Is there something that squirrels gained’t eat?
Many individuals, together with myself, have requested themselves this query! I do know I’ve watched helplessly as squirrels have overtaken my hen feeders. As a result of their giant dimension, they preserve the birds away, and my avian buddies watch from a close-by perch as their meals disappears into the stomach of a squirrel.
To not point out that squirrels have numerous and extremely LARGE appetites. I’m certain you might have observed that hen meals has gotten dearer. It may be arduous to justify the excessive value of hen seed when half of it goes to fattening up squirrels who go away little or no for the birds to eat.
So to assist management the quantity of meals squirrels eat, I made a listing of 4 varieties that squirrels don’t usually eat at hen feeders. Please word that these rodents could strive among the meals beneath or eat them in small portions. However for probably the most half, they shouldn’t spend hours and hours in your hen feeders in case you use these meals.
#1. Safflower Seeds
Safflower seed has gotten the nickname the “miracle seed” as a result of most songbirds will readily eat it, however the majority of squirrels will ignore it! Birds like cardinals, jays, chickadees, and lots of others don’t have any downside consuming safflower, however squirrels principally don’t contact it.
Since I can’t ask them straight, I’m not precisely certain why squirrels don’t like safflower, however supposedly it has a bitter style. Mammals are likely to have a better-developed sense of style than birds. I do know that utilizing safflower seeds sounds too good to be true, but it surely’s an important choice to make use of in your feeders that aren’t squirrel-proof.
Give it a try to see if it really works! It’s estimated that 90% of squirrels gained’t eat safflower. My apologies if in case you have one of many tremendous squirrels that eat safflower all day lengthy with a smile on their face. 🙂
#2. Nyjer Seeds (thistle)
Nyjer seed, additionally known as “thistle,” is a tiny, black seed. Fortunately, it’s not really associated to thistle, so that you don’t have to fret about uneaten seeds rising into an annoying weed. In reality, earlier than it’s bought, Nyjer seeds are sterilized by warmth to allow them to’t germinate and develop.
These small seeds are nice for attracting goldfinches, finches, chickadees, and doves. However as a result of their tiny dimension, I’ve by no means seen a squirrel even try and eat one!
To make use of Nyjer seed, it would be best to buy a feeder that focuses on distributing it. Try the article beneath for extra data on these hen feeders.
#3. White Proso Millet
Millet is a favourite meals amongst ground-feeding birds. It’s typically not bought individually however is included in MANY sorts of birdseed mixes.
And whereas white millet attracts a lot of birds that get pleasure from eating on the bottom, like juncos, sparrows, blackbirds, and doves, it won’t enchantment to squirrels. Apparently, millet is taken into account a grain, not a seed, and squirrels don’t hassle consuming this small, arduous meals.
A phrase of warning: Many birdseed mixes include crimson proso millet, which is crimson and a bit smaller than white millet. Floor-feeding birds will eat crimson millet, but it surely’s not their favourite. So, if attainable, I’d keep away from shopping for a combination that features crimson millet.
#4. Any meals coated with HOT PEPPER!
I’ve saved the best choice for final! 🙂
Consider it or not, utilizing birdseed coated with sizzling pepper is an effective way to stop squirrels from consuming at your feeders! Severely, this technique works. Once I use spicy meals, squirrels (and different mammals) take one whiff and determine to search for meals elsewhere.
And the perfect half is that birds don’t have any downside consuming sizzling pepper meals!
The “warmth” you are feeling in your mouth after consuming a sizzling pepper is brought on by a compound known as capsaicin. We really feel ache, discomfort, and burning after consuming sizzling peppers as a result of capsaicin messes with particular nerve endings in our mouth.
And right here is the loopy factor:
Solely MAMMALS are affected by capsaicin.
Birds don’t have a lot sense of style or scent, so they’re immune. In consequence, they can eat sizzling pepper birdseed all day lengthy and don’t have any unwell results.
Simply take into consideration this reality for a second. The mammals that may trigger issues at your feeding station embody not solely squirrels but in addition raccoons, chipmunks, rats, mice, and even bears! All these creatures have SUPER delicate noses, so all it takes is one scent, and they need to begin searching for meals elsewhere.
I examined whether or not sizzling pepper seeds labored at my feeders. You’ll be able to watch beneath to see if it labored or not. 🙂
And please don’t fear concerning the birds consuming spicy meals, because it’s protected. Merchandise that include capsaicin have been in the marketplace for a very long time. There aren’t any stories of birders or ornithologists who’ve spoken concerning the opposed well being penalties for birds.
So the place can you purchase sizzling pepper hen meals?
Normally, there are TWO methods to accumulate sizzling pepper birdseed:
Possibility #1. Purchase birdseed already coated or infused with capsaicin.
The best factor you are able to do is purchase pre-made sizzling pepper birdseed. Simply open the bag and fill your feeders!
Whereas that is straightforward, it’s additionally comparatively costly. You’re paying for comfort. Under is the new pepper birdseed that I’ve used: View Worth – Amazon
Possibility #2. Make your individual sizzling pepper birdseed!
Getting ready your individual spicy meals is extra time-consuming, however it should prevent cash. I take advantage of the concentrated sizzling sauce pictured beneath and blend it with shelled sunflower seed.
You have to be cautious utilizing these things as a result of it’s sizzling and extremely painful to get the concentrated answer in your face (talking from expertise). Listed below are three issues I do this assist preserve the sauce on the seeds and OFF me. 🙂
- I’ve a 5-gallon bucket with a lid devoted to mixing and storing my home made sizzling pepper seed. It’s additionally individually marked, so nothing else ever goes into this bucket.
- I’ve a devoted thick wood stake to combine the new sauce into the seeds. The stake is saved in a particular location, so I don’t unintentionally contact it with out gloves.
Earlier than we finish right this moment, I need you to know that I really do like squirrels, and they’re welcome to eat at my hen feeding station.
BUT I need these acrobatic rodents to eat on the bottom. I don’t need them sitting on my hen feeders, scaring away the birds. 🙂
You’ll be able to even watch squirrels consuming proper now on my hen feeders. Try the 2 LIVE cameras which can be streaming in my yard HERE.
What meals do squirrels keep away from in your yard?
When you’ve got every other suggestions or feedback, please go away one beneath!