I know it sounds crazy, but yes - squirrels eat ferns. It turns out that some squirrels like to munch on the hearty foliage of these low-lying plants. But why? And what do they get from eating them? Let's take a closer look at this phenomenon and find out more about these furry little creatures and their love for ferns.
Can squirrels eat ferns?
Yes, squirrels can eat ferns, but only certain types of ferns. Most animals can eat ferns as part of their normal diets. However, some animals avoid the plant due to safety reasons because of the toxins found in them.
Why do squirrels eat ferns
Let's talk about why they might be chowing down on such an unlikely plant: aside from the fact that many animals enjoy chewing on greenery, there may be benefits to feeding on certain types of plants, specifically those high in calcium or iron content. Fern fronds are rich in both minerals.
So even if you don't think of your fern as the most delicious of snacks, it's certainly nutritious and possibly an important part of your squirrel's diet.
In general, animals with high metabolisms need to consume lots of food in order to fuel their fast-paced lifestyles. This makes sense when you think about your active and busy lifestyle - sometimes it seems like you're always hungry! But even though they might seem perpetually famished, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Nature has taken care of this problem by creating a constant supply of food for those busy little furballs, so they can eat as much as they want throughout the day and still maintain their slender physiques!
Which type of fern is best?
That depends on who you ask – some experts believe that bracken ferns are a popular snack for squirrels, while others suggest that fragrance ferns such as lady ferns are the plant of choice. The important part is that they only eat the young shoots and not the mature fronds.
There's no need to worry about your little buddies choking on their favorite snack. The foliage of these fern plants is actually quite soft and easy to chew into small pieces that can be easily swallowed by even the smallest squirrel. In fact, it's so soft that sometimes the plant's stem is eaten along with the top of the shoot.
Perhaps this is why the Dusky-Footed Wood Rat (Neotoma fuscipes) consumes large amounts of bracken ferns, which improves the growth and health of their offspring. It's also an important part of their diet because it reduces parasites and other harmful organisms that could affect the rats' well-being.
About how much do squirrels eat ferns?
For most adult squirrels (not including pregnant or nursing females), one or two fern shoots a day should be enough to fulfill their dietary needs.
When do squirrels eat ferns?
To sum it up, just about every squirrel might munch on these tasty plants given the chance! They are abundant in some regions, but the young shoots are only available in the spring and summer.
Squirrels eat fern shoots fresh when the young shoots are available. They also harvest some to store away to be eaten in the winter.
What is the best way to feed ferns to squirrels?
It is possible to grow culinary ferns in your own backyard (or windowsill) for your furry little friends! These plants are easy to care for and can be purchased at your local nursery.
You can also harvest young shoots from the land around your home. You just need to know what type of ferns are the right ones for your squirrels to eat. If you are unsure, then you should not pick wild ferns for your squirrels to eat.
Once you have harvested the shoots, cut them into smaller pieces or give the whole shoot to your squirrels to enjoy.
Where do squirrels eat ferns?
When deciding where to find these plants, think 'outside the box'. Ferns can be found in a wide range of environments from urban backyards to rural farms to mountain forests. They can even be found in some parks and other areas where people frequently go. Squirrels will eat ferns in any of these areas.
Are ferns dangerous for squirrels to eat?
While there isn't much evidence of animals being harmed directly by eating ferns, this doesn't mean that it's completely safe. Ferns do contain toxins; particularly, the mature fronds. If squirrels eat too much of the toxic parts of the plant, they could become sick.
How to prevent squirrels from eating ferns?
Ferns grow wild. This means you really can't stop squirrels from eating them. You can stop squirrels from eating ferns in your yard. First, you could remove any ferns you have growing. Second, you could put a protective barrier around your ferns to keep squirrels away from them.
Can baby squirrels eat ferns?
Baby squirrels shouldn't eat ferns. It is best to give fern shoots to mature squirrels. Baby squirrels may not be able to chew the shoots. Baby squirrels may also be injured faster if they encounter the toxins found in ferns.
Do squirrels eat ferns summary
Squirrels enjoy eating different types of fern plants as it provides them with many nutritional benefits such as vitamin A, potassium, calcium, riboflavin, and thiamine. Squirrels love to eat young shoots from both hardy and tender varieties of fern plants.