Squirrels are known for eating nuts. In fact, many people love feeding them all kinds of food in their backyard. In this article, we’re answering the question “can squirrels eat walnuts” and everything you need to know to keep your backyard critters safe. We’ve put together some of the best wild squirrel food you can buy.
Can Squirrels Eat Walnuts?
The short answer is yes, squirrels can eat walnuts. These critters are omnivores, which means they love eating plants and meat, however, their diets also consist of nuts, fruits, and seeds.
They have four front teeth that never stop growing and make it easy for them to eat nuts. In fact, their teeth stay strong by gnawing on nuts and other objects.
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Do Squirrels Like Walnuts?
Squirrels love walnuts and will be extremely happy if they can get their hands on them. If you have a walnut tree in your backyard, it won’t be long before you start seeing squirrels all over your backyard.
There are several types of walnuts, but squirrels seem to love black walnuts like these. However, they will eat English walnuts, pecans and other types of nuts they can get their paws on.
The best part is that one walnut can take up to 10 minutes for them to get the meat out.
Are Walnuts Good For Squirrels?
Not only do squirrels love walnuts, but they are also a great source of fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Walnuts and other nuts also help encourage natural behavior in these rodents. When you start feeding your backyard squirrels nuts, you’ll see them foraging for food in your yard.
Once they find the walnuts, they’ll take them back to their nest to share with their babies. They will also forage and hide the walnuts to store them for the winter.
Fun Walnut Facts
Walnuts are extremely healthy for humans and a handful contains almost as twice as much antioxidants than any other nut. According to experts, people should consume at least seven per day.
They are known to keep your mind sharp and your waistline slim. These heart healthy nuts contain omega-3’s and other healthy fats.
Not only are they great for humans, they make a great healthy treat for squirrels.
About one ounce of walnuts (or 14 halves)
- Fat: 18.5 grams
- Water: 4%
- Sugar: 0.7 grams
- Protein: 4.3 grams
- Fiber: 1.9 grams
- Carbs: 3.9 grams
- Calories: 185
Walnuts are great for human heart health and are known to reduce inflammation and improve the composition of blood fats.
Are There Any Benefits Of Squirrels Eating Walnuts?
While squirrels won’t get the same benefits from walnuts as humans do. However, they may benefit from the high protein, good fats, and carbs, especially, during the cold when it’s hard to forage for food.
In-shell nuts like walnuts are great for squirrels because it gives them something constructive to gnaw, which helps keep their teeth healthy. Plus it’s better for them to chew on nuts, than your house!
Can Squirrels Crack Walnuts?
Squirrels have strong teeth and jaws that make it easy to chew tree bark, and bite through wood. Cracking open walnuts is no hard feat for these critters.
They have 4 main incisors along with 8 molars that makes grinding and chewing nuts, seeds, and other foods extremely easy.
What Kind of Walnuts Do Squirrels Eat?
There are several types of walnuts, however, they fall into three categories English, Black or White walnuts. All these different types of walnuts are known to be a healthy source of antioxidants and omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Let’s look at the different types of walnuts and where they are most commonly found.
Black nuts are not as common, and are native to North America, specifically to the regions of the Mississippi Valley and Appalachian area.
They look black and have hard thick shells that are hard to break open. In fact, most of them will be impossible to break open unless you have a nutcracker or hammer.
Squirrels seem to favor these nuts!
These are the most common types of nuts that are found and consumed in the United States. They are ivory in color, and the meat is enclosed in a thin, smooth, gnarled shell.
Most people have NEVER seen a white walnut because they are very rare and are considered endangered by the United States and Canadian governments. Like black walnuts, they can be found in the Mississippi Valley, Appalachian area as well as Canada.
White walnuts have a sweet oily flavor. They have a light-colored shell that consists of jagged edges.
Why Do Squirrels Like Walnuts?
Unlike you and me, squirrels don’t care about eating healthy foods. They tend to gravitate towards foods that taste good.
Squirrels spend a large portion of their time foraging for food. In fact, you’ll be amazed at how many walnuts a squirrel can stash away for the rainy days. According to this story, a squirrel stashed more than 200 pounds of walnuts under the hood of a car.
Where To Buy Walnuts For Squirrels?
We all love feeding our backyard critters, but no one wants to pay a fortune for their bird food, squirrel food, or any other type of wildlife food.
Well, the great thing is you don’t have to. It’s not hard to feed squirrels, even if you’re on a budget. If you’ve wondered where to find walnuts for squirrels, we’ve rounded up some of the most inexpensive ones that can be used for both squirrels and birds!
BlueApe LLC Missouri Whole Black Organic Walnuts For Squirrels
The BlueApe Missouri Organic Black Walnuts come in 5-pound bags that contain over 100 nuts. They are organically grown, so you don’t have to worry about your squirrel coming into contact with harmful pesticides or toxins that can harm or even kill them.
These are some of the toughest walnuts in the world, which means that they will last longer!
You can also check your local pet store, as well as other online retail stores. We personally like the BlueApe Missouri black walnuts because they last for a long time.
In fact, it can take a squirrel up to 10 minutes to get to the meaty part of the nut.
Don’t forget to check with your local pet stores, many of them cater to feeding squirrels, deers, and other wildlife critters.
Alternatives To Walnuts
Squirrels love nuts and will happily keep coming back if you fill their feeder with foods they love. Almonds are good for squirrels, and they love them.
Final Word On Walnuts for Squirrles
There’s absolutely no harm in feeding squirrels walnuts. You’ll not only be helping them forage for food easily, but walnuts also have tons of benefits for these small critters.
The most important thing to take into consideration before feeding these critters in your backyard is to be respectful fo your neighbors. Unfortunately, not all people like squirrels. In fact, some people look for ways to harm squirrels because they don’t want them in their yard or near their home.
If your neighbors don’t approve of squirrels, make sure you’re feeding these backyard critters away from your property line.
References And Further Reading
Healthline – Atli Arnarson, PhD – Walnuts 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits