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Squirrels Talk about squirrels.


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  #1  
Old 11-08-2008, 05:44 PM
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Default Releasing Squirrels

My babies will be ready to release in about three weeks (I'm hoping). They're in a ferret cage and have plenty of room to run around and jump. I live in an apartment complex and will put them on my balcony to get them used to the daylight cycle. I'm worried about letting them lose, though. I don't have a close tree to my balcony (and live on a busy street). I'd rather release them in a park. However, I don't want to do a "hard release." Also, with it being winter, they babies don't have any food put back; is that a myth? Should I hold onto these babies until Spring? Any advise would be helpful.
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: Releasing Squirrels

Oh please don't keep the babies in a ferret cage over the winter! A hard release is just fine, the only problem is you having a hard time letting go, right?

In a case like that, you just have to put the welfare of the animals first. A ferret cage is way too small. I think the State minimum is a cage of 6 x 6 x 6 feet, just to give you an idea what would be adequate.

They should spend all day and night outside by now, not only to get used to sunlight, but because they need it to build strong bones. Lack of sunlight usually spells Metabolic Bone Disease, aka MDB.

For a release in a park, just make sure there are nut trees around such as pecan trees and oak trees. They should be able to find enough food. They usually burry nuts and acorns and dig them up during the winter when they need them, that's why you see so many squirrels on the ground.

They'll get by, don't worry about that.
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:09 AM
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Default Re: Releasing Squirrels

I have to agree that a ferret cage is a little small for over wintering your babies in(Could you make a bigger cage or maybe seperate the babies into seperate cages so they have more room?), but I think I have to disagree about releasing them in the winter. If you live in a cold climate especially. If you live in Florida or someplace like that you would probably be alright but even in Indiana they cannot be released until spring.
Here are the reasons I would give for my reasoning.
One they need to build a nest which squirrels make out of green leaves and soft grass. Neither of these will be available. Without a proper nest they are going to be left out in the rain/snow/cold and will likely do very poorly.
Also squirrels do store away food in the fall to help see them through the winter. They of course have also gotten quite fat too. If they are released in the very late fall/winter they will not have any of this food they have stored, There is not that much food still availble for them to find even(other squirrels will be protective of their hordes which are very commonly in their nests or in the same tree as their nests). And the probablity that they will starve is very high unless they find enough bird/ squirrel feeders to raid or people that feed them.
A hard release will not hurt an animal under the right conditions, I do hard releases with my coons every year.But I release them in august/early sept. They have plenty of time to find winter quarters, find the food sources (they are released in a large forest with several ponds/lakes)and fatten for winter.
It sounds like a soft release won't be possible where you live but a hard release in late fall/ winter in the wrong area will be a death sentence. Better cramped a little than to die that way.
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Last edited by Fluffytial : 11-11-2008 at 08:17 AM. Reason: needed to finish typing:)
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:16 AM
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Default Re: Releasing Squirrels

Right! For some reason I thought she was in south Texas...there are so many people from south Texas I'm talking with lately, I got that mixed up.

But what to do?
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:19 AM
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Default Re: Releasing Squirrels

I finished my post and gave one idea about maybe seperating the babies into their own seperate cages. Cause in the wild squirrels are not very social anyway and I haven't found that they don't adjust well outdoors even if they are raised as only squirrels.
It is a dilemma, I have to agree!
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:28 AM
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Default Re: Releasing Squirrels

I live in Central West GA, and it doesn't get too unbearably cold here, and we rarely get snow. The problem with a bigger cage is that we don't have the room for the winter. Over the next few weeks, it will stay in the 50s and 60s, and might get into the 30s at night. These two little girls appear to love to be around one another; they curl up together when they sleep and normally play together. But that could be just because they are babies. I believe they are about 9 - 10 weeks old now (one is about a week older than the other), so I think I have about three weeks left. Is there any way I can provide food for them?
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: Releasing Squirrels

It sounds like Texas weather to me lol. All oak and pecan trees here still have nuts and fruits on them, plenty to gather and feed from over the winter for a lot of squirrels.

But if you can nail a box to a tree at a potential release place and keep it filled with nuts and other treats, it's a way to provide food year around. It's just no saying that your squirrels will stick around the place they were released at or not.
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: Releasing Squirrels

I think my husband and I came up with a plan: my grandmother lives out in the country. We are going to build a big 6 x 6 x 6 cage and take it out there with a nest box (found a great one at Petsmart for cheap). Once they're off formula (which should be within the next few weeks), we'll take them out to my gram's. We'll put their cage on the back porch and feed them daily. Then in the spring, we'll let them go. Does that sound like a good plan?
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Old 11-13-2008, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: Releasing Squirrels

That sounds like a wonderful plan!
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: Releasing Squirrels

Awesome!!!!!!
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