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squirrel husbandry

 
charles c. johnson
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Has this been done ?What do you feed them? How do you make them breed? Can the squirrels stay wild?
 
Brice Moss
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
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why? squirrels are voracious and they are hoarders if you attract them near your food they will find a way into the container and then instead of just eating their fill like other rodents they will eat their fill and drag the rest off to hide somewhere
 
Bull norris
Posts: 50
Location: Chanute Kansas
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manage them like a deer herd thin them out , feed back a little corn, just dont get greadie.
they will do all the work.
 
Jami McBride
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Location: PNW Oregon
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I have one that just set up a nest in my pine tree.  I keep sicking the dog on it, and the blue jays are going crazy at it, but we cannot get it to leave.  I may have to get a gun and recycle it 

So far ours is eating the stash the blue jays hide.  I don't give it a chance to be on the ground, but it's a fight.

Buy a bag of raw peanuts and dole them out as you see fit.  Free food should bring enough to make you wish you didn't start feeding them.
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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sorry, coudn't help it
 
                            
Posts: 5
Location: Interior Alaska/Middle Tennessee
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I've bottle raised a couple of orphans. They should be fed tree nuts, although they'll eat a wide variety of stuff. They really love shortbread cookies, but they're probably not good for them. Be warned: They are very smart, and they have a sense of humor that can really try your patience.
 
T. Joy
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But... why would you want to do this? They seem to get along so incredibly well all on their own. Smart little buggers, dang cute too. Probably my favourite animal truth be told.
 
Emerson White
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Location: Alaska
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If you want an adorable pet squirrel then catch one and feed it on peanuts and the like. However the only squirrels that we need more of take extremely poorly to captivity, so you should not be trying to rear anything but the common red and grey and ground squirrels.
 
T. Joy
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Which squirrels do we need more of?
 
Emerson White
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Location: Alaska
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Albert's squirrel, which dies if it doesn't have enough ponderosa pine to eat.

Edit: Checking my facts, it seems that Albert's Squirrel is just extirpated from some of its native range, but elsewhere it's fine.
 
T. Joy
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Ok. I know I didn't see regular old squirrels out west when we lived in BC. There were some in Vancouver but I heard they were imported there (?!?). The rest of the native squirrels were teeny weeny mean little things, not the big fluffy cuties here in Southern Ontario.
 
Emerson White
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we only have the teeny tiny red ones here. They still do lots of damage though!
 
                            
Posts: 5
Location: Interior Alaska/Middle Tennessee
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I recently saw what must have been the oldest gray squirrel that I've ever seen. His face and feet were solid white, and he looked bigger than a chihuahua dog. I'm not sure how he lasted so long, because he took his time getting out of thr road. Obviously, no respect for Chevy, Ford, Toyota, etc.
 
John Polk
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I just read a report that stated that the city of Omaha, NE spends $500,000 per year repairing the squirrel damage to the electric wires within the city.  Yikes!
 
Emil Spoerri
pollinator
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Flying squirrels are trappable, perhaps endangered? I know someone actually who used to keep them as pets!

Oh and did I forget to mention CUTE!

I think they ended up releasing them all because they didn't manage to keep them healthy : (

however truly I can't remember the whole story... I think he said they had babies and that one of them was really really tame and would cling to you like you were a tree all the time.
 
Emerson White
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Location: Alaska
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American flying squirrels are not endangered, some of the asian ones are (a well as asian non-flying squirrels), but they are difficult to feed, a large part of their diets is made up of fungi and lichen.
 
                              
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Squirrels ate nearly all of our garden last year...is there a "friendly" way to drive them away.
 
Bull norris
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Location: Chanute Kansas
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ground hot peppers work for a while.

Fryed and made into gravy. sorry 
 
John Polk
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Talk to the friendly folks at Winchester Arms.

If they find food at your place, there is no friendly way to rid yourself of them.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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Bill Mollison suggests in his book that you put them to work for you harvesting your nuts and seeds..

first you bury some pipes or containers fairly nearby the crop and allow squirrels or pack rats to fill the containers up with the nuts, seeds, whatever..he even suggests having critters harvest your wild rice.

then you steal the harvested goods leaving about 18 % for the welfare of the animal..

sounds like a plan
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
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I don't think Bill kept in mind that squirrels will ruin a stone fruit harvest by harvesting nearly a week early. They are playing a game of chicken with the rest of nature, and squirrels swere 4-6 days before the fruit is ripe, raccoons usually swerve 1-2 days before the food is done.
 
Mariah Wallener
Posts: 167
Location: Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, Canada
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In BC we have the Red Squirrel, or in some parts the Douglas Squirrel. The Grey Squirrel (which, confusingly, can also be black) is the "invasive" species. In some places it has all but "kicked out" the native ones. Flying squirrels are nocturnal and thus not frequently seen. Apparently there are no flying squirrels here on vancouver island.

I, too, would like to know why someone would want to "husband" squirrels. They seems so successful on their own.
 
T. Pierce
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
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they "husband" them for hunting.  just like any other game animal.  feed and maintain them, so they reproduce .  great for hunting.
 
T. Joy
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Wish I hadn't read that.
 
                        
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They are tasty braized or slow cooked.
 
T. Pierce
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
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T. Joy wrote:

Wish I hadn't read that.


just like most things my favorite is fried.  now adays with being a scosh more health conscience, its whole wheat flour with olive oil.  .....extra virgin of course.
 
Mariah Wallener
Posts: 167
Location: Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, Canada
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Wow. Never occurred to me to eat a squirrel. Wouldn't think there'd be much meat on it.

Wouldn't rabbit be a whole lot easier, and yield more meat? Ah well, to each his own. I have nothing but respect for people who eat what they hunt.

 
T. Pierce
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
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L8Bloomer wrote:
Wow. Never occurred to me to eat a squirrel. Wouldn't think there'd be much meat on it.

Wouldn't rabbit be a whole lot easier, and yield more meat? Ah well, to each his own. I have nothing but respect for people who eat what they hunt.




thankyou.  i appreciate this post.

eating squirrel is a common fare.  and there is meat on them.  mainly all in back legs and some in front legs.    good eating too. fried up with some gravey.  course there isnt near the meat as there is on domesticated rabbits. but its better to eat something thats killed than not.  its common around here for folks to eat squirrel brains.  mainly with eggs in the AM.  ive never done that. but many do.
 
                                    
Posts: 12
Location: Alberta Canada
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Squirrels are cute until they chew through the wires in the attic and burn the house down.

Then there is the damage they do building nests, chewing holes in soffit and facia wood or metal.

They are rodents and their population is, to some extent, governed by the food supply.

Up the food chain from squirrels are skunks, smell; foxes/feral dogs, rabies, Parvo.

How good are the relations with the neighbours? 

Your call 
 
gani et se
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Location: Douglas County OR
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A note of caution about some squirrels in N. America. At least grey squirrels and ground squirrels, if I remember correctly. They are reservoirs for fleas which harbor bubonic plague.
Not sure how eating them impacts transmission, but you have to get close enough for the fleas to bite you to skin them
(Signing my name b/c can't seem to change my display name)
Gani et se
 
Dave Miller
Posts: 409
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
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L8Bloomer wrote:
In BC we have the Red Squirrel, or in some parts the Douglas Squirrel. The Grey Squirrel (which, confusingly, can also be black) is the "invasive" species. In some places it has all but "kicked out" the native ones. Flying squirrels are nocturnal and thus not frequently seen. Apparently there are no flying squirrels here on vancouver island.


In Washington state, there are two species of Gray Squirrel - the Western Gray Squirrel is native and was listed as a threatened species in Washington in 1993; and the Eastern Gray Squirrel which was introduced from the east coast and is common in cities.

Western:


Eastern:


From "Washington State Recovery Plan for the Western Gray Squirrel", http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/pub.php?id=00119
The western gray squirrel was listed as a threatened species in Washington in 1993 by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, and its native oak habitat is recognized as a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Priority Habitat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers the western gray squirrel a “species of concern” in western Washington, and the U.S. Forest Service recognizes it as a “sensitive” species and a “management indicator species” for oak-pine communities. Washington populations of the western gray squirrel have not recovered from past reductions in their range and existing populations face significant threats to their survival. The western gray squirrel is vulnerable because of the small size and isolation of remnant populations. Major threats to the western gray squirrel in Washington include habitat loss and degradation, road-kill mortality, and disease. Populations of eastern gray squirrels, fox squirrels, California ground squirrels and wild turkeys are expanding and may compete with, and negatively impact western gray squirrel populations. Competition with eastern gray squirrels may be an important current issue for the Puget Trough population and in southwestern Klickitat County, while fox squirrels may affect western gray squirrels in portions of the Okanogan region. California ground squirrels, which became established in Washington in the 20th century, may compete with western gray squirrels in Klickitat and Yakima counties.

Habitat has been lost to urbanization and other development, particularly in the south Puget Sound area, and to catastrophic wild fires in Yakima County and the Okanogan. Conifer dominated stands of large diameter and mast-producing trees of pine and oak with interconnected crowns are particularly important in the life history of the western gray squirrel. Logging that removes the large mast-producing trees and results in evenly spaced trees with few or no canopy connections reduces habitat quality. Habitat also has been degraded by fire exclusion and historic over-grazing. In the south Puget Sound area oak woodland is being degraded by the invasion of Scot’s broom. Road-kill is a frequent source of mortality for western gray squirrels and is known to be a major source of mortality for the Puget Trough population. Notoedric mange, a disease caused by mites, periodically becomes epidemic in western gray squirrel populations and appears to be the predominant source of mortality in some years. The incidence and severity of mange epidemics appears to be related to stresses in the local population precipitated by periodic food shortages.
 
                      
Posts: 76
Location: Austin,TX
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We had a pet squirrel when I was a kid. Hand raised it after our dog brought it to us...it was tiny.

Bottle fed milk, then to nuts, seeds.

He, Squirrelly, was great fun. Would run up your leg and hide in your hair...and used to jump on any new guy my sisters brought around and piss on their shoulders.

BUT

The fun stopped after he hit puberty. Attacked my mom just out of the blue once. Then later I was trying to feed him some pecans out of hand and still sport a crescent shaped scar from the attempt. Guess it was a good thing I wasn't trying to feed him by holding the pecan between my lips.

They're all muscle, claws and teeth when they're piss so be aware of what you're getting into.

ape99

He hung around the property for years but we and he kept our distance.
 
                            
Posts: 5
Location: Interior Alaska/Middle Tennessee
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I've still got one that I'm trying to get to move out on his own. He's not mean yet, but I can see the day coming quickly. I was attacked by one of my Granddad's tree rats when I was a kid. As well as terrorizing me, it tried to drive my Grandmother crazy. The present one will be moving out soon, if we ever get thru the tornado season. It is amazing that an animal that small can hold that much piss, but he has an ample supply, and is generous about sharing it.
 
John Polk
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If you want to breed them, make certain that they are properly married:  shotgun marriage!
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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