Can squirrels eat bread? This has been a major thing of concern as there are many speculations surrounding the fact of a squirrel being able to feed on bread. However, amongst all speculation, it is germane to make it known that eating bread by squirrels poses no problem to them.
Just as too much sugar is detrimental to human being, feeding animals with too much sugar is also detrimental. They are not picky about what they eat by the way, but feeding them with bread should be avoided to the barest minimum because bread contains sugar which inturn contains cellulose.
Cellulose undoubtedly has a great side effect on squirrels as they find it so hard to devour and this dietary fiber poses a lot of threat to them. However, not every bread is made of sugar, some are made from candy. Enjoy this write up as I take you through.
Squirrels are a very special set of animals and they form an animal family of Sciuridae. They include tree squirrels, marmots, or even ground squirrels. Some set of squirrels like the fox squirrels, the eastern frat squirrel, and the red squirrels find it so easy to eat absolutely everything or anything.
Some human food is actually good for the squirrel but their constituent should be considered in most cases as some might be detrimental to these beautiful squirrels just as it can be beneficial to them.
Must Read: Homemade Squirrel Food Recipe
Watching squirrels play with their feeders is really a great thing of joy, Having to watch them grab feeds that you throw towards them, the way they circle around trying to get these feeds is very astonishing. This beautiful view can be preserved by feeding the squirrels with sugar-free food.
Bread contains little or no nutritional value to these bushy-tailed animals, apart from the fact that it has no or very small protein, it also contains a high amount of salt. This has proven detrimental to squirrels as their kidney find it so difficult to filter a huge amount of the salt chlorides, which is the main reason why it is very important not to feed these animals with a lot of human feed.
Is Bread High In Sugar?
Bread is not generally bad as some are not made from sugar but from other beneficial agents like candy. Bread made from sugar also has a detrimental effect on humans as well. They are the worst to feed squirrels.
White bread should be avoided to feed squirrels as they tend to contain very high sugar content. However, when trying to feed squirrels, the ingredients list should be read to make sure the feed does not contain sweeteners like sugars, molasses, dextrose, or even high fructose corn syrup as the main ingredients.
Do Squirrels Like Bread?
As a matter of fact, squirrels do love bread and you can get pictures or cam clips of squirrel spooning bread, feed on bread found in the trash just to make them full. However, this does not mean it is beneficial for them
Why is it difficult for squirrels to devour cellulose in bread?
Even though squirrels are fully herbivores, their body part cannot survive on plants alone. Cellulose is formed from the coalition of two or more monosaccharides to form polysaccharides. That is, cellulose is a polysaccharide that has 90% of it made from plant. However, most animals that are herbivore, or live mostly on a plant diet tend to require organisms that have bacteria in order to help down out in breaking down and digesting cellulose.
With this being said, it can be deduced that squirrel generally prefers energy-rich nuts and seeds in their diet. This actually does not mean they have a weak digestive system and organ, as they can even get to feed on the deadly mushroom without getting poisoned. Mushroom, so poisonous that Man’s developed organs cannot consume them.
If you are to feed squirrels with bread, here are some things that need to be done.
Even if you are to feed them with bread, kindly make it very minimal because their digestive system will find it very difficult to digest cellulose but not too much.
Different types of bread you should not feed them with include
Some bread, however, is not only dangerous to squirrels but also detrimental to human beings. Worst bread that squirrels are fed with and also have high sugar content include –
- Martin’s potato bread
- Wonder’s bread classic loaf
- Vermont bread company’s organic soft white bread.
- Pepperidge farm’s farmhouse oatmeal bread.
- Udi’s gluten-free cinnamon raisin bread.
Squirrels should avoid being fed white bread as it has a high sugar content, which makes it very dangerous. On a gentle note, the makeup of the feed should be read carefully before giving to these critters, and should not contain sweeteners like sugar, dextrose, molasses, or corn syrup high in fructose as their first ingredient.
Squirrels can be treated to a little or less bread of, or not more than 10 grams per day.
We’re going to take a look at all the different types of bread that people tend to feed their backyard animals. Before putting out your bread products for squirrels, it’s important to make sure that you know whether or not it will hurt them or your other backyard wildlife.
If you do feed them bread, make sure that you don’t feed them too much. Their small digestive system has a difficult time digesting cellulose.
Here are some of the types of bread products that might hurt these pretty creatures.
- Wheat Bread
- Garlic Bread
- Cinnamon Bread
- Raisin Bread
- Whole Grain Bread
- Rye Bread
- Bread Crumbs
- Banana Bread
Even though the qualitative study has not been done to conclude that bread is dangerous to squirrels, we, however, take into cognizance not to give bread to our squirrels so as to be on the safer side
We have come to realize that white bread is a no go area, and so should it be for even all homemade bread.
Why Moldy Bread Is Not Good for Squirrels
More harm is caused by moldy bread. Moldy bread has the growth of fungi or bacterial already they are however not fit for their consumption.
Salmonella should, however, be your main concern as they can poison these backyard animals, squirrels.
Do Grey Squirrels Eat Bread?
Grey squirrel is known for their ability to eat anything even with their ability to eat acorns, berries, shoots, buds, and or sometimes fungi.
In cases squirrel food gets scarce, they can switch to eating bark, smaller rodents, or some nestlings.
Features of squirrel
- They are animals that possess a mechanism that can help switch.
- They tend to be able to survive any situation easily and don’t get hungry. They can adapt to many situations. They are called survivalists.
- Just like the character of human beings, they tend to store food for winter periods and their hibernation period.
- Grey squirrels should be fed with wild animal food, these are what they want and love most. They also have the grace of feeding on bread. They tend to be able to consume at most 10 grams of bread per day. Even though it is not too good as said earlier.
- Popcorn also contains cellulose just like bread. This should also be avoided by feeding them. Squirrels also take crackers but not frequently. Just as they can steal some crackers from you or your kids.
Can Baby Squirrels Eat Bread?
When a human being gives birth, the baby is bred on so many soft diets that are very nutritious and beneficial. The same scenario is applied to squirrels.
They need feed that will make them feel strong like puppy milk or Pedialyte. Human food or bread should be avoided by feeding squirrels.
A special diet is needed for them until at least 10-12 weeks.
On a great note, feeding squirrels is also a pleasant view, but overfeeding them with sugary foods might be detrimental to them.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.