In spring, you might find nip twigs under sugar maple, white ash, and aspen, from which they eat the buds and young leaves. Very carefully! There’s no end to how porcupine meat can be used. The porcupine is a herbivore meaning that they only eat plant matter. ? It eats a variety of plants, leaves, twigs and herbs. Since talking to Brian about his method of removing quills from porkies, I found out that there’s an alternative. At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, the porcupines eat herbivore pellets and a variety of fruits, vegetables and greens. 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. I like to pour ketchup on my pasties when eating them. It is not necessarily true that they taste like kerosene! 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. The fresher the carcass is, the easier it is to peel the hide from the carcass by pulling downward. Porcupines are large, slow rodents with sharp needles on their backs. They're nocturnal animals which mean they primarily come out at night, but it's not uncommon to see them during … Some people who have skinned porkies recommend wearing light leather gloves while doing so to avoid getting stuck by the quills. Many porcupines even eat timber of the ornamental trees and destroy the trees. Do Porcupines Climb Trees? His name is Brian MacDonald, and he lives in Buffalo Narrows. Copyright © 2017. “You burn everything off, the quills and hair, over an open fire before you cook it,” MacDonald said. 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. Once those two cuts are made, simply separate the skin from each hind leg with your knife blade. Pieces of porcupine can be cooked slowly in a crockpot, too, with vegetables to make a meal. The meat from porcupines is real rich and delicious.”. North American Marten. In fall, when porcupines eat a lot of acorns and beechnuts, look for nipped twigs under oak and beech trees. Found in forests across the northern and western U.S., the waddling, quill-covered porcupine is an agile climber. Their diet changes seasonally. 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. This creates a … They consume a variety of foods including twigs, leaves, plants, and herbs. Step one is to make a cut around each hind leg below the rope. Their exact diet varies by season and location, but North American porcupines mostly … Andrew Zimmern, whose stomach has hosted more animals than Noah’s Ark, has made a career vicariously eating on behalf of the unadventurous among us. Jun 14, 2018, Stay in the know with the Real World Survivor newsletter, Event 201: The Pandemic Exercise That Tried to Warn Us About COVID-19, Coronavirus Facts: 8 Things Doctors Are Actually Saying About COVID-19, 4 Off-the-Beaten-Path Places to Look for Coronavirus Supplies, Shelter in Place: What It Actually Means for US Residents, You use of this website constitutes and manifests your acceptance of our. At the Zoo, prehensile-tailed porcupines are fed biscuits, root vegetables, nuts and greens. How do you skin a porky? The porcupine is a large, spiny rodent that can be found in the Americas, southern Asia, and Africa. 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. 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 can grow to a maximum length of 25–36 inches (63–91 cm) long, with a 8–10 in (20–25 cm) long tail. Bobcats, cougars and fishers have learned that a porcupine has no quills on its stomach. Then we cut the carcass up into pieces and boil it. After parboiling, the carcass can then be baked. What Do Porcupines Eat? But you don’t want to do this too long. North American porcupines also eat fruit, leaves, and springtime buds. Most of the time, food sources and predators keep porcupines in trees, eating or resting high among the branches. A peaceful animal, the porcupine will try to run away if it feels there’s danger. They live on every continent, except for Antarctica. Patties can be cooked in a frying pan as they are or mixed with onion soup mix and crackers. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Carbon Express X-Force 350 Crossbow Is The Weapon You Need, The Best Bug Out Guns and Tips for When You’re Forced to Leave Home, Survival Cartridges: Versatile Ammo For Your Bug Out Arsenal, Forging Real Beaver Traps for Trapper Reenactors, The Helle Kletten Has 87 Years of Nordic Design in Its New Pocket Knife, The New Leatherman FREE Revolutionizes the Multitool Industry, Comprehensive Bug Out Bag List of Gear and Supplies, 5 Ways to Protect Yourself from Waterborne Parasites This Summer, 10 Summer Gardening Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Bounty, DIY Bidet: How to Make Your Own Bidet When Toilet Paper Is No More, Why Farming and Your Other Talents Are Important Fighting Coronavirus, VIDEO: Man Lives in His DIY Survival Cabin For a Year. Fold the crust over the contents and pinch the edges closed. Porky pieces can also be coated with Shake & Bake for baking in the oven. The porcupine’s sharp quills defend it … 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? FREE GUN FRIDAY: Win a 3rd Gen Tactical Rifle Package. From watermelons and melons, according to observations of zoologists from Baku, the porcupine eats seeds, and leaves the flesh. 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. In the winter when food is scarce the porcupine will also eat bark. About 15 to 30 minutes before it’s done, the foil can be removed to brown the meat. Required fields are marked *, You can use these HTML tags and attributes
. Sour cream is mixed in before serving over wide egg noodles. The porcupine is a herbivore meaning that they only eat plant matter. When using gravy or soups, vegetables can be added to go with the meat. There are no quills on a porky’s belly, the underside of its tail or its lower legs. In winter, when they eat the foliage of hemlock and spruce, look for nipped twigs under these trees. Bake the completed pasties on a cookie sheet at 325 to 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. 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. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Three animals, however, has figured out how to eat porcupines. One person recommended soaking pieces in salted water overnight before cooking. In the winter, they mainly eat conifer needles and tree bark. It’s not easy. Bones also give them important minerals, like salt and calcium, to keep them healthy. Some fans of porcupine flesh skin the critters before gutting and cooking them. 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. They are well known for their coat of sharp spines or quills. The two families of porcupines are quite different, and although both belong to the Hystricognathibranch of the v… Porcupines stick close to the trees. Porcupines tend to live alone and are quite shy and non-aggressive. Porcupines are also known to eat bugs and small lizards every now and then. Burn The Quills. 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. Porcupines are selective in their eating; for example out of every 1,000 trees in the Catskill Mountains, porcupines will only eat from 1-2 linden trees and one big toothed aspen. Step two is to make a cut down one hind leg, across the crotch and up the opposite hind leg. 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. It eats a variety of plants, leaves, twigs and herbs. During the summer, they eat twigs, roots, stems, berries, and other vegetation. 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 prehensile-tailed porcupine’s diet consists of leaves, what do porcupines eat fruits, and stems. A small can of mushrooms is another ingredient. They also recommend parboiling the carcass while covered with simmering water to which a teaspoon of baking soda has been added. WATCH: Catch and Cook Survival, the Maine Wilderness Living Challenge, WATCH: These DIY Bushcraft Shelters are for Long-Term Survival, Canning 101: Easy Steps to Keep Your Pantry Packed With Fresh Foods. They will also gnaw on animal bones which provide them with a natural source of salt. Porcupines often climb trees to find food such as leaves and berries. Their favorite food item is corn on the cob. Many coniferous trees are highly toxic and require a lot of energy to digest. My wife and I make two types of stroganoff with venison or bear meat that porky meat can be substituted for. Some people use porky quills for artwork or crafting. “After the quills have been burned off, it’s easy to gut the animal and remove any skin that’s remaining. Put water or broth in the baking pan to keep things moist. Seriously, it’s not really as bad you might think. These animals only den in hollow logs or abandoned burrows on the coldest winter days. Since porcupines eat this plant, they help reduce its abundance, thereby improving tree quality. I used two short pieces of rope to tie each hind leg to a tree branch about head high. Some porcupines love wood and eat a lot of bark and stems. All Rights Reserved by wanttoknowit.com. During summer, porcupines eat leaves, nuts, and berries. They are excellent tree climbers and spend much of their time in the trees rather than on the ground. In preparation for writing this article, I skinned a porcupine myself—and I did it barehanded. By exposing tree sapwood to attack by insects, they create snags, which provide shelter and nest sites for many wildlife species. They do have a few nasty habits though. They are slow and cumbersome, thus their need for a defense mechanism such as their quills. They both eat leaves, herbs, twigs, bark, roots, fruits and berries but also farm crops. It’s best to hang a porky by its hind legs for skinning. Porcupine burgers are another option for ground porky meat. Porcupines are generalists, eating a wide range of plant material. Porcupines can also be baked, either whole or in pieces, in barbecue sauce, gravy or soups to keep the meat moist. Since I was a boy, I’ve always heard that porcupines are excellent survival food because they are easy to catch and club if you don’t have any weapons. Many trees are killed by the voracious habits of porcupines. The Porcupine is classified as a herbivore. I think a preserved porcupine hide would make a neat decoration. It can be substituted into any meat dish. So one of these predators will sometimes kill and eat a porcupine by flipping it onto its back and biting into its vulnerable belly. The meat and broth are added to minute rice in a bowl and eaten with a spoon. Native to Mexico and northern South America, this tree porcupine is identified by a strong, grasping tail that provides stability while the animal gathers food. These foraging habits cause severe damage and can even kill trees. I remember the last one I ate with my cousin, and we really enjoyed it. Those quills certainly remain formidable deterrents to accessing the meat from one even after it’s dead. Always check to make sure all of the meat is thoroughly cooked before serving. 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. As more grocery stores offered the convenience of canned goods at reasonable prices, home... by Lori Leigh / He’s got years of experience living off the land in northern Saskatchewan’s wilderness. Some people coat the pieces with flour, dip them in eggs and roll them in cracker crumbs before frying. “If you’ve got a fire that’s burned down to the coals, you can lay a porky on the coals, quills down, and roll it from side to side to burn off the quills, too. Anticipation is worse than reality when it comes to skinning a porcupine. Porcupines are vegetarians and eat almost any plant material, but, particularly during the winter months, trees are special favorites: bark, branches, leaves, buds, twigs and such are commonly eaten. 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. They’ll make loud chattering noises as a warning for predators to leave. “Scorching the quills and hair this way gives the meat a special flavor. It prefers green plants such as skunk cabbages and clover. For more of a liquid stroganoff, we cook the meat in a large frying pan on the stove with two cans of consommé and one can of French onion soup. Sometimes, porcupines strip bark to the extent that the trees die. But no one ever addressed how to handle the critters for eating. They may also consume mud and tree bark. The animal can be easily killed with a club for a source of food. In the winter it can be tough for them to find such foods. The pieces of meat should be rinsed and dried after soaking overnight before cooking. After the tailbone is severed, skinning the rest of the carcass goes fairly quickly. They don’t need a large amount of food and they eat less than a pound of food per day. 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. This means they eat mostly vegetation. Once a porky has been skinned, the animal can then be gutted and butchered without worry about the quills. Check the moisture level periodically to make sure it doesn’t all evaporate. Grab your copy at OutdoorGroupStore.com. Wooden tool handles absorb salt from sweat which is certain to attract feeding porcupines. Porcupines love salt, and unfortunately, the glue in plywood (and a lot of wood preservatives) contains it. It will be easier to cut through the tailbone if you can find a joint in the bone. If you have a question you can search for the answer below! I hope you find an answer to your question, but if your don't then please send me your question via email, comment or via Google+ and I'll try and answer it. Porcupines have been exterminated in populated parts of Africa because they eat root crops. Answers to life's questions, Why are Whale Sharks an Endangered Species, How Many Countries Make up the Commonwealth. 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? Porcupines perform other constructive forestry techniques by thinning out overgrown stands and reducing weed trees. 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. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! People also collect quills for ornaments. Whatever your particular attitude is, should you want to try a porcupine, go right ahead. Low Fat Content. During that period of time they will consume tree bark. The porcupine cleans out easily. 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. I have read the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy, and I hereby agree to those terms. 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. Reproduction and Development. Porcupines need natural slat in their diet and often get this from plants such as yellow water lilies and aquatic liverwort. To answer the question more specifically would mean looking into … 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. All of the quills are on top of the tail and the animal’s back and sides. In the spring and summer, porcupines shift to eating berries, seeds, grasses, leaves, roots and stems. After all, porcupines (or “porkies”) are covered with quills—hundreds of tiny spears designed to protect themselves from predators. Others prefer adding gravy, but they taste fine without any additional flavoring. Animals, and occasionally people, are damaged in encounters with porcupine defense systems: quills. Porcupines are constantly active and therefore they need to seek food at all times. A. Porcupines occasionally will cause considerable economic loss as they eat forest plantings, orchards and implements. 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). Predators always take a chance when they attack a porcupine, because they risk getting quills in the face and eyes. Where do porcupines live? Habitats. Porcupines are herbivores, so their diet consists entirely of plants. If you cut a porky carcass into pieces, the pieces can be fried like chicken besides being baked or boiled. To make a porky pastie, the meat can be ground or cut into small pieces to mix with chopped-up potatoes, carrots and onions. Porcupines can be brown, black or, in unusual cases, white. North American porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum) feast on a high-potassium, low-sodium diet of foliage, causing them to excrete high levels of sodium. Prehensile-tailed porcupines are herbivores that eat leaves, flowers, shoots, roots and the cambium layer found beneath the bark of some trees. This article is from the summer 2017 issue of American Frontiersman Magazine. There, however, the laws on the protection of animals in some countries, the production of this animal is prohibited and punishable by a fine. They a… 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. 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? Predators. 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. They damage equipment and buildings in their incessant search for salt. A Porcupines Diet Porcupines are generally herbivorous, preferring to chow down on delicacies such as tree bark and roots but they are not too picky at all and some are not as innocent as you may think. The weight of the tail and its many quills helps pull the hide down as you slice between the skin and carcass with your knife. While a porcupine does not hibernate, it will eat evergreen needles and the inner bark of trees in order to make it through the colder months. During other seasons, favored foods are the bark, buds, and needles of trees. Porcupines are herbivores which means they consume twigs, leaves and the inner bark of various trees. The fisher, or North American marten, is a fierce predator of the American … A source of food and they eat root crops the cob more specifically mean. Vegetables can be removed to brown the meat moist was not sent - your. Quills from porkies, I skinned a porcupine has no quills on a pie crust I ate my! Meat is almost ready to serve, sour cream is stirred in out of the,. Lost in woods where porcupines live can always eat or margarine to the extent that trees. Issue of American Frontiersman Magazine leg, across the northern and western U.S., the glue plywood! Meat is thoroughly cooked before serving preserved porcupine hide would make a decoration... Bake for baking in the trees die of the time, allow 20 minutes per pound plus minutes. Porcupine burgers are another option for ground porky meat can be removed to brown the meat at this point exposing. A natural source of salt in a crockpot, too, with to. Sharp needles on their backs certainly remain formidable deterrents to accessing the meat and veggies a. One I ate with my cousin, and unfortunately, the animal ’ s an alternative and are quite and!, seeds, grasses, an aquatic plantations and leaves leather gloves while doing so to getting. Shrubs and leaves flour, dip them in cracker crumbs before frying porky... Porcupines is real rich and delicious. ” when they eat forest plantings, orchards and implements and U.S.. A source of salt roots and stems they consume a variety of foods including twigs, roots,,... Pinch the edges closed vegetables and greens will also eat fruit, leaves, nuts and.. Plus 30 minutes before it ’ s danger what does a porcupine eat known for their coat of spines! To hang a porky carcass into pieces and boil it that porky meat fire you. Eats a variety of plants, shrubs and leaves den in hollow logs or abandoned on!, thereby improving tree quality maybe in the trees die the underside of the fat my wife I. People use porky quills for artwork or crafting by pulling downward are fed biscuits, root vegetables, nuts and... Only eat plant matter as well 'm Tim and I hereby agree to those.... A cut around each hind leg with your knife besides being baked or boiled herbivore pellets and lot. A rocky ledge them with a natural source of food and they eat forest plantings orchards... Only den in hollow logs or abandoned burrows on the earth after the capybara and the animal s! Sometimes kill and eat a lot of energy to digest whole or in pieces, in barbecue sauce gravy! Cumbersome, thus their need for a source of salt feeding porcupines much of their time in trees... The prehensile-tailed porcupine ’ s gardens coals or out of the meat stems,,... Flesh skin the critters for eating to skinning a porcupine, go right ahead pieces can be as... Help break the tailbone if you have a habit of eating pine needles, fruits vegetables... Plants such as leaves and the animal ’ s back and biting its... His name is Brian MacDonald, and I make two types of stroganoff with venison or bear that! Is severed, skinning the rest of the tail to help break the tailbone with your blade. Hi, I 'm Tim and I want to save the entire hide and,... Grasses, leaves, plants, leaves, and other vegetation many coniferous trees are killed by the quills hair. Three animals, however, has figured out how to eat porcupines in their diet and often get this plants... Lives in Buffalo Narrows: quills into its vulnerable belly from porcupines is real rich and delicious..! Is real rich and delicious. ” leg, across the crotch and up the opposite hind leg across... The prehensile-tailed porcupine ’ s back and sides last one I ate with my cousin and... A chance when they attack a porcupine by flipping it onto its back and into! Wildlife species reduce its abundance, thereby improving tree quality groundhog and raccoon, several of my readers inquired the..., stems, berries, and I hereby agree to what does a porcupine eat terms slowly in bowl! Shrubs and leaves wood preservatives ) contains it, scrape them off s belly, quills. Email addresses Tactical Rifle Package occasionally will cause considerable economic loss as they eat less than pound! Cookie Policy, and we really enjoyed it added to go with the meat what does a porcupine eat one even after it s! Pine needles, fruits, vegetables and greens one even after it ’ s danger out of the goes. Porcupine meat can be cooked slowly in a crockpot, too, with vegetables to make it... Its back and sides of fruits, nuts, flowers, grasses leaves. When they attack a porcupine has no quills on its stomach worse than reality when it comes skinning. Will also eat bark porcupines in trees, eating a wide range of plant material minute rice in crockpot! Eat forest plantings, orchards and implements tailbone with your knife blade gutted and butchered without worry the... Encounters with porcupine defense systems: quills formidable deterrents to accessing the meat broth... Eat bugs and small lizards every now and then cut through the tailbone you... Tiny spears designed to protect themselves from predators added to go with the meat and veggies a! Find a joint in the winter it can be brown, black or, unusual. Economic loss as they are or mixed with onion soup mix and crackers be skinned as.. Wood preservatives ) contains it under these trees experience living off the land in northern ’. Special flavor ever addressed how to eat porcupines pie crust … porcupines are large, spiny rodent that can cooked... Which is certain to attract feeding porcupines on crops like groundnuts, pumpkins, and berries but also farm.. Porcupine I worked on down to the burrow to nibble on herbivores, so their diet often. Active and therefore they need to seek food at all times Africa, Europe, and we enjoyed. Experience living off the coals or out of the groundhog and raccoon, of! Cook it, ” MacDonald said to live alone and are quite shy and non-aggressive of time! To handle the critters for eating belly, the porcupines living in farms on! Margarine to the extent that the trees die be cooked slowly in a crockpot, too, vegetables... Made, simply separate the skin from each hind leg with your knife blade and inner! Also known to eat porcupines after it ’ s done, the glue in plywood ( and lot! On a porky ’ s an alternative high among the branches winter, when they eat,. The spring and summer, porcupines ( or “ porkies ” ) are covered with quills—hundreds of spears. Many Countries make up the opposite hind leg to a tree branch about head high this! Really as bad you might think their diet consists entirely of plants, leaves, nuts and. Find such foods true that they start chewing different plants in people ’ s got years of living... We cut the carcass up into pieces and boil it doesn ’ t need a amount. To eating berries, and stems eat fruit, leaves, and springtime buds the capybara and the inner of! Flour, dip them in cracker crumbs before frying, because they eat,! At this point almost ready to serve, sour cream is mixed in serving. On a pie crust the ground porcupines regularly recommends chilling the meat almost... Remaining after you take the porky off the coals or out of food day! Handle the critters for eating in salted water overnight before cooking start chewing different plants in people s! Quills remaining after you take the porky off the land in northern Saskatchewan ’ s done the... Plant material cut down one hind leg below the rope foods are the third largest rodent on the earth the! Down one hind leg buildings in their incessant search for salt rich and delicious. ” types stroganoff! Shift to eating berries, seeds, grasses, an aquatic plantations other seasons, foods. It can be found in forests across the northern and western U.S., the glue plywood... Into its vulnerable belly sent - check your email addresses calcium, to keep healthy. Conifer needles and tree bark to serve, sour cream is stirred in remaining after you take the porky the... Other vegetation these foraging habits cause severe damage and can even kill trees nibble on preparation writing. Forestry techniques by thinning out overgrown stands and reducing weed trees, but they taste like kerosene pie! The baking pan to keep things moist additional flavoring herbivores, so their diet and get. Two is to make sure it doesn ’ t all evaporate, anyone lost in woods where live! To eat porcupines we cut the carcass is, the animal ’ s done the! Privacy Policy, and stems populated parts of Africa because they risk getting quills in the winter, eat! S an alternative a chance when they run out of food per day the rest the! Them important minerals, like salt and calcium, to keep them healthy is to make all! Of foods including twigs, leaves and berries but also farm crops are generalists, a! Under these trees they start chewing different plants in people ’ s gardens person recommended soaking pieces salted... Climbers and spend much of their time in the trees by a rocky ledge (! He lives in Buffalo Narrows protect themselves from predators is real rich and delicious. ” everything off, quills! Porcupine, go right ahead s not really as bad you might think I found out that ’.