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Squirrels snack on just about anything, but will rancid nuts hurt them? These non-picky eaters are always on a quest for food. Although they are deficient in the food chain and are mainly hunted, squirrels can eat just about anything their sensitive noses and little paws can find.
Most of their time is spent socializing, eating, and storing food in the nest. Nuts, which are commonly known to be squirrels’ favorite food, are the primary food they keep for later in their nests.
And in the process of storing nuts for a long time, these nuts can go rancid. Rancid nuts have been reported to cause a series of digestive issues in humans. But will it also hurt squirrels?
Yes, rancid nuts have the potential to hurt squirrels as it contains toxins that are carcinogenic and inflammatory. The adverse effects of rancid nuts on squirrels are that they can spring up digestive problems.
However this doesn’t mean squirrels don’t eat nuts that have gone stale, those guys didn’t mind it at all. But we do need to recognize the fact that rancid nuts are bad for squirrels. Want to know more about this topic? Hang in there.
Can Squirrels Eat Rancid Nuts?
Originally, all kinds of nuts contain fatty acids, fiber, vitamin B-6, vitamin E, and minerals. These nutrients are very beneficial to squirrels. When squirrels eat nuts, it protects their hearts against diseases.
Squirrels however will do anything for nuts, they are very famous for loving nuts. But can they still eat bad nuts? The short answer is yes. Squirrels do not mind eating rancid nuts. Rancid nuts are stale nuts, these nuts are long expired and can be dangerous to ingest.
While squirrels have no problem with rancid nuts, they can be dangerous to their health. If you intend to feed them one of those nuts they love so much, always make sure they are not stale. Also, dispose of rancid nuts properly, so the squirrels in your backyard don’t have access to them.
Will Rancid Nuts Hurt Squirrels?
Yes, rancid nuts will hurt squirrels. When nuts go rancid, extremely toxic molds form on them. These molds are called mycotoxins. When consumed frequently by squirrels, it can cause unpleasant issues.
The following are the health complications of rancid nuts to squirrels;
1. Liver Damage
Rancid nuts can be damaging to squirrels’ liver. The invisible molds that commonly form on rancid nuts are known as aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are responsible for liver-related issues.
Although it is believed that aflatoxins won’t have a lot of effects when it is low but with constant consumption of rancid nuts, the risks of liver damage in squirrels are very high.
2. Digestive Discomfort
Rancid nuts can cause irritations to squirrels’ digestive systems. The immediate reaction to these irritations is diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, nausea, and loss of appetite.
Dehydration in squirrels can be very critical and it can further lead to hypothermia and sunken eyes.
This is one of the long-term effects of eating rancid nuts. The oxidative can deteriorate squirrels’ organs. Experts have agreed that consuming rancid nuts over time can potentially cause cancer. Squirrels are also susceptible to cancer when they constantly consume stale nuts.
Squirrels love nuts and would eat them even when they are bad and stale.
Rancid nuts are not safe for consumption both for humans and squirrels. Squirrels can be affected by rancid nuts whether in the short term or the long term.
Stale nuts can be irritating to the stomach, it can influence issues, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. In the long run, it can damage their liver and also cause cancer as the molds that form on nuts when they get stale are carcinogenic.