Feeding a chipmunk isn’t particularly complicated per se. However, she requires something more than simply filling the bowl with ready-made food every day.
If you want to have fun with your chipmunk for a long time and keep it in the best of health, then the selection of the food that is given is a point that you should definitely pay the greatest attention to. Unfortunately, one often finds animals that are overweight, have digestive disorders, or suffer from stomach or liver damage as a result of improper nutrition. In general, the sentence applies that you can offer the squirrel everything that it would eat in nature, but you should keep your hands off all other feeds!
Food to buy In the meantime, special food for chipmunks is offered by various manufacturers. However, not all of them are really optimally adapted to the care of the animals. In addition to seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp, or dried corn kernels, some mixes – such as rabbit and guinea pig mixes – also contain pellets and pressed vegetables. Here it is never entirely clear which ingredients are contained in the pellets. In addition, many squirrels do not eat this pressed food, so it is ultimately thrown away unused. In addition, they often have a very high proportion of nuts, which are very fatty. Although these are an essential part of the squirrel’s diet, you should not feed them too many of these calorie bombs. Of course, this also depends on what time of year you are in and how you hold your squirrel. Animals kept outdoors in a large aviary require more high-fat dietary components than animals kept in a relatively small indoor aviary with constant temperatures. Even before hibernation, your squirrel has to consume more energy-rich food than in summer.
Animal protein Like all squirrels, chipmunks are not pure vegetarians. In nature, they cover their protein needs with insects, but also with eggs and young birds, which they capture from the nests. Therefore, your chipmunk also needs animal food, such as mealworms or grasshoppers, etc. When giving purchased live food, you should make sure that the insects have been fed sufficiently and vitamin-rich before feeding. Poorly fed live food consists mainly of chitin, which can lead to digestive problems and even symptoms of poisoning in the animals fed with it. In the case of mealworms, there is also the fact that in many cases they are kept on newspaper, which they eat and pass on the ingredients (e.g. printer’s ink) when they are fed.
Before feeding, you should therefore feed the food insects sufficiently and richly for at least one week. You can keep worms (mealworms, Zophobas) on bran or oatmeal and feed them on carrots and the like. The removal for feeding is best done with a small sieve, with which e.g. the feces of the worms can be sieved out. Crickets, grasshoppers, and house crickets should be given sufficient green fodder (dandelions, grass, lettuce, etc.).
If you can’t bring yourself to give them live food (although this also serves to keep them occupied), you can alternatively feed your chipmunk dried shrimp, insect, and egg food from ornamental birds or cat food (dry). Yogurt, quark, and a piece of the hard-boiled egg are also suppliers of animal protein.
Green fodder In addition to grain fodder, you should also offer your Burunduk fresh fruit every day. It ensures that the squirrel is supplied with vitamins. Pears, apples, mango, and papaya are eaten with pleasure. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and currants are also a real hit with most croissants. There have also been good experiences with the feeding of rose hips and pumpkins, although the seeds are also very popular with these. Pomegranate should only be offered without the bitter skin, otherwise it will usually be rejected.
When it comes to vegetables, many croissants are rather reserved, but you can also offer carrots, cucumbers, and lettuce. It is important to regularly vary the food given to prevent the squirrel from committing to one type and ignoring all others. All fresh food must be washed off well before feeding. In the evening you should remove the rest of the food from the cage to avoid mold growth. It is therefore advisable to only offer fresh food in small portions. It is ideal if you use unsprayed goods for the gift of fruit, salad, and vegetables.
WaterOf course, chipmunks also need water. This can be offered in a bowl or in a nipple drinker. Hygiene is always the top priority. Therefore, the water (also in nipple drinkers) must be changed daily. Especially in stagnant water, a large number of protozoa can multiply, which can lead to severe digestive problems in your chipmunk.
Fasting for fat rodents If you notice that some of your animals are getting fatter than the others when kept in groups, but you do not want to reduce the amount of food because then the slim rodents would also get less, you can fast once a week for all of them. They only get green fodder. But you also have to be careful when feeding dry food, because sunflower seeds and peanuts contain a lot of fat and are therefore fattening.