What is a groundhog’s natural diet, and how does it get its food?
Groundhogs are rodent species native to North America that are primarily daily animals, i.e. active in the day. When it comes to their eating habits, they prefer green diet, i.e. they eat plants, fruits, veggies, leaves and seeds, with rare exceptions to this menu.
Groundhogs live in forests, fields, meadows and human neighborhood. They make home underground, in the area where they can find lots of food near their den; they prefer to have lots of bushy, green area around their den (entrance), so that they can stay secluded and feel safe.
Groundhogs usually have gray or brown fur in many different shades and mixtures of these most often colors. They can grow up to 20-25 inches in length and will weight around 10-15 pounds. Male groundhog is a bit larger then a female one. They usually live up to 6-7 years although not many of them survive first 12 months, primarily because of cold winters or predators that will hunt them down and eat.
When it comes to eating and diet, groundhogs like to eat what they find near them, what grows in the nature around them. They will eat leaves, seeds, nuts, grains, grasses and fruits. If they can choose, they will first pick chickweed, dandelion, sorrel, asters, clover and plantain. They love fresh green plants because they also get lots of juices from these. When it comes to fruit choices, they will first go for berries, because of course there are lots of berries in the woods. Of course, they will not shy from any of vegetables they find around such as broccoli, beans, squash, soy, corn, lettuce.
Groundhogs will eat lots of food during spring to fall season, all with the goal to build layer of fat, to assure survival during cold winter. They need this layer of fat because they will sort of hibernate during cold months and need fat to keep them alive till spring. Although lots of people see groundhogs as pests because they ravish their gardens, they simply do it for the survival.
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