Here Are 7 Animals That Eat Chestnuts!

Last updated on February 5th, 2022

Suppose you have always associated chestnuts with being roasted on an open fire and consumed during Christmas. In that case, it will surprise you to learn that this nut is a favorite of humans and many animals.

Animals that eat chestnuts:

  • Squirrels
  • Foxes
  • Deer
  • Raccoons
  • Chipmunks
  • Voles
  • Black bears

This is because chestnuts are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. This not only makes the nut healthy for humans but for animals as well.

For example, if you have pets like squirrels or chipmunks, you can include chestnuts as a part of their diet. This nut can help your pets develop a strong and healthy immune system.

In the wild, too chestnuts are consumed by various animals, and some of these are creatures are omnivores. Some of the animals that eat chestnuts are as follows:

Table of Contents

Here are 7 animals that eat chestnuts:

1. Squirrels

squirrel eating chestnut 23012022

Squirrels are known to love nuts, and they hoard different types of them. These chestnuts are also collected by squirrels and hoarded by the creature for winter.

If you have a pet squirrel, then you can give it chestnuts. The primary reason why you should give chestnuts to your pet squirrel is that these nuts have a good amount of vitamins and minerals.

Along with that, chestnuts can be an excellent source of fiber for your pet. This can help your pet squirrel develop a robust digestive system.

The only thing that you need to remember is that you do not give your pet the horse chestnuts as they are toxic.

2. Foxes

fox eating 23012022

Foxes are known to consume different types of food that are plant-based and animal-based. The common notion is that foxes are carnivores and hunt small animals.

But in reality, foxes are omnivores, and they love to eat different types of fruits like pears as well as nuts. Among them, foxes are known to eat chestnuts.

When bred in captivity, foxes are often given chestnuts to help them improve their immune system.

However, the chestnuts need to be peeled and cut into pieces before these can be given to foxes.

This is because the more rigid outer shell of the chestnut is quite challenging, and foxes cannot break it to access the nut inside. Therefore you need to remove the shell before giving a fox chestnuts.

3. Deer

deer eating 23012022

Deer are known to consume several types of nuts, especially, Chinese chestnuts.

Deer are attracted to chestnuts primarily during fall and at the onset of winter, most of the vegetation on which deer survive is reduced significantly.

As a result, the creature is attracted to nuts found during winter, like chestnuts.

The nuts become an excellent source of nutrients for the deer when other food is scarce.

When deer are bred in captivity, they can be given different types of food, and deer keepers may feed deer chestnuts as a supplementary part of their diet.

Deer can be given chestnuts in their raw form, or you can boil and give the nuts. If you want to attract deer, you can plant a Chinese chestnut tree in your backyard.

4. Raccoons

raccoon eating 24102021

Raccoons are known for their voracious appetite and their ability to find food.

These creatures love ripe chestnuts, and they will eat the ones that fall on the ground. They will also forage for food in your garden and backyard.

When the raccoons can identify a suitable number of nuts that have fallen from the tree, they will be among the first few foragers to find the nuts.

They are also quick to consume the nuts and if you want to protect your chestnut tree from raccoons, you need to install a fence. This will prevent the raccoons from gaining access to the nuts.

5. Chipmunks

chipmunk eating chestnut 23012022

Chipmunks like squirrels love to eat chestnuts and hunt for these nuts in the wild. When chestnuts become ripe, they burst out of their spiny shells and fall on the ground.

These nuts are then collected and hoarded by the creature in preparation for winter. Chipmunks are often known to collect more nuts than they are likely to consume during winter.

(Who can blame them though? It’s always better to be prepared for the unexpected.)

Chipmunks are not easy to domesticate, but if you have a chipmunk as a pet, you can give it raw chestnuts as part of its regular diet.

When chipmunks are kept in captivity, it is vital to give the creature food that provides them with a good supply of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

When you give chestnuts, you can be assured that the necessary nutrients are supplied to the creature.

6. Voles

vole eating chestnut 23012022

Voles are tiny mammals that belong to the rodent family. These creatures are known to be omnivores, and they can easily consume several types of nuts including almonds and chestnuts.

But the unusual thing about voles is that they will not just eat the chestnuts; they will eat the roots of the young plants as well.

So when you plant young chestnut trees, you need to have adequate protection around the young plants to protect them from a vole attack.

Voles can quickly burrow beneath the chestnut trees and chew on the roots. The creature can also consume the nuts that fall from the tree.

With their sharp teeth, voles can easily break the outer shell of the chestnuts to access the nut inside.

7. Black bears

black bear eating 23012022

Black bears are known to consume chestnuts. You will find that black bears can quickly identify the chestnuts when they ripen.

Bears can climb the chestnut trees to access the ripe nuts. Other than that, cubs of black bears are known to love chestnuts.

In the wild, bear cubs instinctively know that chestnuts can be delicious and can prove to be relatively healthy.

This helps the bear cubs find the chestnuts in the wild and eat these voraciously.

When bred in captivity, Black bears are given different types of food, and chestnuts are an essential part of their daily diet. These nuts are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

When these creatures are bred in captivity, they are given a regular supply of chestnuts to help them build a robust immune system and digestive health.


The animals that eat chestnuts are squirrels, foxes, deer, raccoons, chipmunks, voles, and black bears. Even though chestnuts may be hard to find, these creatures have their way of locating and consuming these rare nuts.

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