Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Chompers attitude has changed?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Northern Kentucky
    Posts
    27
    Thanked: 2

    Default Chompers attitude has changed?

    Chompers has been acting odd the last week or two. In my eyes- it seems as though he thinks I am going to steal his hard shell nuts. When I come near his cage- he will make chattery teeth sounds at me...then will grunt and shake his tail. The first few times he did this- I just talked to him sweetly, and he kept checking a spot where he'd hidden a nut.
    He isn't odd about his other food. When he's out of his cage for play time- he is a little more rough (kindof like how he normally plays rougher with my husband). He plays with his stuffed animals as usual- but if he gets a nut, he freaks out a little....like he wants to bury it in my hoodie, but thinks I might steal it? I know- this all sounds so weird, right?
    Chompers turned 4 in September. He has a Pirate Ship hanging in the top of his cage that he fills with nesting (Kleenex, fleece scraps, & rags), his favorite stuffed animal, and nuts. Every once in a while I swap out the pirate ship, to wash it ( He has 2- so I swap them). Before all this started- I swapped the ship. I was surprised at the number of Brazilian nuts he had hidden in there! Concerned that he might get sick from eating them all- I didn't put ALL of them back. Maybe half.
    I give him nuts to hide all the time....he has a healthy diet, and picky block. He doesn't gorge on nuts...
    So- this is the only thing that I can think of that's changed? I've never really changed the ship during winter....so is it really possible that he's mad that I took them out? I don't recall a stash of nuts in there any other time...maybe a couple?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Sardis, TN
    Posts
    267
    Thanked: 5

    Default Re: Chompers attitude has changed?

    My red squirrel, Peanut, acts the same way (loud chattering, even acting like he is going to bite-which he can't do with unaligned teeth) about his food and nest box. Outside the cage he is very friendly. I am quite interested what other group members have to say on this. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    431
    Thanked: 340

    Default Re: Chompers attitude has changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chompers View Post
    Chompers has been acting odd the last week or two. In my eyes- it seems as though he thinks I am going to steal his hard shell nuts. When I come near his cage- he will make chattery teeth sounds at me...then will grunt and shake his tail. The first few times he did this- I just talked to him sweetly, and he kept checking a spot where he'd hidden a nut.
    He isn't odd about his other food. When he's out of his cage for play time- he is a little more rough (kindof like how he normally plays rougher with my husband). He plays with his stuffed animals as usual- but if he gets a nut, he freaks out a little....like he wants to bury it in my hoodie, but thinks I might steal it? I know- this all sounds so weird, right?
    Chompers turned 4 in September. He has a Pirate Ship hanging in the top of his cage that he fills with nesting (Kleenex, fleece scraps, & rags), his favorite stuffed animal, and nuts. Every once in a while I swap out the pirate ship, to wash it ( He has 2- so I swap them). Before all this started- I swapped the ship. I was surprised at the number of Brazilian nuts he had hidden in there! Concerned that he might get sick from eating them all- I didn't put ALL of them back. Maybe half.
    I give him nuts to hide all the time....he has a healthy diet, and picky block. He doesn't gorge on nuts...
    So- this is the only thing that I can think of that's changed? I've never really changed the ship during winter....so is it really possible that he's mad that I took them out? I don't recall a stash of nuts in there any other time...maybe a couple?


    Welcome to the world of having an adult squirrel as a pet.
    This type of behavior isn't weird at all. It's pretty normal.
    What is weird is that it took Chompers 4 years into his life to show this type of behavior to you.
    Generally they start this behavior as they reach adulthood in between the 6 months to a year period from my understanding. Our Grey squirrel PeeWee started to show this stashing behavior and defensive posture to protect it around 7-8 months. PeeWee is generally a sweetheart. We play with her, rough house, pet her, etc without much issue but when you introduce any kind of treat or nuts, well, it tends to drive her nuts. It's funny because I can bring PeeWee a treat, give it to her and she'll immediately get into that mindset that I may take it back from her. I always laugh and say "I just gave it to you! Why would I take it?" It's just their natural wild mindset that sets in because if you watch squirrels in the wild, the second they get something good any other squirrel in the nearby area shows up to try and steal it!

    When you get into entire stashes of nuts or treats it's even more stressful to them and the desire to protect it is greater.
    A squirrels stash is a valued possession. It's their 401K program.
    Members here advised us to clean out these areas regularly so the stash does not grow and the behavior will lessen.
    It has worked. During play time we let PeeWee loose in another room than her regular room and use that time to go through her little house and remove any excess treats. We'll generally leave one or two things that she'll get around to eating so she's not stressed out when she gets back in her cage and see's her stash gone.

    On another note it's funny to read about Chompers hiding nuts in your hoodie.
    PeeWee does the same thing to my wife. It's one of the most entertaining things for us to give her a nut and watch the crazy places she'll try and hide it. I've taken out folders from files on my work shelf and a nut has fallen out without me ever knowing she had somehow stuffed a nut in there.

    Good luck with this change but I think if you manage it well things will get better.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    10,203
    Thanked: 10

    Default Re: Chompers attitude has changed?

    Yes, clean out the caches. Maybe a little at a time. They're very protective of them.

    Also, Brazil nuts are SUPER high in selenium and even humans aren't supposed to have more than five a day, and sqs are obviously a lot smaller.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Over the hills and far away.
    Posts
    12,045
    Thanked: 853

    Default Re: Chompers attitude has changed?

    Hi C,

    Nothing weird at all. Squirrels value their nuts.

    Fortunately they also forget them in time... sounds like you've been fortunate not to see this until now. His temperament may also be changing, just something to keep in mind as a possibility.
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic929_1.gif

Posting Permissions

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