And second, because North Americans consume so many of them. Food Habits – What does Muskrat like to eat? They still live in their main lodges, but ice covering the rest of its habitat restricts it to finding food underwater. However, this thinking changes when you actually see a muskrat chase a duck, and now you wonder if they actually do eat ducks. The muskrat is found in wetlands over a wide range of climates and habitats.It has important effects on the ecology of wetlands, and is a resource of food and fur for humans. They are most active at twilight. Quick background of muskrats. On Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, Zimmern seeks out food cultural traditions in the locales he visit, and if it means snacking on fresh cow placenta or a still-beating frog’s heart, he’ll swallow it down without a second thought. Its food consists of a wide variety of aquatic plants like pickerelweed, smartweed, cattail, horsetail, bulrush, waterlily, duck potato, and, sedges. A fully grown male muskrat is about 16 to 28 inches long from nose to tail and weighs from 1.3 pounds to 4.4 pounds. Reproduction: Females give birth to 2-3 litters per year, each time yielding an average of 4-8 pups. Muskrat Behavior. With a basic understanding of where they live and what they eat it's not hard to find an area to trap muskrats. What Do They Eat These rodents are true vegetable lovers and eat a wide variety of them. Activity: Muskrats are active year-round, and they feed at all times of the day. Muskrats are rodents that like to live in rivers, ponds, and lakes. The size of the litters varies with the seasons, with larger litters being born in spring and summer, and small litters being born in winter. Chuck Coverdale of Milford, Delaware, said muskrat is an acquired taste. Just remember that muskrats are named for their musk glands. Muskrat fur is not as wildly popular today as it once was, but it’s still the most trapped furbearer, accounting for 35% of animals taken in the US and 28% in Canada. A skinned muskrat is especially lean, and a long, slow boil would only further remove any residual fat. A muskrat is a medium-sized rodent. Muskrats do not hibernate during winter, and they also don't store food in their lodges like beavers do. The muskrat's main predators are mink and otters. Predators. In order to do so, however, I decided I needed to do two things. In this post you will learn if muskrats do prey on ducks. Muskrat Predators Some of these foods include water lilies, cattails, sedges, wild rice, clover, switch grass, arrowhead, frogs, fish, crayfish, snails and samaras. Second, I needed to add fat to conduct flavor. First, I needed to “mask the musk” or at least find some way to complement it. Muskrats eat a largely herbivorous diet and are often called “dainty feeders“. And the ones that are, grew up with it on the dinner table." Muskrats eat the roots, stems, leaves, and fruits of a many water plants, such as cattail, wild rice, water lilies, and rushes. Even though the muskrat is mainly a plant eater, it also eats small fish, clams, snails, and even turtles. The rest seemed to be a matter of aesthetics. Overall - Muskrat Facts. However, they will also eat some animal foods as well. It is native to North America, but has been introduced to South America, Asia, and Europe as well. Use caution when handling live muskrats as they will bite and scratch with their clawed feet. The muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus), the only species in genus Ondatra and tribe ondatrini, is a medium-sized semiaquatic rodent native to North America and an introduced species in parts of Europe, Asia, and South America. That means that they need to find food and eat daily, even in cold weather. Damage Identification Muskrat damage includes chew marks or stripped bark on trees, and partially eaten stalks on agricultural crops or wetland vegetation, such as cattails, sedges and water lilies. Since muskrats can have up to 5 litters per year and each litter can contain up to 5 or 6 kits, controlling the muskrat population through trapping is beneficial and important. Rarely do muskrats attack people unless captured. 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. First, because muskrat stew tastes great. "The younger generation doesn't want to eat it.