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Thread: 2 questions:

  1. #1
    Luv2Spare Guest

    Default 2 questions:

    2 part question:

    #1.
    What is the ideal weaned age for a squirrel? Mine are almost 11 weeks old and they eat anywhere from 6-10 CC's 3 times a day still. They also love apples, grapes, pecans, walnuts, and almost anything else I offer them.
    It's almost like they look forward to that intimate feeding time with me. (or maybe it's just me, I dunno). I mean, is 14 or 16 weeks too old to still be feeding them if they want me to? Recently I have found that they like to skip a meal and I'm thinking they're just filling up on other stuff between meals.

    #2.
    I look at these lil guys and can't believe that they'd make it on their own if released. First, they are so small in size and secondly, I have ALOT of squirrels around here they'd have to fight for dominance and mine are more the "lover" not fighter type.
    Would it be reasonable to not release them until they were closer to 6 months old??

    PS........this group of squirrel lovers gets the "MOST PATIENCE EVER" awards!!
    Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experiences.

  2. #2
    Gabe Guest

    Default Re: 2 questions:

    They say that in the wild they are weaned at approx 11-12 weeks. If mine want it, they get it, it's a great source of calcium. I've even released and had them come back at feeding time on occassion the trick to that is to always feed them at the same time, so they know when feeding time is. It's a great way to see that they are doing ok. Sometimes after release I don't see them for 2 or 3 days, no activity at all in release cage, then suddenly they are back. I think they're having so much fun, that they don't think about eating. I would probably cut them back to 2 feedings a day.

    I think the longer you keep them, the more socialized they become with humans, that can lead to problems. Especially if they associate humans with a food source, not everyone loves squirrels the way that we do. Are you going to do a soft release? Keep them in a release cage for 2-3 weeks before release? They'll feel safe and come "home" if they need to. Youngsters are more accepted than adults that are establishing a territory.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 2 questions:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe
    I think the longer you keep them, the more socialized they become with humans, that can lead to problems. Especially if they associate humans with a food source, not everyone loves squirrels the way that we do. Are you going to do a soft release? Keep them in a release cage for 2-3 weeks before release? They'll feel safe and come "home" if they need to. Youngsters are more accepted than adults that are establishing a territory.
    Yes I agree with Gabe, you don't want to keep them past 20 weeks (5 months) if you can help it. You'll be surprised how quickly they wild up when they realize they are free to go as high up in the trees as they want to....that 'toggle switch' flips and bam! they're gone. In July one of my releases was so freaked out he stayed in the nest box, at the release site, for 24 hours. But when he came out the next day he took to the trees with his siblings and never looked back.
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  4. #4
    Luv2Spare Guest

    Default Re: 2 questions:

    Well, that is one thing I am thankful for is that I have 2 to be released together.

    I live in Florida and so the coldest nights here are maybe 40F, sometimes a little below that. My babes are used to a comfortable 72F LOL.

    From everything I have read so far, I believe the slower the release the better, especially if they've been pampered like they have been.

    I have no problem leaving them in the outdoor cage for a month if that's what it takes, longer if they want.

    I guess what I am most nervous about is the bully squirrels that DO live in all the trees around me. I don't know if they are bullys but I have read some stories that make me hesitant.

    Seriously, I would be sick to my stomach not "seeing" them at least once a day.

    Tell me if this is a good idea. (I need a camera for this one). I set the 2 boys in an outdoor cage on ground level and place all the wild squirrel food trays all around their cage. Within a half hour there are about 7 squirrels feeding all around them. They seem to tolerate each other very well. I've been doing this for an hour every day (and longer on my days off) since they were 5 weeks old.

    Do you think that because they are familiar with each others noises, smells, movements, etc that they might be a little gracious hosting my 2 babys later on??
    Or is this just wishful thinking.

  5. #5
    Gabe Guest

    Default Re: 2 questions:

    I think that's an excellent idea. Sometimes when there is a new squirrel to be introduced to a cage, I put the new one in a cage within the cage. That way they become accustomed to each other, get the squabbling over with and can't really hurt each other. By putting them outside near wild squirrels they will also learn the alarm calls and learn to react to them, if for instance there is a cat or hawk in the area.
    I think you have a wonderful set up. Put them in the release cage when you are ready, they will tell you when they are ready to leave it. They will start pacing, and checking for weak areas, so they can find their way out.
    I think they'll do well.
    I told my squirrels about your weather conditons in Florida and they are quite envious. All we have is rain and more rain and lots of cold weather. They certainly are quite spoiled

  6. #6
    Luv2Spare Guest

    Default Re: 2 questions:

    If I can find the picture, I will post it......When Hurricane Charlie came through there was one squirrel that didn't make it to his tree before the strongest part of the storm came through so he tucked himself behind the 4x4 post fence post. He was huddled up for a solid 8 hours.

    Tell your squirrel that it ain't all fun and games in the sunshine state!!!

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