Beavers have the largest rodent population globally, and the major reason for their continuous growth is the ease of getting food sources.
Beavers are quite good eaters; fortunately, they depend on foods easily found in the wild. They love eating tree foliage, fruits, and fresh vegetation. This guide will discuss beavers’ diet and what they prefer to eat.
Are Beavers Vegetarians?
Beavers are vegetarians and naturally feed on select types of grasses they can find in their habitats. Beavers are not the most selective with their diet, but that does not mean they eat any grass they see. They have dedicated preferences.
What is a Beaver’s Diet?
While Beavers are vegetarian, their diet is very diversified as they often settle for what they can find in their habitat. However, studies have shown that there are certain foods they prefer to eat over the general options. These foods are considered their favorite and include:
Also read: What Eats Beavers? 10 Predators of Beavers
How Often Does Beaver Eat?
Beavers are good eaters and have no problem eating multiple times a day. They eat small amounts for each session, so they get hungry quite often and may eat between 4 to 6 times a day. They mostly chew on Twigs, Foliage, cambium, and bark.
Beavers are known to spend most of their time eating and gathering food. Their activity level increases a month to winter. The Animal Diversity Web describes them as keystone species able to change a watershed flow and nutrient cycling by creating dams regulating water depth.
During Autumn, beavers dedicate lots of energy to setting up food caches in the water to see them through the coming winter when food gets sparse.
How Much Do Beavers Eat Per Day?
While beavers eat in bits multiple times daily, they accumulate quite a significant worth of food by the end of a single day. How much a beaver eats heavily depends on its size, activity level, and season. When food is readily available, beavers consume between 1.5 kg and 2 kg of food during summer.
However, during winter, when they depend heavily on sparse food sources, they can manage 0.9 kg of food. They slow their metabolic rate in winter, helping them to manage food of less than 1kg daily.
How Long Can Beavers Live Without Food?
Beavers cannot survive past 3 days without food. By the second day, they would be extremely weak with very little activity levels. Beavers have to eat every day to function normally. However, they can still work and perform well without food within 24 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Beavers Eat Grass?
Beavers do eat grasses. While it may not be their choicest food, they can go for grasses like sagebrush when food sources are scarce, and they need to meet their nutrient needs and daily required food quantity. Alongside grasses, beavers will eat water lilies, giant ragweed, clovers, watercress, and cattails for sustenance.
Do Beavers Actually Eat Wood?
Beavers do not eat wood. While you may often find them with small wood, they only use them to create lodges and dams. However, beavers have no problem eating up the bark and soft layers of the wood they use for creating dams. In winter, they will depend on tree barks for their sustenance. During Autumn and Spring, beavers eat woody flora with hardness close to wood.
Beavers have special microorganisms in their stomach that aid the digestion of 30% of the cellulose they eat from woody plants.
Do Beavers Eat Trees?
There are special trees that supply important nutrients and sustenance to beavers. The willow is one of the trees whose bark is a primary food for beavers. Beavers also enjoy eating barks of cottonwood, poplar, aspen, birch, maple, alder, oak, apples, and black cherry trees.
Do Beavers Eat Fish?
Beavers do not eat fish because they are herbivores, meaning they are pure vegetarians. This is why beavers do not hunt prey. They only eat trees and vegetation for sustenance.
Do Beavers Eat Corn?
Beavers do not have any problem eating corn if they can find it. They almost do not have any restrictions on food plants and fruits. If they can get them, then they will go for them.