The best ways to help animals survive the winter


Winter is a harsh time for both humans and wildlife. The plummeting temperatures and scarce food can make it difficult for birds, foxes, deer, and other species to survive. Fresh drinking water freezes, grass isn’t available, and other sources of food are rare. Some animals choose to hibernate while others have to find a different way to survive. Luckily, they aren’t left completely on their own as there are some things we can do to help them. Some simple actions can really make a huge difference.

  1. Feed the birds and squirrels


Some decide to put feeders in their garden and feed these cute animals all year round, but some choose to do it only over winter time when it’s especially difficult for them to find food. A selection of mixed seeds is perfect for almost all types of birds. It will provide them with all the necessary nutrients and is pretty cheap. Saturated fat is also important for birds and squirrels during winter so you can try leaving out some coconut that isn’t desiccated or peanuts. Also, dried fruit and cracked corn are popular among birds, squirrels and chipmunks.

You can leave the food scattered on a food tray or place it in feeders. Some wire mesh feeders can help birds only pick the bite-sized portions which will prevent them from choking.

  1. Feed the deer


During winter, deer use their fat reserves acquired during summer and fall. They are well adapted to the winter, but we can still make food searching a bit easier for them. Fawns and older deer are more sensitive to winter and it’s not rare for them to be unable to survive the winter. It’s important that if you do decide to feed the deer, you have to do it right otherwise you can do more harm than good. There are some regulations for feeing deer that you ought to read carefully before deciding to feed them.

When buying a feeder, recommends looking for the one that will be big enough to accommodate the deer you plan on feeding.

Food that is best for them is certain deer food mixes and oats. However, there are some rules here as well. High starch content of corn can mess with the digestive tract of deer so they shouldn’t be fed a pure corn diet. Hay is also a big no as deer can’t digest it. Deer will end up with the stomach full of hay and still be left hungry.

  1. Feed the foxes and badgers


By leaving some amount of food, you can attract all kinds of animals. Foxes prefer cheese, boiled potatoes, chicken carcasses, and some fat scraps. Badgers, on the other hand, typically feed on earthworms. During winter, it’s difficult for them to find any, so you can help by leaving some meat, cheese, peanuts, or fruit.

  1. Provide them with fresh water


Hedgehogs, birds, deer, foxes, stray dogs, everyone needs fresh water to survive. As water usually freezes during winter, you can help them by leaving clean water in bowls.