Generally, squirrels love to eat nuts and fruits that are easily available in their habitat but they are not very picky eaters and can devour almost everything. You might wonder whether you can feed a marshmallow to your squirrel or not, well the answer is you can feed marshmallows to squirrels, but it is not recommended due to the contents present in it.
In this article, we are going to focus on the diet of a squirrel and should it be served with snacks like candies, etc. Stay hooked till the end to get your answers!
Will Squirrels Eat Marshmallows?
Marshmallows are a kind of confectionery that is foamy and is made up of sugar, water, and gelatin which is whipped to form a solid- yet- soft consistency. People usually eat marshmallows as a snack in the evenings. As such, there is no harm in eating a marshmallow either for a human or for an animal like a squirrel.
A regular marshmallow contains four grams of sugar which are equal to approximately 1 teaspoon of table sugar. From this, we can infer that four marshmallows contain 16 grams, that is, 4 teaspoons of sugar. In addition to it, a marshmallow also contains 25 calories.
Squirrels are considered to be very lively and energetic creatures. The sugar present in marshmallows will make them hyperactive which will affect their health.
Moreover, they can eat anything that is offered to them, even marshmallows. This explains why people use marshmallows as a treat to trap squirrels.
Note that due to the high content of sugar, you must not feed them again as it might affect their health badly.
Are Marshmallows Safe for Squirrels?
Marshmallows are made up of sugar syrup, water, and whipped gelatin. They are foamy in texture and nature which makes them a good snack. They contain a lot of sugar content which can hyperactivate the person or the animal which intakes it.
As far as these little critters are concerned, it is a fact that they are way too lively and energetic and a boost of hyperactivity would affect their health.
Squirrels are naturally active and they do not need any kind of stimulus or any energy drink to behave in such an energetic manner. If they intake too many marshmallows at the same time then it could harm their well-being and too much excitement can make them dangerous at times.
Moreover, marshmallows are completely made up of sugar and they provide no nutritional value to the consumer. They also contain a lot of calories. Consumption of too many calories at a time can mingle with the health of a human as well as an animal like a squirrel. It could lead to poor health and weight gain.
Squirrels can only develop and evolve when they take a balanced diet. A diet that is full of proteins, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and all the required minerals.
Marshmallows aren’t healthy for squirrels. They also consist of a lot of cornstarch, gelatin, processed corn syrup, and sugar. None of these materials are good for a squirrel.
Feeding a squirrel with marshmallows daily can weaken its immune system and may also make them sick. Hence, one shouldn’t feed them with marshmallows regularly. They can be given as a treat occasionally.
Why Shouldn’t You Feed Squirrels Marshmallows?
If you’re considering feeding marshmallows to your squirrels, let’s take a look at a few reasons why you shouldn’t:
- We have already seen that marshmallows contain highly processed materials like corn syrup and corn starch which can be harmful to the tiny creature.
- They have a very high sugar content which is not appropriate for a squirrel’s diet and it does not contain any nutrients.
- Feeding marshmallows as a treat is considered to be okay but it heavily lacks nutrients which can make the squirrels prone to a variety of nutritional disorders. If squirrels are continued to be fed with such a snack that lacks a nutritious effect then it could cause a long-term problem for the little one.
- Squirrels are mostly found in the wilds and their diet should contain food that is easily available in their habitat. Since squirrels have a sweet tooth, feeding them with marshmallows will make them dependent on you and they will stop searching for their food.
- Marshmallows, if fed in a large quantity can cause the squirrel to gain a lot of weight. It might even lose its activeness. If the squirrels become obese then they will eventually turn into easy prey for the predator. Squirrels should be able to run around quickly. This keeps them active.
Hence, because of these reasons, you should not feed your squirrel with too many marshmallows at a time.
Can Baby Squirrels Eat Marshmallows?
When squirrels take birth like many rodents even they don’t have any teeth and are hairless and blind.
A baby squirrel hence, cannot eat a marshmallow. They can hardly even defend themselves, let alone eat. They start to eat when they turn 6-8 weeks old.
During this period it is advisable that they should only feed on their mother’s milk. Esbilac powder is known for the development of a squirrel’s teeth.
Hence, the answer to the question about whether the baby squirrels should be given marshmallows or not is that no the little one shouldn’t be fed the foamy snack.
They should be given a special diet which is strictly monitored up to 6-8 weeks from the squirrel’s birth.
Can Squirrels Eat Candy?
There are many things that a squirrel does not like to eat or things that are not good for its health.
Dairy products like chocolate and junk food like candies, foods that have been highly processed, and even many sugary kinds of cereal should be kept away from them.
These are bound to cause harm to the squirrel’s immune system and can also cause them to obese. If this happens, then they will eventually turn lazy.
Squirrels are animals that are always active and to keep them safe from predators they run very quickly. If they gain weight they won’t be able to run swiftly.
Hence, foods like candies and other dairy products are considered to be hazardous for a squirrel and they shouldn’t be fed to the tiny one.
Do Squirrels Like Cookies?
We have mentioned this time and again that squirrels are known for their versatility in their choice of foods.
Squirrels can devour almost any food material that they have been fed. It is the responsibility of the feeder to ensure that they give the right diet to the tiny one.
Squirrels are opportunistic eaters and they will try to eat whatever comes in their tiny paws.
They are not an avid eater or an enthusiast of chocolates but if offered, they will nibble right through it.
Squirrels do not eat chocolate chips or cakes until and unless someone offers them. They do not prefer to eat cookies either. But if you notice a wild squirrel eating a chocolate chip cookie in the trees, then the squirrel might have brought it on its own rather than being fed with it by someone.
This shows that squirrels like to eat chocolate chip cookies and can binge eat them any time they wish to.
Although dairy products like chocolates or cookies are not good for them, they can still be offered as a treat sometimes. This will give the squirrel reinforcement. Feeding a squirrel with candies and cookies can make their digestive system weak. This will in turn make them vulnerable to many health issues.
Can Birds Eat Marshmallows?
This question is asked frequently by many bird owners. However, the answer varies from bird to bird. A bird determines whether it can eat marshmallows or not.
But yes, the answer to this question is that most birds can eat marshmallows easily. However, some individual birds are restricted from eating these fluffy confectioneries.
Some birds continue to be very specific about what they should eat and what they shouldn’t.
However, if you are looking for a diet for a specific bird, for example, a parrot, then feeding a marshmallow to the green bird might not be the best idea.
Marshmallows are highly refined in sugar and these are highly processed outputs that can be hazardous for a parrot.
Hence, it is recommended that a bird should not be fed with a marshmallow as it could cause some serious health issues.
A squirrel is an opportunist feeder and it can dive into any food material it finds around itself. It is the responsibility of the feeder to ensure that they eat right.
They should be given proper food which contains a balanced diet that comprises all the required amount of nutrients and minerals that a squirrel needs to thrive.
A squirrel can be fed with a marshmallow only on a few occasions as giving them as a staple can mess up with the squirrel’s health and well-being.