Feeding Tips for Chipmunks

There are now some special feeds for chipmunks, but they always have the same composition. If you want to offer your squirrels variety, you mix the food yourself.

Experienced squirrel keepers in particular prefer to rely on their own mix. It offers the possibility of controlling the feeding according to the seasons and thus adapting the feed to the actual needs of the animals. So you can feed them more fat in the fall before hibernation so that your squirrel has sufficient reserves for hibernation. Energy-rich feed is also required during pregnancy and the rearing of young animals. An additional advantage of producing feed yourself is that you can check the quality of the individual seeds with the germination test. The forage is only of sufficient quality if at least 80% of the seeds germinate. If fewer seeds germinate, the feed is usually outdated and hardly contains any vitamins. It is unsuitable for feeding.

Grain feed homemade

Anyone who only owns a chipmunk usually shies away from the great effort of mixing their own food. This is also possible without great effort. You can use a high-quality parrot or large parakeet feed as the basic feed. Large parakeet feed contains more mealy small seeds than parrot feed and is therefore particularly suitable for house animals that do not breed. You can get high-quality food in pet shops, while the quality of the food in the discount markets is usually rather inferior. Here the feed is usually not thoroughly cleaned and the raw materials are of lower quality. When it comes to food, the general rule is: if you save on price, you also save on the health of your pet.

In addition to large parakeet and parrot feed, some keepers have had very good experiences with pigeon diet feed. The finished mixtures are extended with a wide variety of nuts. Peanuts, walnuts, and hazelnuts in particular are popular feedstuffs. But be careful: peanuts in particular are often infested with fungi. Therefore, be sure to check the peanuts for black spots or a musty smell. Such nuts pose a health hazard to your chipmunk and must not be fed.

Mix single seeds

If you keep a lot of squirrels or want to offer your squirrels something special, you can also mix your feed completely yourself. Seeds that are suitable for this are oats (also as oat flakes), sunflower seeds (preferably white), hemp, wheat, and various types of millet. When it comes to sunflower seeds, you should prefer white ones, as they contain more valuable ingredients than striped ones.

Unfortunately, they are also a bit more expensive. You can get the individual seeds from a good feed retailer or from various internet shops. You can also add different nuts to this mixture, and pine nuts are also very popular with the Burunduks. If you want to offer your pet something very special, let the sunflower seeds germinate. To do this, wash the grains thoroughly in a sieve under running water and then let them swell covered with water for a maximum of eight hours (e.g. overnight).

The grains must not remain in the water for more than eight hours, otherwise, they will start to ferment. After this maximum of eight hours, wash the grains again in a kitchen sieve (preferably made of plastic), let the water drain, and then hang the sieve with the grains in a pot. Place the lid lightly over the sieve to protect the grains from dust. The grains now have to germinate in the sieve for between 24 and 48 hours at a temperature that is as constant as possible. A plastic strainer is better because a metal strainer could rust, although most strainers are said to be rustproof. Experience has shown that many do not pass the “germ lining endurance test”.

Rinse the germinating grains under running water about every twelve hours to prevent mold growth. After washing and germinating several times, you can offer the food to your chipmunk. Sprout food is particularly popular when the germs have just broken through. Longer germs contain bitter substances and are usually spurned. However, do not overdo the sprouting, otherwise, your squirrel may have diarrhea, at least at the beginning.

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