10 Animals That Eat Potatoes

Potatoes, rich in starch, attract a range of animals, from tiny beetles to farm favorites like chickens and pigs. This article examines how these creatures, big and small, find nutrition in this common tuber.

1. Rodents: Mice and Rats

Mice and rats are notorious for their ability to cause significant damage to potato crops, both in the field and during storage. These rodents tirelessly burrow underground to feast on the tubers, which can lead to considerable agricultural losses.

2. Squirrels

Both tree squirrels and ground squirrels may take an interest in potato crops, especially when other food sources are scarce. These nimble creatures can take advantage of unattended gardens and farms to snatch up potatoes, showcasing their adaptive dietary habits.

3. Raccoons

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Raccoons, as versatile omnivores, often include potatoes in their eclectic diet. These nocturnal night raiders can be found foraging in fields and storage areas, searching for a starchy treat among other food options.

4. Deer

White-tailed deer are known to forage for food in rural gardens and fields, where they may come across and consume potatoes. Their feeding habits can lead to significant crop damage, as they tend to eat a variety of plant materials, including the leaves and tubers of potato plants.

5. Wild Boars

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Wild boars are recognized for their robust rooting behavior, which can lead to them upturning fields and consuming potatoes along the way. This destructive activity not only impacts potato consumption but can also lead to widespread damage to agricultural landscapes.

6. Birds

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Various bird species may show an interest in potatoes, particularly during the harvest season when these tubers are more exposed in fields. Birds are opportunistic feeders and may peck at potatoes laying on the surface, leading to losses for farmers.

7. Cows

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Cattle feeding practices sometimes involve the use of potatoes as a dietary supplement. Cows may consume these tubers when they are mixed into their feed, utilizing the nutritional benefits potatoes provide.

8. Pigs

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Pigs are known for their swine feeding protocols that showcase a high level of dietary flexibility, and they can efficiently convert potatoes into body mass. This omnivorous tendency is advantageous for growers who aim to utilize cost-effective and nutritious feed options.

9. Goats

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Goats, with their voracious foraging habits, may eat potatoes if these tubers are accessible within their environment. As versatile farm animals, they are not picky eaters and can benefit from the nutritional value potatoes provide.

10. Insects: Colorado Potato Beetle

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The Colorado potato beetle is a notorious insect known for its larvae and adults feasting on potato plants, inflicting considerable harm to potato crops. This insect’s appetite for potatoes can lead to severe agricultural challenges if left unchecked.