Wintertime can be tough for Animals and Birds that live in or around our homes.
When the snow comes and covers the ground it can be very difficult for them to find food and many animals do not store food in the same way squirrels store nuts.
Although most animals will hibernate in the winter it does not mean they stay a sleep for 4 or 6 months out of the year. For Rabbits, Squirrels and other small wild animals Winter hibernation means sleeping much longer but still waking up to look for what food they can find.
Rabbits in particular are nocturnal through out the year and like to come out at night when no one is around and in winter months they extend their sleeping patterns. In the spring and summer you are likely to see rabbits or other animals during the day because food is abundant and they will be looking for friends and mates.
Birds that don’t migrate south in the winter will also be searching for food.You will often see birds of various sizes that normally rely on bugs and grasses that are not available in the winter.
Feeding animals in the winter that happen to live around you does not need to cost a lot of money. You can buy large bags of bird seed that will last for months and often the bulk size bags are only a few dollars more then smaller bags.
You can also collect vegetables and fruit peals or scraps from your cooking however because winter is too cold for green leafy vegetables they will most likely wither before an animal can get to them.
Rabbits like Carrots and Apples because they keep their firmness in the winter cold. They can also be put out for squirrels and birds to eat.
Some farmer markets will have great deals on fruit that is just about to expire. Often they will put slightly damaged produce in baskets marked down from dollars a pound to a dollar a basket.
Remember what you feed your neighbor animals does not need to be perfect but then again you don’t want to put out food that is definitely bad.
So, the next time you are making dinner and have an extra chunk of apple or carrot place it outside and see who comes by….
And remember when it is cold out but no snow is on the ground fill up an old microwave container with water so they can have a drink.
Its not your job to feed all of the animals in the world but if you do have scraps or can spare a carrot or apple once in a while you will be providing a treat that may really be appreciated.
Note Most small animals are vegetarians and it is not a great idea to put meat scraps out in your yard because you will only attract animals you don’t really want around… If you live in a rural area where bears or other dangerous animals frequent then you should not attract them either with your food or by attracting animals they may want to eat.