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Thread: Food stand off

  1. #1
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    Default Food stand off

    I have a question about diet but before I go there i just wanted to say to all of you wonderful angels who have rescued these babies from hurricanes and storms a big thank you. I live way up in the mountains and I just canít imagine what this has done to your homes and wildlife. I will continue to pray for all of you posting here and your rescues. Your stories are heartfelt and those squirrels needed angels like you.

    Now about my Henny. She is still not eating hardly any veg. Iíve cleaned my fridge and started with all new foods. Her rotation consists of lettuces, red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, snaps, carrots, butternut and sweet potatoes. I also have some fresh cherries that Iíve been giving her a half of. Sometimes apple chunk and avocado chunk... uNtil two weeks ago she ate really good. Then I found a load of hickory nuts and I gave her one three days in a week... now she wonít eat veggies and I donít know if sheís holding out for nuts or ive done something wrong.
    Hereís her day right now...
    7am teaspoon plain yogurt with almond butter mixed in and about 1/2-1 tsp baby food (pear kale spinach this week) the baby food is new as I read a post to try this for a picky eater. I also put in her food tray assorted fresh vegetables and a HHB. Today her veg is red cabbage, lettuce, two snaps and 1/2 baby carrot sliced

    She gets fresh water of course and then for dinner around 6-7pm I toss the old veg and put in a fresh selection and another HHB.
    For the last two weeks sheís been eating her HHB, yogurt/baby food, avocado pieces and about 1/4 of a pecan or walnut because thatís all Iím giving her.

    She climbs, jumps, plays and wrestles like normal and at bedtime sheís cuddly like normal. Henny is almost 7 mos and Sheís my only squirrel so everything is very new to me. Sheís NR so itís very important to me for her to have everything we can possibly provide to give her a happy life. Iím just looking for advice on how to feed her properly for health and happiness. If sheís just testing my will Iíll be tough but Iím used to her being kinda piggy so I donít want to starve her.

    I read here that more activity helps so we have been trying to let her play and be out of her cage more in the evening when we are home. We have also been looking at a ďcatioĒ enclosure so she could be outside an hour or so when we are home. Anyone try anything like this? I thought it would give her more stimulation and play. We are thinking of putting it up against a downstairs window so she can enter from inside. Maybe that will help her appetite.

    Any advice is appreciated. I apologize for the long post and I know many of you have very serious issues with your squirrels right now so I understand this isnít life threatening. Iím just an over worrying mommy.

    Good luck and blessings to all of you wonderful squirrel lovers. This board is a god send for a newbie like me.

  2. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Newbiewnc:

    bre (09-12-2020), Chirps (09-12-2020)

  3. #2
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    Default Re: Food stand off

    Appetite issues are not unusual.

    I have dealt with that on and off with Helen who is approx. 6 months and will be released as soon as her house is finished.

    Emotions and contentment can definitely be an issue. My Helen doesn't like to be left alone. The dusk allogrooming is good time to deepen the bond. Often that means me holding her cupped in my hands while she grooms her feet or tail. Sometimes she grooms my hands and fingers. She has never broken the skin with her teeth.

    It is possible there is a hormonal angle as going into heat seems to be conditional on environmental conditions.

    They are high energy creatures. Half the day Helen is running laps around the house in various permutations, running in to check on me periodically, resting for 30 seconds then departing to continue her running and leaping.

    May I ask why she is NR?

    You might try adding a little organic, cold-pressed coconut oil and maybe a little drizzle of pure maple syrup or wild honey to her sweet potatoes or butternut squash. This, of course, requires that they be cooked. I microwave mine, which is quick and easy.

    Calcium shouldn't be an issue I would think if Henny is eating block. (Low calcium levels can diminish appetite.) You might see if you could get a piece of deer antler. Helen was super excited when I first gave it to her. She grabbed the 8 inch antler in her mouth and leapt toward my shoulder. "Oh ____" I thought as time dilated. Fortunately it was the blunt end that hit me right below the eye. She went to town on that thing in the first week. (They eat it, not just chew on it.)

    I make sure that nuts are given separate from meals.

    In the morning she is often more interested in running her inspection laps than eating. She often finishes the meal in several phases. I put what she hasn't eaten in the fridge. This seems to encourage her to have a little more because she realizes it won't always be waiting for it when it suits her to eat it. I will take the food out later and see if she is interested in more. If not, it goes back in the fridge. She doesn't seem to mind eating it cold from the fridge. Only when lunch comes will I reset what is on the plate.

  4. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Rock Monkey from:

    Chirps (09-12-2020)

  5. #3
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    Default Re: Food stand off

    Plain almonds are healthy choice for squirrels, good calcium to phosphorus ratio.

    I only give her one after she has eaten both breakfast and lunch.

    Regular timing of meals is important. If I forget, she reminds me.

    I don't feed her breakfast right away. I usually wait until 2-3 hours after sunrise. So this allows her run about and get all of the poop and pee out to make room for breakfast. The delay also makes her a little hungry.

  6. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Rock Monkey from:

    Chirps (09-12-2020)

  7. #4
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    Default Re: Food stand off

    Thank you for your reply. Thatís a lot of good information. Henny is NR due to serious injuries in a fire at 3wk. She lost her entire tail and a toe. Her tail nub has about a 2Ē tuft of fur which flops like a ponytail. Itís adorable. Sheís also never seen another squirrel and is quite tame (well you know for a squirrel). We decided with the consult of a rehabber friend and some advice here that her best life was to be part of our family. So...we are owned by a squirrel...and we love it. Being captive makes it extremely important to us that we do all we can to give her a full life.
    She does have two antlers that she enjoys and I rotate in new limbs for her to climb and chew. Iíve read here about a dirt box for her to dig and play in. That sounds fun for her. Do u use anything like that?
    Iím also really wanting to put in a fully enclosed outside run for her. Like catios you see online that attaches to a window. My husband and I both work so she only gets a few hours out of cage not most of the day like your baby.
    Iím just always looking for ideas to make her a happy girl.
    Sheís still a bit stubborn on her veg so Iím gonna try cooked sweet potatoes like you suggest.
    Iím also terrified about her heat cycle. I have no idea what to expect or how to manage that. It sounds awful from what Iíve read and lasts forever 😳
    I guess Iíll just learn as I go through this site and nice folks like you teaching me tips.
    Thank you

  8. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Newbiewnc from:

    Chirps (09-12-2020)

  9. #5
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    Default Re: Food stand off

    I think she can manage outside, in my opinion. For several years there was a squirrel that had no tail that spent a lot of time on my property. Squirrels would come in and chase her, I am guessing males, and she would fly through the trees tirelessly and chase them off. She owned the place, was dominant. I have two 36" approx. 150 year old pecan trees and used to have a 90 year old til Hurricane Michael tipped it. So it is a pretty good piece of turf for a squirrel.

    So, a squirrel can most definitely survive just fine without a tail. They have five toes on their back feet and I am pretty sure they can do without one of those. I think people grossly underestimate a squirrels' adaptability.

    There is a poster on this forum who is trying to capture a squirrel with a badly mangled rear leg and a stub of a front arm which somehow still manages to climb a tree.

    There is great video that aired on PBS call Talking Turkey about a man that raises a brood of turkeys from eggs. It is very insightful about nature and nurture. Bottom line nature, the influence of genes, is much stronger than we think. In the end all of the turkeys left or died. The one that he thought would stay attacked him on multiple occasions in a dominance dispute.

    The point is the older your squirrel is, the stronger her desire will become to be leaping from limb to limb and raise her own family. As time goes forward she will resent her confinement more and more and I expect her attitude will get worse and worse.

    Early on Helen soon made it clear that she wasn't pleased about being caged when she was put to bed. Now she sleeps on top of a printer beside my bed. Then Helen used to be confined to a room, but she became increasingly agitated and behavior got worse. So I worked like a dog to make the rest of the house as squirrel safe as possible, though closed off a couple of rooms. I concluded that was the only way she wasn't going to be miserable. The only reason she tolerates being confined to the house is that we are very closely bonded, but her instincts to be in the wild and be a mom will become stronger and stronger. I plan to release her in the next few weeks.

  10. #6
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    Default Re: Food stand off

    One of the world's best climbers, Tommy Caldwell, cut off the first two segments of his index finger when he was 23 in table saw mishap.

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