What Do Chipmunks Eat? What Food Is Harmful For Them?

Martha Martins
Oct 06, 2023 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Oct 12, 2021
Chipmunk having nuts in wild
Age: 3-18
Read time: 9.4 Min

Chipmunks are cute, innocent-looking, and completely harmless animals.

Chipmunks are becoming a more popular pet among animal lovers searching for a unique furry pet. But wait with this rare wild species, don't expect to be able to hug or cuddle them.

Chipmunks belong to the squirrel family (Sciuridae) of the order rodents. The chipmunk is a wildlife animal, and there are considered to be 25 species of tiny, striped terrestrial squirrels. Chipmunks store food in their huge internal cheeks pouches.

Seeds and nuts are stuffed into their cheek pouches. Chipmunks transport them to a burrow where they spend most of their time.

They have a hairy tail, delicate claws, and large eyes and ears. Chipmunks dig burrows or tunnels into the ground to live. They have also been observed to spend time digging additional burrows after the main burrow has been dug.

The operational tunnel is the very first tunnel to be dug. Chipmunks utilize this area to rest and give birth to their young. The remaining rooms are used for food storage.

A chipmunk is a pygmy squirrel that has evolved to take advantage of the nutrients found in rocky terrain and forest undergrowth. Wild chipmunks can climb excellently on trees. Chipmunks also disperse tree seeds and other plant seeds.

They are a diverse genus in terms of ecology. Chipmunks are crepuscular, meaning both chipmunks and ground squirrels are most active at dawn and dusk when predators are less present. Chipmunks prefer warm weather.

Researchers discovered that male chipmunks are more sensitive to food supplementation than females. Males are likely to eat more in the winter to ensure that they have the best reproductive capability for early spring mating.

Females, on the other hand, sleep longer and deeper to save their food cache for pregnancy and nursing in the early spring, when new food is scarce.

Many people, on the other hand, have no idea what do chipmunks eat, and it turns out that knowing what to feed an animal is an important aspect of maintaining it as a pet. The majority of people believe a chipmunk exclusively eats nuts, however, this is far from the case.

We'll look at what chipmunks consume when they're left to their own devices, as well as what you should give them if they're relying on you for food. If you liked this post, you may be interested in why do squirrels chase each other or why do squirrels shake their tail on Kidadl.

What do chipmunks eat in the wild?

Chipmunks eat natural foods such as nuts and grains they stored within their burrow in the fall during the winter. Any type of processed food is injurious to chipmunk's health.

It's critical to feed your pet chipmunks properly in order to keep them healthy and strong. As a result, we've put together this comprehensive guide to ensure you get it right!

The winter food stockpile for chipmunks is around 8 lb (3.6 kg), according to Kent McFarland, a scientist with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies. Torpor is a type of hibernation that chipmunks use to get through the winter.

When it gets chilly outside, a chipmunk will withdraw to its burrow, slowing its metabolism and heartbeat to the point of hibernation. The chipmunk will awaken every few days, eating a small amount of food as well as removing waste before returning to its slumber.

Chipmunks are omnivores, something you may not realize. When given the chance, a chipmunk likes to eat both meat and vegetables which are available naturally, and both of them are necessary for their health.

In the wild, chipmunks are opportunistic eaters who will consume just about anything they come across. This comprises seeds, fresh fruits, grains, berries, mushrooms, grass, shoots, and, of course, nuts in terms of plants. Chipmunks can eat seeds and frighten birds away from the feeder.

They're also not choosy eaters when it comes to meat. Frogs, insects, worms, bird eggs, baby birds, millipedes, centipedes, and even snakes are eaten by chipmunks. Bird eggs are particularly appealing to this animal.

If you're wondering whether chipmunks love acorns, the answer is yes. Chipmunks prefer to collect food and bring it back to their burrow rather than sitting out in the open where they may be preyed upon.

They also bury food items like nuts, returning later to retrieve their stockpile. During the spring and summer, they store nuts seeds, berries, and other foods in a variety of locations throughout their territory. Chipmunks hunt for sheltered, hidden locations to dig for the winter when they aren't stockpiling.

What do chipmunks eat in the garden?

If you're thinking of getting a chipmunk as a pet or wondering what to feed this constant visitor of your garden, it's critical that you offer your pet a diet that is as near to what it would eat in the wild as possible. You'll need to look into what kinds of foods are naturally available to them.

Apples, pears, bananas, oranges, carrots can be given to your pet chipmunk.

However, some individuals believe that having a chipmunk in your garden is dangerous. However, there is no data to support this.

Chipmunks rarely cause harm to property, although when they collect fruits and seeds, they might cause damage to beautiful plants. Chipmunks will dig up and consume spring-blooming bulbs and burrow in flower beds, sidewalks, and porches on occasion. However, there have been no reports of chipmunk burrows causing structural damage.

Chipmunks like to eat strange foods that humans leave out when coming into contact with humans. Chipmunks in the wild are prey to a variety of predators, therefore they avoid being out in the open for long periods of time.

They prefer to eat in their burrows or other safe places, and you should offer some form of shelter for them to utilize during their mealtime. Chipmunks in the wild eat live food. However, you might discover that feeding wrigglers to captive-bred chipmunks is not a good idea!

If you want to maintain rescued wild chipmunks, you should be aware that they may capture and feed insects, worms, and other tiny animals that they find in their outside cage or enclosure. Baby chipmunks rely on their moms for nourishment for the first two months of their existence.

Baby chipmunks consume whatever seeds, nuts, fruits, and insects they can find once they've been weaned. An infestation might be indicated by bites in garden plants and uprooted bulbs.

When feeding your fully grown chipmunks, cereals should account for up to 50% of their diet (oats, wheat, barley, corn, and millet sprays). Unsalted nuts, such as pine nuts, can also be given.

Bean sprouts, apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, pears, bananas, oranges, and tomatoes, as well as little amounts of cleaned, sliced fruit and vegetables, are among the favorites of this young pet, and this can help to keep their diet varied.

You may also provide them with a variety of nuts such as sunflower seeds and almonds. Many people claim that chipmunks love tomatoes and that will wait until they are almost perfectly ripe before eating.

Leaving a trail of birdseed is the best approach to get a chipmunk close to anything. Your chipmunk will require protein as well.

Mealworms may be purchased at a pet store, or you can prepare some meat or bird eggs to feed them. Some chipmunks love to eat dog or cat food, which are both likely to be high in protein.

A clean cuttlefish bone is a rich source of calcium, and gnawing helps chipmunks wear down their teeth, which are constantly growing throughout their lives. Regular chewing and gnawing, as well as wearing down and maintaining the right length and form of teeth, are essential.

A Chipmunk's Cheeks are Filled with Peanuts

What do chipmunks like to eat?

Chipmunks have sharp teeth, allowing them to gnaw on everything in their environment. Chipmunks like to gnaw on hard nutshells or wood in the wild on a regular basis.

A chipmunk's front incisor teeth are worn down as a result of this behavior. Its mouth may be injured if the teeth get enlarged, and it will be unable to eat correctly. Chipmunks, particularly, like to eat bones or a hard substance to keep their teeth healthy.

You should be careful about what and how much you feed the chipmunk to ensure its health. It's critical to keep an eye on your chipmunk's diet.

Their dietary habits will also alter according to the season. An essential chipmunk health test is to make sure your chipmunks are eating and drinking normally and passing lots of dry droppings every day.

Try to keep track of how much (and what kind) of food your chipmunks eat, as well as how much water they drink. Check bottles for leaks and/or blockages twice a day, as well as refills.

If your chipmunk has access to fresh, clean drinking water from a drinking bottle with a stainless steel spout, he or she will keep hydrated. We recommend speaking with your veterinarian if your chipmunk's eating or drinking habits change, or if the number or size of droppings decreases or stops.

Chipmunks generally generate two types of droppings: hard dry pellets and softer wet pellets, which they like to consume directly from their bottom. These are a necessary component of their nutrition.

If you decide to change your chipmunk's diet to improve his or her health, that's fantastic! Although we always advise against making drastic dietary changes to your pet because this might disturb their digestive system and make them sick, which is something you should avoid!

For additional information on slowly transferring your chipmunks to a healthy diet, consult your veterinarian.

What food is poisonous to chipmunks?

Just because you and I consume junk food does not mean that we should offer human foods to small animals. It would be funny to watch a chipmunk eat junk food, however it is harmful to them.

A pet chipmunk can eat a wide variety of human foods but there are a few things they reject, as well as some items you should never offer them.

Please don't feed wild animals any processed foods. Processed foods are harmful to humans and even more harmful to animals.

Plants that have aromatic foliage, hairy leaves plants, or are poisonous to chipmunks should be avoided. Chipmunks are natural hoarders, which explains why they keep food in their cheeks when they eat. However, overfeeding them may be harmful to their life.

If you're feeding chipmunks peanuts, make sure they're unsalted. Please do not feed them too many peanuts and sunflower seeds as they are rich in calories.

Better choices for feeding would be little pieces of fruit or perhaps a handful of oats. If you're going to put out fruits like peaches, apples, berries, and plums, remove the seeds first because chipmunks have been known to be poisoned by them.

There are various poisons that are used to kill rodents, in addition to foods that should not be offered to them. Gophers poison peanuts pellets is a low-volume option that uses tasty peanut pellets to attract and kill rodents.

Rats die as soon as they ingest the poison. Chipmunks, for example, are underground rodents, therefore the packaging's unique appearance was developed particularly for them.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly factsfor everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for what do chipmunks eatthen why not take a look at how much does a squirrel weigh or chipmunk facts.

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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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