View Full Version : Skippy & friends

04-24-2006, 10:21 PM
Hi everyone. Sorry it took so long to get back with news on Skippy. A lot has transpired and I have been on an emotional rollercoaster, but here is what has happened.
My husband and I spoke with the lady who is pretty much in charge of squirrel rehabitation in my area. She has an environmental/wildlife conservation facility about thirty miles from my house. She has been doing squirrel releases for years and has mulitiple cages, acreas and also the know how.
She was honest and frank when she told me that Skippy would be better off there than in my neighborhood considering things such as cats, cars, mean neighbors, kids with BB guns,dogs, etc.
I really had to fight to hold back my emotions, but I realized I was being selfish to want him here. The true animal/nature lover in me won out.
Then, this evening they called me back and asked if I could house Skippy and two other young squirrels until time for the weathering station. Of course, I agreed.
She said that Skippy was doing fine but maturing nicely now with the other squirrels around. A lot of chattering and a little more of the male hormones starting to show. After talking to them, I realize that I probably won't need to be babying him any longer. He needs me to do the kind thing and let him develop into the wild creature that he is. My job will be to make sure their needs are met and are safe and cared for during the next couple of weeks until time for him to go to the wildlife center.
My husband is going to be building a halfway (LOL) house for the three tomorrow. When they are ready, we will put the three in it which will be placed on our screened in porch. I live in Georgia, so the weather is very nice here now. The cage is not so big that it cannot be brought in if we need to.
I have several questions though. We would like to put things they need in the cage. Of course, branches will be bolted in for safety, and we were thinking of making a dirt bottom. A small door and shelf for feeding and some sort of housing. What else should we consider?
I hear they are starting to refuse formula, but the lady has continued to put it in bowls for them to lap up along with some toast soaked with formula.
I will be going to the pet store tomorrow. Just tell me what all I need to purchase.
Am I excited? Am I nervous? Yes to both!!
I will probably be driving you guys nuts for a while!! I am so glad to know such wise folks!!


04-24-2006, 10:26 PM
Oh, another question.
What type of housing should we construct? With three little guys all between 7 - 10 weeks old, do they need separate spaces? What type of resting spaces do they need. I know they need to be able to learn how to make their own nests. How do they learn to do this or is this something they will learn once they are on their own. I know this is important since Mom is not around to show them. I just figured you guys have had the experience and know what they will need.
Lots to think about here.

island rehabber
04-24-2006, 10:50 PM
Gina I'm so glad Skippy is coming back to you, and with friends to play with! Great turn of events, I think, for Skippy and you. As for housing, if they are all 7-8 weeks old they have at least another 5-7 weeks before they can be safely released, so you'll need to have lots of good stuff in their enclosure to keep them busy, as squirrels do NOT like to be caged. Big branches with lots of leaves, logs and pieces of wood attached high on the walls of the cage are a must....if you keep bringing in nice fresh leaves and branches all the time you will get a natural "dirt" floor after awhile which your squirrels will enjoy burying stuff in. Squirrels want height -- your cage should be as high as possible even if it can't be that wide. They love things hanging from bungee cords, especially corn cobs LOL. They can jump on and bounce. As for nesting, provide a nest box inside the enclosure and hope that all three nest together....if there is squabbling you may have to provide separate housing. You don't have to teach them how to build a nest...it's hard wired in their little brains already :) Just tell hubby to be very careful to make the enclosure escape-proof....your little guys are way too little to survive if they stage a breakout. Their home will be a work in progress, where you continually bring in natural materials for them as the old stuff dries out. have fun!!!

04-24-2006, 11:27 PM
The plans he drew and will be building tomorrow afternoon looks to be about 48" x 24" x 36". (maybe a bit larger) He was wondering if he should build a squirrel house with three compartments in it and hang it up high in the cage. I didn't know if this would be a good idea since they may not be getting houses where they are going ...
If not, what should we use for resting places? Do I need to put nesting materials in with them?
Before, Skippy was just curling up with T-Shirts.
I was thinking we need to have a large shelf built at the top of the cage (like my son's tree house) with an open space so they can get up there and supply them with plenty of T-shirts ...
I don't know. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

04-25-2006, 12:58 AM
I pretty much haunt our closest GoodWill thrift store and such for 'squirrel supplies'. Baby receiving blankets and fleece baby caps for when they're young, and old denim-type shoulder bags for the older squirrels. I have yet to have one that would use a house if an old purse was available. I always put some small pieces of fleece in it for bedding.

I have also used a good sized piece of fleece or denim or flannel and attached the corners to the roof of the cage so that it made a hammock type thing for them, and they also love these. I used to go to a lot of trouble making the hammocks, but, since the squirrels can be kinda rough on them, I now do it the easy way and just replace them. I cut a square of fleece (it doesn't ravel so doesn't need to be hemmed), turn the corners down a little, poke a small hole through both thicknesses, and put one of the cheap old fashioned wire shower curtain hangers through the hole. Do that for each corner, then just fasten the shower hangers to the wire on the top of the cage - you can hang it so it is fairly deep, or stretched a little more tightly for when the weather is hot.


island rehabber
04-25-2006, 06:40 AM
The plans he drew and will be building tomorrow afternoon looks to be about 48" x 24" x 36". (maybe a bit larger) .

That size sounds fine, just have the whole thing elevated at least two feet off the ground (on a table, a stand, whatever). You don't want to have the cage sitting at ground level :) I think my largest cage is that same size and we put it on a small computer table so then it's actually 7 feet high. And Muffinsquirrel's ideas about the hammocks are great...squirrels love them!

04-27-2006, 06:50 PM
... and old denim-type shoulder bags for the older squirrels. I have yet to have one that would use a house if an old purse was available.

Muffinsquirrel -
I found two matching purses/bags at the second hand store today and cut off all the handles except for the one in the back. I hung them like you said from the top of their cage and YOU WERE RIGHT!! They love the bags. They hopped right inside them and then proceded to swing. I laughed so hard! Cutest thing I have ever seen! They played chasing each other inside and out, over and under and had the most fun. I am not sure who had the most fun, them or me!!
Wonderful wonderful idea! I cannot thank you enough. I promise to get some pictures of these guys in their bags. It also saved us money too.


04-27-2006, 07:54 PM

04-27-2006, 08:54 PM

Okay -
I read this post and went right away downstairs and snapped this pic. They were all cuddled together in one of their new bags.
I love little squirrel faces!!

04-27-2006, 09:29 PM
I sure hope this one works!!

04-27-2006, 09:33 PM
This shows better the bag hanging in the cage. Great Idea and they LOVE it!

island rehabber
04-27-2006, 09:59 PM
SO ADORABLE! And what a great idea, hanging the purses. Even more fun than a hammock!

04-27-2006, 10:16 PM
SO ADORABLE! And what a great idea, hanging the purses. Even more fun than a hammock!

Muffinsquirrel gave me the idea. I lucked up and found two matching bags from a consiqnment shop. (though they all pile in one)
I cut the front straps and clipped the purse from the top of their cage with metal shower curtain clips like she said. The squirrels LOVE it! They play and swing in it until they get tired, then they sleep in it. LOL

Thanks Muffin!! Great Idea!! I am going to make the hammock tomorrow.
More pictures to come.

04-28-2006, 09:09 AM
This shows better the bag hanging in the cage. Great Idea and they LOVE it! Thanks!!


Squirrels of this stature require more sophisticated attire. I would suggest Gucci... For the discriminating and fashion conscious squirrel....

04-28-2006, 09:40 AM
:goodpost :crazy :crazy :crazy :jump :rolf :rolf :wave

04-28-2006, 09:48 AM
:goodpost :crazy :crazy :crazy :jump :rolf :rolf :wave

Ha Ha! Those emotions/smiles are exactly how I feel now that my squirrel is around again!!
I guess I better get back to doing my chores instead of camping out in front of their cage. It's going to be hard. They are much more fun!

Secret Squirrel
04-28-2006, 01:43 PM
Squerly you ain't right :skwredup !