What Do Chipmunks Eat in the Wild, and What Should You Feed Them As Pets?
Chipmunks are omnivores, meaning they will eat a wide variety of foods. Depending on what is readily available, they will consume roots, seeds, acorns, mushrooms, insects, earthworms, bird eggs, and occasionally baby mice. Chipmunks become a nuisance in the garden when they eat the berries, fruits, vegetables, and bulbs we plant. May 12, · Chipmunks will eat your fruit and vegetables but their aggressive burrowing is another danger for your garden. HGTV offers tips for chipmunk control and .
By the sound of things, eastern chipmunks have taken up ib in your garden. Chipmunks are eight to 10 inches long, have five long conspicuous dark stripes that run down their how to clean a holley carb and backs, and have flattened furry tails.
They also have light colored stripes above and below their eyes, and cheeks with large pouches that can store and carry food. They live throughout the entire state of New Hampshire and are just as likely to be found in backyard gardens as they are in open, deciduous woodland environments. No matter where they are found, chipmunks create burrows with extensive networks of tunnels and entrances that are used for shelter and storing food for the winter months.
Burrows are frequently constructed on slopes, aiding in quick water drainage after storm events. Chipmunks are omnivores, meaning they will eat a wide variety of foods. Depending on what is readily available, they will consume roots, seeds, acorns, mushrooms, insects, earthworms, bird eggs, and occasionally baby mice. Chipmunks become a nuisance in the garden when they eat the berries, fruits, vegetables, and bulbs we plant.
Many gardeners can attest to the fact that they are especially fond of strawberries, tomatoes, and tulip bulbs. A heavy chipmunk population can drastically reduce chipmunos amount of whxt and quality produce available for harvest in wat gardens. If chipmunks are a problem in your garden, there are a few different things you can do to control them. Start by trying to modify their habitat by reducing or restricting their access to available food.
You can prevent root or bulb feeding by placing vulnerable plants inside of hardware-cloth enclosures at planting time, or instead, choose bulbs such as daffodils or crocus that are not attractive to chipmunks.
Chipmunks are also frequent visitors beneath bird feeders. Rat traps baited with peanut butter can be an effective means of eliminating individual problem animals. Got questions? Call toll free atMonday to Friday, 9 a. Native to Japan, Korea, and eastern China, multiflora rose Read What is paco in english August 1, Milkweed is taking over my perennial garden.
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Related resource. Pesky Winter Critters [fact sheet].
Natural feeding behavior
Although chipmunks mainly eat seeds, berries, nuts, insects and mushrooms on the ground, they also can climb trees to gather these or to prey on young birds and bird eggs. Chipmunks do not hibernate during fall and winter as woodchucks do, but remain rather inactive, subsisting on their stored food. Apr 30, · In addition, chipmunks eat fresh grass and new plant shoots. As well as the veggie option, chipmunks will happily tuck into small frogs, insects, earthworms, bird eggs, baby birds, and even arthropods such as millipedes and centipedes. It is not unheard of to see a .
Chipmunks are an increasingly popular choice of pet for animal lovers who are looking for a slightly more unusual choice of furry friend. There are 25 species of chipmunks. With the exception of the Siberian chipmunk that is found across northern Asia from central Russia to China, all the other varieties are all found widespread right across North America.
These little rodents are omnivorous. This means that they eat both plants and foods of animal origin. In the wild, chipmunks have a very varied diet. You will see a wild chipmunk eating nuts, seeds, buds, fruit, grains, and fungi. In addition, chipmunks eat fresh grass and new plant shoots. As well as the veggie option, chipmunks will happily tuck into small frogs, insects, earthworms, bird eggs, baby birds, and even arthropods such as millipedes and centipedes. It is not unheard of to see a chipmunk eating a snake!
Although they are mainly forest or woodland dwellers and are adept climbers, wild chipmunks choose to live in underground burrows, hollow tree logs, or in nests built in thick bushes. Chipmunks are crepuscular, being mainly active at dawn and dusk when there are fewer predators to threaten them. In between resting and napping, these busy little creatures spend much of their day foraging on the ground, although they will also climb trees to feed on acorns and nuts.
In fact, according to National Geographic , a single chipmunk can gather up to acorns in a single day! Rather than sitting in the open where they could be vulnerable to predation, chipmunks like to collect food and take it back to their burrow.
They also bury food items such as nuts, returning to collect their cache later. Wild chipmunks do not technically hibernate , but they do spend much of the winter months in a largely dormant, torpid state. Unlike bears and other hibernating mammals, chipmunks do not build up large stores of body fat to see them through the winter.
Instead, at the beginning of fall, these industrious little critters harvest and stockpile non-perishable foods in their burrows to keep them well-fed over winter when food is scarce.
They will sleep for a few days, emerging briefly to nibble on some of their larder items, before going to sleep again for another brief period, and so on until spring. You may have seen pictures of cartoon chipmunks with bulging cheek pouches! These pouches are used just like grocery bags to transport items of food.
Do chipmunks eat acorns? You bet! They love those nuts, and acorns provide a good amount of nutrition for chipmunks. Chipmunks perform a very important function in the forest ecosystem. Their harvesting and hoarding activities help to spread tree, fungi, and plant seeds around their habitat, helping the woodland to flourish.
To a certain extent, what chipmunks eat will depend on the species and on where they originate from. For example, wild southern chipmunks may have access to a peanuts and pecans, whereas others may only have acorns or pine nuts available.
If you are obtaining your pet chipmunks from a pet store, ask where they come from originally and do some detective work on the kinds of foods they would have access to in nature. Wild chipmunks can wreak havoc in domestic gardens, laying waste to fruits and vegetables that are left unprotected. They enjoy strawberries, blackberries, tomatoes, corn, and squash — to name a few.
Wild chipmunks do eat live food. However, if you are planning on keeping rescued wild chipmunks, you may find that they catch and eat insects, worms, and other small creatures that they find in their outdoor cage or enclosure. Chipmunks habitually store food in their cheek pouches to eat later. They also like to bury food. Provide your pets with layered stuffing in the cage bottom to accommodate this natural behavior.
When feeding pet chipmunks, remember that they will not have the space to roam and forage that their wild counterparts enjoy. You should therefore resist the temptation to give your pets too much calorie-rich food such as peanuts and sunflower seeds, as they may become obese and unhealthy. Instead, offer a lower-calorie, nutritious snack such as grapes, pine nuts, almonds, apples or oats.
You should include fresh and dried fruit, seeds, vegetables, and some protein. Favorite foods for pet chipmunks include:. You can buy live mealworms from good pet stores. Dried mealworms are sold as bird food in many garden centers and pet stores. If they are kept outside, you may find that your pet chipmunks become less active during the winter months, sleeping for whole days at a time before emerging to look for food. These actions mimick their natural seasonal behavior.
If you find a baby chipmunk, you may be tempted to keep it as a pet. You should take an injured or very young wild chipmunk to your local wild animal rescue shelter as soon as possible.
If your pet chipmunks breed, the mother will suckle her babies until they are weaned. Once weaned, baby chipmunks will happily forage in the cage for food, just like their parent. There are a few feeding-related health problems that you should be aware of before taking on pet chipmunks. In the wild, chipmunks routinely gnaw on hard nut shells or on wood. If the teeth become overgrown, the chipmunk may suffer injuries to its mouth and will not be able to feed properly.
You can also enable tooth wear by giving your chipmunks nuts with hard shells as part of their regular diet. It is essential that the chipmunk wears its teeth down naturally. Clipping or cutting the teeth is dangerous, as it can fracture the teeth, leaving an entry point for bacteria that could cause infection. The primary causes of these conditions are abscesses, impaction due to using incorrect nesting material cotton wool , infection, and prolapses.
The cheek pouch can be flushed and cleaned with disinfectant, but persistent problems may necessitate removal of the pouch altogether. Obesity is a growing problem in exotic pets such as chipmunks.
This problem is largely caused by overfeeding oil-based or high-fat diets. Obesity in chipmunks can cause renal, cardiac, or hepatic diseases and result in a shortened lifespan. Be sure to feed your chipmunks a balanced low-fat diet and restrict fatty foods such as peanuts to an occasional treat. Audubon Park is a family owned, U. The mix is varied and full of delicious and unexpected ingredients, including cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts.
A healthy protein hit is also included in the food in the form of vitamin enriched pellets with a delicious coating of peanut butter powder. These dried corn on cobs are perfect for providing your chipmunks with entertainment, as well as nutrition. With an eye on the dental health of your chipmunks, these natural, pesticide-free organic apple sticks provide a perfect gnawing treat.
Chipmunks are omnivorous, enjoying a wide variety of veggies, fruit, seeds, nuts, and live foods. They do enjoy their food though! Their love of nuts and seeds could even inspire male or female chipmunk names. We bet you can think of some fun ones.
I love my chipmunks. They eat the bird seed I put out, but their favorite is the sunflower seeds. I could watch them for hours. I have a question. One of my garden beds is their home. Can I plant the onions without the chipmunks eating them or moving out? Your screen was very helpful. I just found. I rescued a partially paralyzed baby chipmunk. Her name is Pico De Gallo.. Think of it this way.. Same goes for chipmunks! She absolutely loves fresh fruits and in the summer I offer her frozen fruits such as berries.
When we eat apples we give her the entire core. She chomps away until she finds those little apple seeds! She really enjoys dried apricots and bananas. I would have to say her favorites are black oil sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and acorns! I hope this information is helpful to others! Good luck! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Squeaks and Nibbles.
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