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Thread: Squirrel Lover looking for tips and tricks to help my little friends

  1. #1
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    Default Squirrel Lover looking for tips and tricks to help my little friends

    Hello!

    I am thrilled to have found The Squirrel Board. No squirrels live with me inside my house, but several do live in the oak trees by my house, so they are always scurrying around the property and visiting me on my deck and in my backyard. They have always been welcomed visitors, but I have found that spending time with them over the years has made me grow ever-more fond of the little creatures.

    I have found that that the little guys bring me joy. I simply cannot help but forget my troubles and smile whenever I watch them cavort and caper about. I have gotten to recognize the small differences that allow me to tell one individual squirrel from another and their distinct "personalities." I have come to enjoy their company even more than some of my closest friends.

    I set out healthy snacks for them and provide them with clean water...but often I find myself wondering if there is any more I can do for them to make their lives and happier or healthier. They do so much for me, I want to return the favor. I am not an expert by any means. That's why I am thrilled to find a community of squirrel lovers who might be able to share some ideas of things I can do to attract, delight, entertain, protect or serve my friendly neighborhood squirrels in anyway.

  2. 5 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to SQDaddy:

    jemmy (06-03-2020), lennysmom (06-03-2020), Nancy in New York (06-03-2020), RockyPops (06-03-2020), TubeDriver (06-03-2020)

  3. #2
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    Default Re: Squirrel Lover looking for tips and tricks to help my little friends

    Hello and . You are gonna fit in here well...you sound like one of us already. Squirrels bring me joy, too.

    What types of healthy treats do you offer? This is the link for the healthy diet for pet squirrels. https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...5&d=1391033425 You might find some items on it that your wilds will eat. It’s not nearly as important to limit the nut and seed intake in wild squirrels, but there are a few things you can do to make the less healthy stuff a little more healthy. I give my wilds fresh corn chunks but shake on some calcium carbonate powder. I also routinely feed fresh coconut and avocado chunks (no skin or pit). I make boo balls from ground rodent block, nuts, baby food and coconut oil and feed them to my wilds. There’s recipes in the nutrition section of this forum. The rodent block is 100% nutrition so I feel like they’re getting some good to counteract all the nuts my husband gives them

    The only thing you might consider doing is provide some nest boxes in your trees. Some squirrels like to stay in a box, especially pregnant mommas. Most squirrels welcome the warmth of a box in the winter time and they will share the space with others. Nest boxes keep them safer than a drey especially when they have a predator guard on the front. I have some nest box plans I can send you if you’re handy with tools. Just send me your email in a private message, which you can access from the “notifications” heading at the top of the page.
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  4. 4 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Mel1959:

    lennysmom (06-03-2020), Nancy in New York (06-03-2020), RockyPops (06-03-2020), TubeDriver (06-03-2020)

  5. #3
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    Default Re: Squirrel Lover looking for tips and tricks to help my little friends

    Welcome to the TSB. I got involved with squirrels in exactly the same way you did, just becoming friends with the wilds in my yard. The food and water you provide is a great treat for them. Predator proof (very important) nest boxs as mentioned are also a nice thing to add to some of your trees. They all do have very distinct personalities but most people don't notice this. You are one of the lucky ones who has noticed this!
    See my wild squirrel adventures in the thread "Squirtle's yard!":
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...quirtle-s-Yard!

    Loving dad to Sir Max, 2017-2018. There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.

    "Once in a while you get shown the light, In the strangest of places if you look at it right."
    -Grateful Dead

  6. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to TubeDriver:

    lennysmom (06-03-2020), Mel1959 (06-03-2020)

  7. #4
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    Default Re: Squirrel Lover looking for tips and tricks to help my little friends

    Thanks for the very warm welcome. I have to admit that not everybody I share my enthusiasm for squirrels with responds so positively. I get some weird looks and I think some people think that being so interested in squirrels is akin to crazy cat lady syndrome. Some people have suggested that I am crazy to actually want squirrels near my house. They say things like "they'll get into your attic" or "they'll chew through your wiring." But the squirrels haven't done anything like that. They've just been a blessing. So I am very glad to meet some people who understand what its like to be under their spell.

    I am a newbie...both to caring for squirrels and to posting on message boards, so I really appreciate your advice and help. Thanks very much for the Healthy Diet document. I have trouble getting my squirrels to eat fruits and vegetables. I have tried putting carrots, apples, mushrooms and blackberries out for them, but mostly they go untouched until they start to rot and I take them away. What's more is I have a vegetable garden out back that they show no interest in. I grow all kinds of vegetables and have several fruit trees and all I have ever suspected them of pilfering are a few nibbles of strawberries here and there. They do reliably take the roasted unsalted nuts I put out and they help themselves to whatever they like out of the bird feeder. I am also concerned to learn that acorns are toxic for them. I have four oak trees in my yard that they make their home in. They seem to love the oak trees. Do you think I need to be concerned that they are unknowingly eating toxic acorns?

    The think the predator proof boxes are a really great idea. The pictures you posted are simply beautiful. A few times a year, I see an owl hanging around my house and that makes me nervous for them.

    One other concern I had is how can I attract and provide healthy food for my squirrel friends without also attracting rats? I think rats are perfectly charming creatures as well, but so far the squirrels have expressed no interest in moving in without an invitation, while I think the rats consider my basement as their dream home.

    Btw, the squirrels that live around me are Western Grey Squirrels. The two that come around the most are named Stinky and Jumpy. There is nothing wrong with the way Stinky smells, but I originally referred to him as "the little stinker" which got shortened to Stinky. Jumpy is an amazing little athlete. If they let him compete in the Olympics, he would sweep the gymnastic competition, take home every medal and put the humans to shame.

    I think that quote about no foot being too small make an impact is a lovely sentiment and Sir Max is an awesome name for a squirrel!

  8. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to SQDaddy:

    jemmy (06-03-2020), Mel1959 (06-04-2020)

  9. #5
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    Default Re: Squirrel Lover looking for tips and tricks to help my little friends

    Hi and welcome to TSB SQDaddy! Squirrels are truly special creatures. Those of us that have been touched by them in our lives and can appreciate them I feel are very blessed indeed!

    I did want to clarify one thing to alleviate your concern about acorns. That chart was developed for pet squirrels, many of whom have never known outside life. The wild squirrels learn very quickly which acorns and other nuts are bad and which ones are good. But a pet squirrel may not know that and since nuts are special treats for them when they are indoors, they are much more likely to eat a bad acorn that looks fine on the outside to us.

    Outdoor squirrels do love acorns and they actually serve as somewhat of a dewormer for the squirrels. No worries, your wild friends should be just fine if they eat acorns in your yard.

    I did want to add that the one great thing about being in the wild is that squirrels have many natural sources of vitamins and minerals so them eating veggies we might give them is not imperative. However the chart is great for providing some ideas to healthier alternatives as far as treats go. I try and limit my wilds somewhat so that the treats I give do not become the main diet source for them. Especially this time of year there are many sources of wild food out there that are good for them. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I limit them to only two nuts a day - my wilds are rotten. However I also don’t let them gorge themselves either.
    Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

    "Don't cry because it's over - smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss

  10. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to lennysmom:

    Diggie's Friend (06-04-2020), RockyPops (06-03-2020)

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