“I’m NOT too happy with this white stuff!”
November 12, 2013 6 Comments
This guy isn’t very happy with the snow, either. He (I’m guessing), and a couple other friends from Ladybird Lane’s backyard, climb up through the blackberries to the deck every few hours prospecting for peanuts. They really love peanuts! They grab the peanuts with their paws, twist them around a bit so that they can bite the end of the peanut off and then stick it further in their mouths and run off with the nut. Only occasionally do they actually eat the peanut on the deck.
These squirrels seem to be pretty fat. That got me to wondering just how many peanuts a squirrel has to eat to satisfy its daily energy requirement. I’d hate to be contributing to what seems to be an emerging problem with obesity among some of our little buddies. Peanuts, it seems, are pretty high in energy, about 160 calories per ounce. I got out a small scale and put 30 peanuts in it, which came to a little over an ounce with the shells (which I figure don’t weigh all that much). I would have removed the shells but my wife told me not to eat the squirrels’ peanuts so I left them in the shell. Anyway, at 30 peanuts per ounce that’s 5.33 calories per peanut. A paper in the Journal of Wildlife Management says that a 500 gram Eastern Gray Squirrel (this guy looks like he qualifies) needs 137 kcal per day of metabolizable energy. I’m not going to do the necessary checking ‘cuz I have other (though perhaps not better) things to do. But, if all 5.33 calories in a peanut can be metabolized then these squirrels only need 26 peanuts (which I think we easily provide each day) to get a day’s worth of energy. No wonder they’re getting fat! Life is way too easy for these opportunists.