Squirrel Watch: Day 33

And, we’re back.

I actually picked the gang back up on Tuesday, but haven’t had a chance to post again since then. They’re all doing really well and are MUCH bigger than when I sent them off to the babysitters—they’re all over 200g now and my biggest crossed the 300g threshold this morning!

The first day back was a bit difficult, because they weren’t as trusting of me as before when I tried to pick them up. And we have a new, bigger cage, to give them more room to climb, but it doesn’t have the best door setup for getting them in and out. And I can’t just put them in a shoebox after they feed anymore, because they can open it. It took me a while to figure out another option. I didn’t want to just put them in my cat carrier, because they will go right to the back of it, making them hard to reach (and making it easier for one to escape while I work on taking out another). So I put a couple of boxes in the back of the carrier and pressed towels in the gaps, so it’s not so deep. After a couple of shaky feeding sessions, it seems to be working out well now.

They’re all sleeping in the hammock now (when they’re not all running around like maniacs, which is quite a bit of the time!). At first I had it set up too close to the door of the cage, so it was really hard to get the squirrels out. But I moved it back a bit, and now that’s actually the easiest way to grab them. In fact, it’s funny. A couple of times, a couple of the squirrels have been scurrying around the cage but, when they saw me taking the others out to feed them, they crawled into the hammock to wait their turn!

On the other hand, one of them has figured out that if he doesn’t want to be caught, he just has to crawl up the back wall, where there’s no way I can reach him. I’m not worried about it, though, because I figure he must not be hungry when he does that.

When I got them back, they were down to three feedings a day, which I kept up until yesterday, but today I reduced them to twice a day. Almost all of them were refusing to eat for at least one of the feedings each day, so they should be fine on the new schedule. They’re definitely enjoying the solid food and natural items in the cage. When my friends were here, we went for a hike one day and I was able to gather a few pine cones, which they like to gnaw on. And I’ve been putting in branches from trees in my backyard that have seed pods on them, and they’re really going to town on those.

Here’s a video of three of them having a grand ol’ time!

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