Trying to set the "squirrel mood"

surrealasm
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Trying to set the "squirrel mood"

Postby surrealasm » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:29 am

Alright so I've got two squirrels, Female is about 1-1/2 years old, male is almost a year. They live in a 1-1/2' x 1' x 2-1/2' wire cage. They've got a cloth tube, a cloth cube, and a "hammock". I feed them seed mix (corn and sunflower with peanuts) primarily, with occasional "dusted" apples. They have deer antler to chew on, as well as a calcium block.

Do you breeding pro's think this is an adequate set-up? Any recommendations to increase chances for baby skwrs?

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Re: Trying to set the "squirrel mood"

Postby Joan » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:59 am

There is no guarantee about breeding with any individual flyers. viewtopic.php?f=7&t=41 Your cage is extremely small unless they have lots of out of cage time and only sleep there. My cage is 5' x 3 1/2' x 2 1/2'. Their diet is inadequate and needs more vegetables and protein. viewforum.php?f=10
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Laurak
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Re: Trying to set the "squirrel mood"

Postby Laurak » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:41 pm

You need to change several things, or else they will get very sick.

1) Diet - they need the following things DAILY:

Every day they need:
-Veggies
-Mushrooms (yes, a mushroom piece a day. They have the proper nutrients)
-Yogurt (mixed with Fox Valley)
-Protein (bugs, chicken, eggs are all good protein sources)
-One Henry's Healthy Block for flyers

You need to make sure they get plenty of calcium - so you need to feed foods that are high in calcium (like yogurt) every day. It has been recommended that you mix Fox Valley powdered formula into their yogurt so give them an extra calcium boost.

You can get the Fox Valley formula and rodent blocks here:
http://henryspets.com/

The diet you have them on now will literally kill them. Not to scare you, but it is true. Take out the seed mix (sunflower seeds and corn are BAD foods!! They offer no nutritional value and are particularly bad for flyer dietary needs). Only feed one small piece of fruit a day (size of a quarter) and only after they are eating all that other stuff regularly.

Please read the threads on diet and let us know if you have any questions!

2) Nest boxes - they need at minimum 2 nest boxes. You can make them out of wood easily or use new bird houses (don't use an old birdhouse - bird poop bacteria is bad news)

3) Bigger cage - they need something to glide around in. There are many threads here about how to build cages - it is easy to build a cage for under $50-$100 that is huge. You can see a picture of the one I built for around $50 and two days of work on this thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8653. A small environment like they are in now can cause them to become neurotic.

Once you fix these things you will at least have healthy squirrels, and you will up your chances of them being able to breed. In the conditions they are living in now, it is really not likely.

Please feel free to ask us any questions and we'll be happy to help steer you in the right direction :)

surrealasm
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Re: Trying to set the "squirrel mood"

Postby surrealasm » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:56 pm

I'm pretty sure they're getting the right nutrients... I give them meal-worms as a treat almost every day, and I dust their food with D3 on a semi-regular basis. Additionally, they do get broccoli scraps and other food like that occasionally. I just guesstimated at the cage size because I'm not at home right now, but I'm pretty sure it's adequate. It's bigger than my 50 gallon aquarium.

Thanks anyway...

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Laurak
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Re: Trying to set the "squirrel mood"

Postby Laurak » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:20 pm

Here is another chart on healthy foods for squirrels - you will notice that corn and sunflower seeds are not listed - they are basically junk food to squirrels. They'll eat it, but it's like feeding candy:

http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/show ... hp?t=32218

Please consider taking the advice that is given to you - it will help keep your squirrels healthy and happy for a good long time. This information has been compiled by experienced people with years of experience. (I will note that I am not one of those people, but I do listen to them!!)

We're just trying to help you avoid problems. You need to fix their diet and cage size. I know you were guessing at your cage size, but for flyers, bigger is better! Most people build large flight cages if it is possible with the space they have.

Healthy squirrels = squirrels that are more likely to breed :D

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Re: Trying to set the "squirrel mood"

Postby surrealasm » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:23 pm

And that's fine and dandy, but what you said is that I am slowly killing my squirrels.

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Re: Trying to set the "squirrel mood"

Postby Laurak » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:30 pm

It is true - if they don't get the proper diet (like Joan and I both said) they will become malnourished and can die. I didn't want to scare or offend you but I do want you to realize that a diet change needs to be made.

There are a lot of people who have fed similar diets who then go on to have squirrels that develop MDB (a lack of calcium disorder that causes seizures and death), diabetes, hair loss, etc. I can link you to several active threads right now of people who have fed similar diets who are now experiencing medical issues with their squirrels.

It is better to fix it now before it becomes an issue, you know? Since flyers are so little proper diet is a really big deal.

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Laurak
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Re: Trying to set the "squirrel mood"

Postby Laurak » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:36 pm

Please don't be offended - I don't think tone comes across right online or in e-mails - it's just if you don't let people know exactly how important nutrition is, they may not realize how important it is to get nutrition right, or exactly what that entails with flyers. They are pretty specialized little critters and need very specific care.

And like I said, better to help correct it now if it's not an issue yet :) Trust me, we've all made mistakes... I'm just happy that there are resources out there like this board to help!

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Re: Trying to set the "squirrel mood"

Postby Joan » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:41 pm

I've know flyers to live off peanuts alone, but they need a more varied diet. Also check any commercial food you buy for vitamins and don't supplement your flyers if they are getting them in mixes. Many rodent mixes or other foods bought in a pet store or online are fortified.I rarely give my flyers fruit because they have a sweet tooth and won't eat their veggies. :twisted: If you removed your seed fix when feeding dark green veggies (contain Vit D2), they will eat what they should. Flyers can convert vit D2 to D3 which is needed for calcium absorption. I give mine leftovers from my meals of veggies and meat .... usually rinse it off to remove spices.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh


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