Do Groundhogs Eat Meat? Or Are Groundhogs Vegetarians?

When people think about groundhogs, generally, many would think that they only eat plant-based food like fruits, vegetables, grass, and flowers. But do they also eat meat? Can they eat meat and digest it without having any problems? Let’s see this matter in detail.

Do Groundhogs Eat Meat?

Though groundhogs are considered herbivores, they sometimes eat meat, too, in the form of insects, larvae, snails, and smaller creatures like baby birds.

However, they are not dangerous to your pets. The thing is that they don’t actively hunt and are primary herbivores animals, but they seek out the animals that appear in their foraging for other foods or when digging for burrows.

Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks or whistle pigs, are part of the marmots family. They are actually like large squirrels, which behave similarly to gophers and prairie dogs.

Groundhogs eat insects that come out while they are digging for burrows or the ones that are found under the bark of some older trees. Insects can be the most important diet of a groundhog in the spring and early winter when plant food is scarce.

So, we can say that a groundhog’s diet changes depending on the season and the availability of food. They prefer smaller insects such as snails, beetles, slugs, and worms.

Are Groundhogs Vegetarians?

Yes, keeping aside the fact that groundhogs sometimes eat small animals like insects and baby birds, they are primarily categorized under “herbivore” animals.

are groundhogs vegetarians
Image by David from Pixabay

Also Read: Are Groundhogs Blind? Do Groundhogs Have Good Eyesight?

Do Groundhogs Kill Chicken And Eat Them?

As groundhogs are herbivores, they are not much interested in killing and eating animals all the time. They do it only when the plant food is scarce. They won’t attack your chickens and kill them. But, they are reported to steal baby chickens in chicken coops whenever they have the opportunity to eat them.

So, if you have small baby birds, then you might have to be careful when they are around in your vicinity.

Do Groundhogs Eat Eggs?

Though woodchucks, aka groundhogs, may not eat your chicken eggs, there will always be an exception.

They are pretty adaptive creatures, so when they don’t find any other food or see the eggs as an easy alternate food option, they may eat them. We never know. The reason for saying this as they are already known to eat baby birds, so they may not hesitate to try eggs, too.

They eat eggs of ground-dwelling insects, often located very close to the surface of the ground. So, a groundhog would have a much easier time catching it than catching insects like grasshoppers or a beetle.

Do Groundhogs Eat Cats?

Though groundhogs may not attack your cats still, they are a danger to your kittens. There are some incidents where they have reportedly eaten some small kittens, possums, and other such creatures.

So, you should be careful about them when your kitty is out in the garden. These are bigger than gophers and have higher chances of offending your pets.

groundhogs aggressive
Photo by Timo Niedermann on Pexels

Also Read: Do Groundhogs Eat Strawberries?

Do Groundhogs Eat Rats And Mice Away?

Though groundhogs may not eat an adult rat or a mouse, they will definitely take a chance with younger mice and rats. Also, they would target if they are weaker or injured and cannot run away.

However, according to reports, they rarely eat rodents; this is said to be an evolutionary instinct to prevent diseases from infecting them, as many diseases are shared within the rodent family.

Are Groundhogs Aggressive To Humans?

Groundhogs are very timid and not aggressive animals. As they have many predators, their first instinct is to run and find a safe spot to hide whenever they sense some danger. So, normally, they won’t be aggressive toward humans.

But whenever they are with their babies, it is important to keep your distance from them as they can feel territorial and become defensive when their young are nearby.

When groundhogs get aggressive, they will make loud noises, sometimes hiss at you, and may even try to bite if they feel cornered. Like any rodents, their mouth is their weapon with their sharp teeth, which they use to dig burrows.


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