Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Squirrel Release methods (need advice)

  1. #1
    Jules_ Guest

    Default Squirrel Release methods (need advice)

    You all are a wonderful source of information, I'm so glad I found the site yesterday!

    I've perused some of the forums, asked questions, read a bunch, but I have a specific request for information on how to release our two 'babies' we've fostered when the time comes which will be sooner than we like or are ready for I'm sure.

    "Spaz" and "Goblin" are sister and brother grey squirrels, and are about 8wks old now... they are all over the place and amazingly cute and fun. We have moved them to a large parakeet cage, complete with cozy (ferret) igloo made of fleece that hangs on one side - they love it. They're not weaned yet and a ways from release but again, it won't be long and I need to learn what to do.

    We're hearing from our rehab guide and reading up that release preparation begins as soon as you're ready to move them outdoors. We're in the process of building an outdoor cage/habitat and will get wooden nest boxes for the cage.

    My question is mainly about actual release... how do you get the nestbox up into a tree that its high enough and safe enough from predators?! We don't have a 25ft ladder unfortunately.

    The trees these squirrels came out of are very tall, very old oaks and ash trees in stately older neighborhoods. They don't often have low branches at all.

    I am very concerned about releasing them. I am ready to start the slow process of moving them outdoors as spring warms up and getting them acclimated, and even prepared to bring them food/water to whatever place we release them to make sure they get off to a good start. The people who found them and live in the house next to the trees are also willing to help out. We want to release them back into the neighborhood they were found but are hearing tales from other rehabbers of predators, cats, bad weather, etc etc... I guess I'm just having Mom anxiety early!

    These are our very first foster babies, so we need extra help with the transition and release.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Nuttyville, USA
    Posts
    6,657

    Default Re: Squirrel Release methods (need advice)

    No matter where you release predators are a factor. I like soft releases...where once you open the cage door they can come and go as they please until they make the decision to move out for good...plus provide food and water always. When they come in at night to sleep you simply close the cage up until morning and do it all over again.

    As for nestbox...you can put a shelf inside the nestbox with a opening toward the back of the nestbox so the squirrel can go down into the bottom and be protected from predators (say raccoons) if they reach in and try to grab..the shelf will block them from being able to get to the squirrel(s).

    Around 10 weeks or so the babies will wean and it's important to have them on a healthy squirrel diet
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=16093
    and Henry's Healthy Blocks
    To make them:
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=14963

    To order them:
    http://healthyblocks.com/index.html


    Good luck..it will be a time of mixed emotions when the time to release is finally here

  3. #3
    Sciurus1 Guest

    Default Re: Squirrel Release methods (need advice)

    This is something that is on allot of rehabbers minds of late. Though most watch out for the squirrels in their release cages, they can't be home all the time, and others have had to release in more remote areas, as well leave the squirrels they have lovingly raised alone in cages as well. Sadly, my friend did this, and when she checked on them a couple of days later, sadly found the squirrels there had been all killed by raccoons who got in. She even had a cement foundation and double wire grid, but that didn't stop them. If she had had a full surround chainlink barrier they would not have gotten in.

    I have tried to share this many times here, hoping that our members would consider adding Chainlink surrounds to their release cages, but so far few if any have commented on this as a matter of real need. We all hope it won't happen to one of our members squirrels, but statitically it will if chainlink surrounds are not employed around the release cage, it will.

    I have seen these surrounds offered online under wildlife supplies, with various sizes. How hard can chainlink be to put up with a couple of friends anyway, and take down if needed. When ii comes down to it a squirrel in a release cage with no chainlink around the cage is like a TV dinner, set out for them to take. sorry, but that's a fact. So far our members have not have this happen, at least I had no heard of it, but since I had heard of it from my friend who rehabs squirrels, I wanted to share with you all what she sadly had to learn about the hard way. My hope in this is that those that rehab regularly will consider investing in what is no more than what one would provide as a dog kennel to keep their precious rehabbed squirrels safe till the day they let them go.

  4. #4
    PBluejay2 Guest

    Default Re: Squirrel Release methods (need advice)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sciurus1
    This is something that is on allot of rehabbers minds of late. Though most watch out for the squirrels in their release cages, they can't be home all the time, and others have had to release in more remote areas, as well leave the squirrels they have lovingly raised alone in cages as well. Sadly, my friend did this, and when she checked on them a couple of days later, sadly found the squirrels there had been all killed by raccoons who got in. She even had a cement foundation and double wire grid, but that didn't stop them. If she had had a full surround chainlink barrier they would not have gotten in.

    I have tried to share this many times here, hoping that our members would consider adding Chainlink surrounds to their release cages, but so far few if any have commented on this as a matter of real need. We all hope it won't happen to one of our members squirrels, but statitically it will if chainlink surrounds are not employed around the release cage, it will.

    I have seen these surrounds offered online under wildlife supplies, with various sizes. How hard can chainlink be to put up with a couple of friends anyway, and take down if needed. When ii comes down to it a squirrel in a release cage with no chainlink around the cage is like a TV dinner, set out for them to take. sorry, but that's a fact. So far our members have not have this happen, at least I had no heard of it, but since I had heard of it from my friend who rehabs squirrels, I wanted to share with you all what she sadly had to learn about the hard way. My hope in this is that those that rehab regularly will consider investing in what is no more than what one would provide as a dog kennel to keep their precious rehabbed squirrels safe till the day they let them go.
    I agree that the cages need to be secure, and hardware cloth or anything else of that light a gauge (like many bird cages) doesn't cut it. My rule is that if I can bend it with my fingers, it isn't strong enough. Chain link is good/great, but there are alternatives. My aviary is 1/2 by 1 inch welded wire mesh, and so far nothing has gotten in (or out). Spaced far enough away from the "inner cage" (depending on size of squares (no more than 1x1 inch to keep the squirrels in, no more than 3x3 inch to keep the raccoons out)) any good welded wire mesh/fencing will do (but it should be buried a foot or so in the ground around the perimeter if a dirt floor). I love raccoons too, but when it comes to finding prey, they are the most intelligent, industrious, ruthless critters I know of. Important post, Sciuris--thanks.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Squirrel Release methods (need advice)

    I agree as well about the sturdy cages and that raccoons are one of the most intelligent predators around. At the rehab center where I used to work, they were able to find their way into enclosures with disabled eagles and kill two!
    (They weren't in chain link).

    I think chain link may be expensive and the poles have to be cemented into the ground. What PB2 suggested also sounds good. I have also seen all wood cages with a heavy wire front on the door.

    I do hope you can do a soft release using a predator proof cage

    Good luck, I know how hard this part of raising these little heart tuggers can be
    Tribute to my dear Wheezer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfmpVgdwCi8
    New favorites squirrel video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu22KiUQFmY

  6. #6
    Jules_ Guest

    Default Re: Squirrel Release methods (need advice)

    I really like the idea of 'soft release' - but I'm not sure how feasible that is considering these babies came from a home/neighborhood on the other side of town and we haven't discussed it with the people who found them other than to say we'd like to release them there.

    I'm also concerned about releasing them where there are already adult squirrels in residence which is why I haven't considered our own big backyard with giant oaks... we have a very healthy resident population including a pair in the hollow tree next to our bathroom window who probably have babies again. I've heard adults who are territorial will attack and even kill young ones... is this true?

    Our rehabber has offered to take them out to her place, which has plenty of land - acres of it in fact, but again, I worry more about bigger predators like racoons there too.

    If we build a very sturdy outdoor cage that's transportable, is it even a good idea to take it back to the neighborhood where they came from or will the squirrels there run them off before they can move out on their own?

    Worries worries worries....

  7. #7
    Sciurus1 Guest

    Default Re: Squirrel Release methods (need advice)

    Boy, you said it Bluejay, raccoons are crafty and intelligent critters, and tenacious predators. That they can pull off the wire mesh, or pushed it in, to pull it from the wood frame it is stapled to is not hard for them to do. Once they gain entrance, there is no escape for the squirel, for the mess usually springs back. This is why wire mess alone is not safe to house squirrels outside.

    Having a good wire mess is very important in anycase, in order ot keep out smaller predators that could get through the chainlink, but then they are not strong enough to get through the wire mess. The fact that a wire mess cage alone is not even secure for squirrels that come visiting should be enough. I have seen squirrel bite the toes of those in the cage, and visa versa, because there was no other barrier. If they can then so can weasels and raccoons as well.

    The bottom of the cage as well needs to be fortified, from raccoons digging under, with both wood chain and wire. My Dad used to live in Northern CA. and a family of raccoons chew into his house to get under it. It is then not an uncommon thing for them to do. All in all what all those who rehab and release want is safety for their squirrels till the day they release them. If that be to a nest box, or to the trees, at least they will have made it that far in safety.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Squirrel Release methods (need advice)

    I don't think it's that important to release them where they were found. I never do. If the cage is in your yard you can keep watch more easily. There will be squirrels anywhere they're released and they'll work it out. I've released about 100 squirrels over the past 5 years and it seems to be a peaceful co-existence.I don't put nest boxes in the trees, but do give them plenty of time to use the release cage as home base until they build a nest. Good luck!
    MsOakley

  9. #9

    Default Re: Squirrel Release methods (need advice)

    In order to give them a soft release they should be released where the people who have been raising them can provide the food and water to them as well as being there to provide a safety net. They are only used to their caregivers, not strangers. If they are not going to be released on your property they need to get used to the people whose property they will be released on. If this is the case they need to be in their outdoor cage on the release site property with those people feeding them for a minimum of 4-6 weeks. This way they will bond to them and feel safe on their property.

    Hope this helps.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •