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Thread: New member with wild squirrel friend

  1. #1
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    Smile New member with wild squirrel friend

    Thank you for approving my request to join the forum! I live in Michigan with my 3 senior rescue dogs...JJ (12) and Eddie (9), both cocker spaniels, and Pugsley (16+), a blind, deaf terrier mix who has doggie dementia but physically is healthier than me. :-) I have always enjoyed birds, squirrels, and chipmunks (and most other little critters), but I have recently made the acquaintance of a female Fox Squirrel who frequents my Mom's home (Mom is 97, has dementia and is housebound, and I am her primary caregiver, so I'm there all day every day).

    I first noticed "Lefty" about 3 months ago...she is missing her left front paw (hence her name)...when she came to eat out of my platform feeder by my window. We also have chipmunks running around, so I started bringing peanuts in the shell to Mom's, and leaving them for Lefty and her friends, who gladly enjoyed them. Lefty has seemed pretty comfortable around me, so I slowly started getting closer with a peanut in my hand...first tossing it from a few feet, then a few inches, and finally, she took it from my hand. Now, she will accept a few peanuts from my hand, but usually is content to sit a few inches away stuffing herself with sunflower seeds in the feeder. She will look in the window some days to see if I am here if I haven't left peanuts for her yet.

    I am strictly a backyard, wild squirrel fan, and I want to learn how I can best help Lefty stay healthy and also stay safe and warm during the Michigan winters. I'm pretty sure she has or is going to have babies...she has been getting quite rotund and has visible teats. I think she lives in a tree about a block away - that is where I see her carrying nuts occasionally. I've attached a couple of photos of her. She has some hair loss, and I'm not sure what is causing that...mange, perhaps? Anyway - I just want to be a good squirrel neighbor and help support her and her squirrel/chipmunk friends as best I can. Mom loves watching them, and they are a fun distraction from all the stress in my life.

    Thanks for letting me join in!

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    Chirps (09-23-2021)

  3. #2
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    Default Re: New member with wild squirrel friend

    Welcome and bless your heart

    I can tell that you a very kind person.

    I already love Lefty

    It would be great if she lived closer to your moms house. Nutrition is the most important thing you can help her with. Especially when she will be nursing her babies. Avocados without the skin has great fat and nutrition. There is a wonderful squirrel food that can be ordered online. The site is Henrys Healthy Pet. I would order a bag of the hazelnut block and see if she will eat them if you want. It is a food that supplies all her nutrition in a few blocks.

    Love the pictures of her.
    redwuff
    State Licensed
    Master Wildlife Rehabilitator

  4. 4 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to redwuff:

    Chirps (09-23-2021), dogmom623 (09-19-2021), island rehabber (09-19-2021), Mel1959 (09-19-2021)

  5. #3
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    Default Re: New member with wild squirrel friend

    She is just beautiful.

    Iím not sure if this is something that would interest you or if youíre even able to do it but a squirrel nest box in a tree would be a wonderful place for her and her babies. Of course, thereís no guarantee that she would be the one in the nest box. I can guarantee that Ďsomeoneí would be. Squirrels love wooden nest boxes in the winter.
    If mom is 97 Iím guessing that youíre like me and shouldnít be climbing ladders anymore. We have a member whose husband was on a ladder a month ago messing with a nest box and fell and darn near killed himself. On second thought, donít do it.

    Here is a link to the site that redwuff mentioned. Itís an online store that sells squirrel stuff. Can you imagine that. https://henryspets.com/henrys-healthy-diets/
    Another block from there thatís good for wild squirrels is called Wild Bites.

    Bless you for taking care of your mother. I was a caregiver for almost 2 years and there is no harder job. Iím glad your friend comes to visit and makes your heart happy.

  6. 6 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to HRT4SQRLS:

    Chirps (09-23-2021), Diggie's Friend (09-20-2021), dogmom623 (09-19-2021), island rehabber (09-19-2021), Mel1959 (09-19-2021), redwuff (09-19-2021)

  7. #4
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    Default Re: New member with wild squirrel friend

    so glad you joined us 😁
    Lefty is beautiful 😍 bless her with just one hand amazing how well she does, squirrels are tough 👍
    Bless you for the care your giving to Lefty and your mom
    Charley Chuckles gone from my arms FOREVER in my heart 8/14/04-3/7/13
    Simon, our time was too short together, but you gave us so much love, be with CC now 3/7/14


    The "CHARLEY CHUCKLES MEMORIAL RAIL TOUR" leaves the station choo chooo
    *Deland,FL. *Washington DC *Boston (Back Bay) *Boston (North Station) *Wells,Maine *Albany,NY *New York (Penn Station) *Back to Deland FL. "July 1- July 22" 2013

    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RIAL-RAIL-TOUR Check it out here
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...OW-A-NEW-MOMMY!!!!!
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RAINBOW-BRIDGE
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...e-called-Simon
    charleychuckles1@gmail.com

    I'm not poof reading any of this

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  9. #5
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    Default Re: New member with wild squirrel friend

    Thanks so much, redwuff! I bought an avocado yesterday to try with Lefty...one question: does it need to be ripe/soft? The one I got isn't quite ripe yet, so I'm wondering if I need to wait a few days until it softens up.

    I also got some curly parsley and some banana to try. Haven't seen her today, but when I do, I'll toss a few pieces to her.

    Thanks for the tips!



    Quote Originally Posted by redwuff View Post
    Welcome and bless your heart

    I can tell that you a very kind person.

    I already love Lefty

    It would be great if she lived closer to your moms house. Nutrition is the most important thing you can help her with. Especially when she will be nursing her babies. Avocados without the skin has great fat and nutrition. There is a wonderful squirrel food that can be ordered online. The site is Henrys Healthy Pet. I would order a bag of the hazelnut block and see if she will eat them if you want. It is a food that supplies all her nutrition in a few blocks.

    Love the pictures of her.

  10. #6
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    Default Re: New member with wild squirrel friend

    Thank you for the welcome, HRT4SQRLS!

    Yes, I am not a ladder fan, but never have been. I'll go up about 2 steps and that's it. I've seen kits for the nest boxes online and have thought about it. I wonder if I did have one, if I could rig it on a pulley over a branch and hoist it up along the tree trunk? It wouldn't be secured to the trunk per se, but would rest against it. Would that be too unstable for the squirrels' liking?

    Thanks for the website! I will definitely check out the Wild Bites!

    I've been caring for Mom for about 18 months. Until then, she was largely independent (not driving, but able to keep house). A fall and the dementia progression ended that. I'm at her house from 8am-9pm every day, and then I have paid caregivers coming in overnight so I can go home and tend to the dogs and sleep. It gets expensive, and I'm not sure how long I can manage it, but if there is any way I can keep her in her home, I plan to. I'm an only child with no kids, and she has outlived all her friends and extended family, so I'm "it" in terms of caregiving. The birds and squirrels bring a little laughter and sunshine into my days, for which I am grateful.

    Thanks again!

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    She is just beautiful.

    Iím not sure if this is something that would interest you or if youíre even able to do it but a squirrel nest box in a tree would be a wonderful place for her and her babies. Of course, thereís no guarantee that she would be the one in the nest box. I can guarantee that Ďsomeoneí would be. Squirrels love wooden nest boxes in the winter.
    If mom is 97 Iím guessing that youíre like me and shouldnít be climbing ladders anymore. We have a member whose husband was on a ladder a month ago messing with a nest box and fell and darn near killed himself. On second thought, donít do it.

    Here is a link to the site that redwuff mentioned. Itís an online store that sells squirrel stuff. Can you imagine that. https://henryspets.com/henrys-healthy-diets/
    Another block from there thatís good for wild squirrels is called Wild Bites.

    Bless you for taking care of your mother. I was a caregiver for almost 2 years and there is no harder job. Iím glad your friend comes to visit and makes your heart happy.

  11. Serious fuzzy thank you's to dogmom623 from:

    Chirps (09-23-2021)

  12. #7
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    Default Re: New member with wild squirrel friend

    That's one of the reasons I connected with her...she is persevering despite missing a paw. To watch her run and eat and jump, one would never know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charley Chuckles View Post
    so glad you joined us 😁
    Lefty is beautiful 😍 bless her with just one hand amazing how well she does, squirrels are tough 👍
    Bless you for the care your giving to Lefty and your mom

  13. Serious fuzzy thank you's to dogmom623 from:

    Taz2020 (09-19-2021)

  14. #8
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    Default Re: New member with wild squirrel friend

    Quote Originally Posted by dogmom623 View Post
    Thanks so much, redwuff! I bought an avocado yesterday to try with Lefty...one question: does it need to be ripe/soft? The one I got isn't quite ripe yet, so I'm wondering if I need to wait a few days until it softens up.

    I also got some curly parsley and some banana to try. Haven't seen her today, but when I do, I'll toss a few pieces to her.

    Thanks for the tips!
    She is lovely - a warrior princess! It hurts my heart to think of her having to endure that without ANY intervention, pain meds, help getting food, etc.

    I don't know if anyone mentioned - feed the MEAT ONLY - no skin and no pit from the avocado. The meat is fine but the skin and pit have a toxin in them called persin. I would let it get just a little soft - not guacamole soft. They don't like getting their paws (paw!) yucky!

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    Diggie's Friend (09-20-2021), dogmom623 (09-19-2021)

  16. #9
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    Default Re: New member with wild squirrel friend

    I appreciate the information, CritterMom! I'll make sure to just feed her pieces of the meat.

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    She is lovely - a warrior princess! It hurts my heart to think of her having to endure that without ANY intervention, pain meds, help getting food, etc.

    I don't know if anyone mentioned - feed the MEAT ONLY - no skin and no pit from the avocado. The meat is fine but the skin and pit have a toxin in them called persin. I would let it get just a little soft - not guacamole soft. They don't like getting their paws (paw!) yucky!

  17. #10
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    Default Re: New member with wild squirrel friend

    By the way, FOXER LUV!!!

    Just thought to add, should any of the avocado flesh have turned darker, don't feed it; for when it turns it becomes higher in tannins and the toxin prior noted. Also, don't scrape the inside of the skin of the avocado to feed that to a squirrel, as it als is higher in this same toxin; as it the thin film of the flesh in direct contact with the seed. Make sure the avocado is organic produced, as pesticides may be used that are very toxic to squirrels.

    Add a dusting of this calcium source to the avocado as it lends support to a closer Calcium to Phosphosphorus ratio for avocados.
    Best one in powder with no additives, made in the US. lowest volume for Calcium citrate vs. NOW source that is greater in volume.
    :


    https://purebulk.com/products/calcium-citrate

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  19. #11
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    Default Re: New member with wild squirrel friend

    Hi! You are wonderful, and so is Lefty!

    Regarding nest boxes, I have one that never got hung. It's on top of an empty rabbit hutch, so maybe 3 1/2 feet off the ground? My release baby lived in it after being ousted from her box that I did manage to hang. Then it was occupied by a mother who raised at least two litters in it. It's low enough to the ground that I can walk up and look in the entrance hole. I did screw up by not securing it though. One night after it had been in use for a LONG time, something (probably the local fox) knocked the box over (not to the ground, but it was lying on its side on top of the hutch.) We lost one baby and the family stayed away for a couple of months, but moved back in for the winter. I had secured it better right after the tragedy, but they quite rightly didn't trust it. The cold weather made them give it another go.

    Anyway, my point is you might be able to have a squirrel box that she will use that is not way up there. If you can attach some kind of footing to the tree maybe 4 feet up for the box to rest on, then secure the box to the tree with wire so they can't chew through it, the entry hole should end up nearly six feet above ground. Not the best but good enough for the squirrel to suss out danger from the doorway without being nabbed by a fox watching from below for her to come out. I would hang it so the entry hole faces either east or south. I don't know how strong your arms are, but if you can manage hoisting it to shoulder level or so it can work for her and keep you off a ladder. If you can get up two steps, even better.

    I was surprised the squirrels were willing to use something so low, but since we hear of them nesting under car hoods and that's even lower, maybe it's not so strange.
    "I hope everyone got or gets their Baby Love today"~Shewhosweptforest

    https://www.henryspets.com/1-baby-squirrel-care-guide/

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