When you happen to live in an area where there are plenty of squirrels, one of the things you would notice is that they would usually forage for a lot of different types of food but will most likely eat peanuts and acorns. But squirrels are actually omnivores, and this will make you wonder if they are dangerous to your ducks if you do happen to keep ducks around for their eggs. So, do squirrels eat duck eggs?
Squirrels are omnivores that have a very varied diet in the sense that they will eat almost anything. Their diet also includes bird eggs which, of course, includes duck eggs. However, this is unlikely to happen if the mother ducks are around to protect their eggs.
So, if you do in fact live on a farm where you are taking care of ducks for their eggs, you might need to be concerned about your eggs because squirrels nearby may end up snacking on them if they happen to stumble into the duck nests. Still, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem as long as you keep your duck eggs protected from squirrels.
Squirrels have a varied diet
Those who happen to live in places where squirrels are quite common will know for a fact that these little critters will forage for any food they can find. They are quite commonly known for looking for acorn or other types of tree nuts but they also eat fruit and basically anything they can get their hands on.
But squirrels are not only commonly known for eating plant-based foods such as nuts and fruits because they will also eat other animals that are smaller than they are. The list includes insects, smaller mammals, or even young snakes. That’s because squirrels are omnivorous animals that will eat both plants and animals as long as such foods are available to them. This means that squirrels are more likely to be opportunistic feeders in the sense that they will eat anything that is readily available.
In that sense, you should know that squirrels will eat almost anything. They have a diet that is so varied that probably the only things they don’t eat are raw garlic and peppers because of how such foods upset their stomachs. Other than that, squirrels tend to eat anything as long as the type of food we are talking about is edible enough and is readily available to them.
That said, because squirrels are opportunistic feeders, they will actually eat bird eggs. So, if a squirrel climbs up a tree and finds an empty bird nest sitting there without a mother but has eggs, the squirrel will most likely snack on the eggs or even the newborn birds that the nest may have.
Do squirrels eat duck eggs?
As we have mentioned, squirrels are opportunistic feeders that are known to eat almost anything that is edible as long as that food source is available to them at a given moment. This is why squirrels are known to eat bird eggs as well especially when they climb up trees and find nests with eggs but have no mother birds.
So, since squirrels eat bird eggs, does it follow that they will also eat duck eggs? After all, this should be something you might be wondering about because duck eggs are usually found on the ground and are bigger than most of the bird eggs you see on trees.
The answer to that is, yes, squirrels do eat duck eggs. In fact, it is well-known that squirrels may find themselves wandering into poultry farms to feast on poultry feed and even the eggs of the birds there. This includes the eggs of chickens and, you’ve guessed it, ducks. As such, it won’t be uncommon for you to see squirrels wandering into chicken and duck coops and eating the eggs of your poultry.
However, one of the things that are commonly noticed about squirrels when they eat poultry eggs is that they are not entirely active in trying to look for these eggs. They are most likely going to eat these eggs only when they are available to them and will not actively search for duck eggs. As such, if your ducks are there to guard the eggs, it is highly unlikely that the squirrels will try their luck to eat those eggs. In most cases, they will only eat the eggs if they noticed that the eggs are available and left unguarded.
Why do squirrels eat duck eggs?
If you are wondering why squirrels eat duck eggs, let us go back to what we said about how these animals are omnivores that will eat anything that is readily available to them. And their diet is so varied that they have a wide variety of different foods that they can eat as long as they know that they won’t get an upset stomach out of eating such foods.
However, there are some good reasons why squirrels will actually eat duck eggs when the eggs are available to them. The first reason is that squirrels often like entering places where poultry is being kept because of how they love eating chicken or duck pellets. But when the pellets are not readily available for them, the squirrels might try to eat the next best thing that is convenient—unguarded duck eggs. As such, it isn’t a surprise that squirrels will eat duck eggs when the eggs are just sitting there waiting for the squirrels to take advantage of the situation.
Also, extreme hunger may be one of the reasons why a squirrel might end up actively seeking out duck eggs. If it knows for a fact that there is a nearby farm that keeps ducks, a very hungry squirrel might try out its luck to eat anything it can get its hands on in that farm. This includes duck feed and duck eggs, which are full of healthy protein that the squirrel needs. Of course, squirrels, as omnivorous as they are, won’t be too shy to actually eat newborn ducks as well.
How to protect your duck eggs from squirrels?
If you are looking to protect your duck eggs from squirrels, here are some quick tips:
- Keep a squirrel feeder around so that the squirrels won’t try to eat your duck eggs. That’s because the squirrel feeder is basically providing free food that is readily available for the squirrels to eat. You can use nuts or even bird pellets for your squirrel feeder.
- If you have a poultry-friendly dog, keep it around because it will try to keep anything away from your ducks due to its protective instincts. Of course, squirrels will try to stay away from farms that are protected by dogs such as sheepdogs that are great around poultry.
- Take the eggs away from your ducks the moment the ducks lay them. As soon as you found out first thing in the morning that your ducks laid eggs, you can take them away from the ducks and place them somewhere that the squirrels can’t easily access or reach.
- Block any vents or openings that the squirrels can enter. This will minimize the chances of squirrels entering your ducks’ home through small openings. Instead, they would have to enter through the main opening, which should be guarded well by the ducks themselves.