Diet

Richardsons Ground Squirrel

Urocitellus richardsonii

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Diet

Some advice suggests that obesity can be a problem with Richardsons Ground Squirrels so it is important to maintain a good diet and monitor their weight. A good supply of Timothy hay is essential. Healthy treats include carrot, raisins, apple, and cooked brown rice.

A good calcium level must be maintained, and offering a cuttle bone provides a good partial source for this as they love to chew. However, it is important to track your Richardson's ground squirrels diet to ensure they are getting enough calcium. Some calcium supplements can be added to water or sprinkled over food.

The following is intended as a guideline only and is drawn from research and not direct experience. Please take care to research dietary needs and talk with other keepers to ensure you can keep your ground squirrel in good health.

Water

Water must be constantly available and is best offered in a bottle so it will not be buried or overturned. Change frequently.

Protein

Protein can be offered in the form of soft-boiled egg, mealworms, various insects (locust, cricket, waxworms/moths) or pinkie mice.

Fresh

Safe foods include: Alfalfa sprouts, Beet greens, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chicory, cucumber, Dandelion leaves and flowers, lettuce, kale, parsley, pumpkin, mustard spinach, radish, turnip greens, watercress, sweet potato. Fruits such as apples (without seeds), apricot, bananas, cherries, figs (fresh or dried), melon, pear, persimmons, papaya, peach, and pinapple.

Main mix

If available this can include a pelleted squirrel or rodent diet. You can include items such as porridge oats, muesli, nuts (1 or 2 per day, ideally within shell). Avoid cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seed kernals, and pine nuts due to their high phosphorus level.

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