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Should I feed the squirrels?

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Should I feed the squirrels?

Post  jerzyjen on 3/13/2010, 8:31 am

Ok so this year I'm expanding the size of my garden and also planting a corn box. I have 2 acres of woods behind my house, my garden is on the side right next to my house. I was thinking of feeding the squirrels this year, some where far away from my garden. Do you think this is a good idea to keep them out, or do you think by doing this I'll end up attracting even more squirrels to my yard and if the feeder gets low they will start hunting in my garden?

My garden is RIGHT next to my house, which I think has managed to keep most wildlife away, except for bunnies and I'm sure squirrels would probably walk in my house if my dogs would let them.
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Re: Should I feed the squirrels?

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/13/2010, 9:46 am

I don't think you need to worry about attracting more squirrels. It is the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren of the squirrels you feed today who will be hungry by the time your garden is ripe. They will grow up believing that you are were their dinner is at. I think that it is nuts (pun intended) feeding wildlife. (Said the lady who kept all kinds of bird feeders about her mountain home in winter.) You can probably keep the first generation of squirrels out of your garden by feeding them across the yard. But as the third, fourth and fifth generation start to get hungry (assuming every cat in the neighborhood doesn't come to your house for sport hunting) they will start looking in other places for food. The attic of your house will look good to them. Your strawberry bed, your pole bean and peas all look yummy to them.

Squirrels are just a few tail hairs away from being rats. They are not nearly as bad as rats when it comes to being carriers of disease. But what they can do to your home when they decide to move into the rafters is a bit upsetting.

If you feed them, get your camera ready (don't make the chow line easy) They will reward you with fun pictures.

Deborah ....who enjoys the wild things when they are still wild.
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Re: Should I feed the squirrels?

Post  boog on 3/13/2010, 10:25 am

may be not a good idea sence moving to michigan i've put up 5 bird feeders an 3 ear corn stations for the squirrels needless ta say if they run outta their corn they come for the bird seed. mind you its fun ta watch them try an figure out how to get the bird seed outta the feeder, had a couple of them actuly tagteam one feeder hangin under a window awning 6 feet off the ground an they destroyed a small plastic one outside the kitchen window the week before. so as deb says they can be very distructive. last years corn crop was pitaful but watching a squirrell try pull a 2 inch round ear thru a 1/2 square hole in the fenceing was one of many highlights of the summer. theres few of them around here that would make a great stew ifin i hada .22
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Re: Should I feed the squirrels?

Post  boffer on 3/13/2010, 11:00 am

And you thought your other thread was starting to get controversial? LOL This topic has the potential to go nuclear!

I was feeding squirrels in the front yard for several years (and still do) before I started gardening in the back yard. They've never caused damage to my crops or buildings. Maybe I'm lucky in that regard.

I made a teaser feeder similar to this one:

http://s7d5.scene7.com/is/image/PetsUnited/TG25594_148144?wid=200&hei=200&fmt=jpeg&qlt=75,0&op_sharpen=0&resMode=sharp2&op_usm=0.9,1.0,6,0&iccEmbed=0&

I placed it where it was convenient to see from the kitchen window; it's very entertaining. One reason squirrels seem to eat all the time is they need to keep their fast growing teeth filed down. I watch them bury seed all the time, but I never see them retrieving them. I get volunteer sunflowers and peanut plants growing in the darndest places. It makes sense that some of the beautiful trees I enjoy today, were planted by Buddy Squirrel's ancestors.

Did you see Chocolatepop's squirrel picture? That is one sated squirrel!

One man's entertainment is another person's dinner. I don't know if there is a definitive answer to your question
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Re: Should I feed the squirrels?

Post  boffer on 3/13/2010, 11:16 am

I love this picture, although he's probably been in Chocolatepop's stew pot by now!


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Yankee Flipper

Post  WardinWake on 3/13/2010, 11:27 am

Howdy:

There is a bird feeder called the Yankee Flipper that has a trip lever that acts as a perch for the birds to sit on. The birds are light enough that the lever does not turn. When Mr. Tree Rat reaches for the feeder he trips the lever and the bottom of the feeder spins at high speed (powdered by a battery and motor) Mr. Tree Rat then is slung out into the yard. Now if we can just adapt it to our corn stalks...

God Bless, Ward.
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Re: Should I feed the squirrels?

Post  boog on 3/13/2010, 11:32 am

i gots ta find me one of those feeders jus fer the entertainment value
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Re: Should I feed the squirrels?

Post  boog on 3/13/2010, 11:37 am

better yet i'll go all tim allen on the feeder an soup it up with a weed whacker moter shoot the furry things over in the next county


boog/mike
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Re: Should I feed the squirrels?

Post  jerzyjen on 3/13/2010, 12:06 pm

Oh wow... please... no controversy lol. I actually have a squirrel feeeder and one of those anti-squirrel bird feeders and i used to feed the wildlife in the backyard for "kitty tv". Then I got greyhounds, and decided that even though my girls have very low prey drive and live very nicely with my kitties, I don't want to tempt them with yummy squirrels and birds so i havent used my feeders since. The girls do a pretty good job and keeping the wildlife away from my house just by their sheer presence (they have never managed to get an outside prize) and we often see a neighborly hawk or two that helps out, but you know how those darn bunnies and squirrels multiply.

Hey does anyone know if that fake owl trick actually works? I think i remember seeing them at TSC last year for like 10 bucks.
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Re: Should I feed the squirrels?

Post  chocolatepop on 3/13/2010, 12:21 pm

Ya know. I consider it a spoils of war. I would rather share a little of my garden with a squirrel family, than with a groundhog family, both of which we have (skunks too).

BUT, for us, because we live in the city, it seems that ever few yards there are the Montegues and Capulets, so there is always a squirrel war and my squirrels seem particularly terriorial. AND, ironically, the scare off the Fatty McFatty Groundhog, whom could easily destroy my garden in one sitting and has.

That being said, I didn't intentially feed them, but once I started throwing my compost far in the back corner, that worked for a while, but we have an apple tree so no matter what, we are basically screwed.

I think all the tricks depends on your situation. An owl wouldnt work here, we are in the city and they would be like "what's that" but we use pinwheels and such with some luck, of course they have to be moving. So, I think it depends, the owl may work, a hawk may work, but our squirrels are too smart and brave. I found one taunting my 16 pound cat
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Re: Should I feed the squirrels?

Post  boffer on 3/13/2010, 12:52 pm

I've got a 12 inch owl with a built in motion sensor. When triggered, it's eye flash red, and it makes a very sad sounding owl noise. Wildlife laughs at it, birds walk around it to get to my peas!
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Re: Should I feed the squirrels?

Post  martha on 3/13/2010, 1:08 pm

I LOVE that squirrel photo!

And I know they are ratlike creatures, but they are soooo much cuter!

Martha the Sucker
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Re: Should I feed the squirrels?

Post  chocolatepop on 3/13/2010, 1:53 pm

I disagree, I love my pet rats so much more than a squirrel.

Amadala (Ama), and Leia


Yoda (yes because of the ears)



Last edited by chocolatepop on 3/13/2010, 1:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Should I feed the squirrels?

Post  tessmick on 3/13/2010, 1:55 pm

Hey all, great thread! Boffer I love that squirrel corn cob entertainer (definitely worth trying ~ would be even better souped up) and photo! We've been fighting them in our suburban yard forever. We finally got the bird feeder thing right by installing a baffle and keeping it way far from any trees. Those crazy squirrels still try but don't get anywhere; so they settle for sitting under it with the big birds & lapping up the dropped seed. They can also be seen attempting to get seed out of my bag thistle feeder, but they can't figure that one out. I think our situation is better too because our dog loves to chase them, and they know it; not sure what he'd do if he actually caught one, but he's been within inches of doing so. A neighbor who moved 6 yrs. ago used to feed them, and I think they still think this is their area because of it. It's just my opinion, therefore I'd never intentionally feed them. And as someone else already said, consider the plastic owl a lawn decoration ~ it's pretty useless at scaring anything!
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