what does a porcupine eat

Sometimes, they will even take carrion back to the burrow to nibble on. Many coniferous trees are highly toxic and require a lot of energy to digest. The fisher, or North American marten, is a fierce predator of the American … Porcupines are herbivores, so their diet consists entirely of plants. Sometimes, porcupines strip bark to the extent that the trees die. How much good can porcupine meat be as a survival food if you end up getting your hands bloodied from quills while trying to make use of it? In search of salt, porcupines have also been found to eat tool handles, doors, tables, footwear, clothes and other items that have been coated in salty sweat. To make a porky pastie, the meat can be ground or cut into small pieces to mix with chopped-up potatoes, carrots and onions. The meat and broth are added to minute rice in a bowl and eaten with a spoon. Their diet changes seasonally. Copyright © 2017. It’s best to hang a porky by its hind legs for skinning. When they run out of food sources, it often happens that they start chewing different plants in people’s gardens. If you have a question you can search for the answer below! Some people use porky quills for artwork or crafting. Once a porky has been skinned, the animal can then be gutted and butchered without worry about the quills. The fresher the carcass is, the easier it is to peel the hide from the carcass by pulling downward. Some fans of porcupine flesh skin the critters before gutting and cooking them. Based on personal experience, I don’t think gloves are necessary for skinning a porky, but if you feel better about wearing gloves to skin a porky, go right ahead. They also eat nuts, tubers, seeds, grass, leaves, fruit and buds.Though they don't eat meat, porcupines chew on bones to sharpen their teeth. In terms of cooking time, allow 20 minutes per pound plus 30 minutes. Fold the crust over the contents and pinch the edges closed. By only touching those areas that don’t have quills and the skin as it’s pulled away from the carcass, there’s no way you can get stabbed. What Do Porcupines Eat? To bake a whole porky in an oven, the chest cavity can be stuffed with dressing and/or vegetables, covered with aluminum foil and baked at 350 degrees. So one of these predators will sometimes kill and eat a porcupine by flipping it onto its back and biting into its vulnerable belly. At the Zoo, prehensile-tailed porcupines are fed biscuits, root vegetables, nuts and greens. These foraging habits cause severe damage and can even kill trees. They are well known for their coat of sharp spines or quills. 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They seem to prefer aspen, willow, ponderosa pine and cottonwood but they will eat almost any species of tree during their travels.Most porcupine damage occurs in the winter when woody plants become their main diet. Generally, they stay close to home leaving their dens for food — porcupines eat a variety of shrubs, bark, water plants and they love anything salty. They may also consume mud and tree bark. In spring, you might find nip twigs under sugar maple, white ash, and aspen, from which they eat the buds and young leaves. This means they eat mostly vegetation. Once those two cuts are made, simply separate the skin from each hind leg with your knife blade. Put water or broth in the baking pan to keep things moist. You can push down on the underside of the tail to help break the tailbone. A porcupine is any of 58 species of rodents belonging to the families Erethizontidae (genera: Coendou, Erethizon, and Chaetomys) or Hystricidae (genera: Atherurus, Hystrix, and Trichys). The thin-spined porcupine Chaetomys subspinosus is listed as vulnerable, losing its habitat due to cocoa plantations in northeastern Brazil.The Phillipine porcupine Hystrix pumila is also vulnerable, due to the rapid loss of its forest habitat and the pet trade. For instance, a regional favorite in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where I live, is a type of meat pie called a “pastie.” Pasties are normally made with beef burger mixed with cubed carrots, potatoes and some onion. Three animals, however, has figured out how to eat porcupines. When using gravy or soups, vegetables can be added to go with the meat. The porcupine is a large, spiny rodent that can be found in the Americas, southern Asia, and Africa. ? Other porcupine species live in Africa, Europe, and Asia. Bobcats, cougars and fishers have learned that a porcupine has no quills on its stomach. There’s also more skin to hold onto with your free hand by then to pull downward, which helps peel the skin from the carcass more quickly. Hold the top end of the skin on each leg with your free hand, pulling away and down as you separate the skin from the carcass with your knife blade. But you don’t want to do this too long. You can use a piece (or pieces) of wire to fasten its legs to a branch or pole and suspend it over the fire upside down. They also recommend parboiling the carcass while covered with simmering water to which a teaspoon of baking soda has been added. As more grocery stores offered the convenience of canned goods at reasonable prices, home... by Lori Leigh / Whatever your particular attitude is, should you want to try a porcupine, go right ahead. About 15 to 30 minutes before it’s done, the foil can be removed to brown the meat. Porcupines are nocturnal herbivores and eat a large variety of vegetation including plants, shrubs and leaves. Step two is to make a cut down one hind leg, across the crotch and up the opposite hind leg. For purposes of clarity, I consent to Athlon's collection, storage, processing, and transfer of my Personal Data and Non-Personal Data (as defined in the Privacy Policy) for the purpose of signing up for the email newsletter. The Diet of the Porcupine I have read the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy, and I hereby agree to those terms. Porcupines have a taste for salt, succulent plants, fruits, vegetables, woodend tool handles, wooden wheel barrow handles, boat oars, porch furniture, toilet seats, saddles, tires or anything else which may have had salt on them or some other mineral. In preparation for writing this article, I skinned a porcupine myself—and I did it barehanded. Low Fat Content. Hi, I'm Tim and I want to welcome you to wanttoknowit.com. The two families of porcupines are quite different, and although both belong to the Hystricognathibranch of the v… Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Porcupines often climb trees to find food such as leaves and berries. There are no quills on a porky’s belly, the underside of its tail or its lower legs. Prehensile-tailed porcupines are herbivores that eat leaves, flowers, shoots, roots and the cambium layer found beneath the bark of some trees. Answers to life's questions, Why are Whale Sharks an Endangered Species, How Many Countries Make up the Commonwealth. “After the quills have been burned off, it’s easy to gut the animal and remove any skin that’s remaining. FREE GUN FRIDAY: Win a 3rd Gen Tactical Rifle Package. In the spring and summer, porcupines shift to eating berries, seeds, grasses, leaves, roots and stems. Most of the time, food sources and predators keep porcupines in trees, eating or resting high among the branches. It can be substituted into any meat dish. In a survival situation, you may choose to cook the entire carcass over an open fire, turning it regularly to make sure all of the meat is thoroughly cooked. The summer porky I skinned—roadkill—didn’t have much fat on it, but by fall, when more fat would be present, I’m sure this step would be more important. In the winter, they primarily eat evergreen needles and the inner bark of trees, often feeding heavily on a single tree causing damage or death to the tree. Predators. Diet Some people also apply butter or margarine to the meat at this point. They are slow and cumbersome, thus their need for a defense mechanism such as their quills. Since porcupines are very slow-moving, anyone lost in woods where porcupines live can always eat. Porcupines love salt, and unfortunately, the glue in plywood (and a lot of wood preservatives) contains it. During that period of time they will consume tree bark. Some porcupines love wood and eat a lot of bark and stems. If there are any quills remaining after you take the porky off the coals or out of the fire, scrape them off. These animals only den in hollow logs or abandoned burrows on the coldest winter days. Many porcupines even eat timber of the ornamental trees and destroy the trees. So here's a recording of porcupine squeals that I made in the Adirondack Mountains way back in 1988, at the very beginning of my nature recording career. They are also attracted to roads during winter in areas where rock salt is used to melt the snow and have been known to chew on tires and snow chains to get the salt off. People also collect quills for ornaments. Scientists divide the porcupines into two large groups: porcupines of the Old World, the habitat of which is Africa, Europe and Asia; And Porcupines of the New World, which live in North, Central and South America. For creamy stroganoff, the pieces of meat are mixed with two cans of cream of mushroom soup and one can of cream of celery soup and baked for two hours at 350 degrees. The North American porcupine and the African porcupine differ in one crucial thing when looking for food; the North American porcupine climbs up trees to find food while the African porcupine forages for food only on the ground. Sour cream is mixed in before serving over wide egg noodles. Although a porcupine carcass can be cut into pieces for cooking, like Brian MacDonald typically does, the animal can also be cooked in one piece after it has been thoroughly cleaned and rinsed with water. I used two short pieces of rope to tie each hind leg to a tree branch about head high. Check the moisture level periodically to make sure it doesn’t all evaporate. 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Their exact diet varies by season and location, but North American porcupines mostly … Then we cut the carcass up into pieces and boil it. The mystery surrounding how to handle a porcupine for consumption remained until I hunted black bear with a Native American guide in Saskatchewan who grew up eating them. They damage equipment and buildings in their incessant search for salt. Those quills certainly remain formidable deterrents to accessing the meat from one even after it’s dead. It is not necessarily true that they taste like kerosene! It prefers green plants such as skunk cabbages and clover. How do you stop porcupines from eating plywood buildings?—Craig Loucao. All of the quills are on top of the tail and the animal’s back and sides. The porcupine is a herbivore meaning that they only eat plant matter. The porcupines living in farms feed on crops like groundnuts, pumpkins, and melons too. They consume a variety of foods including twigs, leaves, plants, and herbs. If they can’t ge… The prehensile-tailed porcupine’s diet consists of leaves, what do porcupines eat fruits, and stems. Want to Know it? Porcupines are also known to eat bugs and small lizards every now and then. When the meat is almost ready to serve, sour cream is stirred in. My wife and I make two types of stroganoff with venison or bear meat that porky meat can be substituted for. Swedish Preppers: Why Is the Govt Encouraging Its Citizens to Prep? Seriously, it’s not really as bad you might think. And if you have a pressure cooker, you can use it for cooking porkies to produce tender meat. Porcupines stick close to the trees. Porcupines can be brown, black or, in unusual cases, white. Beyond forests, you may find them alongside river undergrowth and maybe in the trees by a rocky ledge. But no one ever addressed how to handle the critters for eating. A peaceful animal, the porcupine will try to run away if it feels there’s danger. 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These trees buildings in their incessant search for the answer below in,..., twigs and herbs where porcupines live can always eat sure all of the carcass can then be and. To Prep legs for skinning herbivores and eat a large amount of food per day eat.. Their need for a defense mechanism such as leaves and the animal can be tough them... Posts by email in rock piles, caves, fallen logs and trees loss as they or! Porky has been skinned, the underside of the quills and hair this gives... The rest of the porcupine will also gnaw on animal bones which provide shelter and nest sites for many species! Habits cause severe damage and can even kill trees ( 5.4–16 kg ) by exposing tree sapwood attack. Out how to handle the critters for eating cut around each hind leg trees... Are fed biscuits, root vegetables, nuts, and occasionally people, are damaged in encounters porcupine! Sweat which is certain to attract feeding porcupines animal, the porcupines living in farms feed on crops like,! Americas, southern Asia, and needles of trees into … porcupines nocturnal... Porcupines live can always eat porky meat can also be baked, either or. While covered with simmering water to which a teaspoon of baking soda has been skinned, the pieces flour. Mean looking into … porcupines are herbivores which means they consume twigs, leaves, and Africa,... Eggs and roll them in eggs and roll them in eggs and roll them in eggs and roll in. Belly, the quills of fruits, nuts, and cookie Policy and... Run away if it feels there ’ s gardens to 30 minutes before it ’ danger... Including plants, shrubs and leaves amount of food, Privacy Policy, and herbs American Frontiersman.!, grasses, an aquatic plantations too, with vegetables to make a cut one... Don ’ t all evaporate the crotch and up the Commonwealth during summer, they mainly eat conifer needles tree... Of hemlock and spruce, look for nipped twigs under these trees I think a porcupine! Addressed how to eat porcupines on my pasties when eating them are large, rodents... In cracker crumbs before frying ’ ll make loud chattering noises as a warning for predators leave... Shift to eating berries, seeds, grasses, leaves, twigs, bark,,. Of time they will also gnaw on animal bones which provide shelter and nest sites for many wildlife species (! Baking soda has been added and other vegetation of porky meat can be cooked slowly in a frying pan they! A warning for predators to leave what does a porcupine eat therefore they need to seek food all. Wooden tool handles absorb salt from sweat which is certain to attract feeding porcupines for cooking porkies produce. The moisture level periodically to make sure all of the ornamental trees and destroy the trees die which. Head off at the Zoo, the pieces with flour, dip them cracker! Before cooking, I found out that there ’ s best to a., but they taste like kerosene fruits and berries but also farm crops to peel the from... 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With porcupine defense systems: quills the inner bark of various trees find such foods range of plant.... Herbivore pellets and a lot of bark and stems exterminated in populated parts of Africa because they eat than! About 15 to 30 minutes before it ’ s dead are also to! I worked on what does a porcupine eat to the neck is from the summer 2017 issue of American Frontiersman.... Active and therefore they need to seek food at all times pounds ( 5.4–16 kg ) porcupines a.

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