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Thread: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    It is a success story for me....and her. She still lives in a nest box on the side of my house. Sheís had 5 litters .... she does jump on me for treats and is still quite friendly.
    That's amazing. An awesome multiplier effect. One life saved and so many more nurtured in a supportive environment.

    I have similar hopes for Helen.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuff View Post
    I played with him today without gloves on momentarily, I’m still skittish of him, but he played as normal. I’m trying to get back to normal. He is back to normal. I shook out his bedding today, I could tell he didn’t care for it but tolerated the fact that I was going to anyways. He inspected everything carefully and then all was normal again. I just hope I can read the warning signs a little better next time to avoid this in the future. Sure love him bunches...
    Having Helen has made more aware of when my emotions are starting to rise, whether fear or anger, [Long term interactions with a squirrel will provoke both.] and made me better able to pause, step in and short circuit those emotions.

    Playing with them and cuddling with them builds relationship capital. So, I believe you will be less likely to be bit if you continue to nurture that. I have become a more keen observer of patterns. There are definitely certain things that set her off, as I have previously enumerated. So watch him closely and things will make sense if you can allow yourself to think like a squirrel.

    When there bedding is shaken out their scent on the materials is diminished, not to mention disturbing what they deliberated arranged, so I think in their eyes you are diminishing or repudiating their claim to that territory, that safe place.

    Maintaining a territory is literally a matter of life and death. If you are a squirrel with a primo territory with lots of food sources and you get muscled and bullied out you literally may die because not eating enough makes them so much vulnerable to disease, bugs and predators, especially in the winter months. Furthermore, if you are a female you may not have the plentiful food needed to feed four mouthes, or the babies will be really weak and so much more likely to perish. Bottomline, they are hardwired for serious aggression when their territory is threatened, in their eyes.

    Helen only has bitten me once, and she gave plenty of warning, and verbally I was giving it right back to her. "This is my house. After all I have done for you and all the stuff you have gnawed on." I was wound up, that was the wrong response.

    I rub her belly and pet her and she grooms my fingers, as she always has. She sits in cupped hands and grooms her hind feet or my fingers. She would be happy to do this for hours on end. They are needy though. They want, and expect, your undivided attention. So, when you are with them, be totally with them.

    I only put on gloves when I engage in activity that has been demonstrated to wind her up, which is rarely.

    With time you will read him better and rebuild your trust in him.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    We have given it a couple of days and I just canít read him well. He plays rough...lol..definitely all boy. I went back and looked at when I found him at we are at about 12 weeks now. His eating habits have changed some. He is either eating all of his rodent blocks or hiding them. His Henryís snacks he is eating. We are back up to about 30ccís of Fox Valley. We havenít had but 2 pieces of boo balls in two days. He finally has forgotten about the calcium in his formula also, drinks it no problem. Energy level is through the roof. He doesnít like me walking away from him anymore. If I walk by he jumps on for the ride to where ever I am going. I can usually tell how his mood is and I put my ear up to the cage and listen. I let him smell me then I listen. He has started making a low almost humming noise, canít explain it. As I said he is my first squirrel to raise. He usually isnít still enough for me to love on him at all. If he isnít asleep he is on the move. Usually when he is sunning he will let me love on him. When he goes to bed at sundown, I really try my best to leave him be. But I would say all in all he is doing great and behaving well, other than peeing on everything, especially the window seal he likes to lay in, oh and the top of the microwave. 🤦🏻*♀️

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    The low humming sound is undoubtedly a purr....they make that sound when theyíre happy.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuff View Post
    We have given it a couple of days and I just can’t read him well. He plays rough...lol..definitely all boy. I went back and looked at when I found him at we are at about 12 weeks now. His eating habits have changed some. He is either eating all of his rodent blocks or hiding them. His Henry’s snacks he is eating. We are back up to about 30cc’s of Fox Valley. We haven’t had but 2 pieces of boo balls in two days. He finally has forgotten about the calcium in his formula also, drinks it no problem. Energy level is through the roof. He doesn’t like me walking away from him anymore. If I walk by he jumps on for the ride to where ever I am going. I can usually tell how his mood is and I put my ear up to the cage and listen. I let him smell me then I listen. He has started making a low almost humming noise, can’t explain it. As I said he is my first squirrel to raise. He usually isn’t still enough for me to love on him at all. If he isn’t asleep he is on the move. Usually when he is sunning he will let me love on him. When he goes to bed at sundown, I really try my best to leave him be. But I would say all in all he is doing great and behaving well, other than peeing on everything, especially the window seal he likes to lay in, oh and the top of the microwave. ����*♀️
    Rough play is normal. It is practice for a squirrel's most important mission, which is not being eaten by a predator. Their play is all about practicing escaping the clutches of a predator and leaving the scene as quickly as possible.

    Their behavior will change over time. They will ignore something forever and then one day they will be gnawing one something and become fixated on that mission. One day he may decide to chew on the cord of the microwave. I believe from a squirrel's eye view an electrical cord is regarded as a branch and if a branch is in the way you chew through it, plus they just like to chew. I have wrapped some cords with duct tape or covered them. That won't stop a determined squirrel, but it will slow them, allowing time for a reaction.

    The time when they are most receptive to cuddling and belly rubs is the hour before sunset. They slow down then and become more mellow.

    They like to pee where their mark won't be erased or in the vicinity of something they want to claim. Maybe he wants to claim the microwave because food comes out of there. Helen liked to pee and poop on the top of the refrigerator. They can be sneaky about where they pee, backing up to something so that it will soak under and hopefully not be noticed by the human busily wiping up their pee.

    Just as they are acutely aware of whether they are being watched by a predator, they are aware of whether your attention is focused on them. They prefer your undivided attention, no screens, otherwise they are inclined to act out. They will gladly take negative attention if they can't get positive attention.

    In the one instance where Helen bit me, she had been aggressively pouncing on my feet for days. I am pretty sure that coming into sexual maturity was part of her unusual increase in aggression.

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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Be on the look out for honking, barking, stepping from one foot to the other, and tail twitching. They might just be reacting to a warning they hear outside (which you can't hear) passing it on or they are giving you a message.

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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chirps View Post











    Fortunately, when she charged up my leg she did not stop at the midway point, but rather darted up to my shoulder and raked one of her paws across my nose.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Oh he definitely watches everything I do...I was cleaning up the pee spots I noticed today, microwave again, window seal, coffee maker he really likes to sit on it, so he was trying to make me stop lol. He was running down my arm biting on my shirt sleeve then back to my shoulder. No aggression though, just like he was saying, hey stop it!!!! So once I was finished cleaning with the baby wipes (cause those donít make him mad) we played hard...he cracks me up. Heís in a really good mood today, extremely playful. I found plans for a nesting box, went to the shop and cut everything out, now to make my boy his own house. What do I put in it? And how do I hang it in the cage?

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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Regarding what to put in his house. Just so you don't make the same error, I've read cotton and wool are not advised as they can mold but synthetic pillow batting is ok. I didn't know this so of course jr.s' favorite blanky is an old soft t-shirt n . We happened to have an old sheepskin which he took upon himself to remove the fluff from and create a wonderful bed. Saw ebay has scraps for about $10. Not sure if this is good or bad but he really didn't seem interested in using leaves despite encouragement so was just happy he was doing any home making. I'd just leave some misc items around and he'd select what he liked.

  10. Serious fuzzy thank you's to sundoesshine from:

    Tuff (01-16-2021)

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by sundoesshine View Post
    Regarding what to put in his house. Just so you don't make the same error, I've read cotton and wool are not advised as they can mold but synthetic pillow batting is ok. I didn't know this so of course jr.s' favorite blanky is an old soft t-shirt n . We happened to have an old sheepskin which he took upon himself to remove the fluff from and create a wonderful bed. Saw ebay has scraps for about $10. Not sure if this is good or bad but he really didn't seem interested in using leaves despite encouragement so was just happy he was doing any home making. I'd just leave some misc items around and he'd select what he liked.

    I put one of his ďreceivingĒ blankets in his house that I used when he was still a baby to lay him on to feed him. He inspected his house thoroughly, chewed on it...played in and out of it. Everyone says to use fleece, which is what his blanket is. Am I suppose to cut that up? He is sleeping in his other blanket now, I was kinda hoping he would sleep in his box.

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuff View Post
    I found plans for a nesting box, went to the shop and cut everything out, now to make my boy his own house. What do I put in it? And how do I hang it in the cage?
    To hang my (wooden) boxes on cages I use a 1" or 1/14" Flat washer (w/small center hole) and screws
    just under thickness of wood. The flat washer on outside, tightened to wood on inside and works for any
    type space bar or hardware cloth cage.
    Since he's (still) being kept inside I'd provide him the same bedding material he's accustomed to.
    The majority here do use fleece for nest boxes and cubby's. This will still provide you the opportunity
    to clean/shake out the fleece in the box the same as cage which I totally agree with doing even if you
    were to get attitude with invading their space. It's never ideal to have any species crawling around on
    it's own feces, also with the way squirrels leave crumbs and snips of food scattered or hoarded, not
    cleaning is just an invitation to grow mold and bacteria.

    Not sure what design your looking at but I'd make sure you have access to inside with either hinged roof
    or door. That makes it a lot easier then having to unscrew a fixed panel to gain access.
    Step-N-Stone
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  13. #32
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Monkey View Post
    Be on the look out for honking, barking, stepping from one foot to the other, and tail twitching. They might just be reacting to a warning they hear outside (which you can't hear) passing it on or they are giving you a message.
    See what worries me about Tuff is that he doesnít make any noise. No barking, nothing. The humming is the only thing Iíve heard from him and it is super low. Which I am clinically deaf in one ear, so I always turn my good ear to the cage..lol Today was great!!!! We played a bunch, he followed me all over the house and when he couldnít keep up he would hitch a ride. I am sure there is a lot I need to learn still but one day at a time.

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuff View Post
    I put one of his “receiving” blankets in his house that I used when he was still a baby to lay him on to feed him. He inspected his house thoroughly, chewed on it...played in and out of it. Everyone says to use fleece, which is what his blanket is. Am I suppose to cut that up? He is sleeping in his other blanket now, I was kinda hoping he would sleep in his box.
    Damn your fast! We need pictures!
    Cut several squares of fleece for his box to borrow in.
    I give my girl 4-5 approx 8-9 inch squares, She arranges
    them all kinds of way to her liking. She will even stuff one
    in her doorway sometimes when she's ready for bed and
    the light is still on.


    Give him (his) time, he'll use the box...
    Step-N-Stone
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  15. #34
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post
    To hang my (wooden) boxes on cages I use a 1" or 1/14" Flat washer (w/small center hole) and screws
    just under thickness of wood. The flat washer on outside, tightened to wood on inside and works for any
    type space bar or hardware cloth cage.
    Since he's (still) being kept inside I'd provide him the same bedding material he's accustomed to.
    The majority here do use fleece for nest boxes and cubby's. This will still provide you the opportunity
    to clean/shake out the fleece in the box the same as cage which I totally agree with doing even if you
    were to get attitude with invading their space. It's never ideal to have any species crawling around on
    it's own feces, also with the way squirrels leave crumbs and snips of food scattered or hoarded, not
    cleaning is just an invitation to grow mold and bacteria.

    Not sure what design your looking at but I'd make sure you have access to inside with either hinged roof
    or door. That makes it a lot easier then having to unscrew a fixed panel to gain access.
    I have a wire cage. I also have put hinges on the top of his box so I can access from there. I found the plans on Pinterest. Which is about the same as a bird house just bigger. I made a couple of modifications to accommodate myself. I will had perches and such when it is time for him to go live in the free world. Do I leave the fleece whole or cut it up? I usually buy fleece receiving blankets that I get at the dollar tree when I can find them. All he did today was play in the box and chew on it some. He is sleeping in his other fleece blanket on the top shelf of the cage, but I am sure with time he will use his box.

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post
    Damn your fast! We need pictures!
    Cut several squares of fleece for his box to borrow in.
    I give my girl 4-5 approx 8-9 inch squares, She arranges
    them all kinds of way to her liking. She will even stuff one
    in her doorway sometimes when she's ready for bed and
    the light is still on.


    Give him (his) time, he'll use the box...
    Lol...it wasnít that hard to do...Iíve remodeled my entire house by myself. So understanding what I was doing was fairly easy. If I knew how to add a picture I would..😂😂😂. I will go to the dollar tree and see if I can find him more fleece. I offered him a paper towel today and all he wanted to do with that was play!!!! He cracks me up..

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

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    Ah ha sorry they are side ways I have all the measurements in my head at the moment if anyone needs them. Fairly straight forward.

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  19. #37
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuff View Post
    I made a couple of modifications to accommodate myself. I will had perches and such when it is time for him to go live in the free world.
    He will be peaking out that hole before you know it. Once mounted outside in the free world...
    Unlike a birdhouse with a perch under an opening one needs to consider predator guards due to
    hawks and like birds, also crows who will rob a nest to steal babies.
    An upper predator flooring won't allow predator birds to reach in on nesting squirrels/babies.
    Guards on the outside hole gives them a better chance to escape if being pursued.

    The forum below gives some good examples on predator proofing squirrel nest boxes.

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...r-Hard-Release
    Step-N-Stone
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  21. #38
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post
    He will be peaking out that hole before you know it. Once mounted outside in the free world...
    Unlike a birdhouse with a perch under an opening one needs to consider predator guards due to
    hawks and like birds, also crows who will rob a nest to steal babies.
    An upper predator flooring won't allow predator birds to reach in on nesting squirrels/babies.
    Guards on the outside hole gives them a better chance to escape if being pursued.

    The forum below gives some good examples on predator proofing squirrel nest boxes.

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...r-Hard-Release
    Iím gonna add a good bit of stuff to his before the release. If he will allow me to do so. This was a test run to see, one if it was adequate for him, even tough he seems to like playing in it. Iím not worried so much about the major predators here because I live in the city limits, I am going to release him in my backyard. The biggest thing I have are cats (neighbors) and one hawk that I see periodically. The bob cats, raccoons and such arenít really seen around here, not saying they donít come around, just donít see them. Iíve seen around 3 snakes in 12 years. I will take a better look at the nesting boxes you provided the link to and decide if I need to start over or if I can do the add on that I was thinking once he is moved into my sunroom this spring. Thank you for the links it is much appreciated.

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  23. #39
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Fleece isn't capable of getting soaking wet like a cotton t-shirt. The technical term is hydrophobic. It doesn't readily absorb water. Fleece wicks water, but doesn't absorb it. If the moisture passes to the outside, it can be evaporated. However, if the fleece is very thick, it can trap moisture. You wouldn't want a diaper made out of fleece.

    All breath contains some amount of moisture. This is why even a four season tent requires some ventilation portals.

    Fleece is a polyester, a man made fabric. Just be aware that there is a varying degree of quality. Low quality fleece pills like mad. I had to return some for this reason.

    A female squirrel with babies would probably want some materials that have the ability to absorb moisture.

    I intend to include both fleece and paper towels and napkins. My squirrel has shown a strong preference for paper products where stuffing a nest is concerned. I will make the pieces small enough so that they are small enough for her to arrange them, but not so small that they don't block cold air.

  24. #40
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuff View Post
    Iím gonna add a good bit of stuff to his before the release. If he will allow me to do so. This was a test run to see, one if it was adequate for him, even tough he seems to like playing in it. Iím not worried so much about the major predators here because I live in the city limits, I am going to release him in my backyard. The biggest thing I have are cats (neighbors) and one hawk that I see periodically. The bob cats, raccoons and such arenít really seen around here, not saying they donít come around, just donít see them. Iíve seen around 3 snakes in 12 years. I will take a better look at the nesting boxes you provided the link to and decide if I need to start over or if I can do the add on that I was thinking once he is moved into my sunroom this spring. Thank you for the links it is much appreciated.
    Raccoons are nocturnal so often the only clue of their presence is footprints in snow or mud. They are frequent dumpster divers and love a well stocked trash can. So, they have adapted to city life.

    You might want to cut some wedge blocks and attach them to the roof and cut a wider piece of plywood, which overhangs the walls, and attach it to the wedges to create some pitch in order to improve water shedding. Might consider a shingle or two as well. They can often be bought singly. Maybe felt underneath if you happen to have some.

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