Do squirrels eat buckeyes? Yes, squirrels eat buckeyes, but some people have reservations about feeding them to squirrels. It can be argued squirrels eat buckeyes without getting sick, yet some are fearful to let their squirrels eat buckeyes. Buckeyes are poisonous to other animals and humans. I will be going over how you can feed your local squirrels with these delicious seeds.
In this article, we will cover: What are buckeyes and why do squirrels like them? What types of buckeyes do squirrels like to eat? How do they actually go about eating them? When do squirrels eat buckeyes? Are buckeyes dangerous for them to consume or not so much? Let’s get started.
What are buckeyes and why do squirrels like them?
Buckeyes are an amazing tree, but not just because of their beauty. The seeds produced by the buckeye trees are rich in protein and other nutrients beneficial for squirrels' health.
Buckeyes are these big seeds with a shiny coat that seem too good for the squirrels not to taste them. They measure between 1.5 and 3 inches in diameter and have characteristic beige "eye", which is sometimes surrounded by green sprouts when fresh. This eye used to be called "buckeye" because it resembles the pupil of a deer's eye.
What types of buckeyes do squirrels like to eat?
There are several different type of buckeyes that grow in North America. The main buckeye tree that grows in North America and that many squirrels eat from in the Ohio Buckeye tree.
Buckeye seeds are considered sweet and earthy tasting with a bitter aftertaste. For this reason, most squirrels prefer acorns over these tasty seeds. However, they will aggressively go after the seeds when they find them laying around or buried in the ground.
It's not that big of a deal if they don't eat them straight away either. Many times they will bury them to eat later. While there is no scientific evidence that supports that squirrels remember where they buried their food caches, it has been known that some animals can recall certain locations even months after they have hidden their food.
How do they go about eating them?
Squirrels eat buckeyes by cracking them open and eating part of the seed, since it's a very nutritious food for them. Then they will discard the rest of the buckeye and move on to another.
Buckeye trees can produce fruit every year when there is enough rainfall and warmth, making them great for landscaping an area that gets lots of foot traffic from your furry friends. If planting one of these trees in your yard is not something you're looking forward to doing, then consider filling a bird feeder with some edible seeds inside. In most cases, the best way to attract the attention of squirrels is by laying out some seeds on an elevated surface like a table or windowsill. As mentioned earlier though, they will also be happy to dig for some buried seeds, so placing them in shallow dishes or containers is a great option too.
When do squirrels eat buckeyes?
The best time of year for squirrels to eat buckeyes is during the fall. Buckeyes will start to open up in September. The seeds will be most prominent in October. Squirrels pick the seeds out of the ripened fruit or they pick them up off of the ground.
Are buckeyes dangerous for them to consume?
While there are no scientific studies indicating that Buckeye seeds aren't safe for squirrels, some folks believe that these fruits may actually be toxic or poisonous for squirrels. This is often due to the fact that they contain tannins and alkaloids seen in other plants that are known to have negative side effects if consumed by animals.
Since this belief has been around for quite some time, most people tend to avoid offering their pet rodents any of these seeds just as a precautionary measure. It's important to note, however, that this does not mean that it's safe for squirrels to eat them or that you should feel safe feeding them buckeyes without having done extensive research first.
Is there anything else to worry about?
It has been found that young squirrels may have difficulty digesting these fruits. This often leads to severe stomach pains which can go away within 24-36 hours. There is no evidence suggesting what this means for adult squirrels, so the best option is to be aware of this problem and not encourage any other animals (especially other rodents like chipmunks) to come around your yard while the fruit is still on the trees.
Do squirrels eat buckeyes Summary
Squirrels love buckeyes, but there are some issues involved with letting them have them as a main food source. Feeding your local squirrels buckeyes can sometimes cause stomach problems for juveniles and adults that are not healthy. If you want to feed them other foods outside of what is described in this article, try other traditional squirrel foods. Also, feel free to experiment by adding other ingredients into these foods so your yard can have a "specialty food" selection for squirrels to feast on.