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Thread: Lighting/Cage questions

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    Default Lighting/Cage questions

    I posted this on another part of the board but I haven’t gotten any answers so I figured I would post it in this category as well sorry for the duplicate!!

    I have a question, I read on the forums that our squirrels should have natural outdoor sunlight daily or UVB/UVA lights on top of the cage. I have had Murphy since 4 week. She is now just over 12 weeks. She took herself off formula at 9 weeks, then we got her to eat it again about 7 days later with heavy cream and honey as directed by Henry’s Healthy Pets. Before this, I never added heavy cream to the Esbilac (concern number 1). Then, Murphy took herself off formula again another week later. So not having it again after 11 weeks. I have had her on Henry’s high protein blocks for almost a month, (she gets 2-3 a day) along with the Tekland blocks and fresh veggies and some fruit as a treat. She has only had sunlight through a window which is filtered so not really what she needs-so I ordered lights for her that are the Repti-Sun 10, for the top of her cage that is a bit over 5 feet tall. When I spoke to Leigh today to see if I should start her on a calcium supplement because now I am worried and her lights just came in today, she said I don’t need to worry and I should return the lights to get my money back as she is on 2-3 blocks a day. Can anyone advise on their opinions or experiences? Also, she chewed her plastic cage shelves badly in one spot- I was told to get metal covers for them?

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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

    Also, her brand new cage shelves are getting ruined because she is chewing literal holes through them. I was told she needs to have metal over them and I don’t know how to get those?

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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

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    This is the cage I got her as I liked the dimensions and how tall is was from base to top too however there is so many plastic pieces on it and she’s chewing at them all especially her shelves we’ve had a week and she’s around multiple shelves already. I seen someone so they like the fair at Nathan cages but they don’t look that tall and considering she’s only out about five hours per day out of her cage I don’t want her in something tiny either.

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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

    I agree with Leigh about the lights.

    Squirrels will destroy anything plastic. Or plastic. Or fabric. Or... You can buy metal cage pans for Critter nation cages, but I doubt they are available for this cage but you can check:
    https://www.bassequipment.com/

    Since she is almost old enough to start the soft release process, I would not concern myself about the cage selves.


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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Spanky View Post
    I agree with Leigh about the lights.

    Squirrels will destroy anything plastic. Or plastic. Or fabric. Or... You can buy metal cage pans for Critter nation cages, but I doubt they are available for this cage but you can check:
    https://www.bassequipment.com/

    Since she is almost old enough to start the soft release process, I would not concern myself about the cage selves.

    Releasing her is a part I am truly struggling with

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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DanniCristina View Post
    Also, her brand new cage shelves are getting ruined because she is chewing literal holes through them. I was told she needs to have metal over them and I don’t know how to get those?
    Hi there I just purchased this cage with add on units from Critter Nation also known as Ferret nation. You can creat fleece covers that Squirrels wont chew!!! Sew a baby blanket (like a pillowcase) to cover the plastic pan..It works!

    For the bottom pan you can buy a Ferret Nation Scatter guard which is metal and slide over the corners of the bottom pan..

    This Cage is amazing! Critter/Ferret Nation products are the same brand/cage.. Here is a link.
    Ferret Nation Lower Scatter Guard... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004UL3EUI...p_mob_ap_share




    This is the cage I got her as I liked the dimensions and how tall is was from base to top too however there is so many plastic pieces on it and she’s chewing at them all especially her shelves we’ve had a week and she’s around multiple shelves already. I seen someone so they like the fair at Nathan cages but they don’t look that tall and considering she’s only out about five hours per day out of her cage I don’t want her in something tiny either.[/QUOTE]

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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DanniCristina View Post
    Releasing her is a part I am truly struggling with
    If shes not ready then don’t release her yet.. We had 20 wild babies in our neighborhood last fall.. Not 1 survived the winter. Your baby will let you know if/when shes ready.. It depends on your situation and environment. Ive been in both situations.. An adult Squirrel is a huge responsibility.. Some Squirrels bite and only like 1 person which will make it hard if you have a family.. Others are big Lovers who wont allow you to release them and insist on Coming back inside where it safe and they’re pampered.. She will let you know when/if its time.
    This is just my personal opinion.. Some may disagree.. It comes down to… Is releasing a chance at a happy life or a danger?!?!?

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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DanniCristina View Post
    Releasing her is a part I am truly struggling with

    Are you struggling with what is best for you or what is best for her?

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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

    A little bit of both honestly. She is timid and my daughter and I are her “safe” spot whenever she hears something that scares her (most all sounds of nature and any new sounds). She is really happy overall and loves to play and interact with us. She’s a bit on the small for her age too but is on a very healthy diet.

    I am concerned she is not getting any UVA/UVB rays, but I was told that as long as she is getting the Henry’s and she is digesting the vitamin D, she doesn’t need the artificial lights. Is this for sure true before I send them back to Amazon?

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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

    Quote Originally Posted by GretleTheRed View Post
    If shes not ready then don’t release her yet.. We had 20 wild babies in our neighborhood last fall.. Not 1 survived the winter. Your baby will let you know if/when shes ready.. It depends on your situation and environment. Ive been in both situations.. An adult Squirrel is a huge responsibility.. Some Squirrels bite and only like 1 person which will make it hard if you have a family.. Others are big Lovers who wont allow you to release them and insist on Coming back inside where it safe and they’re pampered.. She will let you know when/if its time.
    This is just my personal opinion.. Some may disagree.. It comes down to… Is releasing a chance at a happy life or a danger?!?!?
    Thank you for this! That’s what we are trying to determine. We live in a nice neighborhood full of trees, but also, most neighbors consider squirrels pests, and a couple let their cats roam too. Which is really concerning to me. Especially her fear of everything that is not my daughter or I.

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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

    Quote Originally Posted by GretleTheRed View Post
    Hi there I just purchased this cage with add on units from Critter Nation also known as Ferret nation. You can creat fleece covers that Squirrels wont chew!!! Sew a baby blanket (like a pillowcase) to cover the plastic pan..It works!

    For the bottom pan you can buy a Ferret Nation Scatter guard which is metal and slide over the corners of the bottom pan..

    This Cage is amazing! Critter/Ferret Nation products are the same brand/cage.. Here is a link.
    Ferret Nation Lower Scatter Guard... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004UL3EUI...p_mob_ap_share




    This is the cage I got her as I liked the dimensions and how tall is was from base to top too however there is so many plastic pieces on it and she’s chewing at them all especially her shelves we’ve had a week and she’s around multiple shelves already. I seen someone so they like the fair at Nathan cages but they don’t look that tall and considering she’s only out about five hours per day out of her cage I don’t want her in something tiny either.
    [/QUOTE]

    Thank you! I just covered her shelves with fleas and it has stopped her from chewing so I appreciate that! Do you have your squirrel permanently or just a foster? I’m going to check out this cage!

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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

    Hello again! Just wondering if I can get an answer on if she needs any natural light or the UVA/UVB lights I bought… she does get 3-4 Henry’s blocks a day. I was told that since she is digesting the vitamin D in those she doesn’t, but I want to be sure!

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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

    The simplest way to get her UV -B rays is to take her outside in a locked cage for a little bit everyday. Even indirect sunlight contains some UV-B rays which allows squirrels to produce vitamin D which in turn is necessary to properly metabolize calcium. Window glass completely blocks UV-B rays. Never leave her outside in her cage unattended.

    This way she will also get some exposure to the sights and sounds of the outdoors. This way you can get some idea of what she thinks of the outdoors. Once they get old enough, the vast, vast majority of rehabbed squirrels want to be outside. The strongest factor being their hardwired drive to reproduce, which grows stronger and stronger.

    However, the block should be providing all of the vital vitamins and minerals that a captive squirrel needs.

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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

    Be careful about placing a caged squirrel in direct sunlight, we see all too often tragedies from squirrels dying from heat stroke.

    Plenty of water and an escape to a shaded space in the cage is required if taking them outdoors.

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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Monkey View Post
    The simplest way to get her UV -B rays is to take her outside in a locked cage for a little bit everyday. Even indirect sunlight contains some UV-B rays which allows squirrels to produce vitamin D which in turn is necessary to properly metabolize calcium. Window glass completely blocks UV-B rays. Never leave her outside in her cage unattended.

    This way she will also get some exposure to the sights and sounds of the outdoors. This way you can get some idea of what she thinks of the outdoors. Once they get old enough, the vast, vast majority of rehabbed squirrels want to be outside. The strongest factor being their hardwired drive to reproduce, which grows stronger and stronger.

    However, the block should be providing all of the vital vitamins and minerals that a captive squirrel needs.
    She seems afraid of any squirrel/bird sounds that we’ve played from my phone. She runs to use and hides by us, not leaving until we turn it off. We try to do this daily but it hasn’t changed yet.

    I am concerned about MBD- so I want to be sure that the vitamin D and calcium she needs is absorbed from the Henry’s blocks, because she is ingesting it, at least until we have a better idea what we are doing with her. One thing I noticed too is that sometimes when she bites on something, she will make a sound like she is hurting. Not often, but for instance today when she had a semi frozen avocado chunk- she let one out. Her teeth look good to me, she has natural maple trees in her cage and around the room to chew on too. She is out of the cage and with us about 5 or so hours a day.

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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DanniCristina View Post
    She seems afraid of any squirrel/bird sounds that we’ve played from my phone. She runs to use and hides by us, not leaving until we turn it off. We try to do this daily but it hasn’t changed yet.

    I am concerned about MBD- so I want to be sure that the vitamin D and calcium she needs is absorbed from the Henry’s blocks, because she is ingesting it, at least until we have a better idea what we are doing with her. One thing I noticed too is that sometimes when she bites on something, she will make a sound like she is hurting. Not often, but for instance today when she had a semi frozen avocado chunk- she let one out. Her teeth look good to me, she has natural maple trees in her cage and around the room to chew on too. She is out of the cage and with us about 5 or so hours a day.
    It is normal for them to be startled by strange sounds, particularly by sounds coming from a phone, that is totally unnatural from their perspective. They have no understanding of the technology. It is normal for them to see you as a place of safety. Just because they are startled by the sound when it comes from your phone, that doesn't mean they will be startled by it when it is the real thing.

    It is much better to give her fresh avocado. I wouldn't give her anything frozen. Just stick to fresh foods, which is what they find in nature. On a side note, always taste food to make sure it is good tasting before giving it to her. For instance, some avocados and apples look just fine, but really aren't tasty. Their sense of smell is far better than ours, so their sense taste is also more sensitive.

    If you don't take her outside, open a window a little allow her to hear nature, assuming you aren't in a city. She ought to be acclimated to nature sooner or later.

    A diet with ample block and few nuts (one, or two at most, a day) should be sufficient to prevent MBD. The vitamins and minerals in the block are calibrated just for this purpose.

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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

    [QUOTE=GretleTheRed;1334211]Hi there I just purchased this cage with add on units from Critter Nation also known as Ferret nation. You can creat fleece covers that Squirrels wont chew!!! Sew a baby blanket (like a pillowcase) to cover the plastic pan..It works!

    For the bottom pan you can buy a Ferret Nation Scatter guard which is metal and slide over the corners of the bottom pan..

    This Cage is amazing! Critter/Ferret Nation products are the same brand/cage.. Here is a link.
    Ferret Nation Lower Scatter Guard... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004UL3EUI...p_mob_ap_share



    Thank you so much! I did sew fleece covers on all her shelves, and it has helped tremendously! I purchased a bunch of fabric from Joannes Fabrics and made her covers

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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Monkey View Post
    It is normal for them to be startled by strange sounds, particularly by sounds coming from a phone, that is totally unnatural from their perspective. They have no understanding of the technology. It is normal for them to see you as a place of safety. Just because they are startled by the sound when it comes from your phone, that doesn't mean they will be startled by it when it is the real thing.

    It is much better to give her fresh avocado. I wouldn't give her anything frozen. Just stick to fresh foods, which is what they find in nature. On a side note, always taste food to make sure it is good tasting before giving it to her. For instance, some avocados and apples look just fine, but really aren't tasty. Their sense of smell is far better than ours, so their sense taste is also more sensitive.

    If you don't take her outside, open a window a little allow her to hear nature, assuming you aren't in a city. She ought to be acclimated to nature sooner or later.

    A diet with ample block and few nuts (one, or two at most, a day) should be sufficient to prevent MBD. The vitamins and minerals in the block are calibrated just for this purpose.
    Thank you for this information! Right now she gets 3 Henrys blocks a day (two "Healthy" blocks, and one "High Protein". She also has Tekland blocks, and I give her fresh veggies and some fruit. She is about 14.5 weeks now, I read that giving her nuts can make her aggressive, and change temperament. Is this true? Or, is it that they can be aggressive when they are in the moment with their nut?

    Also, she does have natural trees to chew in her room and cage, is there anything else I can give her to help keep her teeth down? I read somewhere natural rocks, but these seem harsh, and also natural seashells, but wouldn't they break and pose the risk of cutting their mouth?

    On Amazon, I seen calcium blocks and they say for squirrels also, and they it also helps wear their teeth down. Are any of these recommended?

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    Default Re: Lighting/Cage questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DanniCristina View Post
    Thank you for this information! Right now she gets 3 Henrys blocks a day (two "Healthy" blocks, and one "High Protein". She also has Tekland blocks, and I give her fresh veggies and some fruit. She is about 14.5 weeks now, I read that giving her nuts can make her aggressive, and change temperament. Is this true? Or, is it that they can be aggressive when they are in the moment with their nut?

    Also, she does have natural trees to chew in her room and cage, is there anything else I can give her to help keep her teeth down? I read somewhere natural rocks, but these seem harsh, and also natural seashells, but wouldn't they break and pose the risk of cutting their mouth?

    On Amazon, I seen calcium blocks and they say for squirrels also, and they it also helps wear their teeth down. Are any of these recommended?
    Regarding keeping her teeth worn down, squirrel appropriate species of tree branches are part of the solution. If Helen started chewing on something that she shouldn't, I would tell her "No" and give her a piece of branch or cardboard. She was mostly likely to chew destructively when I was there and she didn't think I was paying her enough attention. When she was on her own she could have destroyed all sorts of things, but when the urge came to her she would chew branches and cardboard. (I released Helen when she was 11 months old. It took me a long time to build her house.)

    In the wild, squirrels will chew on antlers. When I first gave Helen an antler, that is most excited I ever saw her. She leapt off the filing cabinet with the small antler in her mouth, aiming to land on my shoulder. Fortunately, it was the dull end that caught me right below the eye. Antlers contain an assortment of needed minerals. Some squirrels work the antlers quite vigorously and others have little interest. Antlers can be purchased or gotten from acquaintances that hunt.

    Yes, as they get older, squirrels can become pretty territorial about nuts. In the wild preserving food stored over the winter (when there is little other food available in the environment) is literally a matter of life and death, so it is understandable that they are genetically wired to be aggressive towards those that approach their nut caches. This inclination becomes stronger as they get older.

    However, a squirrel does need to practice opening nuts in a shell. At first they may be totally flummoxed and give up. In that instance, putting a small crack in the shell is all of the help that they need. The more efficient they are at opening nuts and determining whether they are empty or not makes a difference in their survival chances. They learn by doing and do get quicker. Hickory nuts and black walnuts are the toughest for them to crack and have the advantage that there are few other creatures that can get into these nuts. Giving these nuts will serve to keep their teeth at a healthy length. (We don't recommend giving acorns because due to their high moisture content these can go bad in a toxic way.) Being given will an occasional pecan will help them master cracking into those. Just think of the nuts that are available where you live.

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