Raccoons are opportunistic feeders, implying they eat both plants and meat. They will, in essence, consume anything they can get their paws on, including shrubs, and insects. They will regrettably also consume the seeds from your bird feeders. If you’re a grower attempting to protect your crops from pests. You might be curious if raccoons eat sunflower seeds.
Yes, raccoons do eat sunflower seeds. Raccoons eat Sunflower seeds because they contain lipids, carbs, and vitamins. Raccoons can survive in nature and during the winter due to all of these nutrients from sunflower seeds.
To learn more keep reading the article further.
Are Sunflower Seeds Toxic To Raccoons?
No, sunflower seeds are not toxic for raccoons. They can get toxic if taken in large amounts. Another sort of flower seed that raccoons can consume safely is sunflower seeds. Many owners struggle to find ways to keep raccoons away from their sunflower seeds because they are so delicious to them.
Raccoons can safely consume the entire plant, including the bloom, leaves, stem, and even seeds. They contain a lot of fat and, if consumed in large quantities, might cause stomach issues. Sunflower seeds are a nutritious snack for raccoons since they are high in antioxidants, good fats, and other nutrients.
Protein, copper, iron, and good unsaturated fats are all abundant in sunflower seeds. Due to their high fiber loading, they can also have a favorable impact on the digestive processes of raccoons when eaten in moderation.
Can Young Raccoons Eat Sunflower Seeds?
Yes, young raccoons can eat sunflower seeds. A baby raccoon can eat regular meals after two months of being born. A young raccoon can consume a wide variety of foods, including nuts, seeds, strawberries, maize, veggies, fruit, seafood, seedlings, and leafy greens.
A baby raccoon going through its developing phase will need foods strong in energy. For a baby raccoon, foods comprising lipids, proteins, and vitamins are crucial. A baby raccoon’s preferred food is sunflower seeds.
Even in the wilderness, a mother raccoon will look for light food for her young, such as sunflower seeds, almonds, and peanuts. Raccoons can easily chew on the tough shells of nuts, sunflower seeds, and peanuts since they are omnivores with strong claws and teeth.
Why Do Raccoons Eat Sunflower Seeds?
Raccoons benefit from sunflower seeds because they are rich in the nutrition they need to survive the winter. Raccoons can store extra fat in their bodies because sunflower seeds contain a lot of cholesterol. These fatty oils insulate and maintain the raccoon’s body temperature.
Raccoons consume practically everything, including both organic and processed goods. They will consume various seeds that they discover in the wild or in your pantry. Raccoons start to store fat months before winter arrives. Sunflower seeds are a good source of vitamin E, carbs, and lipids.
They can survive the winter by eating nutrient-rich foods like peanuts, safflower, and sunflower seeds. To develop a generous amount of fat mass and store it, raccoons eat diverse seeds. When they are unable to get food during cold weather, they will use this layer of fat. Raccoons will stay warm in cold weather because of fat deposits on their skin.
Do Raccoons Eat Sunflower Seed With Shells?
Yes, raccoons can eat sunflower seeds with shells. Although raccoons can consume sunflower seed shells, they shouldn’t consume the seeds’ actual black shells. Severe diarrhea and gastrointestinal upset may happen if the raccoon consumes the shells.
Sunflower seeds are a potent antioxidant and particularly nutrient-dense on their own. If a raccoon mistakenly ingests a small piece of shell, it won’t hurt them. However, if raccoons consume a lot of them, the shells could obstruct their digestive tract, which is hazardous.
In the small or large intestines of raccoons, seed casings from any edible plant can assemble and form a lump known as an ability to modulate. Sunflower seeds with shells made of cellulose and lignin are indigestible to simple-stomached mammals like raccoons.
Do Raccoons Eat Black Oil Sunflower Seeds?
Yes, raccoons do eat black oil sunflower seeds. These seeds have thin coats as well as provide superior nutrients for raccoons. Black oil sunflower seeds, or BOSS as they are more often known, are delicious to raccoons.
Raccoons will always eat these seeds even if they don’t seem to like them or their diet. Supplement, Vitamin b6, a lot of proteins, linoleic, an excellent amount of fiber, copper, magnesium, and many other nutrients may all be found in black oil sunflower seeds.
The 28percentage fat content of black oil sunflower seeds makes them a useful source of energy for raccoons. Raccoons may bundle up in chilly weather by using them as a source of body heat. Raccoons benefit greatly from eating black oil sunflower seeds in the winter.
Do Raccoons Eat Salted Sunflower Seeds?
No, raccoons do not eat salted sunflower seeds. Raccoons do not like salted seeds as the salt smell is unpleasant to raccoons because it hurts their nasal passages. Salted sunflower seeds provide more sodium than raccoons require and, if consumed in high quantities, can be hazardous to their health.
Raccoons can consume sunflower seeds with salt, but only in small amounts. The majority of raccoons can’t process too much sodium, so consuming a lot of sunflower seeds with salt could harm their health. Raccoons in the wild can also meet their own needs for salt.
Salted or roasted sunflower seeds are not favorites of raccoons. These contain substances that they may find hazardous and that their bodies and systems are unable to manage.
How To Keep Raccoons Away From Sunflower Seeds
You may employ methods to keep the raccoons out if you do not even want them to plunder your feeders every day.
Install A Raccoon Baffle
With a diameter of 8 inches and a length of 24 inches, the raccoon baffle is a cylinder baffle. The baffle prevents the squirrel, rodent, and raccoon from climbing anything.
Install a raccoon baffle below the feeder itself on your feeder pole. These raccoon deterrents do more than just keep them out. However, be certain that the baffle is substantial enough to keep off raccoons and that they cannot navigate around it.
The stovepipe baffle and the torpedo baffle are two popular baffles that experts suggest.
Check The Location Of Your Sunflower Seeds
Make sure the location of your sunflower seeds is away from any trees or buildings where raccoons could climb or jump to reach the feeder. Raccoons can climb trees, so they can easily jump across to a convenient bird feeder to get sunflowers and bird seeds.
Raccoons had access to a large number of sunflower seeds, either straight from a bird feeder with a large capacity or from open sunflower seed sacks.
Use A Repellent Spray
Spray raccoons away with a repellant. Spray this on the ground beneath the feeder as well as the pole holding the sunflower seeds. These repellents won’t damage raccoons, but they will certainly scare them away.
A raccoon’s sense of smell is offended by the incredibly strong aroma and taste of ammonia. Utilizing ammonia is easy to do. Fill the empty sprayer with either fluid, then use it to treat the areas of your backyard where you have spotted raccoons.
Hide Your Sunflower Seeds Before Night Fall
Unless you can, take the feeders down at night to deter raccoons from stealing your sunflower seeds. Make sure you keep them out of raccoons’ reach when storing them. They generally spend the day sleeping and the night scavenging for food.
Raccoons typically leave their dens shortly after dusk. They immediately seek out the closest source of food. Raccoons are diurnal, fiercely independent, and somewhat solitary animals.
Using their unique coats as concealment, they hunt at night and repose during the day in the cavities of tall trees. Therefore, it is best to conceal sunflower seeds, especially at night.
Don’t Tempt Raccoons Into Your Yard
Make sure to avoid leaving any food leftovers out at night. Any food scraps that are laying around or that are simple for raccoons to get will attract them due to their odor.
Therefore, check to see that your dumpsters are stable and have strict covers. Raccoons will move on and leave your bird feeders alone if there is nothing else in your yard to draw them in.
A raccoon won’t be leaving an area once it discovers a convenient food source. Keep any pet food out of your garbage can and try to keep it lockable or encased.
Add A Little Spice To Your Sunflower Seed
These days, you can get unique birdseed mixtures that include extra spices like spicy pepper. The strong spices don’t worry birds, but they terrify animals like raccoons. Raccoons and other mammals are sensitive to spices, particularly hot ones.
You can buy suet and seed that has already been spiced up. Alternatively, you may manufacture your own by simply combining hot pepper oil with the seeds. This might be one of the easiest deterrents to keep raccoons away from sunflower seeds since some pests are not bothered by spices like raccoons are.
Detach the bird feeders for a week, or gradually cut back on the food and sunflower seeds you previously placed in them. Raccoons could look for other sites to eat if the sunflower seeds vanish or get smaller.
Put out only as much sunflower seed as the birds will consume by dusk as a quick and simple technique to prevent raccoons from devouring it. Raccoons hunt at night, so they won’t get the free meal you’re throwing.
Sprinkler System At Night
There is a fantastic method for using them to frighten the raccoons away. Raccoons are reclusive mammals, meaning they are active at night. Therefore, it is most likely that these animals would visit the yard at night to get the feeders and sunflower seeds.
The abrupt spraying of water from your sprinklers will undoubtedly scare the raccoons away for good if you program them to turn on at night. Table salt can be scattered across your yard to deter raccoons from eating sunflower seeds.
Sunflower seeds are a favorite food of raccoons, so don’t be shocked if you find them exploring your yard. Raccoons can eat almost anything. Toxic substances are few in comparison to the food sources they consume.
Raccoons consume a wide range of nuts, such as peanuts, and walnuts, in addition to a wide range of other foods. For raccoons, fats are vital for nutrition.
Raccoons require a lot of insulating material to keep warm, and they need fats from winters when there is little food available. Therefore, you can keep them away by using the highly effective methods listed above.
Osaki, A., Sashika, M., Abe, G. et al. Comparison of feeding habits and habitat use between invasive raccoons and native raccoon dogs in Hokkaido, Japan. BMC Ecol 19, 35 (2019).