How much will they eat? Enough to double their Spring weight. Which conversely, will be lost once again by the end of winter. So, a healthy, adult raccoon with a Spring weight of 10 lbs., would require approximately 500 calories/day to maintain her weight. As the year progresses, and especially towards the end of Summer, she will consume more calories to be stored as fat within her body and also her tail. By the time she enters her den for a long Winter's nap, she should be tipping the scales at around or beyond 20 lbs. What does this mean in actual food?
Here are some sample menus:
3 small apples @ 55 calories apiece =165
3.53 oz. caterpillars =370
3 oz. smelt = 82
3.52 oz. moth larvae =265
Total Calories: 882
2 C. raspberries =128
10.56 oz. crickets =363
9 oz. crayfish =328
3 mature earthworms @ 70 calories apiece
Total Calories: 1029
For comparison, a 30 lb. dog that is moderately active needs 633 calories/day to maintain her weight, whereas a 7 lb. cat would require 210. And a juvenile, orphaned raccoon in good health, that is being raised in a rehabilitation setting, would require twice as many calories per day as our 10 lb. adult, for they are still growing. Multiply that by 25, and you have an idea of what the average raccoon rehabilitator must provide in regards to nutrition for her foundlings, in order to insure their survival.
Of course we all know that raccoons are not true hibernators, they will leave their dens occasionally to scout for food. We are also aware of how scarce sustenance is during Winter; raccoons must rely on their layer of fat.
On the next cool, Autumn day when you are compelled to walk through the forest, peacefully marveling at the incredible array of colored leaves, you may see out of the corner of your eye, a four footed mammal with a very thick tail, waddling through the flora. Know that she is on a mission to endure, by consuming large amounts of food during Nature's wondrous time of fattening!
BON APPETITE !
five juvenile gray squirrels......thanks lyn! ******
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
When it's in your best interest, always practice obedience.
Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
Take naps and always stretch before rising.
Run, romp and play daily.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On hot days, drink lots of water and sit under a shady tree.
When you are happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
No matter how often you are criticized, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends.