In a word, no, you shouldn't feed ANY wild animals for fun, and especially not the sneaky squirrel. Why not? Because this is an animal that is barely bigger than the average rat, and has the ability of scampering through the smallest of holes. These holes could lead into your attic, which may sound like a novel idea at first, but you should remember that this animal will soon breed, having more animals, and it will also eat, chew, pee and poop all over the place, all of which will be your problem if the animal is found in your building.
That doesn't sound like fun, right?
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That's what you're inviting when you hold a secret squirrel party, feeding the animal tit bits left over from dinner and allowing them to have free reign of the bird feeder. We know that you want to do your bit for the wildlife you live alongside, but you really don't need to. These creatures, particularly squirrels, get food from all sorts of places, mostly human sources, and they really don't need any more help.
Squirrels are animals that hoard food too. They won't stop taking food when they are no longer hungry, they'll keep coming back, making the most of the golden opportunity you have provided. They'll eat until they're hungry, but then, when they are done, they'll stash food in their cheeks, head back to their home, and scatter the food stash around in various hiding spots. They'll forget about some of these hiding spots, or they'll end up getting moved on for one reason or another. The stash won't move, however, and this could go moldy, depending on what kind of food it is. This could encourage insects, such as flies, as well as maggots.
When you feed a squirrel, you are giving it a reason to come back. If it keeps finding a reason to come back, it'll want to move in. It wants to get closer to that continual food source, enabling a female squirrel (for example) to provide the best start of life to her youngsters.
At the same time, did you know that certain foods were actually dangerous to squirrels, including peanuts in a shell. Corn that's grown in a field is also a no-no, and both of those have actually been shown to be toxic to squirrels.
You shouldn't feed wild animals because you might accidentally feed them something toxic, such as peanuts in the bacteria-covered shell for squirrels. You also shouldn't feed wild animals because you're encouraging them to come closer and then stay closer, and it's only going to be a matter of time before they move into the building you live in.
You SHOULD NOT feed squirrels for fun. You SHOULD NOT feed any wild animal for fun.
Should I feed a baby squirrel I found?When you find a baby squirrel, your first instincts will normally be to keep it warm, tuck it up and keep it safe, and also to feed it to make sure it has the best chance of staying alive. Many homeowners make the mistake of feeding their baby squirrel in order to try and keep it alive and in some cases, this action can be very counterproductive, often killing the animal.
The natural diet of a squirrel in the great outdoors include things such as seeds, nuts, berries and other fruits, etc. Why would you then feed this animal cow's milk? This is what many homeowners do and this is bad for the animal because it isn't a food it regularly eats / drinks and therefore its body isn't used to consuming it. Not only that, if the baby squirrel is severely dehydrated, feeding it could make the situation worse by pulling on the fluids still left within the body.
When you feed a baby squirrel foods that are rich such as milk, their bodies can't handle it. The thick substance will irritate their stomach, being too thick and creamy for them to digest it, and it will give them a very bad stomach normally resulting in diarrhea. After a few days of this, the animal will become severely dehydrated and will probably die. This wasn't really the effect you had in mind when you started, was it?
Keeping the animal warm is going to be more important than keeping the animal fed, especially if the critter has been in the great outdoors and away from the relative safety of his nesting area and his mother for a while. You could put an old t-shirt down in the bottom of a box and place that on top of a hot water bottle (for example). Just make sure you're not overheating the creature either so boiling hot water probably isn't advisable. The body temperature of a squirrel is similar to the body temperature of a human, so just remember if it is too hot for you, it will definitely be too hot for this young animal.
If you have found yourself with an orphaned baby squirrel on your hands, do the sensible thing for everyone involved and give the professionals a call. Dealing with nuisance wildlife is hard work and the last thing you'll want to do is accidentally kill an animal because you were feeding it something that would make it really sick.
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