It’s extremely difficult to maintain squirrels away from hen feeders!
I do know this assertion is clear, however whether or not you’re keen on ’em or hate ’em, in some unspecified time in the future, virtually each yard birder has to take care of squirrels attempting to stage a hostile takeover of their hen meals.
I like squirrels and wish them in my yard. I take pleasure in watching them, and they’re as a lot part of nature as birds.
I need to see my squirrels ON THE GROUND. Sadly, these ravenous rodents can rapidly change into a nuisance on hen feeders for a lot of causes, together with their voracious urge for food, feeder dominance, wonderful athletic capacity, and skill to chew by virtually something!
Do you see any squirrels on my feeders?
Under is a LIVE have a look at my hen feeding station. We’ve got at the least eight squirrels that generally go to our yard and periodically certainly one of them may be noticed on my hen feeders. Sadly, I violate Tip #2 beneath, and it’s comparatively widespread to see a squirrel leap from the bushes!
Under, you’ll study EIGHT methods to maintain squirrels off hen feeders!
After doing a lot of analysis and experimenting at dwelling, I’ve put collectively eight methods that may assist forestall and cease the carnage that squirrels can wreak in your hen meals provide.
And the most effective information?
Not one of the suggestions beneath harm squirrels. I don’t agree with or advocate any technique that places these small mammals at risk. As I mentioned earlier than, I need to feed the squirrels, simply not from my hen feeders. ?
Tip #1: Spend money on a Squirrel-Proof Chook Feeder Pole
By putting in a high quality squirrel-proof hen feeder pole, you possibly can eradicate most squirrel issues.
It’s fairly easy. If squirrels can’t climb as much as the hen feeders, then they’re caught consuming the meals that falls to the bottom.
With regards to squirrel-proof hen feeder poles, you’ve got two choices:
A. Purchase a pole that’s manufactured to stop squirrels.
For instance, I used to personal the Squirrel Stopper Pole, and never one single critter EVER bought previous the hooked up spring-loaded baffle. (This 12 months I constructed a extra heavy-duty hen feeder pole as a result of excessive variety of hen feeders I used to be utilizing. ? )
A squirrel baffle is merely a contraption that stops squirrels (and different small mammals) from climbing up your hen feeder pole. Take a look at the spring-loaded baffle on the Squirrel Stopper pole beneath:
Not solely is that this pole nice at stopping squirrels from climbing up, however it holds as much as eight hen feeders and appears “elegant” in my yard.
B. Squirrel-proof your current pole by attaching baffles.
Should you like your present hen feeder pole and need to hold it, however it wasn’t designed to cease squirrels, I’ve nice information!
Squirrel baffles may be bought individually (or made) and hooked up to your current pole.
Usually, there are two totally different kinds/shapes of baffle you’ll encounter:
Torpedo Baffle Pictured Above (Additionally known as Stovepipe or Cone): Audubon Metal Squirrel Baffle
Wrap Round Baffle Pictured Above: Woodlink Squirrel Baffle
Each of those baffles are designed to connect beneath the hen feeder. As squirrels climb, they don’t seem to be capable of get across the baffle and subsequently can’t eat your hen meals!
*Squirrels can bounce vertically as much as 4 ft excessive! Make certain to connect a squirrel baffle excessive sufficient on the pole that they will’t simply bounce over and on prime of it.*
For the whole lot you could learn about squirrel baffles, try this text:
Tip #2: Place Your Chook Feeders Correctly
Do you know that squirrels can bounce so far as 10 ft horizontally?
Don’t consider me?
Here’s a video I created of the squirrels leaping onto my hen feeding station!
Sadly, my hen feeding station won’t ever be 100% squirrel proof, and it’s as a result of my feeders are too near the bushes you see within the above video. Due to this reality, I’ve to depend on the opposite methods mentioned on this publish!
As you might be deciding the place to put hen feeders in your yard, do not forget that they are going to be topic to an aerial assault from squirrels!
To forestall squirrels from making the bounce, discover a appropriate space that’s at the least 10 ft away from any bushes, tree branches, homes, decks, energy traces, or anything that they will climb to make use of as a launchpad. My feeding station is simply about 5 ft away from the closest bushes, and the squirrels make that leap simply!
It would in all probability be essentially the most enjoyable to put the feeders only a bit out of the squirrels’ attain. By doing this, you get to look at them TRY to make the bounce however miss, which gives some leisure. ?
Tip #3: Spend money on a Squirrel-Proof Chook Feeder
In case you are not capable of cease squirrels from reaching your hen feeders, it could be time to show your feeders into Fort Knox.
Fortunately, there are hen feeders that permit birds to eat however minimize off the meals provide for squirrels. Some work nice; some fail miserably.
Listed here are the THREE hottest methods utilized by squirrel-proof hen feeders:
A. Weight Delicate:
Entry to hen meals is denied if there may be an excessive amount of weight on the perches of the feeder. Most birds are MUCH lighter than squirrels, they usually can eat comfortably. However when a squirrel jumps on, sometimes a door closes, and they don’t seem to be capable of eat the meals!
For instance, here’s a brief video of the weight-sensitive perches in motion on my Absolute II hopper feeder:
Some feeders are surrounded by a metallic cage to cease squirrels. The openings within the enclosure are massive sufficient for small birds to fly by however too tiny for squirrels to suit inside. Cages additionally work nice to maintain blackbirds off your feeders.
C. Battery Powered Feeders That Spin:
These stands out as the most enjoyable! When a squirrel climbs on the feeder, the motor kicks in to start out spinning, which tosses them off!
For an inventory of my favourite squirrel-proof hen feeders with sincere opinions, try the next article:
Tip #4: Provide meals that squirrels don’t like
There could also be areas you need to place your feeders which can be virtually not possible to maintain squirrels away from, reminiscent of on a deck, window, or close to a tree.
On this case, it could be essential to be very selective concerning the meals you’re going to provide.
And right here’s the excellent news:
Squirrels don’t eat the whole lot!
Squirrels go loopy over nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, corn, and fruit. They love these meals! You possibly can’t blame them for attempting to get to your feeders.
However are you able to consider there are a handful of meals that can entice a lot of birds AND forestall squirrels on the identical time?
Listed here are three meals you should use that squirrels don’t like:
Cardinals, chickadees, titmice, and plenty of finches love this small, white seed whereas squirrels don’t. Blackbirds (starlings and grackles) additionally don’t eat safflower seeds, which makes me suppose this can be a miracle meals!
Goldfinches can’t get sufficient, however squirrels don’t trouble with this tiny seed.
C. White Proso Millet:
I feel it’s too small for squirrels to mess with, however doves, juncos, and sparrows will undoubtedly be pleased it’s out there.
Tip #5: Maintain Squirrels Away With Sizzling Peppers!
After I first realized concerning the technique of stopping squirrels with sizzling peppers, it sounded unusual to me however made lots of sense as soon as I realized extra.
Have you ever ever eaten a sizzling pepper? In that case, that it may well make your mouth a bit uncomfortable.
The “warmth“ that you just really feel in your mouth after consuming a sizzling pepper is attributable to a compound known as capsaicin. The explanation we really feel ache, discomfort, and burning after consuming sizzling peppers is that capsaicin messes with particular nerve endings in our mouths.
Right here is the thrilling half:
Solely mammals, like squirrels, are affected by capsaicin!
Birds can eat capsaicin all day lengthy and really feel no ailing results.
So to take benefit, many hen meals add capsaicin as a powder coat, liquid coat, or as a part of a suet combine to cease squirrels from consuming.
Time and time once more, it has been proven that having capsaicin-treated hen meals is among the finest squirrel repellants you possibly can make the most of. All it takes is one odor or style, and they’ll begin trying elsewhere. ?
However is it secure to feed birds capsaicin?
Merchandise that include capsaicin have been available on the market for a very long time now. There are not any experiences of any birders or ornithologists which have spoken to the opposed well being penalties for birds.
Right here is the capsaicin hen meals that I’ve used earlier than with nice success:
Tip #6: Feed squirrels at a separate feeder
This tip runs counter to virtually the whole lot else on this record.
To forestall and deter squirrels from accessing and consuming your entire meals and scaring away birds, strive feeding them at a separate feeder only for them!
For instance, beneath my hen feeders, I’ve a tray that’s all the time stuffed with sunflower seeds only for the squirrels!
By offering a limiteless provide of meals for squirrels in a separate feeder, you might be hoping they gained’t even trouble going by all the additional work to succeed in your hen feeders.
This tip works nicely as a squirrel deterrent. I exploit this identical technique to assist management Home Sparrows too!
Make certain the feeder is in a simple spot for the squirrels to seek out and fill it with cheap meals they love, like corn and sunflower seeds.
Tip #7: Have Enjoyable With Your Squirrels!
We’ve got already established that squirrels will do about something to succeed in hen meals, and they’re extremely decided and acrobatic.
Realizing this, strive having some enjoyable and make them work exhausting for his or her meal!
There are quite a few squirrel feeders designed with human leisure in thoughts. One among my favorites is a big wheel that options cobs of corn on the ends. If the squirrels don’t stability themselves proper, the wheel begins to spin round. The squirrels finally get to eat, however it’s not straightforward!
Here’s a spinning squirrel feeder in motion:
Tip #8: Don’t Harm Squirrels!
Sadly, out of frustration, many individuals have provide you with methods to maintain squirrels off their hen feeders that harm and even kill them.
I don’t agree with these strategies.
There are too many efficient methods that work as squirrel deterrents AND hold squirrels secure. Keep in mind that squirrels are simply attempting to outlive themselves and doing what comes naturally to them!
So my last advice is to keep away from something that can injure squirrels. I do know these pesky rodents may be overwhelming, however please resist any temptations to eradicate them completely.
Attempt to respect squirrels as a part of nature and bear in mind they’re simply attempting to outlive just like the birds that go to your feeders!
Listed here are some issues to keep away from:
Not solely will you be sentencing the squirrels to a painful demise, however what in case your canine unintentionally ingests some?
Glue or anything sticky in your hen feeder pole:
It not solely must be extremely painful to have their fur ripped out, however it’s virtually not possible for squirrels to take away the glue. They might additionally ingest some as they attempt to groom themselves.
Petroleum jelly or grease in your hen feeder pole:
Much like glue, that is extremely tough for squirrels to get off their coat. They could ingest some and get sick, or their fur will clump collectively, leaving them inclined to chilly climate.
There may be nothing you possibly can shoot at a squirrel that won’t harm it, besides a digicam.
Letting your cat outdoors to kill the squirrels:
Cats LOVE to prey on and kill birds. If you wish to see extra birds at your feeder and fewer squirrels, do you suppose letting your cat outdoors is a good concept?
Killing the squirrels in your yard is a traditional instance of treating the symptom and never the issue. Squirrels breed rapidly, so you possibly can all the time count on extra to reach. Utilizing a mixture of the information above will work significantly better as long-term options to your squirrel issues than homicide.
By using a few of the suggestions listed above, it’s fully attainable to repel, deter, and hold squirrels off your feeders and cease them from consuming your entire hen meals!
I’ve had the most effective luck by combing suggestions #3, #4, and #5 collectively.
Most significantly, attempt to study to understand squirrels and benefit from the challenges they supply.
Who is aware of, when you get the squirrels beneath management and off your hen feeders, you could find yourself having fun with their loopy antics. And simply so , The Squirrel Lover’s Membership is all the time searching for new members!
Earlier than you go, I would like your assist to make this text even higher. Are you able to assist reply a few of these questions within the feedback beneath?
How do you cease squirrels from getting onto your hen feeders?
What are the most effective methods you’ve got discovered to discourage and repel squirrels?
Thanks for studying, and good luck!