Do Squirrels Eat Oats? (Complete Guide)

Do Squirrels Eat Oats?

On some occasions, you might wonder if squirrels eat oats? Squirrels are adorable and can be kept as pets or they visit your porch from time to time to be fed. Whatever the case may be, you are in search of better food options to feed your squirrel other than the popular nuts and veggies they are known to eat. So is feeding them oats a great choice? 

Yes, oats are perfect treats for your squirrel, they adore oats for a good reason. Oats contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibers. These nutrients are beneficial and crucial for the general well-being of a squirrel, feeding your squirrels oats can strengthen the bond between you and your pet. 

Oats are delicious meals not only for humans but for squirrels as well. It is packed with lots of nourishment that squirrels can’t resist. A lot of people wonder if oats should be served to squirrels cooked or uncooked. Or if oatmeal is toxic to them. All of these will be discussed in this article, so let’s get into details.


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Do Squirrels Eat Oats?

As unbelievable as it sounds, squirrels also love to munch on oats. Oats are a very nutritious and healthy choice of food for both humans and squirrels. They are the only meal that contains avenanthramides, which is an extraordinary group of antioxidants that protects the squirrel against heart diseases.

Also, oats are very rich in beta-glucan, fiber, vitamins, potassium, and minerals. Feeding your squirrel with oats might be the best choice as it contains a lot of nutrients and it can lower the blood sugar and cholesterol levels of your squirrel.

It is well known that the nutrients in oats are balanced as it is also a great source of carbs and proteins beneficial to squirrels

How To Feed Squirrels Oats

Some people get confused about the best way to feed oatmeal to squirrels, they wonder if squirrels enjoy the oats cooked or uncooked. As strange as it may seem, serving your squirrel-cooked oats is highly recommended. 

squirrel
Image: Envato Elements

However, it is okay to give them uncooked oatmeal but with extreme care and in less quantity as it can expand in their stomachs when it is consumed which in return can lead to digestive problems and other unpleasant issues for your squirrels. 

Cooked oatmeal on the other hand is the safest choice for them. Always try to add a little amount of moisture to soften the oats before serving it to them, this should be done not just for oats alone but for all other types of grains.

The Different Types Of Oats to Feed Squirrels

As mentioned earlier, oats are delicious and nutritious meals that squirrels love to eat. It is high fiber which is capable of lowering cholesterol and sugar levels in the body. However, there are 5 different types of oats that squirrels can enjoy and they include;

1. Scottish Oats

This kind of oat is the type that turns to porridge after boiling it. It usually has a creamy texture. 

Scottish oats can cook for about 8-10 minutes on the stovetop, but in the microwave, you should expect it to be done in about 3 minutes. However, you can feed your squirrel raw Scottish oats but precautions must be taken.

2. Steel-cut oats

Steel-cut oats are also known as Irish oats, they are oat groats that have been cut into smaller fractions with a steel blade. Steel-cut oats take about 25-30 minutes to cook, which is a long time and the bigger the oat groat piece the longer it takes to get ready.

Although there are fast-cooking Irish oats available, they take less than 10 minutes to cook. It’s best to serve squirrels cooked steel-cut oats rather than the uncooked ones.

3. Oat Groats

Oat groats are often referred to as oat berries, usually, these types of oats have been thoroughly cleaned and hulled. These whole grain oats have the highest nutritional value that is beneficial to squirrels. It also has a nutty flavor and a chewy texture that squirrels love. And the cooking time takes about an hour. 

4. Rolled oats

These are oats that have been simmered and rolled into flakes before it is left to dry. Its mild flavor and chewy texture are one of the many reasons why squirrels love to eat them. Rolled oats also have a subtle creamy taste when it’s cooked which makes it better to serve them cooked to your squirrel.

5. Instant Oats

Instant oats are quick-cooking oats, and they’re quite similar to rolled oats. The only difference is that rolled oats take a longer time to cook than instant oats. The cooking time for Instant oatmeal is about 1 to 3 minutes. If you do not wish to spend so much time preparing oats for your squirrel then instant oats are the best choice. 

Oatmeal Nutritional Facts

Nutrition value per 3.5 oz (100 grams)


Nutrients 

Quantity 

Energy  

303 kcal

Calcium

2% of RDA

Dietary fiber

8 grams

Fat 

5 grams

Iron 

10%

Protein 

13 grams

Sodium 

6 mg

Sugar 

0 grams

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can squirrels eat sunflower seeds?

Yes, they can. Squirrels enjoy eating sunflower seeds, after nuts sunflower seeds are their favorites. You can conveniently feed your squirrel with sunflower seed as it makes up to 5% of their diet. But be sure to add other highly nutritious food such as oatmeal to the menu.

Can squirrels eat oatmeal?

Yes, squirrels can eat oatmeal of any kind. Oatmeal is a healthy choice of food for squirrels as it comprises a significant source of nutrients for both humans and squirrels. It contains potassium, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, probiotics, proteins, and fibers which are necessary for the overall well-being of a squirrel. Also, ensure that you feed them with cooked oatmeal instead of uncooked oatmeal.

What do squirrels hate to eat?

As much as squirrels love to munch on almost everything, there are some foods they tend to stay away from. All squirrels have a strong sense of smell, therefore they avoid foods with very strong fragrances. For example, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic, peppermint, coffee, and cinnamon are things they will never eat. 

Summary 

Feeding Squirrels with oats is just as good as feeding them with nuts. Packed with a variety of nutritional goodness, oats are very beneficial to a squirrel just as much as it is to you. It should take at most 5% of a squirrel’s regular diet.

There are however several types of oats that have been discussed in this article.

Feeding a squirrel isn’t a tough job but knowing what’s best for them is a priority. It’s recommended that squirrels should always be fed cooked oats as uncooked oats can expand in their stomach and cause digestive problems which can possibly cause them to die. 


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