What Kind of Corn Do You Feed the Squirrels? Cracked, Indian, Deer, Cob

Talking about corn makes me happy.  Why?

Because every time someone asks about feeding corn to animals, I can’t help but think of my Dad, and how he refers to complex questions as: “CORNFUSING.”

A smile automatically appears.  So in this article, I’m going to make my Dad proud and try to end the CORNFUSION!

I’ll quickly go through what we learned about feeding corn to wildlife, including injured squirrels.

Ready to learn about feeding different types of corn to wild squirrels?  Let’s dive in…

What Kind of Corn Did We Feed Squirrels?

We fed squirrels yellow, dried, whole corn, AKA: Northern Plains.  But we only fed it on rare occasion and in small amounts to pregnant squirrels.

The reason we fed this type of corn to pregnant squirrels was to satisfy their potential need for a selenium boost.

Selenium is reportedly beneficial for reproduction and building DNA, and dry, yellow corn has high levels.

I suppose we could have offered brazil nuts.  But corn lasts for years when properly stored and it’s a whole lot cheaper.

Aside from the above, corn was not purposely given to squirrels as “feed” because our goal was a balanced diet and corn doesn’t fit the bill…for squirrels or us for that matter.

Can you Feed Decorative Indian Corn to the Squirrels

Decorative corn is not a healthy option if you’re trying to purposely feed wild squirrels for nutritional well-being.

decorative corn and squirrels

While a hungry squirrel may eat just about anything, I can verify that my decorative corn hangs on my porch, undisturbed, every fall season.

It is well within a squirrel’s reach and they just never bother.  I even toss these into the compost and never see them being dragged out.

Can you Feed Cracked Corn to Squirrels

Due to the extra processing of cracked corn, it’s not a good food choice for squirrels.  Combine that with it’s high phosphorous to calcium ratio and it becomes clear that cracked corn is not a nutritious diet for squirrels.

There have even been studies on how badly deer are doing because of all the corn we are feeding them.  While much of it has to do with the lack of nutrients, lots of times “cracked corn” has untraceable sources and storage phases are completely unknown.

cracked corn for squirrels
Squirrel eating cracked corn

It would be nice if you knew exactly the type of corn that was cracked and how it was stored.   That’s because cracked corn is prone to problems arising out of humidity.

That being said, squirrels definitely will eat cracked corn out of a bird feeder.  They like it, but it’s about as good for them as it is for us.  Which is…not all that good,

Can you Feed Deer Corn to Squirrels

Because the term Deer Corn varies, feeding it to squirrels might be risky.  Some consider deer corn to be all corn that is not suitable for humans (for whatever reason) and they just quickly refer to it as deer corn.

Did it go moldy?  Did it get wet?   With so many default reasons to label something deer corn, why risk it.

Deer corn could also mean – grown specifically to have more carbs and less protein.

What Can you Feed Squirrels Instead of Corn

If you’re trying to feed squirrels on a budget, start looking at kitchen waste.  Lettuce ends, cabbage ends, wilted parsley, apple slices, orange slices, bruised berries could be a win win,

Just beware, skins, pits and seeds from fruits should be avoided.  Not that they’re all bad, but some are really toxic.

Eliminating seeds, pits and skins might be easier than looking everything up all the time.

And check out our squirrel feeding observations for even more ideas.

In Summary

It’s easy to be lured by the price and ease of feeding corn to squirrels.  But, think about it.  Corn has it’s place, but not in excess.

Even for us, we may look forward to corn on the cob every year, but we have to be real and keep it limited.

Same with squirrels.  If they’re hungry and need it, they know where to find it….they just need to get past the baffles!

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