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Thread: subzero temps.

  1. #1
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    Default subzero temps.

    i have 3 little squirrels (wild), that are my sweethearts. they are about 4 months old. they all sleep in the same nest that is up in the beams of my buildings deck. it has excellent wind/snow coverage, and they have each other for body heat.

    Tonight is supposed to be -10F With a high of -2F tomorrow. i worry about them being warm enough. They have been through some nights that have been -5F but in the daytime its been 10 to 25F.

    Is there anything I can do to help them stay warm? I can put things through the slats of the deck, though due to its placement, Anything I put in wont be able to come out. That worries me if something gets wet and Im not able to remove/ replace it. I dont want to make things worse by putting fleece or something down there but I also definitely dont want them to freeze to death

    pleasssee help

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    Chirps (12-31-2021)

  3. #2
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    Default Re: subzero temps.

    Others with more experience of your temperature extremes will hopefully chime in, but I'd guess they might just stay put with that kind of cold. Maybe if it's a clear sunny day they may venture forth when the sun can do its best. Do they come to you for treats? Water? I'd maybe put a bowl of water out at the warmest (ha ha) time of day in hopes they'd get a drink before it freezes. If they don't look to you for water, never mind that. If they look to you for food, try to be available at the warmest part of the day when they might venture out? Maybe if they hear you it will draw them out. The coldest I've had here in recent years was 8deg F and I was amazed at the squirrels (and birds for that matter) that just zipped and flitted around in it.

    EDIT: Also I know we're supposed to feed them healthy foods, but this is the kind of weather where I'm all in with dry roasted peanuts (no salt). I figure in those extremes they need the extra fat and protein to keep warm. They won't get MBD eating peanuts for a couple of days during a cold snap.
    "I hope everyone got or gets their Baby Love today"~Shewhosweptforest

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

  4. #3
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    Default Re: subzero temps.

    I hope your little guys are okay. Three squirrels curled up together is sort of like three space heaters. They really can generate some heat. When my indoor squirrel decides to curl up in my lap for a nap, it isn't long before I am sweating bullets!

    I live in Maine so get to see my share of below zero temps - the coldest I have seen is 20 below. And the next day I have my normal giant herd of squirrels hitting my Squirrel Cafe. As long as they band together, which yours do, they have the ability to weather these temps okay.

    Don't put ANYTHING in the nest yourself - you run the risk of them abandoning their nest and trying to make it in the cold without the benefit of their protected nest. If you want to try giving them additional things to insulate with, place them in a box or something and just put it on the deck so they can find it. We have found that while natural nests built of natural materials and insulated with dry leaves tend to stay remarkably parasite-free, while nests filled with fleece or other man-made insulation quickly become overrun. I suspect that the leaves have insect repellant properties. In the fall when I am doing my leaf blowing, I make sure there are a fair number of leaves blown under my back deck, which is about 16 inches off the ground. When we get lots of snow I make sure there is at least one place that is dug out enough so they can access that area. There are days where the leaves under the deck are getting more action than the food in the Cafe! In the spring, when mamas are reinforcing their nests, it is The Place To Go for leaves, since all the others are buried under snow.

    The other day I was reading an article about what to do if you wind up without electricity for long periods in very cold temps, which basically involved building indoor "igloos" out of mattresses and sofa cushions and filling it with insulation material. I was amazed to see that they were using squirrel nests as a basic guide because they are so efficient at this!

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    Chirps (01-01-2022), stepnstone (01-01-2022), SugarMom (01-02-2022)

  6. #4
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    Default Re: subzero temps.

    thank you for your responses. i went out in the middle of the night to check on them to make sure the slats above them were covered, and the one who always chirps when i walk by was as noisy as ever. they definitely know me and trust me, etc. they even know which car is mine swear... so i thought it might be ok to put something in nest if they knew it was me . one of them sits on my lap, one will climb my leg and run back down, and the other doesnt come.as close but i cant tell looks up to me, just for context

    unfortunately they were orphaned at around maybe 8 weeks ? im not 100% sure how old , and there are no other squirrels in the vicinity to teach them and their nest isnt even a proper nest, its just a little space in the beams that happens to be enclosed by some netting.

    tonight is supposed to be -21 eek! so if there are any other suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated

  7. #5
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    Default Re: subzero temps.

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    I hope your little guys are okay. Three squirrels curled up together is sort of like three space heaters. They really can generate some heat. When my indoor squirrel decides to curl up in my lap for a nap, it isn't long before I am sweating bullets!

    I live in Maine so get to see my share of below zero temps - the coldest I have seen is 20 below. And the next day I have my normal giant herd of squirrels hitting my Squirrel Cafe. As long as they band together, which yours do, they have the ability to weather these temps okay.

    Don't put ANYTHING in the nest yourself - you run the risk of them abandoning their nest and trying to make it in the cold without the benefit of their protected nest. If you want to try giving them additional things to insulate with, place them in a box or something and just put it on the deck so they can find it. We have found that while natural nests built of natural materials and insulated with dry leaves tend to stay remarkably parasite-free, while nests filled with fleece or other man-made insulation quickly become overrun. I suspect that the leaves have insect repellant properties. In the fall when I am doing my leaf blowing, I make sure there are a fair number of leaves blown under my back deck, which is about 16 inches off the ground. When we get lots of snow I make sure there is at least one place that is dug out enough so they can access that area. There are days where the leaves under the deck are getting more action than the food in the Cafe! In the spring, when mamas are reinforcing their nests, it is The Place To Go for leaves, since all the others are buried under snow.

    The other day I was reading an article about what to do if you wind up without electricity for long periods in very cold temps, which basically involved building indoor "igloos" out of mattresses and sofa cushions and filling it with insulation material. I was amazed to see that they were using squirrel nests as a basic guide because they are so efficient at this!

    Howd your guys do? There is a heating pad made that is chew proof. Im not sure if something like this would be helpful plugged in and placed on top of the deck or under the area to help generate some heat.or if its even feasible considering your set up.

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

    madeesawn (01-05-2022)

  9. #6
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    Default Re: subzero temps.

    they did just fine, even a -20 degree night ! they are tough little guys, but i worry anyway. thank you for checking in!

    they are of course well fed, and being so close to a building im sure provides extra shelter that a tree might not. i wanted to put a heating pad but it would require heavy extension cord, not to mention what questions that might raise with my neighbors.

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

    Mel1959 (01-06-2022)

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