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Date Posted: 23:48:30 10/28/06 Sat
Author: Squiggy's Mom
Subject: Is it okay to keep a Wild Flyer as a Pet?

I "acquired" a FS alomst 2 months ago when I saved it from my dog.....The day before she had killed 3 of them in my house (they have been living in the ceiling for several years now,and occasionally find their way into the house.)
Well,I have fallen in love with the little guy (or girl-how do I tell?).I bought him a very large parrot cage and have outfitted it with all kinds of toys and gadgets...For a nest,he uses an old carboard oatmeal container stuffed with kleenex and cotton balls.......I have done as much research as I can (I cannot BELEIVE how much info is on the web!It gives me comfort to know I am NOT crazy-just crazy about these little guys!)I sprinkle RepCal on his food....I am careful not to overindulge him with his favorite food-PECANS!! But he is an awfully picky eater-he loves green grapes and apples.....I try to vary his diet daily-I will feed him an assortment of fruits and veggies-sweet potatoes,carrots,apples,oranges,strawberries,butternut squash,lettuces,broccolli..but he doesnt like blueberries or raspberries.....I also give him sunflower seeds,a commercial mix for small animals,also a trail mix with dried fruits and nuts..he wont eat the mealworms that I got for him-I also tried cooked chicken (teeny-tiny piece) and hard-boiled egg bits (both white and yolk)-he looked at me as if I were feeding him poison!Doesnt he need protein?What else can I try?
I would like to build him a really big cage (like 6' high by perhaps 3' square with a built in bench so I can sit in it)-I dont dare let him loose in the house-I am afraid my dog will catch him and kill him like she has done to so many of them..I do have him in a spare bedroom,but I live in a log home where the logs are of uneven thickness and the radiators do not sit flush against the walls,and if he gets behind one,he can run into the room adjoining it and out into the rest of the house-which is what all the other ones have done that have found their way into the house..I have never built anything in my life-Can someone tell me where I might find DETAILED instructions and a materials list?
Another really big concern is that because he isnt "legal"-( I live in a state where it is illegal to keep FS as pets)what do I do if he needs medical care?
Please dont tell me to let him loose-he will not last long,
and is getting colder outside.....I have been working with him for HOURS everyday to try to "socialize" him...I put my arm in his cage,and he will jump on me and crawl all over me and lick me -sometimes he does nip me,but it doesnt hurt and he doesnt even break the skin..he takes food from me,lets me pet him for long periods of time and will even turn his head so I can rub under his chin or behind his ear!He loves it when I sing "Rock-A-Bye Squiggy" to him!
Okay,so I guess these are my concerns:
1)Does he need protein and what else can I give him if He wont eat eggs,chicken or mealworms?Do the nuts and seeds provide enough?
2)Where can I find plans and directions for building him a really big cage?
3)What do I do if he gets hurt or sick?What precautions should I be taking to try to prevent that from even happening?
4)Am I awful for not wanting to release him back into the wild?I understand that they only live 2-3 years in the wild,but up to 15 in captivity...I love him to pieces...
5)How can I tell his/her gender?Is it obvious? I didnt see anything where I would think I would find "boy" parts-so does that mean for sure its a "she"?By the way-I have read references to a FS being "neutered"-how in the world is something as tiny as a FS put under anesthesia and operated on safely???
Oh! Can someone educate me as to some of the logo used on this board?What is a HOF? Is it HOme of Flyers???
Any other info that you think I might need that I havent considered,I would greatly appreciate....I used to do foster care for the Humane Society and have loved and been around animals all my life.........I've attended classes to become a Wildlife Rehabilitator,but didnt pursue it beyond that....though it is something that I am considering....

Thanks for your imput!!
Sorry this is so long...........

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