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Thread: Need Help with Release Cage Planning...

  1. #61
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    Default Re: Need Help with Release Cage Planning...

    I think the wild side is anchored quite deeply.

    Spending some time everyday with Buddy, building positive personal capital, is what, in my opinion, will keep him manageable, half-way civilized during the winter. I think he is more likely to mind you when you tell him "No" or redirect him if there continues to be playful interaction between you and the family. Otherwise, he may really tear things up or become very unhappy about being constrained. I think play is an intrinsic part of their natures.

    Otherwise I think both of you will become very aggravated with each other through the long winter.

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    Buddy (11-14-2020)

  3. #62
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    Default Re: Need Help with Release Cage Planning...

    First, let me say Spanky is an awesome rehabber and raises and releases countless squirrels. It is not feasible that rehabbers that have a high volume of squirrels in their care are capable, or do they want to interact with them, in the same way as folks that only rehab one or two squirrels in their lifetime.

    When I first started rehabbing squirrels 15+ years ago I read all the info about how to raise and release and tried to follow it. I released those two babies successfully. Fast forward 10 years and I got my next baby squirrel and discovered The Squirrel Board. I have read how the release process is supposed to go, but honestly, I fail miserably at it. I am not a professional rehabber and break all the rules. I release on my property in my pseudo-suburban neighborhood. When I raise babies I interact with them until I open the portal.... and usually beyond. I have not had an unpleasant experience with my guys being too familiar with people, but I know others that have posted that this has happened to them. I form a closer bond with some of my guys within a litter and they tend to stick around....for awhile. My experience is that they still will move on if thatís what they want to do, whether you have a relationship with them or not. Itís heartbreaking, but itís what theyíre suppose to do.

    Living in Florida I donít have to overwinter. But the two boys I released 5 years ago had developed a very close bond with me. They were released at around 20+ weeks and brought back inside after a couple of months because of an impending hurricane. After they were released the second time they stayed in a tree in my yard for almost a year. Eventually they decided to do what male squirrels do and spread their gene pool. I never saw them again.

    My point is that they ALWAYS seem to wild up and move on....eventually. Males more so than females, for sure.

    I think you should do what feels right for you and Buddy, to make it through to spring.

  4. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Mel1959 from:

    Buddy (11-14-2020)

  5. #63
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    Default Re: Need Help with Release Cage Planning...

    Thank you guys!

    Yes, I know Spanky is an awesome rehabber and helped me a lot in the beginning too. That's why I care about the comment/recommendation.

    Good to hear that you didn't encounter any issues even with the ones you build close relationships, Mel, and I think I have a pretty good idea how you feel when they decide to move on.

    I'll absolutely respect Buddy's decision. I hope he decides to stick around and didn't encounter any resistance from other squirrels.

    As long as he has a healthy, happy, and hopefully long life, I'm over the moon for him! Even if it's not around me...

    Just trying to do best for him... I just don't want him to go to some other human and they freak out and they think he is friendly because he has rabies or something like that. Hopefully I'm just overthinking and hopefully during the wildening up process and later, he will understand and know that humans might not all be friendly!

    As always, thanks for the feedback/comments!
    Animals are magical....Thank you everyone who tries to help them, save them tirelessly...

  6. #64
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    Default Re: Need Help with Release Cage Planning...

    Your concerns about him being overly friendly are valid. But, as others have said, the Wild is pretty hard wired into them. Most that maintain a close relationship with their humans donít allow themselves to be touched once released. Others will allow it and seem to enjoy it.....for awhile..... and some never look back.

    Because I have a friendly female that lives in my side yard, I warn any workers that come to my house that she might jump on them, which she has in anticipation of getting a nut on her turf. I know itís not an ideal situation and could be a recipe for disaster. . But, I have never heard of her jumping on any of my neighbors when she leaves my yard to explore. She doesnít tolerate being pet any longer. Most of the wilds that we feed will also jump on us to get a nut.

  7. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Mel1959 from:

    Buddy (11-15-2020)

  8. #65
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    Default Re: Need Help with Release Cage Planning...

    Good to hear! Thank you Mel!! That's comforting... If it means he is safer, I'm okay with him not letting us pet him anymore.
    Animals are magical....Thank you everyone who tries to help them, save them tirelessly...

  9. #66
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    Default Re: Need Help with Release Cage Planning...

    So I noticed a few ants around Buddy's nest box in the release cage. I searched for ants in the forum and a lot of posts came up. Like the formula, I'm not sure if any of that info is out dated.

    Any tips on how to keep his cage clean from ants and potential mites etc?

    Also, this is what I have in his nest box; I put it vertically and added a few wool socks in it, so it keeps pretty open. He loves it and he's been sleeping in it all winter. Now that the weather is much nicer, should I take that out?

    https://henryspets.com/cozy-pocket/

    If I should take that out, then what should I put in the nest box when we move it to the tree?
    Animals are magical....Thank you everyone who tries to help them, save them tirelessly...

  10. #67
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    Default Re: Need Help with Release Cage Planning...

    I donít think Iíd remove it. If he doesnít want it anymore heíll chew it up into pieces and disperse it within his box or discard it.

    My husband found a straw like product at World Market. Itís called Excelsior. Its long very thin wood shavings and safe to be used with food in Easter baskets, etc. https://www.worldmarket.com/category...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

    We made a few changes to the bottoms of our nest boxes due to ants. My husband cut out the very middle of the bottom of the boxes so thereís a 2Ē frame around the bottom perimeter of the box. Then he secured hardware cloth over the area that heíd cut out. This makes the boxes have an open air floor which seems to have curbed the ants desire to take up residency in the bottom of the boxes. We then filled the bottom of the boxes with this Excelsior product and then put in some fleece squares and tissues. I know the squirrels have added leaves and possibly coconut fiber to customize them even further.

    The wire bottoms work fine here because we donít get freezing temperatures. Besides the squirrels pile 4+ inches of ďstuffĒ in the bottom of the boxes anyhow.

    I have tried food grade diatomaceous earth in the boxes to discourage ants but it wasnít successful. If ants are already in a box you can squirt them with some white vinegar and it will kill them and not be harmful for the squirrel. You might try making a circle of diatomaceous earth around the base of the tree to discourage the ants from climbing it to get to the box.

    Hereís a photo of the bottom of one of the boxes.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Buddy (04-05-2021), Rock Monkey (04-07-2021)

  12. #68
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    Default Re: Need Help with Release Cage Planning...

    Awesome! Thank you, Mel!

    I read about the DE and wasn't sure if it was effective.

    I didn't see any ants in the nest, but all around the cage. I haven't cleaned the release cage for a few months (because of winter). I'll do a deep cleaning; now that the weather is much nicer and there are more ants. I want to keep the release cage as non-ant inviting place.

    What material did you guys use for the roof?
    Animals are magical....Thank you everyone who tries to help them, save them tirelessly...

  13. #69
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    Default Re: Need Help with Release Cage Planning...

    The roof is a solid piece of wood with an overhang all around. Itís angled for water runoff. We have never put shingles on top but we do periodically change out the wood as they customize it.

  14. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Mel1959 from:

    Buddy (04-05-2021)

  15. #70
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    Default Re: Need Help with Release Cage Planning...

    I know the customization process. There's definitely a much bigger hole/circle in Buddy's cage now.
    Animals are magical....Thank you everyone who tries to help them, save them tirelessly...

  16. #71
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    Default Re: Need Help with Release Cage Planning...

    After spring cleaning of Buddy's cage...

    We weighed him last night. He is 720 grams!

    https://youtu.be/bqd_HJJSu9c

    Animals are magical....Thank you everyone who tries to help them, save them tirelessly...

  17. 3 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Buddy:

    Nancy in New York (04-07-2021), Rock Monkey (04-07-2021), RockyPops (04-06-2021)

  18. #72
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    Default Re: Need Help with Release Cage Planning...

    What a great rc setup for your beautiful little Buddy!

    Great job.

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    Buddy (04-07-2021), Nancy in New York (04-07-2021)

  20. #73
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    Default Re: Need Help with Release Cage Planning...

    Quote Originally Posted by Buddy View Post
    So I noticed a few ants around Buddy's nest box in the release cage. I searched for ants in the forum and a lot of posts came up. Like the formula, I'm not sure if any of that info is out dated.
    Ants like to build nests under things, a rock, a board, a bucket, whatever. It keeps out the rains and predators, I suppose. If they are making nests, laying eggs, if you move objects around periodically, they will be discouraged.

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

    Buddy (04-07-2021)

  22. #74
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    Default Re: Need Help with Release Cage Planning...

    Great! Good to know. Thank you!
    Animals are magical....Thank you everyone who tries to help them, save them tirelessly...

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