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Date Posted: 23:42:04 11/16/06 Thu
Author: Bevelry
Subject: I think doing one's best to mimic the 'natural' diet for a flyer ...
In reply to: Dennis 's message, "Re: Open for discussion ....." on 21:47:44 11/16/06 Thu

(I think doing one's best to mimic the 'natural' diet for a flyer ...) is the best way to go. Using a wide variety of food, and sticking to those fresh foods that grow in the 'normal' range of a flyer, is what I try to do. Thus, although I know of many that do offer such, I don't give my flyers potatoes or carrots(they're tree squirrels, not moles), I don't give them pineapple or banana. I think the 'KISS' diet is best -- 'Keep it Simple, Sweetheart'. Nuts -- walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans. Seeds - sunflower, pumpkin, corn. Acorns in season. Sugar maple and white oak buds and flowers, in season. Rosehips. Dandelion and honeysuckle. Pinenuts. Waxworms. The occasional moth or cricket. Now and then, a Wheat, Rice or Corn Chex cereal piece. (yeah, I realise a wild flyer isn't hitting the Post or Kellogg's aisle at Acme, but wild flyers probably do eat the occasional tall grass seed ...) Apples, pears, peaches, oranges, and berries. Mushrooms (portobella or shiitake -- I don't take chances with wild mushrooms. Yup, I read the thread that suggests that flyers 'know' which mushrooms are safe. I'm not convinced that's true. I think, particularly in a confined environment, the chances are too great that a flyer might try a poisonous mushroom simply because it's there to try. I think there may be many a flyer in the wild that dies, from eating a poisonous mushroom -- or perhaps dies first from being caught by a predator, but already in a weakened state, from eating something that was not good for it. It would only take a taste of some deadly mushroom to kill my companions, and that's a chance I don't see any need to take.

I'm sure it's easier to just feed rodent blocks -- and squirrels are rodents. Perhaps, if I was rehabbing hundreds of individuals, I might opt for the Purina. But for my money, I think I can give a flyer a better meal and a better life, by feeding 'whole' foods.

>So everyone knows. Most of the top squirrel rehabbers
>in the
>USA recommend a diet of about 75% or more rodent
>blocks for
>rehab and raise to release squirrels. Go to Google.
>Type in: "squirrels""rodent blocks"
>Just as you see it WITH the quotation marks. Those
>the search to the words or phrases between them. You
>see many sites that say to feed squirrels and flying
>squirrels rodent blocks. I personally do not. I have
>seen a flyer show ANY sign of interest in eating them.
>Some rehabbers give squirrels small amounts of dog
>I suppose if they have nothing else they will eat them,
>but, they would eat cardboard, too, if hungry enough.
>>This morning, Agnes brought to my attention this
>>website page:
>> >>href="http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/bio99/b
>>867.htm">Flying Squirrel Captive

>>Newton is an electronic community for Science, Math,
>>and Computer Science K-12 Educators.
>>Argonne National Laboratory, Chicago, Ill., Division
>>of Educational Programs, Harold Myron, Ph.D., Division
>>Here's the thread question, and the replies:
>>name Tammy
>>status other
>>age 30s
>>Question - hello there,
>>was looking around the internet for ideas on what to
>>feed my daughters'
>>pet flying squirrel when I happened across your page.
>>When I saw the name
>>Roland F. Eisenbeis, Supt. of Conservation I decided
>>to send an email
>>because my name is also Eisenbeis. My question is what
>>types of fruits and
>>veggies should I feed him and is there anything he
>>should not have?
>>I have been taking care of flying squirrels for twenty
>>years as part of
>>our nature center display. We feed our flying
>>squirrels Purina Mouse
>>Chow with an occasional supplement of acorns, when
>>they are available,
>>and/or sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds can be
>>unhealthy if fed in too
>>large a quantity. The high oil content can lead to
>>hair loss. Also,
>>changes in diet can lead to a loose droppings and a
>>"messy" cage. Avoid
>>feeding large quantities of any fresh foods and only
>>add them a couple
>>times a week, if you do.
>>Wayne Vanderploeg
>>River Trail Nature Center
>>3120 N. Milwaukee Ave.
>>Northbrook, IL 60062
>>Keep in mind tht flying squirrels are protected by
>>Federal law and you must have
>>a license to have
>>one in captivity. If all else fails, contact a local
>>vet. for guidance.
>>Steve Sample
>>Hi Tammy:
>> First your question: we feed a captive flying
>>squirrel at River Trail
>>N.C. commercial mouse or rat chow and it seems to
>>thrive, we've had it for
>>some years now. Sometimes we toss in some acorns or
>>other nuts for variety.
>>I would not bother with soft fruits and veggies, I
>>don't think it will eat
>> Roland Eisenbeis was my superviser for several
>>years before he retired
>>in the mid-1980's. He still lives in the suburbs of
>>Chicago, and I
>>correspond with him occasionally.
>>John Elliott, Director
>>River Trail Nature Center
>>Okay, folks, comments, please ....

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