Feeding Grey Squirrels: Everything You Need To Know

can you feed grey squirrels

Grey squirrels, those charismatic and nimble creatures that grace our parks and backyards, often leave us wondering: can we really feed them? These clever little mammals have managed to adapt to our urban landscapes, but what do they truly need to flourish? Let's explore the art of feeding grey squirrels and uncover the mysteries behind whether or not we should indulge them with a feast.

Characteristics Values
Diet Omnivorous
Preferred food Nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables
Protein sources Nuts, seeds, eggs, insects
Feeding frequency Multiple times a day
Water intake Obtained from food and external sources
Food preferences Will favor high-calorie foods like nuts
Winter diet Hoard nuts for winter consumption
Human food hazards Chocolate, sugary foods, processed foods can be harmful
Feeding behavior Will store food for later use
Feeding stations May adapt to designated feeding areas
Competition May compete with other animals for food resources
Supplemental feeding Can be supplemented with specialized squirrel feed or nuts
Importance of food Essential for energy and survival


What kind of food can you feed grey squirrels?

Grey squirrels are a common sight in many parks and wooded areas around the world. These acrobatic little creatures can often be seen scurrying up and down trees, foraging for food. If you live in an area with grey squirrels and want to attract them to your yard or provide them with a tasty treat, it's important to know what kind of food is safe and nutritious for them.

When it comes to feeding grey squirrels, it's important to remember that their diet is predominantly made up of nuts and seeds. They are particularly fond of acorns, hickory nuts, and black walnuts. Other good options include sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts in the shell. It's important to note that while peanuts are safe for squirrels to eat, they should always be fed raw and unsalted.

In addition to nuts and seeds, grey squirrels will also eat fruits and vegetables. They enjoy apples, pears, and berries, as well as leafy greens like spinach and kale. It's best to offer these foods in small, easy-to-handle pieces to make it easier for the squirrels to eat.

When feeding grey squirrels, it's important to choose high-quality, fresh food. Avoid feeding them foods that have gone bad or are moldy, as this can make them sick. It's also important to provide clean, fresh water for the squirrels to drink. This can be done by placing a shallow dish of water near their feeding area.

If you want to attract grey squirrels to your yard, there are a few steps you can take. First, try providing a designated feeding area. This can be a platform or tray feeder that is securely mounted to a tree or post. Fill the feeder with a variety of nuts, seeds, and fruits. It's best to offer a small amount of food each day to prevent it from going bad and to avoid overfeeding the squirrels.

Another way to attract grey squirrels is to plant trees or shrubs that produce nuts or fruits. This will provide a natural food source for the squirrels and make your yard more inviting to them. Consider planting oak, hickory, or black walnut trees, as these are their favorites.

Feeding grey squirrels can be a rewarding experience. Not only will you be providing them with a nutritious food source, but you'll also have the opportunity to observe these fascinating creatures up close. Remember to always use caution and keep a safe distance when interacting with wild animals. Enjoy the beauty and wonder of these playful creatures, but remember they are best appreciated from a distance.


How often should you feed grey squirrels?

Feeding grey squirrels can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for many people. However, it's important to understand the proper feeding schedule and diet for these creatures to ensure their health and well-being. In this article, we will discuss how often you should feed grey squirrels, considering factors like age, diet, and environment.

Young grey squirrels (kits):

Young grey squirrels, also known as kits, have specific dietary needs in their early stages of life. If you come across an orphaned kit, it's important to consult with a local wildlife rehabilitation center or a veterinarian experienced in treating wild animals. They will provide guidance on how often to feed the kit and what to feed it. Generally, kits should be fed a specialized milk formula every 2-4 hours until they are weaned, which usually occurs at around 10-12 weeks of age.

Adult grey squirrels:

Once grey squirrels reach adulthood, their feeding schedule can be adjusted. In the wild, squirrels typically forage for food throughout the day, eating small meals several times a day. As a general guideline, you can provide food for adult grey squirrels once or twice a day. You can either scatter food in their surroundings or place it in a squirrel feeder to attract them.

Ideal diet for grey squirrels:

Grey squirrels are omnivorous and have a varied diet that consists of nuts, fruits, vegetables, seeds, fungi, insects, and small animal matter. When feeding them in captivity, it's important to mimic their natural diet as closely as possible. Specially formulated squirrel food or a mixture of nuts (such as unsalted peanuts and walnuts), fruits (such as apples and berries), and vegetables (such as carrots and leafy greens) can be offered.

Environmental considerations:

Feeding grey squirrels in a safe and suitable environment is crucial for their well-being. Ensure that the feeding area is free from potential hazards like predators, traffic, and toxic plants. Place the food in an easily accessible spot, such as a squirrel-proof feeder or a stable platform away from your home or other structures. This will discourage squirrels from entering your property or causing damage.

Monitoring squirrel behavior and health:

Observing the behavior and health of the grey squirrels you feed is important. If you notice any changes in their eating habits, weight, or appearance, it may indicate an underlying health issue. It is recommended to consult a veterinarian or a wildlife rehabilitator if you have concerns about a squirrel's well-being.

In conclusion, the feeding frequency for grey squirrels varies depending on their age and life stage. Young kits require more frequent feeding, while adult squirrels can be fed once or twice a day. Providing a well-rounded diet and a safe feeding environment are essential for the health and happiness of these delightful creatures. Remember to consult professionals for specific advice, especially when dealing with orphaned or injured grey squirrels.


Are there any foods that should be avoided when feeding grey squirrels?

When it comes to feeding grey squirrels, there are certain foods that should be avoided. While these creatures may seem to eat just about anything, it is important to provide them with a balanced and healthy diet. Feeding them the wrong foods can not only lead to nutritional deficiencies but also cause harm to their overall health.

One of the most important things to remember when feeding grey squirrels is to avoid feeding them processed or sugary foods. This includes items such as chocolate, candy, and any other human junk food. These foods are not only nutritionally deficient but can also lead to obesity and other health problems in squirrels.

Another food to avoid feeding grey squirrels is dairy products. Squirrels lack the necessary enzymes to digest lactose, which is found in milk and other dairy products. Feeding them dairy can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, diarrhea, and even dehydration.

Nuts and seeds are essential components of a grey squirrel's diet. However, some nuts and seeds should be avoided. Raw peanuts, for example, contain a toxin called aflatoxin that can be harmful to squirrels if ingested in large quantities. Similarly, salted or flavored nuts should also be avoided as they can be high in sodium, which can be detrimental to a squirrel's health.

While fruits and vegetables are generally good for grey squirrels, there are a few exceptions to keep in mind. Citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons, should be avoided as squirrels find them unpalatable. Additionally, onions and garlic should also be avoided as they can cause digestive issues and even gastrointestinal damage in squirrels.

It is also important to note that grey squirrels should not be fed bread. Bread lacks the necessary nutrients for squirrels and can lead to malnutrition if consumed in large quantities. Feeding squirrels bread can also lead to them becoming dependent on handouts, which can affect their natural foraging behavior and ability to survive in the wild.

In conclusion, while grey squirrels may seem to eat just about anything, there are certain foods that should be avoided when feeding them. Processed and sugary foods, dairy products, raw peanuts, flavored nuts, citrus fruits, onions, garlic, and bread should all be avoided. Instead, focus on providing a balanced diet consisting of nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and other squirrel-friendly foods. By doing so, you can help ensure the health and well-being of the grey squirrels in your area.


Can you feed grey squirrels directly from your hand?

Grey squirrels are known for their agile and curious nature, making them a delight to observe and interact with. Many people wonder if it is possible to feed grey squirrels directly from their hand. The answer is yes, it is indeed possible to feed these adorable creatures from your hand. However, there are certain steps and precautions that need to be followed to ensure both your safety and the well-being of the squirrels.

First and foremost, it is important to choose the right location for feeding the grey squirrels. Find a quiet and peaceful spot where the squirrels are accustomed to seeing humans. This could be a park, garden, or any other area where squirrels are frequently seen and are already used to human presence. Feeding squirrels in their natural habitat is essential as it minimizes disruption to their natural behavior and ensures their safety.

Next, it is crucial to offer the grey squirrels appropriate food. Squirrels have a varied diet that includes nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. It is best to provide them with a mix of these food items to ensure a well-balanced diet. Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and pecans are particularly loved by squirrels. It is important to remember that squirrels have small appetites, so a handful of food is sufficient for each feeding session.

After selecting the location and food, it is time to establish trust and a bond with the grey squirrels. This can be done by leaving small amounts of food on the ground near you and gradually moving it closer to your hand. Start by scattering the food a few feet away from you and gradually decrease the distance as the squirrels become more comfortable. This will help them associate your presence with the availability of food.

Once the squirrels are consistently coming closer to your hand to eat the scattered food, it is time to try offering the food directly from your hand. Hold out a small piece of nut or seed in your open palm, ensuring that your fingers are flat and not pointing towards the squirrel. This is to prevent any accidental scratching or biting. Be patient and allow the squirrel to approach and take the food at its own pace. It is important to remain still and avoid sudden movements, as this could startle the squirrel.

Feeding grey squirrels from your hand is a rewarding experience that allows for a closer connection with these fascinating creatures. It is important to approach this activity with respect for the squirrels and their natural behavior. Remember to never force a squirrel to take food from your hand and always prioritize their safety and well-being. By following these steps and practicing patience, you can enjoy the unique experience of feeding grey squirrels directly from your hand.


Is it possible to train grey squirrels to eat out of a feeder or dish?

Squirrels are notorious for stealing bird seed and causing havoc in backyard gardens. However, with a little patience and training, it is possible to teach grey squirrels to eat out of a feeder or dish in a controlled manner. This can help reduce their impact on bird feeders and gardens, and provide entertainment for backyard enthusiasts.

Training squirrels to eat from a feeder or dish is a process that requires both scientific understanding and hands-on experience. By understanding the biology and behavior of squirrels, we can develop effective training methods. Here are some step-by-step guidelines to help you train grey squirrels:

  • Choose the right feeder: Start by selecting a feeder or dish that is squirrel-proof or has squirrel baffles, so that the squirrels cannot simply knock it over or access the food directly. This will help prevent frustration or damage to the feeder.
  • Gradual exposure: Begin by placing the feeder or dish in an area that is easily accessible to squirrels, such as near a tree or on a ground-level platform. This will allow the squirrels to notice and investigate the new food source. It is important to ensure that the feeder is visible and convenient for the squirrels to encourage their interest.
  • Offer enticing food: Squirrels are attracted to a variety of foods, including nuts, seeds, and fruits. Start by offering their favorite foods in the feeder or dish. Peanuts and sunflower seeds are popular choices. By providing highly desirable food, you increase the likelihood of squirrels trying them out.
  • Positive reinforcement: Whenever a squirrel approaches the feeder or dish, reinforce the behavior by providing additional treats nearby. This will help create a positive association between the feeder and the reward. Gradually increase the distance between the treats and the feeder to encourage the squirrels to approach the feeder directly.
  • Consistency and patience: Training squirrels takes time and consistency. Make sure to replenish the feeder regularly and always provide treats nearby as a reward. It may take several days or weeks for the squirrels to fully trust the feeder and eat directly from it. Be patient and persistent in your training efforts.

By following these steps and consistently reinforcing the behavior, you can train grey squirrels to eat out of a feeder or dish. It is important to note that squirrels are intelligent and adaptable creatures, so some individuals may be more receptive to training than others. Additionally, squirrels are wild animals, and their behavior can be unpredictable. It is advisable to always keep a close eye on the feeder to ensure that it remains intact and safe for both the squirrels and other wildlife.

In conclusion, training grey squirrels to eat from a feeder or dish is indeed possible. It requires understanding their behavior, providing enticing food, and reinforcing positive behavior. With patience and consistency, you can create an enjoyable and controlled feeding experience for both the squirrels and yourself.

Frequently asked questions

Written by
Reviewed by
Share this post
Did this article help you?

Leave a comment