How to Make Nut Balls for Squirrels

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The following recipe was excerpted from ‘Nut Balls For Squirrels’.   Nut balls are generally well liked by most squirrels and considered a good sources of Calcium, fat, Vitamin D, magnesium, phosphorus, Vitamin C and other vitamins necessary for proper nutrition.  As with all nutrition for wildlife or exotic pets, discuss all diet choices with your veterinarian before introducing new foods.

 

Important Note: Many websites that provide the nut ball recipe also endorse scalded milk based formulas for orphaned squirrels.  Squirrel Refuge has never used scalded milk based formulas and most licensed wildlife rehabilitators do not ever recommend its use.

Nut Ball Recipe

Note: The author strongly discourages any any substitutions to the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Heinz or Gerbers' baby Rice cereal

  • ½ cup ground-up pecans

  • 2/3 cup sesame seeds

  • 1 Tablespoon Brewers' Yeast powder **

  • 1 Tablespoon Lecithin granules or 1 teaspoon liquid Lecithin***

  • 1½ to 2 heaping teaspoons KAL brand dolomite powder (about 1560-2000 mg. calcium) Dolomite tablets may also be used as long as they are crushed into a fine powder equal to 1 1/2-2 heaping tsp!)

  • Vitamin C -- 1000 mg. (tablets - powdered by crushing!) - (Do not use powder which is too concentrated)

  • 6 - 10 alfalfa tablets, powdered

  • 1/4 teaspoon iodized salt

  • 1 1/2 tsp Cod liver oil (enough for 6000 I.U's Vitamin A and 600 I.U.'s Vitamin D) *****

  • Vitamin E 600 I.U.'S. ******

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Canola oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil (NOT LARD, NOT SUET)

  • Choose from any of a combination of the following optional ingredients to make ½ cup liquid:
    o Mashed banana
    o Applesauce
    o Frozen strawberries with syrup or natural juices
    o Apple juice concentrate (no water added)
    o Canned pears or peaches in light syrup or natural juices
    o Pure juice (100%) nectar
    o Frozen blueberries (or fresh if available)

Preparation:

  1. In a Medium Mixing bowl combine ground pecans, rice flakes, sesame seeds.

  2. In a small bowl combine powdered brewers yeast, dolomite powder, powdered vitamin C, powdered alfalfa, and salt, stirring to blend well.

  3. Using a small blender or hand chopper, combine the liquid ingredients (the 1/2 c. of fruit of your choice, cod liver oil, vitamin E, canola/veggie oil, lecithin. Whirl it all together until smooth and well blended. Mix the dry vitamin powder into the ground pecan/rice flakes mixture, stirring well.

  4. Pour the liquid ingredients over entire mixture and stir until well combined and a soft dough has been formed.

  5. Roll the dough into a rectangle or square.

  6. Cut 10 across and 10 down to make 100 roughly equal sized squares

  7. If you have a food dehydrator that has a temperature setting you can set the nut balls to dry for 4-5 hours at 160F. Otherwise, you can place them on a foil lined cookie sheet in the sunshine for 2 days.  Oven drying is not recommended for maximum nutrient retention.  As an alternative, some squirrels enjoy nutballs that are not dried, but immediately frozen.

  8. Once dry, immediately transfer the nutballs to a container and place them in the freezer. Do not store them in the refrigerator or cupboard since the oils may become rancid and molds fatal to your squirrel may develop.

  9. Feed 1-2 Nutballs per squirrel, per day.  No need to thaw first.  For maximum absorption of nutrients, nutballs should be served alone two hours before or after other foods.

Important Ingredient Notes


*All tablets need to be crushed/ground into a powder before measuring them and adding them to the recipe.

**When purchasing brewer's yeast- you can use tablets. Simply grind tablets with a mortar/pestle until you have a full tablespoon. Do not use bakers yeast or bread yeast. Only Brewers Yeast available in the Dog section of most pet or health food stores.

*** Lecithin capsules can be purchased at most big box stores (Walmart/Target/Kmart) I usually cut the end off them and squeeze the nasty insides out to into a measuring spoon.

****KAL Brand Dolomite Powder- It is imperative to your squirrels health that you do NOT omit this KEY ingredient, nor should you substitute it regardless of what the (untrained!) health food store fools spout off at you. Do not use Bone meal, oyster shell or Egg shell calcium.

***** Liquid Norwegian Cod Liver oil IS a recommended kind to use. Do not use capsules! Cod liver oil provides the necessary Vitamin D to combines with the dolomite powder and other vitamins and minerals so calcium and magnesium can be properly assimilated.

****** Vitamin E 600 I.U's - It would be best if you could use Food Grade Liquid Vitamin E- however, this is very rarely available and quite difficult to find. I do NOT recommend Cosmetic grade vitamin E. Instead, use 200 IU Vitamin E Capsules- prick a hole in the capsule and squeeze out the innards. You'll need 3 1/2 full capsules worth.

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