Squirrels are fluffy little animals that many find adorable. These animals love to wander around gardens looking for anything to snack on, so you might be wondering if you can give them your leftover Pumpkin seeds. Well, let’s find out!
Squirrels can eat pumpkin seeds, but they should not be fed too many of them in one go, as this can cause the squirrels to have an upset stomach. In small quantities, pumpkin seeds are a healthy snack for squirrels as they are filled with vitamins that are beneficial to them, like vitamin K.
Can squirrels eat the flesh of a pumpkin? How do you prepare pumpkin seeds for squirrels to consume them safely? Let’s find out!
Can Squirrels Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Squirrels are cute little creatures that generally run around people’s yards looking for things to snack on. These bushy-tailed animals might even try to steal the birdseed you leave out for your favorite birds.
For some people, squirrels can be a nuisance that should not be fed, while for others, these cute animals are interesting and exciting to watch, so of course, you will feed them.
If you are the latter, then you might be wondering if your friendly neighborhood squirrels can eat the extra pumpkin seeds you have lying around. You will be happy to hear that squirrels can most certainly eat pumpkin seeds.
Squirrels will love a pumpkin seed snack if you offer it in your garden. If you regularly leave pumpkin seeds out for the squirrels in your area, they will actively stop by your house daily for a quick snack before moving on to another garden.
Can Squirrels Eat Pumpkin Flesh?
So, squirrels can eat pumpkin seeds, but what about the actual pumpkin itself? Can a squirrel eat the flesh of a pumpkin?
Squirrels can and will eat the rest of the pumpkin, too, if you offer it to them. However, they seem to prefer the seeds over the pumpkin’s flesh, so they will not actively seek it out and only eat it if there is nothing else that’s more enticing close by like the seeds.
However, they will still happily eat the pumpkin flesh. Squirrels have favorite foods, and some are higher on the list than others, but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy the other foods. Squirrels are attracted to plants and fruits, especially the juicy ones, and pumpkins are juicy in the center.
So, squirrels will go for pumpkins over some other fruits and plants in your garden, but they prefer the seeds more.
How to Prepare Pumpkin Seeds for Squirrels
Now you know that your squirrel friends can eat pumpkin seeds, you should also know how to properly prepare the pumpkin seeds for the squirrels to consume safely. So, let’s go through how to prepare pumpkin seeds for squirrels.
You can use two methods to prepare the seeds for squirrel consumption, both of which are easy to do and won’t take you long to complete. The first method is to scoop out the seeds from the pumpkin, place them on a plate covered in a paper towel, and ensure they are in a single layer.
Then place the seeds in the sun to dry out; this could take a day or two. When the pumpkin seeds are dry, place them in your garden for the squirrels to snack on.
The second method of preparing pumpkin seeds for squirrels is to roast the seeds. To do this, you need to scoop the seeds from the pumpkin and wash them to get rid of any pumpkin flesh still on them. Them let the seeds dry off completely.
Then pre-heat the oven to 300°F and place the pumpkin seeds on a baking tray, ensuring they are in one layer on the tray. Place the seeds in the oven and let them roast for 40 minutes. Ideally, you should turn the seeds every 5 minutes, but once every 10 minutes should be fine.
Do not add any salt or other flavoring to the seeds before baking. When the time is up, take the seeds out of the oven and allow them to cool completely. The seeds are now ready to feed to the squirrels.
How to Offer Pumpkin Seeds to Squirrels
There are different ways you can offer the pumpkin seeds to the squirrels in your garden to ensure they have access to them easily. You can place the pumpkin seeds into a wooden bowl and place the bowl on a table close to your fence or on the fence itself if it’s wide enough.
Don’t use a plastic bowl, as you don’t want the squirrels to possibly chew the plastic bowl. Alternatively, you can place the pumpkin seeds in a bird feeder that is not squirrel proof and hang the bird feeder in a tree in your garden or buy a squirrel feeder.
Using the bird feeder will not only attract squirrels to your garden but birds as well, as they enjoy eating pumpkin seeds too.
Are Pumpkin Seeds Healthy for Squirrels?
Pumpkin seeds can be a healthy treat for squirrels if fed to the squirrels in small amounts. Pumpkin seeds are packed with nutrients that can benefit squirrels, just like they are to us.
Pumpkin seeds have antioxidants, which can help squirrels remove free radicals from their bodies. The seeds are also packed with Vitamin A, which helps to keep the eyes healthy.
They are full of vitamin K that keeps bones healthy, perfect for squirrels as they are always jumping around, causing a high impact on their bones.
What Other Seeds Can Squirrels Eat?
Even though squirrels love to eat pumpkin seeds, these are not the only seeds that they will jump at the thought of eating if they get the chance. Squirrels will also enjoy eating poppy seeds and sunflower seeds.
However, if you want to feed these seeds to your friendly squirrels, you should do so in moderation, as these seeds are not as healthy for squirrels as pumpkin seeds are.
Squirrels are adorable creatures that warm the hearts of many people, and they can help you get rid of your excess pumpkin seeds too, which is a bonus. Just be sure not to feed the squirrels too much in one go, as they might develop some digestive problems if they eat too many at once.
Have fun feeding your neighborhood squirrels!
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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