What Do Muskrats Eat?


What Do Muskrats Eat?

Medium-sized semiaquatic rodents are muskrats. In addition to their natural home in North America, they can also be found in a few locations in Europe, Asia, and South America. Although they can thrive in a variety of settings, these giant rats prefer wetlands to call home.

They resemble giant rats in terms of size. They can weigh up to 2 kilos and grow to be between 41 and 63 cm long on average.

These big rodents enjoy swimming, and their fuzzy coats keep them warm in the winter. Muskrats were once hunted for their fur. Their fur is extremely warm and was frequently used to make fur jackets. These rats have also been utilized as food in various regions of North America. However, these creatures are regarded as invasive pests in some regions, such as Europe.

What Do Muskrats Eat

What Do Muskrats Eat


Almost every kind of flora that these rats can get their paws on will be consumed. Although they also eat other plant stuff like grasses, corn, grain plants, vegetable plants, and many other things, they are particularly fond of aquatic plants like cattails, water lilies, roots, and pondweed.

Small animals

These rats will consume meat as well. Other small animals including lizards, snails, salamanders, young birds, eggs, young rodents, raccoons, squirrels, and non-venomous small snakes are among the prey that they will chase and kill.

Aquatic animals

They are semi-aquatic creatures. They can spend a lot of time in the water, where they hunt for a variety of aquatic animals, including fish, crabs, mussels, and other creatures they spot swimming or drifting around.


Additionally, a variety of insects are consumed by muskrats. They enjoy eating land insects including grasshoppers, crickets, earthworms, worms, beetles, and many more species, but they also enjoy eating aquatic insects like mayflies, dragonflies, and water beetles.

Fruits and vegetables

A lot of nations view muskrats as a pest because of the harm they may do to the agricultural industry. Almost any fruit or vegetable, including the plants and roots of these veggies, will be consumed by them. Carrots, leafy greens, beets, tomatoes, and a wide variety of other vegetables are all edible to these animals. They will also consume other fruit varieties, including berries, grapes, apples, pineapples, and all others.

Grain, seeds, and nuts

Grain, seed, and nut consumption is particularly high in muskrats. They like to consume grains like oats, rice, corn, and sugarcane. They also like eating a variety of seeds, including corn, sunflower, pea, fruit, herb, and many others.


These rats will consume the carrion meat if they come across a carcass. They’ll consume practically every kind of carcass they come across, including those from larger animals like cows, goats, buffalo, and many others.


Because they enjoy swimming and require a lot of water to be hydrated and cool, muskrats are typically found in wetlands. Although they may survive in locations with less water, they always favor swimming-friendly areas.

Diet Variations

They can have a very diverse range of diets because they are omnivores and can consume practically anything. These rats may even decide to engage in cannibalism. They frequently consume the young of other muskrats and will consume the carcasses of their own kind.

How to Feed Muskrats

How to Feed Muskrats

What Do Muskrats Eat In the Wild?

These rats will consume anything they come across in the wild. Insects, animals, and plants found near water sources make up the majority of their diet, but they will also travel to locate other meals including grasses, crops, and vegetables.

What Do Muskrats Eat in Captivity?

When kept in captivity, you can provide your muskrat bird seed blends and daily portions of fresh fruits or vegetables. Insects, worms, and meat are further options for treats.

What do Baby Muskrats Eat?

Being mammals, these rats must drink from their mother to survive. Kits are the name for baby muskrats. Before they turn four months old, they are completely weaned after up to 21 days of nursing. They will be eating the same foods as adult muskrats by this point.

You can also feed a baby muskrat specific formula milk made for rats if you are raising one as a kit. From one month on, you can start introducing solid foods so that your baby can start nibbling and tasting them.

How Much Do Muskrats Eat?

These little creatures really have a good appetite. They consume one-third of their daily weight in food. Typically, they don’t have to travel very far to collect their food. They spend the majority of their time within 46 meters of their residences, where they will eat anything they can find.

How Often Do Muskrats Eat?

If they can, these creatures will eat continuously. Given their size, they require a lot of food and may spend a lot of time searching for food. In most cases, they eat numerous times a day.

Do Muskrats Eat Ducks?

These rodents can catch and eat ducklings but are unlikely to catch and kill an adult duck. If they come across a duck carcass, they will also eat it.

Do Muskrats Chew Trees?

It is true that these rodents nibble on trees and remove the bark from them. However, it seems unlikely that they will remove the entire tree. Young trees may do perish as a result of extensive muskrat damage.

Do Muskrats Eat Frogs?

Yes, if muskrats manage to snag a frog, they will eat it. Additionally, they devour the carrion meat of deceased frogs. Tadpoles are especially beloved by them because of their love of swimming.

Do Muskrats Eat or Cut Down Trees?

No, although they can harm trees by gnawing the bark off the stems, muskrats are not likely to take down a whole tree. They eat a larger variety of foods and are significantly smaller than beavers. They don’t construct water dams, thus they don’t need to cut down trees.


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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author