If you grow asparagus, then you may have noticed someone or something eating the plants. This may have you wondering “can squirrels eat asparagus?” Is it good for them or toxic and why don’t they like it?
Yes, squirrels can eat asparagus as it is not toxic. Asparagus is one of the healthiest veggies you can give squirrels as it contains essential vitamins and minerals that are essential for squirrels. Some squirrels may enjoy eating the spears, while others may enjoy eating the plants.
We’ll be taking a closer look at why you should consider feeding your squirrel’s asparagus below.
Many people tend to feed their backyard or pet squirrels the wrong vegetables. Find out why asparagus can be a great addition to a squirrel’s regular diet.
What Is Asparagus?
Asparagus is considered a “superfood” as it is high in antioxidants and is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Garden asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is a member of the lily family.
This veggie grows in the ground and not everyone loves eating it. Some squirrels may not enjoy eating the actual spears, but they may enjoy eating the feathery fern-like plant.
Nutrients In Asparagus
One cup of raw asparagus (134g) contains:
|Total Carbohydrate||5.3 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||0.1 g|
|Vitamin A||1013 IU|
|Vitamin C||7.5 mg|
|Vitamin K||55.7 mcg|
|Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)||1.5 mg|
Is Asparagus Safe for Squirrels?
This superfood is extremely healthy for both squirrels and people. There’s a whole lot of benefits squirrels will get from eating the different parts of asparagus.
In general, the biggest concern comes about when squirrels eat the plants that may contain harmful pesticides that can be poisonous.
Will Squirrels Eat Asparagus?
Most squirrels won’t eat it unless they don’t have access to other types of foods. Most squirrels will eat the plants before the eat the asparagus spears.
There is a huge list of vegetables that squirrels will eat and here are just a few of them.
- Arugula (rocket)
- Brussel Sprouts
They will pretty much eat any fruit or vegetable they can easily access. There are some vegetables they go crazy for and will dig up and eat the seeds.
These critters are extremely clever at getting around many gardeners defenses to get at the foods they love to eat!
What Parts of Asparagus Can Squirrels Eat?
All parts of the asparagus is completely safe for a squirrel to eat, although most won’t eat the whole thing.
The spears are slim and green and most squirrels will eat it. If you want to see if your squirrel likes the spears, then consider giving them a few spears.
This is the woody part of the spear, and it is perfectly fine for a squirrel to eat.
Can Squirrels Eat All Asparagus Varieties?
The three types of asparagus are white, green, and purple. All three are completely safe for squirrels, but they have a different taste that may or may not appeal to squirrels. are safe for squirrels.
This is the most common type that can be seen in produce sections. The green variety has a more earthy taste that may not appeal to squirrels.
Purple asparagus is sweeter and slightly thicker than the white or green variety.
White asparagus has a more delicate taste with a slightly bitter taste. This taste may not appeal to squirrels, you may not want to share this variety with them as it is more expensive than the other varieties.
How To Feed Squirrels Asparagus?
To start feeding your pet or wild squirrels healthy vegetables, clean out all the food caches. They won’t eat healthy fruits and veggies if there’s already a handy stash of nuts and food.
I’ve found it best to offer asparagus treats during the middle of the day once they’ve eaten some of their regular food. Wash the asparagus and cut it into small bite size pieces.
Place the asparagus in the feeder where you usually put their regular wild squirrel food. This will make it easy for them to find, especially, if you have squirrels visiting your feeder on a daily basis.
You can set the food aside for the following morning after they’ve eaten the asparagus or other veggies.
When Not to Give Asparagus to Squirrels?
Never Feed Squirrels Rotten Asparagus
Squirrels are scavengers, but this doesn’t mean you should feed them rotten foods. If you wouldn’t eat it, then don’t give it to your backyard squirrels.
Don’t Feed Baby Squirrels
Baby squirrels that are less than 8 weeks old, should never be fed solid foods.
Avoid Asparagus That is Tainted With Pesticides
Avoid giving squirrels or any wildlife fruits and veggies that may be tainted with pesticides. I’d recommend buying some fresh organic asparagus from the supermarket to feed any squirrel.
Other Squirrel Treat Ideas
Many nature lovers enjoy feeding squirrels fruits and veggies because they know they love them. Here’s a list of some other squirrel friendly foods you can feed the backyard squirrels.
- Cherry Tomatoes
There are several people who say you shouldn’t feed squirrels. I personally love feeding squirrels and birds.
If you’re going to be feeding the wildlife that visits your yard, you need to know which foods are safe and which aren’t.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Squirrels Eat Cooked Asparagus?
Yes, they can and cooked asparagus is still loaded with nutrients. That being said, all forms of cooking (roasting, grilling) can destroy some of the nutrients in vegetables. Both cabbage and asparagus supply more antioxidant compounds when cooked compared to the raw variety.
In summary, it is perfectly fine to feed squirrels asparagus, as it is not toxic to these rodents. That being said, squirrels may prefer to eat the plants as opposed to the spears.
If your backyard squirrels enjoy eating asparagus spears, make sure they are getting sufficient protein in their diet.
References and Further Reading
The Spruce Eats – Molly Watson – What Is Asparagus