One day you’re mowing your lawn and you notice a squirrel eating that raisin you dropped. You start thinking, can wild squirrels eat raisins and should I put some in their feeder? Let’s take a closer look at whether squirrels should eat raisins.
Can Squirrels Eat Raisins?
Raisins are not toxic to squirrels, but they contain a high amount of sugar.
You should avoid feeding squirrels foods that contain a high amount of sugar, starches, or fat. Just like you and me, squirrels require a healthy diet that consists of essential vitamins and minerals to help them live a healthy life.
Eating raisins is not as dangerous as a squirrel eating chocolate.
If you’re going to be feeding the squirrels, you need to have a better understanding of what they should and shouldn’t eat.
To better understand why raisins are bad for them, let’s take a closer look at this sugary snack.
What Are Raisins?
Raisins are dried grapes. Sweet grapes that have gone through a natural sun-drying process will shrivel up and turn to grapes. The dark color is a result of the caramelization and oxidation process of the sugar.
Most raisins are traditionally sun-dried, but can also be artificially dehydrated and water-dipped.
Here’s a video that will show you how raisins are made.
Are There Any Benefits To Feeding Squirrels Raisins?
Raisins aren’t good for squirrels, and do not have any nutritional value.
They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and energy and fiber, which makes them a healthy snack for people.
One-half cup of rains contains about 47 grams of sugar and 217 calories. It’s no wonder that they are often referred to as “natures candy.”
This small bite-size snack are rich in potassium, iron and Vitamin B.
They are commonly used in yogurts, cereal, salads, oatmeal, trail mix, or granola.
Fun Raisin Facts
The technique or producing dried fruit was discovered by accident, when the fruit had dried on the vine from the sun, back in 1490 B.C.
Today, there are seven types of raisins with the black raisin being the most popular. It can be made from grapes of any skin color.
California produces half of the world’s supply of raisins.
An opened bag of raisins has a six-month shelf life. You can extend the shelf life up to a year by storing them in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
It takes about four tons of grapes to produce one ton of raisins.
Types of Raisins
Raisins come in several different types, flavors, sizes, and colors. Let’s take a closer look at the types to help you get a better understanding of this dried fruit.
The most common types of grapes that are used to produce raisins are Fiesta, Muscats, and Thompson seedless grapes.
Golden raisins are also known as sultanas are golden-colored dried grapes that are made from white-fleshed grapes. One cup of golden raisins contains about 116 grams of sugar.
Many people prefer their fruitier taste over the common black raisins.
Currants are dark-colored grapes that have a tart, tangy taste. They are high in Vitamin C. Dried black currants are extremely popular for baking and can be substituted for raisins and dates. Unlike raisins, they are not very sweet.
Red raisins are made from red-skinned grapes and are about the same size and color as black raisins. They are plump and round that range from 1 – 2 cm long. They have a sweet tart taste and one cup contains about 116 grams of sugar and 520 calories.
Black Raisins (most popular)
Black raisins also known as dried black grapes are the most commonly preferred type. They can be made from any grape regardless of skin color. They are about 1.5 cm long and one cup contains about 116 grams of sugar and 520 calories.
These raisins are made from the yellow-green Sultana grapes and have a bittersweet taste. They are about the same size as the black raisins.
Those popular Sunbeam Sultana boxes contain about 64.2/100 grams of sugar and 69.0/100 grams carbohydrates.
Green raisins are green in color, slim, and range in size from 2 to 3 cm long. They are slightly dense and chewy, with a tart taste that resembles a green grape. One cup of green seedless raisins contains about 116 grams of sugar and 520 calories.
Monukka raisins are large, round sweet raisins, that can be difficult to find. They are mostly sold in health health-food stores, and produced in limited quantities. These raisins are usually grown in mountainous areas such as the Himalayas.
They contain more beneficial polyphenols than any other type of raisin. One cup of dried Monukka raisins contains about 120 grams of sugar and 480 calories.
Are Raisins Safe For Squirrels?
While raisins are not poisonous to squirrels, they do not provide any nutritional value to them. As you can see from the different types of raisins above, they all contain high amounts of sugar.
A squirrel’s diet should consist of fruits, nuts, berries, seeds, vegetables, plants, vegetables, insects, and eggs. The natural habitat will play a huge role in the types of foods a squirrel should eat.
Can Flying Squirrels Eat Raisins?
I have no doubt that a flying squirrel will eat a raisin, I couldn’t find any information regarding whether or not they are good for them. However, since they are not good for grey squirrels, I would assume that flying squirrels shouldn’t be fed them on a consistent basis.
Flying squirrels are omnivores and will eat anything they can find. Wild squirrels will eat a variety of nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects, moths and other bugs.
When kept in captivity, their diet will consist of birdseed mixes, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, hickory nuts, pecans, mealworms, fresh veggies (corn, carrots, sweet potatoes)
Can Grey Squirrels Eat Raisins?
Grey squirrels will eat raisins without any issues.
Their diet should consist of nuts, buds, flowers, nuts, truffles, corn, wheat, bugs and insects, and other foods they can find in their natural habitat.
Can Wild Squirrels Eat Raisins?
A squirrel’s favorite food is nuts. Their diet will adapt according to their environment, which has allowed them to survive in the wilderness.
That’s why it’s not unusual to see squirrels raiding trash cans if you live in the city. It usually means that food is hard to find in their natural habitat.
Alternatives To Raisins For Squirrels
If you enjoy feeding birds and squirrels in your backyard, you want to ensure you’re feeding them foods that provide them essential nutrients they need.
As mentioned above, they go crazy for nuts. You may want to consider feeding them walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts. If you have time, you may even want to consider creating some rodent chow that they’ll love.
Most people find it easier to buy cheap pre-made squirrel food. All you have to do is fill the feeder and watch them come into your yard and eat. Just don’t forget the water!
Final Word On Feeding Squirrels Oranges
Too much sugar can be harmful to these small critters, that’s why raisins don’t make a great snack for these critters.
If you’re going to feed wild or your backyard squirrels, you should make sure you’re feeding them food that provides them the vitamins and minerals they need.
References And Further Reading
The Spruce Eats – Peggy Trowbridge Filippone – What Are Raisins?
NCBI – Victor L. Fulgoni III, James Painter, Arianna Carughi – Association of raisin consumption with nutrient intake, diet quality, and health risk factors in US adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2012
Epicurious – Emily Johnson – Why Are Golden Raisins Better Than Regular Raisins?