Squirrels!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Chickaroo!, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. Chickaroo!

    Chickaroo! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 27, 2007
    The squirrels keep eating my chickens layer pellets!! Should I be concerned with my chickens getting ill from the squirrels?
     
  2. 2dream

    2dream Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 7, 2008
    Jackson MS
    I have no idea if the squirrels will make your chickens ill or not. But I definately could not AFFORD to feed it to the squirrels.
    Squirrel stew sounds good and just think, you already know they have been eating a really good diet.
     
  3. Miltonchix

    Miltonchix Taking a Break

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    I would think squirrels are as prone to spreading disease like any other wild animal. If you continue feeding them you'll soon be feeding potentially hundreds of them. They breed like any rodent and the more plentiful the food supply........
    Wait til late fall and you'll have some (from what I hear) great tasting corn fed squirrel.
     
  4. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    I've had squirrels around my chickens since day one (many years ago), and never had a problem. Nor have I had squirrel overpopulation. If you would rather they didn't eat the food, can you keep it in the coop?
    JJ
     
  5. blurose

    blurose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2008
    Winston, Oregon
    I have a ground squirrel family living under my house. There is a mom, dad, teenager and six new babies. They don't bother my chickens any. In fact, the chickens won't let them eat from the feeders in their run. They chase the squirrels away, and the squirrels are not active at night. Also, the squirrels keep the other icky rodents away (mice and rats). I don't notice an increase in the amount of food eaten since the ground squirrels moved in under the house. They also don't bother my veg garden but just eat the weeds and wildflowers growing in the rest of the yard. They also clean up under the bird feeders so unwanted seeds don't sprout. Those babies are sure cute to watch.
     
  6. Titaniumcranium

    Titaniumcranium Out Of The Brooder

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    Squirrels pretty tasty in a crock pot.I bake mine first,debone it and add it to the crock.Top with veggies and broth.Couple hours and you'll be lookin for more squirrels.
     
  7. purr

    purr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    i raised a baby squirrel and released him into the wild.
    his name was Rocky and he was adorable
    the story or me and Rocky is unbelievable but here goes i swear by the gods its true.
    I was planting bulbs around a huge pine in my front yard.When DH told me to watch out. I looked up and there was a baby squirrel sitting eye level on the trunk. I have no idea why I did it but i put out my hand and the baby stepped into it.
    He was so pitifull i brought him in the house and fed him an apple then i called the vet 1/4 of mile from my house .that i used to work for.
    He told me to come down gave me kitten formula a bottle and told me to buy baby cereal and no more apples for a while. He also got a flea bath.
    with some organic stuff.
    Dh was worried about rabbies but Bob (vet) said squirrels are pretty fragile and don't survive the initial attack.
    Rocky did well in brief captivity he would hide in my shirt whenever anyone aproacked us, and he sleptn in one of DH's thick socks hung by my bed.
    But he got older and kind of destructive and it was never my intention to keep him, wild animals belong free.
    Maybe I watched "Born Free" to many times as a kid.
    After he got used to the idea of being outside alone , starting with 10min intervals increasing to a couple of hours with his bird cage that i kept him in when i wasn't home so he wouldn't get hurt or destroy the house. I left the cage open and after a couple of weeks of this one day i went out to bring him in to eat and sleep in his sock. He was not anywhere near his cage but in the tree above the deck, throwing acorns down on my head.He thought he was quite funny. And that's the story!
     
  8. Chickaroo!

    Chickaroo! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    purr, what a cute story!
    jjthink, I used to keep the food in the coop, but one day when I went out to check on the chickens, there it was, a squirrel, sitting in the doorway of their little chicken door! My chickens don't scare them away. In fact, only my RR hen will make a little noise (I think they scare her) and that's about it.
     
  9. 2dream

    2dream Chillin' With My Peeps

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    blurose - like any rodent those squirrels will eat your wiring and chew up your insulation.
    I have a hole in my upstairs bedroom ceiling that dh has not fixed yet where the squirrels were living in the attic and tried to scratch thru the sheetrock.
    He did get the squirrels out of the attic and he did fix the holes they chewed in the cypress wood from the outside to get into the attic. We just have not got around to repairing the ceiling yet.

    purr - that is so sweet and sounds like something I would have done up until a few months ago.

    Squirrels do carry disease, not to mention fleas, ticks and lice. We have thined out the squirrel population here a lot. I don't want them all gone because I love to watch them - but over population
    created a major problem.
     
  10. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    purr, what a wonderful experience you had with the baby squirrel!! (and p.s. don't worry about rabies with them - not known to be an issue with squirrels). I really love squirrels. Every year a mama squirrel raises babies in my purple martin house and I get to know the mom and the babies (it had been a 16 apartment house, but the squirrels remodeled into an open floor plan, more to their liking). I am able to hand this year's mom peanuts - she comes to the back door to wait for me and takes them gently from my hand (and doesn't bother the chicken food, by the way! they much prefer sunflower seeds or
    peanuts).

    The stories I could tell about the heroic acts of the squirrel moms to help or save their babies could fill a book. It was getting super hot around here recently so the mama squirrel moved her 2 babies out of the purple martin house (it roasts in the sun) to a nest she had waiting for them in a shady oak tree. Sunday night a Cooper's hawk (they are nesting in my yard - NOT easy with the chickens) attempted to take one of her babies (I read they prefer birds but alas, this was a definite predator attack). There was quite the tussel. I yelled to distract the hawk. The mama squirrel quickly moved one of her babies to safety by taking it to another tree and then ran back to insert herself between the hawk and her other baby. It was an intense terrifying time. Such a brave mom. I screamed at the hawk until it finally left them alone and flew away. I don't know if the baby got bad injuries or not. He was moving around okay afterward but the next morning the nest was on the ground and they were gone. Don't know if the hawk came back and won or if mama squirrel moved them yet again, poor thing. She finally showed up yesterday for some peanuts - hope her kids are okay. I often watched she and her babies have group hugs - wish I could have caught on film.

    This year another mama squirrel also made a nest in a box in the outbuilding my coop is in (coop is a building within a larger building). When those babies got old enough to explore it was so cute. One got stuck on a ladder in the outbuilding - couldn't quite go up or down! - so I gently lifted it up and put it back by it's nest box. That mom also came to trust me.

    I never have enough squirrels! Seems there are less this year and I fear it may be because of the Cooper's hawks, who now have 3 fat big babies in their nest, high in one of my trees. They were on the nest's edge Sunday night, looking for all the world like they were going to jump!

    chickeroo, I don't know if this would work with your set up or not but since it's summer and often too hot for the chickens to eat in the middle of the day anyway, is it possible to have the food out early morning and then away till later in the day? The squirrels will then for the most part see nothing there and maybe set off for greener pastures? (With only 2 chickens, I wish something would eat some of my chicken food because I end up throwing so much away because the 50 pound bags don't stay fresh long enough with only 2 mouths to feed! I have to keep their food inside or in summer all manner of bugs find it outside.)

    Good luck!!!

    JJ
     

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