What Animals Eat Potatoes! (7 Examples with Pictures)

Last updated on September 30th, 2022

So you’ve been wondering about what animals eat potatoes? In this article, we dive into what eats potatoes so that you can be on the lookout in your garden.

Potatoes can be a staple food in the diet of today’s individuals due to their pleasant taste; numerous animals feel the same. It can be a treat for most of them, although not for all.

Animals that eat potatoes:

  • Rats
  • Squirrels
  • Fire Ants
  • Badgers
  • Sheep
  • Raccoons
  • Goats

This ground provision has a low sugar level, although a high glycemic index. It’s a perennial plant that’s indigenous to America.

This root vegetable can be found all over the Americas. 79% of raw potato is water, 17% is carbohydrates, 2% accounts for protein, and fat is almost non-existent.

It’s also a good source of vitamin C and vitamin B6, however, humans usually don’t eat it raw, because it’s difficult to digest it that way. 

List of animals that eat potatoes

1. Rats

rat eating potato 27122021

Rats fall into the category of long-tailed and medium-sized rodents.

They are distinct from mice for their size, and there are 56 discovered species throughout the world, although the most popular ones are the brown rat and black rat.

When they are in a group, they are called ‘mischief.’ This widespread species of animal mostly live close to or with humans. They can cause notable food losses, primarily in developing countries.

They are omnivorous, and their diet is healthiest when they blend meats, vegetables, and fruits. Their favorites consist of bread, seeds, sweets, cooked rice, and cereal.

If you provide rats with potatoes, they will be happy to have them and enjoy it with its skin, although make sure that it’s cleaned and cooked properly.

Be careful about the green potatoes for their toxicity and how they can affect rats, though.

2. Squirrels

squirrel eating potato chip 27122021

Squirrels belong to the Sciuridae family, consisting of small to medium-sized rodents that are native to Africa, America, and Eurasia.

In most of its species, the forelimbs are shorter than the hind limbs. They have large eyes and a fantastic sense of vision, while most of its species also have a great sense of touch because whiskers are on their head and limbs.

The majority of its species tend to be vegetarians, and they aren’t picky about their food; they will have what’s essential to survive and readily available.

Although their preferences lie in fruits and vegetables like squash, corn, broccoli, and mushrooms, their love of seeds and nuts is pretty popular.

They feed on both white and sweet potatoes, although sweet potatoes are a more nutritious choice.

3. Fire Ants

fire ants carrying food 27122021

Fire ants belong to the Solenopsis genus which consists of over two hundred species. Like a usual mature insect, the body of a mature insect is divided into three parts, the head, thorax, and antennae.

They frequently attack small animals and possess the potential to kill them; if it stings a human, the sensation felt by them is like being burnt by a fire, and the repercussions can be fatal for their alkaloid venom.

They feed majorly on seeds and young plants since they are omnivorous, so animal matter like small animals and insects can also be in their diet.

Sometimes in the dry season, they may also have potatoes since these grow underground.

4. Badgers

badger 27122021

Badgers are omnivorous and short-legged animals that belong to the Mustelidae family. Their behavior depends on their species, although all live in setts, i.e., burrows, shelter underground.

They can attain a speed of 25-30 km/h for a short duration and are nocturnal.

Sometimes in North America, badgers feed coyotes and vice versa, although most of their interactions are neutral and mutual.

The Eurasian badger’s diet includes insects, eggs of young ground-nesting birds, grubs, and earthworms.

The African honey badger can even have venomous snakes with porcupines and honey, and the American badgers are fossorial carnivores, which means they catch the most amount of their food by digging underground.

They also dig holes for tubers and taproots consisting of potatoes and carrots.

5. Sheep

sheep eating 27122021

Sheep are mostly raised as livestock, and they belong to the order Artiodactyla. A full-grown female is called a ewe, and a complete male is named a ram.

They have been a key animal in farming history with a deeply entrenched spot in human culture. Ewes usually weigh between 45-100 kg, whereas the rams are 45-160 kg.

Their digestive system is complex and consists of 4 chambers that make them break down the seed hulls, leaves, and stems’ cellulose.

Their activity pattern is diurnal; the predominant feed of these herbivores are small leafy plants and grass.

Potatoes can be added to their diet with hay and grass, it’s palatable for them and an excellent energy source, but it should be consumed in moderation for proper nutrition.

6. Raccoons

raccoon eating 27122021

The raccoon is also referred to as a common raccoon indigenous to North America.

No other member of the Procyonidae family is larger than it. Its body is 40-70 cm long and weighs between 5-26 kg. Females are typically 15-20% lighter than males.

They have a grayish coat, which majorly includes dense underfur that insulates them in the cold season.

Their main traits include the black fur around its eyes and the white fur that borders its ears.

Raccoons are omnivorous, so their general diet consists of eggs, nuts, fruits, seeds, frogs, crayfish, and insects.

They normally eat whatever is readily available, even potatoes, peas, grubs, and melons. However, their love for sweet corn is out of this world.

7. Goats

goat eating 27122021

Goats belong to the Bovidae family and are primarily used as livestock. Sheep are its close relatives, and it has over 300 different species. They are on the list of the oldest domestic animal species.

They have been raised for their milk, fur, skin, and meat throughout the world. As per the UN Food and Agriculture Organization reports, there were over 924 million living goats in 2011.

In accordance with the breed, their horn sizes vary, although most of them naturally possess two horns, and both male and female goats can have beards.

Goats usually eat anything that’s readily available except inedible material. They are not grazers but browsing animals.

However, they can be fed numerous vegetables, but their favorites include carrots, lettuce, celery, spinach, and tomatoes.

They can also have thoroughly washed potatoes as a treat with their skin, although the green ones must be avoided.

Which animals eat potatoes?

The animals that eat potatoes are rats, squirrels, fire ants, badgers, sheep, raccoons, and goats whereas animals like badgers and fire ants will eat potatoes occasionally.

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