What Animals Eat Oranges? 15 Examples with Pictures!

Last updated on October 8th, 2022

My nephew loves animals, and much of his curiosity about the world of wild and domestic animals seems to have rubbed off on me.

A recent visit to a friend’s farm invigorated and got him all the more interested in the animal kingdom.

He started asking me questions about the food and the habitats of animals. This got me thinking about the different fruits and vegetables we eat, which animals love to consume.

For example, I came across the fact that several animals eat oranges. Moreover, the vitamin C in oranges can prove to be healthy for animals, just as it is for us humans.

Animals that eat oranges:

  • Horses
  • Armadillos
  • Doves
  • Rainbow Lorikeets
  • Chipmunks
  • Ring-tailed Lemurs
  • Golden Finches
  • Pigs
  • Butterflies
  • Deer
  • Raccoons
  • Bears
  • Elephants
  • Monkeys
  • Peacocks

This is a detailed overview of what animals eat oranges.

List of animals that eat oranges

1. Horses

horse eating 16012022

You usually associate these animals with eating hay, carrots, and different seeds when you think of horses.

But horses love to eat oranges, and when horses are bred for equestrian purposes, they must have strong bones.

The vitamin C in oranges is essential to help the animals build strong bones. Therefore, horses that are bred on farms are often given oranges whole.

Additionally, orange peels are rich in antioxidants, which are necessary to help animals reduce stress.

Thus, if you plan to feed your pet horse oranges, you should give whole oranges to the animal. For additional guidance on nutrition, you should consult with your local vet or pet nutritionist.

2. Armadillos

armadillo 16012022

Oranges can form a part of the diet of armadillos and when they are not burrowing under houses, you can find them

Armadillos, by nature, are omnivores, which means these creatures can survive on larvae such as lawn grubs, and maggots, as well as fruits and vegetables.

Usually, armadillos hunt for maggots and larvae, but they can consume a lot of fruits if they come across any.

These animals love to consume citrus fruits like oranges and the primary reason armadillos look for fruits, especially oranges, is the lack of another food source.

Armadillos will not look for oranges in their natural habitat, but the lack of termites, larvae, eggs, or other small animals can force these animals to eat oranges, bananas, or apples.

3. Doves

dove eating 16012022

If you think of food for birds, then the first thing that will cross your mind is bird seeds. But I was surprised to learn that oranges are considered one of the healthiest foods given to doves.

You can give pet doves oranges regularly in small doses because the vitamin C in the fruits is necessary for the doves to build healthy bones.

If you have pet doves, you can put oranges on spikes and place them in the cage. Then, your pet doves can peck on the fruit throughout the day.

Oranges can help build the immune system of your doves, and you will find that your birds are becoming healthier if you include fruit as a supplementary part of their daily diet.

4. Rainbow lorikeets

rainbow lorikeet eating orange 16012022

Rainbow lorikeets feed primarily on the nectar of flowers. Therefore, these birds tend to avoid acidic fruits in the wild.

But if you want to have a bird that has a long and healthy life as a pet, then you can keep rainbow lorikeets in your home.

However, pet lorikeets need to be given a good variety of fruits, including acidic and non-acidic ones.

When you include fruits like cherries, apples, strawberries, melons, and grapes in the diet of lorikeets, remember to include small portions of citrus fruits like oranges.

Although oranges are acidic and do not form a natural part of a lorikeet’s diet in the wild, when kept as a pet, you can give your bird a small number of oranges occasionally.

5. Chipmunks

chipmunk eating orange 16012022

Chipmunks, especially if you have one as a pet, need to be given a healthy diet of nuts like peanuts, walnuts, or pecans along with vegetables, and fruits.

Chipmunks love to eat oranges as the sweet content of the fruit is ideal for little rodents.

Additionally, like any other rodent, chipmunks need to develop strong bones, and for that, it needs to have a healthy dose of vitamin C.

If you have a pet chipmunk, then it is a good idea to include oranges as part of their daily diet.

You will find that by adding citrus fruits as part of the chipmunk’s diet, you are helping your pet become healthier and more energetic.  

6. Ring-tailed lemur

ring tailed lemur eating fruits 16012022

The ring-tailed lemur is a herbivore, and you will find that its diet consists primarily of seeds, fruits, and flowers.

However, if food is scarce, the lemur is also known to consume tree bark and sap.

If you have ever observed the ring-tailed lemur eating its food, you will see that it bites off the food and does not pluck it with its hands.

This makes the lemur a unique animal when consuming fruits like oranges. The animal can eat the entire fruit directly from the tree.

Therefore, you will not find the lemur plucking the orange from the tree but biting it off from the branch.

Lemurs love oranges because of the juicy nature of the fruit, and it often substitutes for water unavailable at the higher reaches of the trees, which is the lemurs’ natural habitat.

7. Golden Finches

golden finch eating orange 16012022

Finches are beautiful birds that eat almost anything. These birds love to eat fruits and especially citrus fruits.

Oranges are perfect fruits to be given to finches, especially if you try to attract these birds in the wild.

In the wild, finches will look for citrus fruits like oranges primarily because of the high sweet content of the fruit.

If you have a pet finch, you need to include fruits as a supplementary part of their diet. You can peel oranges and feed them the fruit in parts as well.

It is better that you do not give the peels as these often have a bitter taste that acts as a deterrent for birds.

Finches are also known for consuming sunflower seeds. 

8. Pigs

pigs 28082021

Pigs can eat almost anything, but they seem to love oranges. When pigs are bred on farms, oranges form a part of the food given to the animals.

If you put an orange in the feeder, you will find that your pet pig will head straight toward the fruit and consume it whole.

Pigs love the citrus flavor and sweet content of oranges. Moreover, oranges can help the animal develop a robust immune system.

This is one of the main reasons pig farmers tend to include oranges as a part of the animal’s diet.

Usually, the fruit is given as a whole, and sometimes it is mashed up as a part of the food given to the pigs.

So if you have a small pig as a pet, you can give it one orange every day as a supplementary part of its diet.

9. Butterflies

butterflies eating orange slices 16012022

Butterflies love fruits of all colors, and they especially favor oranges because of their sweet taste.

However, if you want to watch a butterfly suck some juice out of freshly cut oranges, you need to be patient.

If you place a freshly cut orange in an area with a lot of butterflies, you will soon find these insects settling on the fruit.

Then if you observe closely, you will find that the butterfly inserts its proboscis into the fruit and slowly sucks the juice of the orange.

Butterflies suck nectar from flowers, and similarly, they can suck the juice out of oranges as well as grapes.

10. Deer

deer eating orange 16012022

Deer will normally eat fruits and vegetables that fall on the ground. Being herbivores, deer love to eat all types of fruits and vegetables.

In the wild, oranges are found relatively rarely, but they love to consume these citrus fruits when they can find them.

Oranges are relatively easier for deer to digest compared to other fruits. Therefore, when deer are bred in captivity, they are often given a healthy portion of oranges along with other fruits.

Oranges are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium. This makes it ideal to be included in the diet of deer bred in captivity.

Interested in learning more about deer eating oranges? Check out that article for more information.

11. Raccoons

raccoon eating 24102021

Raccoons can eat almost anything, but they can prove to be dangerous for the orange tree in your backyard.

Raccoons are known to peel oranges like humans and then consume the fruit. These creatures can consume a significant number of oranges and thus, reduce the entire produce of the tree to a mere few.

If you want to protect your orange tree from a raccoon attack, you need to put up measures to prevent the animal from climbing the tree.

Raccoons love to eat oranges, and they will eat both the ones that are ripe and the ones that are not fully ripe.

Raccoons usually attack the orange trees at night. Therefore you should put up suitable measures like bright lights or water jets to prevent the animals from attacking your harvest.

On the other hand, you can apply cooking oil on the trunks of the orange trees so that the creature is unable to climb them.

Curious to learn more about this topic? Check out this article we wrote on the subject matter – Do raccoons eat oranges?

12. Bears

grizzly bear eating orange 16012022

Bears are omnivores, but they love to eat fish like salmon as well as fruits and vegetables. When it comes to fruits, citrus fruits often feature at the top of the list.

You might see a bear eating an orange in a zoo by biting into the fruit. They will eat the fruit whole along with the peel.

The rich vitamin content of oranges also makes the fruit a favorite of zookeepers when it comes to including it as part of a bear’s diet.

Bears living in captivity are given a steady diet of oranges to help them build a robust immune system and remove toxins from their body.

13. Elephants

elephant eating fruits 16012022

In the wild, the elephants are drawn by the sweet smell of the oranges.

Elephants have a strong sense of smell and can identify the sweet smell of citrus fruit from a distance.

They can track the smell of the fruit and can consume a large number of oranges in a single feeding.

Elephants bred in captivity are often given oranges as a part of their daily diet as it can help them build strong bones, and healthy immune systems, and reduce stress.

Additionally, elephants consume the entire orange, which helps in dispersing orange seeds in the wild.

14. Monkeys

monkey eating orange 13082022

When it comes to monkeys eating oranges, the only thing you will find is that they will reject the fruit if it is not sweet.

This is because oranges are citrus fruits, and sometimes these tend to be sour but monkeys have an excellent sense of taste and smell.

Monkeys in the wild do eat oranges as well but it sometimes can be challenging to obtain unless the fruit falls to the ground.

It is worth noting that when monkeys get their hands on oranges, they will peel them before eating the fleshy fruit inside.

We wrote an entire article on monkeys eating oranges that you can check out over there for more information.

15. Peacocks

can peacocks eat oranges 18082022

As peacocks are opportunistic ground feeders, you can give the bird different types of fruits but when feeding them oranges, it is essential to control the number of oranges you give to a peacock bred in captivity.

It is worth noting that you need to remove the seed from the fruit before you give it to peacocks to prevent any choking.

Peacocks aren’t particularly fond of the orange peel but who can blame them, It’s pretty bitter if you ask me.

Still interested in learning more about peacocks eating oranges? We wrote an in-depth article that you can learn more about over there.

What animals eat oranges?

The wild animals that eat oranges are horses, armadillos, doves, chipmunks, finches, pigs, butterflies, deer, raccoons, bears, and elephants. Oranges are an excellent source of energy, however, even though it promotes healthy digestion, they should be fed in moderation to prevent any health issues from arising.

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