View Full Version : Squirrels:)!
06-05-2006, 04:03 PM
I know this is a strange place to talk about this but my "grandkids"".., 3 baby squirrels have been my greatest IC distraction.
We live out in the country and have 22 acres. Several years ago my husband found a hurt small red squirrel and brought her home. We raised her outside. She now 3 or 4, lives completely free and has raised several litters of babies right near are house! "Skippy" loves to be pet and will jump in your lap. her favorite foods are homemade cornmeal pancakes and peanut butter cookies, but she also enjoys peanuts and sunflower seeds. Her many babies come right up to you, play around us etc. (You can not touch them though!)
We call them all Skiplets :)!
So our family was already a little squirrel crazy!! Then early this Spring my husband was cleaning up. We had have several near miss tornadoes and lots of stuff fallen down. He was careful with burning the leaves etc, except a
close tree was hollow inside and caught fire, then fell, in the top was a baby squrirrel nest. It fell right next to the fire and we only realized what happened when my son threw a bucket of water on some flames and heard a small scream. Then we saw then 4 little babies eyes not even open. We couldn't leave them there they would be burned and their mom couldn't come back. Usually in the wild babies that are found are best left for their mom, if that had been possible we would have. Truthfully I thought they would die they were just so small. But all but one lived and has taken our hearts. My 16 year old became mom, I have gotten to do the grandma thing sleep through the night and play with them when I want to! a :wink: They too are now completely free but come back daily to play! Rascal hangs on the screen to let me know she is hungry. They boys love to wrestle with your hand like a cat:)! They really are just so cute!
They even come right up to our black labs, who have come to accept squirrels as part of the family!
People have said to me, "squirrels.., don't they get into the bird feeder?" I tell them at our house the birds get into the squirrel feeders:)!
Stange pets I Know but they have been a wonderful distraction to my pain!
06-05-2006, 07:55 PM
When I was a kid growing up in Houston, we found two baby gray squirrels within a week, eyes not yet open, that had fallen from their nests during a storm. We nursed them with doll bottles but as soon as they began to scamper around the house they began to bite hard and often with their razor sharp teeth. We tried to release them but they wouldn't leave the house or yard and with all of the free-roaming dogs and cats and kids in the neighborhood we were afraid they would be attacked and harassed, since they weren't afraid to approach, since they had grown up with both pets and kids in our house. We built a large cage and they were well fed with pecans from the trees in our yard, they would hoard them in a nest they created in their cage, saving them for a rainy day!! These two squirrels were obese!! But they never were tame so we didn't handle them. I've heard in the wild they only live 2 or 3 years. One of ours lived to be 10 yrs and then escaped from his cage and as we feared was harassed by kids in the neighborhood and I do believe he died not long after. We tried many times to catch him but had no luck. It was very sad! The other one lived to be 18 and died of either weight-related health problems or just old age.
I now have a Eurasion collared (ring neck) dove that I rescued from two boys who were running around the neighborhood a few years ago with their bb gun shooting things. I gave them a good lecture and scare, took the bird away, and since it seemed very near to death, put it in the garbage can in the shed so the cats wouldn't get to it before garbage day. Next morning I go to take the garbage out, bird was sitting on the top of the can giving me a look like I had buried him alive! His wing was damaged from being shot and he still can't fly. I have read that these birds also only live a couple years in the wild, but up to 20 in captivity! So I guess he'll be with me for a while. I hate to see him caged, but he seems to have adjusted and coos all of the time. It's a beautiful and relaxing sound while I'm laying in the hammock on the patio.
06-05-2006, 08:14 PM
Another animal story, this one's incredible. I had just washed a load of clothes and opened the washer to find an anole lizard, the common ones that turn green or brown! He had been through the full cycle, wash, spin, rinse, spin, with all the stuff...bleach, detergent, downy! He wasn't green or brown, just mottled all over with bloody red spots and STILL alive! As I tried to get him out of the washer, he still had enough life in him to try to get away from me, lost his little tail in the process! Finally dug him out, put him in a covered shoe box with some grass and brought him inside, thinking for sure his days, minutes! were numbered. Next morning I check the box to see how he's doing, thought for sure he would be dead, and he was GONE. Not in the box, I mean! I'm like what the ****? Did the cats get him or what? Then I look up and he's sitting on the miniblinds looking good as new, minus the tail! The cats and I chased him around the house and finally I caught him before the cats did, set him outside, and he took off. I still can't believe he survived the washing machine. Truly amazing.
06-06-2006, 02:16 AM
My oldest son used to fill his pockets with rolly pollies.., I learned to check his pockets outside:)!!
I think kids and animals seem to go together. We too have raised, birds, bunnies, a one eyed frog.., another squirrel then those mentioned, aoppossums.., those I quicky took to the conservation dept. They are nasty little things but the kids loved them!!. We had a baby bunny so tiny rescued from a snake.., "named it Happy Bunny!" My oldest son once raised a baby brown thrasher.., it would daily break out of the cage each am and come sit under his face begging for food. When he got big he was quite a handful. We tried to set him free. He flew away was gone several hours then came and landed on my sons shoulder. It really was sweet but one day while they were spending time together the cat walked up and smacked him just right, so didn't make it!
Part of our success with the squirrels is that since we had already done this, my husband had built a very life like cage. he took an old tree knot cut it out and nailed it to the front of a small box, little branches and all! This put inside a wire cage gives them a natural habitat. The cage was brought into the house once they could crawl out of the box but still too young to get cold! Then moved outside to the porch near us. They cried at first and kids had to sit by the cage. next it was mounted back on the tree, then they were released. We still put food and water out. For the first few nights they came home to sleep but in no time the little girl built them a new nest. First one for all of them, then she left the boys and built her own! Luckily dogs and cat at this point are pretty old.., the cats ten. The dogs have been taught to protect the squirrels. They used to lay by the cage on the porch.., now the day Rascal tried to pull hairs out to mke a nest, they had a very upset expression!
Now Skippy, the Skiplets and all the babies hang out at the cage.., (It was Skippy's first anyway!) We have been amazed that Skippy has been kind to the new babies too! Poor cat though he walks off the porch and the whole yard begins to squirrel scream at him!
06-07-2006, 01:31 AM
I love your squirrel story! My parents had one who came around for a few years that had three legs and no tail. But he scampered up the bird feeder like the rest of them. I had one here for about a year that would take peanuts right out of my hand, but she vanished over the winter and never came back.
06-07-2006, 07:04 AM
That is sooo cute...Skippy and the Skiplets. I'm sure we gave our squirrels names, but I don't remember now it was so long ago. I wish we had been able to release them like you did, we just didn't know! That was WAY before internet! If I found a baby squirrel today I would be all over the web trying to find out how get it back into the wild safely! Where I live now, in south Texas, near the Mexican border, there have never been squirrels of any type until just the past couple of years. They're not native to this area but I guess they've been working their way south.
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