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Thread: Overwintering - How Cold is Too Cold?

  1. #1

    Default Overwintering - How Cold is Too Cold?

    I've never over-wintered before and have no idea what an acceptable temperature range is for these guys. Remus and Rickey (about 12-14 wks?) are in a cage on my enclosed porch anxiously waiting for me to build them a BIG winter cage on wheels. (thank you to all for advice!)

    The plan is to move their cage out to the deck for fresh air and sunshine when it is not too cold, and move them into the house when I can't keep the porch warm enough.

    What I don't know is, how cold is too cold?
    For now I have a really good (safe) space heater, a portable cool mist humidifier, (the space heater made it very dry out there) and a baby monitor (for me) on the porch, and haven't let it get any colder than 65 F by their cage. Oh, to clarify, that's "monitor", like the listening device, not a baby lizard. WAY too cold for that!

    I don't want them to turn into cold weather wimps, because I am planning to release them in the spring and don't want them breaking into houses to keep warm! HOWEVER, I of course want to keep them hardy and healthy until then.

    They have nest boxes, a hammock, LOTS of fleece I got from JoAnn fabrics at clearance + 1/2 off :wott , and I cover all but a section on the front of their cage at night with a few blankets. Are they too pampered? How warm should it be outside for them to enjoy the weather??

    THANK YOU for any advice and ideas.

    Linda
    Linda

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Squirrelville
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    18,088

    Default Re: Overwintering - How Cold is Too Cold?

    I am not an expert but I just asked this question and was assured that as long as they had a box with fleece etc and food and water they will be fine. I seem to have a "cold weather wimp" on my hands for the winter but even he seems to e getting over the horror of the winter chill of CT for a while each day. Good luck!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Overwintering - How Cold is Too Cold?

    Quote Originally Posted by SammysMom
    I am not an expert but I just asked this question and was assured that as long as they had a box with fleece etc and food and water they will be fine. I seem to have a "cold weather wimp" on my hands for the winter but even he seems to e getting over the horror of the winter chill of CT for a while each day. Good luck!

    CT?? SERIOUSLY??? Who's the cold weather wimp now? I guess that would be ME! All things are relative, I suppose. We are so accustomed to the warm weather here that just the thought of trekking to the north part of Florida makes me shiver!

    Thanks for the advice. I remember seeing Sammy's picture - what a charmer!!

    Linda
    Linda

  4. #4
    mugzeezma Guest

    Default Re: Overwintering - How Cold is Too Cold?

    She's right. Squirrels are made to survive drastic temps. Mine were outside when it dipped way below freezing I stuck my hand in the nestbox and they were toasty warm in their fleece.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Default Re: Overwintering - How Cold is Too Cold?

    BL - I'm a little late posting here on this topic, but I worried about the same thing. It seems that if they have a nice dry and protected nest box and plenty of fleece, they stay quite warm. Magnus is outside and we've had temps down in the low 20ties and he seems quite fine. On those really cold days he stays in his nest box more, but he seems to be quite well, eating, drinking and playing right along. I think because we don't wear a fur coat, we underestimate the ability of them to stay warm because we get so cold. They will be just fine

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    482

    Default Re: Overwintering - How Cold is Too Cold?

    We have our kids in the carport for over wintering...
    So far the lowest the temps have gotten is minus 5.
    They get the cold without the windchill...
    I kept barrel-a$$ing outside every morning to see if someone had died on me during the night!
    So last weekend hubby bought me a temp guage with a wire that runs out the window so I can tell how cold it is!
    I still run outside! lol
    I was poking and rubbing them the one morning while they were climbing me when it was really cold and I was surprised how warm they were! Their little tummies were all comfy warm!
    I haven't worried about them so much since then!
    OK yes I still worry...but a bit less!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Default Re: Overwintering - How Cold is Too Cold?

    Yes it sure is hard not to worry when you know it's cold outside. I go check on Magnus constantly and pet him and hold him between hands so he can get warm IF he was cold. He always feels warm to the touch, but you never know

  8. #8

    Default Re: Overwintering - How Cold is Too Cold?

    I built a nice box and provided lots of fleece and Earl(the squirrel) doesn't use it. He either built his own nest or he's squatting somewhere. In any case it doesn't look like he's suffering from the cold. He's got a nice thick coat and seems to like the snow, as do the rest of his buddies.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    fly 'second to the right, and straight on till morning'
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    Default Re: Overwintering - How Cold is Too Cold?

    Its been very cold here as well...my outside girl made her own cozy nest in a line of cedars and seems to be doing just fine. She comes every morning for breakfast, stuffs herself, grabs some nuts to stash, gets a drink of water, jumps on me to say hello, and then its back to her nest for the rest of the day. I provides fresh water every day, cause everything here is frozen solid. This morning she climbed all over the Christmas decorations on the porch (no lights)and seemed ok with the old sled and ice skates standing by the door...it was too funny, she had to check out the new "stuff" in her turf

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