Can you keep a wild squirrel?


Some find them cute and cute, others just annoying: Not every garden owner is a squirrel fan. Who is surprised? After all, the cute forest dwellers are also brutal nest robbers. If you want to protect the offspring of birds in your garden, you absolutely have to keep an eye on the cute rodents, because in no time the nest is empty and the squirrels' otherwise vegan diet is richer by a few eggs. But there are also gardeners who find these little animals so delightful that they are only too happy to offer them a home. But should you lure these wild animals into your garden? Couldn't the loss of their flight instincts make them too easy a victim for buzzards, owls and the like? What can you even feed squirrels with? And when? Only in winter or all year round? I have written down the most important things for you here ...





If you want to help a squirrel in your garden through the winter, you should definitely offer it a balanced diet. Walnuts would be great, or beechnuts, acorns and chestnuts - but you could also serve fresh fruit, such as apples or pears. In addition, you could add carrots and corn to the feed plan. Squirrels will love this food. You should only refrain from peanuts. Your ingredients are not good for the little ones. Especially not as a complete feed. The experts recommend: Feeding is only done in winter. After all, the mating season begins in December. After 38 days of gestation, i.e. already at the beginning of February, the females give birth to their first litter. Then they need plenty of food, after all, they should suckle their young and raise them properly. By the way, with year-round feeding, squirrels lose their natural instincts and become easy victims of their enemies in winter. Therefore, experts advise against it.





During a harsh winter, you should definitely install a squirrel feeding station in your garden. You can get one of these in specialist shops. You bring the feeding station as far away from the house as possible and as safe as possible. The best thing is, you hang them really high in a tree. So the feeding takes place reasonably appropriate to the species. If you would rather provide the squirrels with a food bowl in your garden, they should also be as far away from the house as possible. It is really important that a squirrel doesn't get too used to humans - even if you may find it cute and trustingly eat it out of your hand. I can only emphasize once more: Squirrels quickly lose their natural instinct to flee and thus become easy victims of domestic cats or can no longer properly assess the danger of a passing car. After all, these two enemies do not exist in their familiar surroundings. Just as little as humans ...





If you really care about the squirrels in your garden, you should also take care of their safety and eliminate possible dangers. A real death trap for squirrels, for example, is your rain barrel. Neglected and half full, it stands behind the garden shed. Squirrels can plop into it all too easily. Although they are very good swimmers, it is of no use to them if they cannot make it over the edge of the bin again. So it's best to cover your rain barrel with a close-meshed net or a suitable lid. If you prefer an open rain barrel, if only for visual reasons, it would be helpful if you put a large branch or board in it at an angle. So even the smallest swimmer can get back into the dry.




Unfortunately, there are still gardeners who thoughtlessly use poisons and fertilizers in their gardens. These substances are a great danger to squirrels - they can even lead to a very excruciating death. Especially slug pellets or rat and mouse poison are extremely dangerous for them. Squirrels quickly ingest the deadly substances with their food and ultimately die miserably in the bushes. No wonder, after all, they can't tell the poisonous grains apart from their food. Incidentally, it is similar with granular garden fertilizer. It is also dangerous for squirrels. If you want squirrels to make their home in your garden, you should avoid blue corn in the future. Squirrels pick it up by mouth and paws and die on it. Incidentally, this also applies to hedgehogs. If you do not want to do without the blue corn in the garden, you should first dissolve it in the water before you use it for fertilization or at least rake it so far into the earth that no squirrel or hedgehog comes into contact with it.





Have you ever found an injured or weak squirrel? Then you know that you have to be careful. Squirrels have claws and very sharp teeth. So it could hurt you. First of all, it would be good if you watch the animal from a certain distance. If it does not move or if it seems apathetic, after a certain time you can carefully move towards the squirrel with a towel. Make yourself a little smaller and avoid quick movements. This way you appear less threatening to the animal. You then carefully place the squirrel in the cloth and bring it to a warm, quiet room. There you can examine it in peace. Is it bleeding? Did it break something? Is it emaciated? Does his fur look dull and strawy? In winter you can sometimes find hypothermic and weak young animals. Most of all, they need warmth. A hot water bottle helps. You can also offer the squirrel pieces of apple and a little sugar water. Either way, the best thing is, you take him to the vet. Experts advise laypeople against fattening up wild animals like squirrels.