K1, potassium and beta carotene and are associated with numerous health benefits. Each of these components plays a vital role in the system of squirrels.
According to a study by California University Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, squirrels are not picky about what to eat and would literally consume anything that they deem delicious and of nutritional value to them, and carrots are not an exception.
Do squirrels Like Carrots?
Yes, squirrels can eat carrots but inconsiderate amounts. Although carrots are not a squirrel’s favorite food, they don’t choose what goes in their mouth. They gnaw on anything that looks edible, from wooden surfaces to soft plastic items.
Just like nuts, carrots are crunchy and delicious; hence squirrels tend to find them irresistible. Some squirrels are selective on what they choose to let in their mouths, while others tend to be comfortable crunching on anything.
If you intend to introduce carrots to squirrels, you should slice them into manageable chunks and mix them with the squirrel’s regular food, such as nuts or sunflower seeds. This way, they can get used to carrots pretty fast.
At What Age Can Squirrels Eat Carrots?
Squirrels can start eating carrots when they are three months old. Solid food is only recommended for squirrels after three months of their existence since their digestive system is very sensitive.
Feeding the wrong food can therefore cause complications resulting in diarrhea and dehydration.
Squirrels grow and develop pretty fast, although they learn to do things such as climbing trees and holding objects on their own between 8-12 weeks from the time they were born.
While adult squirrels are not selective on what they eat, baby squirrels are very susceptible to what they consume hence adhere to a strict diet of fluids, preferably prescribed milk formulas.
What Are the Other Parts of Carrot Can Squirrels Eat?
Squirrels are vegetable lovers and will not hesitate to munch on carrot tops. Carrot greens are nutritious, and it’s a culture of the little furry balls to nibble on anything that is of nutritional value.
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Carrot leaves are rich in vitamin C, calcium, potassium and phytonutrients, which basically aid in digestion.
Squirrels generally have a natural appetite for greens, especially tender and delicious leaves, probably because they are easy to chew and tasty.
How Often Can Squirrels Eat Carrots?
While your squirrels must eat a balanced diet every day, a considerable amount of carrots, perhaps a few chopped pieces, of course, alongside other foods to achieve a balanced diet should be healthy for a squirrel.
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Carrots aren’t stapled food to squirrels. These critters can eat many different vegetables, nuts, and fruits, among others. Therefore, a squirrel eating carrots once in a while would be beneficial.
Do Carrots Offer Any Health Benefits to Squirrels?
Carrots are composed of vital minerals, vitamins and nutritional components that are very useful to a squirrel.
Water and carbs are the main components of a carrot averaging to 80%. Carbs are responsible for sugar and starch, which helps the squirrel with the energy needed to undertake its daily vigorous routines.
Beta carotene, which is the yellow pigment found in carrots, is a good antioxidant. It is proven to be responsible for improved cognitive ability, and good eyesight in animals and squirrels are not an exception.
Below are the nutritional values of 100g of raw freshly chopped carrots to help us understand the composition of carrots.
Nutritional values for (100 grams) of chopped raw carrots:
How to Serve Carrots to Squirrels?
Carrots can be served to squirrels either raw or cooked depending on your preferences, although raw carrots are better because no nutritional content will be lost during cooking hence good for a squirrel’s health.
Since carrots are crunchy and delicious, they should be diced into small pieces and placed on bird feeders or designated feeding areas to enable the squirrels to hold them in their little paws and facilitate smooth eating.
A good alternative for squirrel food is fruits. They are relatively expensive and can be found in any market readily. Most fruits are rich in sugar which is essential in providing squirrels with the energy they require in their hectic routines.
Squirrels have a very inclusive feeding habit and will merely masticate on anything they find edible and tasty.
They apparently have an extensive range of food items to choose from. Vegetables, animal proteins, nuts, fruits, plant leaves are all items that squirrels can comfortably eat.
Carrots, on the other hand, are ideal for squirrels because of their nutritional benefits. They are also readily available and pocket-friendly if you intend to regularly acquire them from groceries’ farmers.