Grey Squirrels Driving Me Crazy!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Enchanted Sunrise Farms, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Well, when i went outside an hour ago, one was in the pen with my bantam salmon faverolle pullets. i worked on sealing up that pen as best as i could, which is a good idea in any case. i will stop putting the peanuts out. But i have to keep feed in the pens for my chickens. i have no idea how one got in the other pen this morning - chain link completely covered in 1/2" hardware wire.

    ChickenDogDuck, thanks for the information and link. License or not, i'm afraid there are a couple that will have to be dispensed with. i hate the idea, but they are relentless and i don't want them spreading disease in my pens, or my kids getting hurt.
     
  2. Well, i have gone out four times this morning to find a squirrel in with my bantam faverolles. Put the girls up top in their hutch/coop until i could figure out how they're getting in. And decided to take a low-tech approach and hose them down whenever i find one in the pen. So i have completely soaked four squirrels (either that or just one that owns a blow-dryer) and this last one scooted out UNDER the pen. So i have put bricks there until i can dig a trench and lay hardware cloth.

    Really prefer not to kill them. Hoping they get tired of being soaked to the bone.
     
  3. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

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    Quote:[​IMG]

    Your approach seems to be finding their entry points! Hopefully between the hose and blocking entryways, they will be down to manageable levels. Thanks for trying to find a way to do this that allows them to live to tell their grandchildren the story [​IMG]

    JJ
     
  4. gypsy2621

    gypsy2621 Songster

    Jun 29, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Quote:very sentimental until they cost you thousands in electrical work.
     
  5. sfw2

    sfw2 Global Menace

    JJ - I would think your bears would keep the squirrels at bay! [​IMG]
     
  6. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

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    Quote:They did a number on the electric wire in my outbuilding this winter and it was a project getting it rewired but it didn't make me mad enough to want to hurt them. Lecture them, yes, hurt them, no [​IMG]
    Suggestion is to use conduit wherever possible (anywhere where wire is exposed) - it's plastic or metal tubing that protects the wires.
    JJ
     
  7. Well, sorry to be posting this, but i remain at my wit's end. i've chased squirrels out of my pens four times this morning (they are probably out there again as i'm typing this). Soaking them does not work and i can't afford to bribe them with peanuts anymore. Doing my best to secure my coops (i have seven of them), but due to health reasons, it is slow going. i talked to my pest company and they suggested trapping in a cat trap. So that is what i am planning to do as soon as i finish breakfast. Trapping and drowning. i've never killed anything in my life, but honestly do not feel bad about this at all. i think these ones that are getting in will never stop. And even if i make my pens miniature penitentiaries, they will still be swarming around the pens and my shed, making my life miserable. Sorry. If they had just stayed on their own side of the yard, it wouldn't have come to this.
     
  8. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

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    New Jersey
    Hi - I really want to help you [​IMG] but I am struggling to understand why the idea of them just being nearby would make you miserable - you're concerned that even if you made the areas inpenetrable, they'd still be 'swarming' around. If it's any comfort, I really don't think they would if there was no 'payoff' for doing so. They will find other stuff to do.

    Did you try the squirrel repellents yet? There are a number offered on line...

    I know that maybe I'm not the best person to weigh in on this because squirrels do not bother me in the least (I could have done without the poop in the outbuilding from their residence this winter and the wire chewing they took up as a hobby, yes, but other than that it would take a huge army of them to make a dent in 50 pound bags of chicken food that would have been around too long anyway [the big bag stays in a covered metal container but they ate out of my feathered frend's bowls], so they don't raise my BP at all...). What raises my BP is major league damaging stuff like people not being responsible for their dogs and my bird's or anyone elses getting attacked [​IMG] Any being that doesn't hurt my pets gets a free pass even if they are a bit pesky at times......

    I wish I could somehow help you at least not feel at 'wits end' seeing as these frisky little buggers are not predators.... [​IMG]
    JJ

    or my kids getting hurt.

    p.s. Oh my dear, squirrels won't hurt your kids so you can take that worry off your mind! [​IMG] (I am starting to think you may have been an acorn in your past life! [​IMG] ) <---Please forgive me! Just gently teasing in the hopes it will break a little of the squirrel tension you are feeling!...​
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  9. The problem with them being nearby is that they will get into the pens and into my shed - unless i put my chickens in a bomb shelter and never ever open our shed. They eat the food and pee and poo inside the shed and in the pens. One of the pens they are getting into right now has a broody and her chicks. i do not put it past a hungry squirrel to snag a baby chick. i can't wait for that to happen.

    i buy 150-200 pounds of chick and chicken feed monthly, and it all gets eaten by my chickens. i can't afford to be feeding the squirrels, too. In fact, it is partially my fault that they are here, as i started putting out bird seed and peanuts when we moved in. i love having birds and squirrels in my yard, always have. But these big grey squirrels have scared off the little timid brown squirrels, the blue jays, and mourning doves. We now just have a large army of very bold grey squirrels. i can't imagine they don't have fleas and lice and mites. Having a hard enough time dealing with those problems on my chickens and cats as it is.

    On the squirrel repellents, honestly, the shake-away does not work. i've tried that before. i can't sprinkle toxic or caustic stuff around anyways because of our goats and chickens. And i do have one of those water spraying scarecrows. The squirrels don't mind those at all.

    These aren't just harmless little squirrels. They are twice the size as my silkies, with teeth and claws. One of the many times i was out there chasing them off this morning, one had gotten into my grow-out pen. All of the kids were hiding up in the coop, except for one little girl who was cringing under it. This big squirrel had terrorized them in their own home. Sorry, no more.

    i truly appreciate your comments and compassion jjthink. i wish i could send all these guys to your place to live a long and happy life.
     
  10. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

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    And it just figures that we're 3,000 miles apart! If I were closer, I would offer in-person help as I know you are troubled and frustrated. And I would indeed offer my property, were we closer (as a wildlife biologist by training, I am aware of the technical issues with potentially crowded territories as I write this...)

    My gray squirrels and chickens have a very peaceful co-existence (if anything, the squirrels are a bit afraid of the chickens!). It sounds like your situation is different and since you have itty bitty ones, which I didn't previously realize, they may be vulnerable to critters that can edge their way in small spaces (even if not squirrels, then rats, snakes, whatever you've got there). The little munchkins are vulnerable to so much and I too would be worried if squirrel-sized critters can get in - I would be feeling very protective too. If a squirrel can get in, then so can some even more serious threats. And I agree about Shake Away as I tried that once for some rats that had discovered a coop at another location. It didn't work - the only think that did work was making the coop rat proof with hardware cloth. I know there are a lot of other squirrel repellents but I don't know their efficacy as I've never used them. There seem to be really great reviews on some.

    Drowning is a pretty awful way to die - some would say if you have to kill to do it fast with a gun - of course, accuracy is crucial in that case. I don't have a gun myself - though some days I wish I did! (symbolically anyway, for the dreadfully irresponsible people letting their dogs run loose).

    I am not sure why your squirrels are so interested in coming in when this time of year holds so much else for them elsewhere - mine have all but disappeared, exploring and eating what spring is offering them, showing no interest right now in chicken food or chicken housing. I wish yours would do the same. I do appreciate your dilemma and wish I could help. [​IMG]
    JJ
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009

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