Is a flyer right for me?

Discussion about Flying Squirrels
MareImbrium
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Is a flyer right for me?

Postby MareImbrium » Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:46 pm

Before I put down a deposit on a vendor flier or try to pick one up from a local hobbyist, I figured it would be a good idea for me to get ya'lls feedback on whether I was right for a flier or not.

First off ofc I have checked its legality in my current residence, Florida. My permanent address is in Arkansas, and it's legal there as well. If I return to Arkansas I might have to have it flown (all the states between here and there seem to be unfriendly towards pet fliers) and I'm prepared to pay for the $200+ shipping.

I have unlimited time due to an injury, but I have decent mobility still and can do most household chores w/o problems. I live with my wife, a five year old child, a male dwarf hamster, and some tarantulas that I keep out in my garage. I'm fairly nocturnal myself, so nighttime noise is no problem, but excessive daytime noise would be.

Money is not a problem unless we're talking $500 or more in vets bills or something similar every month. $500 vets bills one to three times a year is fine. I've looked at the exotic vets locating sites and will find a reliable and close vet near my residences in both states before making a purchase.

Spending time caring for an animal is no problem, critters are about my only hobby and I've been a bit lonely since Chi-Chi, my aging dog, passed a month or so back.

Cleaning up after it is no problem, with the kid running around all the time and me being a bit of a shut-in there's never a lack of things to clean around here, and somehow it all manages to get done.

I'm aware that it will bite eventually, and it could bite several times, especially at first. Goes with keeping anything with teeth or fangs, I believe.

I'm leaning towards a female as I don't want to have to deal with the mating urges of a mature male (it's annoying in invertebrates, I can't imagine what it's like in a highly mobile, exceedingly fast mammal).

I do not plan on getting two squirrels.

The one thing I am concerned about is it's desire to free-roam. I have no problem with a squirrel running and pooping all over me, and I do plan on making it's room a flier-safe room, but I rent and it could create problems if it's destructive to the house itself or spraying pee all over the walls :oops:

I think that's about everything, but what do you think? Do I sound like a good choice of host for a flier, and are there any big issues that I'm leaving out?

- Chris
Last edited by MareImbrium on Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Joan
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Re: Is a flier right for me?

Postby Joan » Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:01 pm

[quote="MareImbrium"]Before I put down a deposit on a vendor flier or try to pick one up from a local hobbyist, I figured it would be a good idea for me to get ya'lls feedback on whether I was right for a flier or not.

Excellent idea Chris. Too many don't do this.

First off ofc I have checked its legality in my current residence, Florida. My permanent address is in Arkansas, and it's legal there as well. If I return to Arkansas I might have to have it flown (all the states between here and there seem to be unfriendly towards pet fliers) and I'm prepared to pay for the $200+ shipping.

Some airlines allow one pet (per plane) in container on board in cabin. I think it's around $50. Maybe it's changed since 911.

I have unlimited time due to an injury, but I have decent mobility still and can do most household chores w/o problems. I live with my wife, a five year old child,

5 is probably too youg to deal with a flyer, unless he is exceptionally calm.

a male dwarf hamster,

I have these .... no problem

and some tarantulas that I keep out in my garage.
No problem unless they roam free. :twisted:

I'm fairly nocturnal myself, so nighttime noise is no problem, but excessive daytime noise would be.
Additional points for having a flyer.

Money is not a problem unless we're talking $500 or more in vets bills or something similar every month.
No need to even see a vet unless the rehabbers and vet on this board can't help and they'll tell you right off. I've had my oldest flyer since 2002 and he's never seen at vet except to visit when the dogs go in.

I'm leaning towards a female as I don't want to have to deal with the mating urges of a mature male (it's annoying in invertebrates, I can't imagine what it's like in a highly mobile, exceedingly fast mammal).
Actually, I think the females are much more hormonal than the males. Women seem to have the biggest problem with female flyer though.

The one thing I am concerned about is it's desire to free-roam. I have no problem with a squirrel running and pooping all over me, and I do plan on making it's room a flier-safe room, but I rent and it could create problems if it's destructive to the house itself or spraying pee all over the walls :oops:
Mine are confined to one room and do not even want to leave it when the could. They roam free in it with the door open and don't cross the threshold. They did when they were pups ... adventuring out and looking for me, but now, it's their room.

Do I sound like a good choice of host for a flier,
Yes

and are there any big issues that I'm leaving out?
You might want to talk with Joe DrOtter1@aol.com in Colorado who is also a disabled vet.
"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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Re: Is a flier right for me?

Postby Deb » Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:50 pm

You have thought out all the issues well. You sound as if you will be a great HOF.
Please don't worry too much about the temperment of one sex over another. It really is a very individual factor in both sexes. If you form a close trusting bond with your pup, you and he/she will have the best chance of getting through your flyer's puberty. Some will become :evilbat: during this time anyway, male and female. But many stay as sweet as they always were, and you would not even know they were hormonal at all.
Start thinking about what kind of cage you want. There are lots of pictures of cages here.
We will look forward to having you with us here on the messageboards. Lots of us are nocturnal too :wink:
Deb, lovingly owned by Tom Tom, Molly, Munchkin, and m'Deah. And a piece of my heart still owned by my sweet Tiny Tim.

MareImbrium
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Re: Is a flier right for me?

Postby MareImbrium » Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:44 pm

Thank you for the warm welcome :multi:

It's such a long term decision, I feel a bit like I'm going to have another baby, nervous and a bit apprehensive but everytime I watch you guys' videos on youtube I feel more and more convinced it's the right decision. My wife is all for it, of course.

I was considering getting something like this:

Image

A medium-sized three level cage.

But I don't know if that would be too small. Do their cages need to be upsized as they grow, or should I start out with a large cage that it will grow into? I know the taller the better in general, but I'd like to start with something manageable and perhaps build up from there.

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Re: Is a flier right for me?

Postby Joan » Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:49 pm

MareImbrium wrote:... But I don't know if that would be too small. Do their cages need to be upsized as they grow, or should I start out with a large cage that it will grow into?


Get the largest you can afford. Remember, in the wild, they are up in trees and have the whole outdoors.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

MareImbrium
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Re: Is a flier right for me?

Postby MareImbrium » Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:21 am

Money isn't much of a problem (although I admit between the holidays and the squrrels' shipping costs my bank account is gonna be taking a beating lol), but it would be much more convenient for me at this point to build multiple play-trees for him/her and just let it run around the room, rather than build/purchase a huge enclosure.

Martins cages looks like a cage vendor with a good track record here, the 30" x 18" x 48" looks like it would be affordable but decent sized but I was wondering if they come pre-assembled and if so, do they collapse back down? Or is there a better cage vendor out there?

While I'm asking questions, does changing their enclosure or adding to it traumatize them?

Also on a medical level, do I have to get shots if it bites me? And how painful are the bites, the real ones, not just when they're nibbling... is it kinda like a wasp sting or more like being bitten by an angry dog or cat?

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Re: Is a flier right for me?

Postby Chippy » Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:42 am

[quote="MareImbrium"]While I'm asking questions, does changing their enclosure or adding to it traumatize them?

Chipper seems to enjoy when I add something new to his cage. Especially when it is newly cut branches and limbs. He gets really excited and loves to explore. Cali seems to be the same way. I've added a new nest box to her cage and she loves to use it to stash nuts in. Most of the time when they are out for play time they have the whole room to explore. I like to hang a clothing hook on the back of a door and put an old pair of jeans and shirts up and watch them run in and out and peak here and there and stash nuts.

Also on a medical level, do I have to get shots if it bites me? And how painful are the bites, the real ones, not just when they're nibbling... is it kinda like a wasp sting or more like being bitten by an angry dog or cat?

Everyone can help you with this one. It depends on the flyer. Chipper has never bitten me. But he can use his teeth like a bottle cap opener on my fingers when he wants me to play. He'll pry my fingers and drive me crazy until I give in. Cali has bitten, but not because she is coming after me. It usually happens when she and Chipper are in a chasing frenzy and she is really hot after him and I just happend to have my hand in the wrong spot. If, Cali where the only squirrel, I don't think she would bother me at all with teeth. In fact, they both love to have their chins and teeth rubbed! As for the pain...it just been a sharp sting. Nothing like a dog or cat bite. Of course, these are just my little furballs and I am sure someone will be able to share more insight on that subject. By the way, welcome. My husband is also VA Disabled 100% Permanent & Total, housebound and he loves the flyers. He's also nocternal! We became HOFs by surprise and we've done just fine. The folks here on the board are great. I wish you much success on finding a baby and look forward to future posts! :multi:
Martie.....
Proud HOF of Chipper & Cali!


Zoe, I will listen in heaven for your hoof beat.
Gizmo, may you keep God's feet warm.

Deb
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Re: Is a flier right for me?

Postby Deb » Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:02 pm

As far as biting, I have only been bitten hard enough to draw blood twice. one was from a female the first time I dared to look at her babies. She had never bitten before and she has never bitten again. Even though I continually took babies out after the bite. The other bite was from a grouchy male when I was scooping his girlfriend out of their nest during the day. That same flyer, Munchkin, also nailed my Mom rel good when she picked his nest on day to poke her fingers in and said "Wake up you lazy rats." :twisted:
Serious biting is only rarly an issue with a flyer raised in a good home. You need to make sure you are getting your baby from a source that has not collected (stolen) the babies from wild mothers. The very best babies come from homes where the parents are pets and the babies have been raised by a mom that is used to human contact, and the babies have been handled from a young age. Those are the ones who are the healthiest, and come to you wanting to be in your shirt at all times.
Deb, lovingly owned by Tom Tom, Molly, Munchkin, and m'Deah. And a piece of my heart still owned by my sweet Tiny Tim.

MareImbrium
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Re: Is a flier right for me?

Postby MareImbrium » Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:07 pm

Thanks :D

Looking around I don't see much in the way of collapsable flier cages. Mobility is key for me, we aren't transient but we like to move when our lease is up (trying to find the ideal city to settle down in, and Tampa isn't it lol).

I'm thinking maybe I should hold off until I get setup in a house where a large cage wont be such a problem.

toiveajattelu
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Re: Is a flier right for me?

Postby toiveajattelu » Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:52 pm

I just want to say that it's very refreshing to see how much thought you've put into this decision!

MareImbrium
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Re: Is a flier right for me?

Postby MareImbrium » Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:30 pm

toiveajattelu wrote:I just want to say that it's very refreshing to see how much thought you've put into this decision!


When I was a kid I begged a long time for a hamster, and my mom finally relented and bought one, but she hated it and I had no idea how to take care of it and it caught a cold and died pretty quickly. I'll never forget having to take it's stiff little body out of that cage, I'm getting a bit teary-eyed just remembering it.

Now that the internet is so widely available things are much clearer; when my wife wanted a hamster I made her sit down and read the Humane Societies care guides, a few other websites care guides, and I made her wait a few months after she initially brought it up. In the end it was the right decision and now we have a wonderfully playful little pet :D

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Re: Is a flier right for me?

Postby Chippy » Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:14 pm

Cali's cage is collapsable and it also sits on a stand. I think it is really a large bird cage. I'll take a picture of it, unless I can find one I have already taken and post it. It was bought in Orlando, I think. It came with her when we adopted her. I can try and contact her previous owner to see if she can remember where she got it. I'll get the measurments for you too. :)
Martie.....

Proud HOF of Chipper & Cali!





Zoe, I will listen in heaven for your hoof beat.

Gizmo, may you keep God's feet warm.

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Re: Is a flier right for me?

Postby MareImbrium » Thu Jan 01, 2009 4:22 pm

How about this one, is the wire thick enough?

Image

Size: 36"L x 24"W x 48"H

Mesh: 1" x 4"

Finish: Black Electro-Coat Finish

Material: 11 Gauge Wire

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Re: Is a flier right for me?

Postby Joan » Thu Jan 01, 2009 5:09 pm

1" is too large. I would recommend no larger than 1/2". My cage is 1/2" X 1/2 " hardwire cloth.
"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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Re: Is a flier right for me?

Postby MareImbrium » Thu Jan 01, 2009 5:21 pm

No one seems to know what a good gauge wire is so I'm just going to go with Martins galvanized steel.

Before I adopt a squirrel I need:

A cage with toys to play with

Litter for the bottom

A nesting pouch

An exercise wheel (are those stealth wheels still being sold?)

Food syringe and food formula

Water bottle

Is there anything I'm leaving off? And with a child in the house, do we have to get shots if it bites us?

Judy C.

Re: Is a flyer right for me?

Postby Judy C. » Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:59 pm

You are doing a fantastic job of preparing to be owned by a flyer! (No shots should be necesary - just keep up your tetanus shot up to date.) I haven't had any problem with what guage wire to use - mine don't seem to chew on the cage wire. They all have large branches in their cages, and get fresh limbs fairly regularly, and that takes care of the chewing urge. Well, no, that's not exactly right. They love to chew on the buttons of cell phones, TV remotes, and your mouse! They can also do quite a number on books and magazines - the more valuable, the better! :twisted:

I don't think you will have to send your flyer by plane because of illegal states. I have traveled by car between Alabama and Texas with them several times, with no one the wiser. (We go by the 'don't ask, don't tell' rule.) If you use a small travel cage, you can even sneak them into motels.

Get a nest box, too. Some prefer pouches and some prefer boxes. One flyer will need at least two sleeping places, and preferably more. They will sleep in one, store their stash in the other, and they also like to change sleeping places from time to time.

Good luck with your flyer - I think you and the flyer both will be very happy.

Judy C.

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Re: Is a flyer right for me?

Postby voguemamselle619 » Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:53 pm

it sounds like you have thought this out well, and it's so nice to hear from a well prepared future HOF.

i drove up from florida to new york with shylo, and stayed in a motel one night. we snuck her in a small travel cage. i covered the cage in a large shopping bag and no one knew.

shylo is currently housed in a martin's cage, although i'm in the process of having a custom cage built from her (if all works out and it isn't too expensive!) they do not come pre-assembled. they aren't hard to assemble though. they are not collapsible either unless you can break those metal clips (i forget what they are called, i'm bad with construction things).

shylo bit me several times when she went into heat the first time this past summer. it was quite scary to be honest. she was seriously hormonal. it doesn't hurt too much because it is so fast, but it was frightening when she kept trying to attack me and war dancing. and if she wanted to really bite me, she would draw blood easily. on a more positive note, she has now settled down completely and is a sweetheart. i'm a bit worried about the next time she goes into heat, but i'll see how it goes. some say that the first heat is the worst.

from what i've read, it sounds like you really will be a great HOF. welcome :D
- alyssa -

- HOF to shylo... my pretty squirrel girl -

- in loving memory of batman, the best little princess i could have ever asked for -

MareImbrium
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Re: Is a flyer right for me?

Postby MareImbrium » Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:09 pm

Thank you very much :D

I sent an email to a breeder, waiting to hear back, not expecting anything before spring, but that's just around the corner now :multi:

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Re: Is a flyer right for me?

Postby The Rock's Laura » Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:41 pm

Regarding Martin's Cages. They have my vote. We're on our second one. The first was the one you mentioned...galvanized 48" high. Good cage. The second we had made custom by them to the size we wanted.....60" tall with doors and shelves where we requested them. They were very accomodating. Here's the kicker......they come flat and you put them together with a gozillion of little C clamps they supply. However, if you plan on moving it around (and even if ou don't) do not use too many of C clamps. Get yourself some small zip ties and zip the cage together using only a few C clamps. Rockie has never even tried to chew the little zip ties in 6 years and even if he did the cage wouldn't gap or fall apart because of the C clamps we installed to secure it. With the small zip ties you can them snip the zip ties and remove a few integral C clamps you installed and fold the cage flat again to move it. I moved long distance and moved the large cage in tact. The movers wrapped it and moved it and all arrived fine.

Good luck with all and don't worry about bites. Rockie has only bitten me a few times in the past 6 years. It's no biggie....I've had root canal and given the choice I'd rather have 6 flyers bite me. :roll: #-o
:love7: I was joyfully owned by
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ROCKIE, a gift in my life.
Rest in Peace my baby boy 9/4/2002 - 5/24/2009
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lynn
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Re: Is a flyer right for me?

Postby lynn » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:14 pm

I am really impressed that you are taking the time to do your research and provide everything necessary for a good habitat. If only more people were that considerate before purchasing a pet!
Regarding the biting, it does hurt like a large thorn if a flyer gets you good. Without going into gory details, I once had to replace a protruding baculum (look it up; you wouldn't believe this injury) on a wild adult male SFS. It's really hard to get a good grip, :thebigsqueeze: and I got CHOMPED. You could see 4 clearly defined puncture wounds, and the top two wouldn't stop bleeding. My thumb was really sore for several days. I did take antibiotics, but no other medication. The Flyer made it to release, I'm happy to say! :occasion7:

As for shots, you would definitely want to consult your physician if you were bitten. Any mammal can theoretically get rabies, though documented cases are extremely rare in small rodents. I personally choose not to get pre-exposure shots, and I'll deal with post-exposure if I'm bitten by something larger or with suspect symptoms. :smt027 That may not be the right decision for you or your family. No other illnesses would require shots that I've ever heard of.
Good luck choosing your new furball!
Lynn's spastic nuts: Bunpei, Boeing, Calypso, Dixie, and Piper.

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Re: Is a flyer right for me?

Postby voguemamselle619 » Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:15 pm

i do not believe there have been any documented cases of rabies in southern flying squirrels. i got bitten pretty badly once by shylo (it wouldn't stop bleeding, and she wouldn't let go!... resisting the urge to fling your hand is tough) but i actually did not seek medical attention :oops: i don't think that was the right decision technically, but i put some triple antibiotic cream on it and it healed up just fine in the end.
- alyssa -



- HOF to shylo... my pretty squirrel girl -



- in loving memory of batman, the best little princess i could have ever asked for -

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Re: Is a flyer right for me?

Postby Joan » Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:23 pm

voguemamselle619 wrote:i do not believe there have been any documented cases of rabies in southern flying squirrels.


The cases are few and far between: 3 in Florida (1961) and 1 in Alabama (1978). All from adult wild flyers acting strangely.
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Re: Is a flyer right for me?

Postby lynn » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:07 pm

Another good reason to get pet flyers only from a breeder situation! I have heard of a couple of cases of rabies in chipmunks, so it can happen. I know you don't want to take the risk, since rabies is nearly 100% fatal. (One survivor; she is severely impaired but reportedly continues to improve.) Anyway, the risk from a captive-born pet SFS is very low.
Lynn's spastic nuts: Bunpei, Boeing, Calypso, Dixie, and Piper.


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