Feeding squirrels: What to consider

by Estelle

The basic rule is that squirrels should and can find their own food. We explain in which cases feeding the animals is nevertheless sensible and what you should bear in mind when feeding them.

When feeding squirrels makes sense

The basic rule is that squirrels find and obtain their own food. However, especially in very cold winters, feeding can help the animals.

  • If the winter is particularly cold, and thus associated with heavy ground frost or high snow, the squirrels can no longer access their burrowed stores.
  • In the city, feeding in winter can also be useful, as there are basically fewer food sources for the animals there in the form of nut trees and shrubs.
  • The animals can also be supported in summer: Provide bowls of fresh water for the squirrels.

Things to consider when feeding

To provide the squirrels with the safest possible place to eat, there are a few things to keep in mind when feeding.

  • Birdhouses that the squirrels share with the birds are generally suitable for feeding, but food can also be placed on windowsills or other elevated places. The feeding place should not be at ground level so that the animals are not chased by cats.
  • In the meantime, however, there are also special feeders for squirrels, which make it even easier for the small rodents to eat.
  • For example, hazelnuts, walnuts, carrot pieces and unsweetened rusks are suitable food. Fruit such as apple pieces and grapes are also suitable.
  • If you want to provide the squirrels with a food source that is as close to nature as possible and you have a garden, you can also plant your own food sources, for example hazelnut bushes.
  • Be sure to feed young animals nuts without shells, as they cannot yet crack them.
  • In addition, you should make sure to clean the feeding stations regularly to prevent the transmission of diseases. It can also be a good idea to line the feeding stations with newspaper.

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