It’s extremely difficult to maintain squirrels away from hen feeders!
I do know this assertion is apparent, however whether or not you’re keen on ’em or hate ’em, sooner or later, nearly each yard birder has to cope with squirrels attempting to stage a hostile takeover of their hen meals.
I like squirrels and need 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 develop into a nuisance on hen feeders for a lot of causes, together with their voracious urge for food, feeder dominance, superb athletic skill, and talent to chew by means of nearly something!
Do you see any squirrels on my feeders?
Under is a LIVE have a look at my hen feeding station. Now we have not less than eight squirrels that generally go to our yard and periodically one in all them might be noticed on my hen feeders. Sadly, I violate Tip #2 under, and it’s comparatively widespread to see a squirrel leap from the timber!
Under, you’ll study EIGHT methods to maintain squirrels off hen feeders!
After doing a number of analysis and experimenting at house, 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 perfect information?
Not one of the suggestions under damage squirrels. I don’t agree with or suggest any technique that places these small mammals at risk. As I stated earlier than, I need to feed the squirrels, simply not from my hen feeders. ?
Tip #1: Spend money on a Squirrel-Proof Hen Feeder Pole
By putting in a top quality squirrel-proof hen feeder pole, you may get rid of 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.
On the subject of squirrel-proof hen feeder poles, you have 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 received previous the hooked up spring-loaded baffle. (This 12 months I constructed a extra heavy-duty hen feeder pole because of the excessive variety of hen feeders I used to be utilizing. ? )
A squirrel baffle is merely a contraption that forestalls squirrels (and different small mammals) from climbing up your hen feeder pole. Try the spring-loaded baffle on the Squirrel Stopper pole under:
Squirrel Stopper Pole Test At the moment’s Value
Not solely is that this pole nice at stopping squirrels from climbing up, but it surely holds as much as eight hen feeders and appears “elegant” in my yard.
B. Squirrel-proof your current pole by attaching baffles.
In the event you like your present hen feeder pole and need to hold it, but it surely wasn’t designed to cease squirrels, I’ve nice information!
Squirrel baffles might be bought individually (or made) and hooked up to your current pole.
Usually, there are two completely 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 under the hen feeder. As squirrels climb, they don’t seem to be capable of get across the baffle and due to this fact can’t eat your hen meals!
*Squirrels can leap vertically as much as 4 ft excessive! Make certain to connect a squirrel baffle excessive sufficient on the pole that they will’t simply leap over and on prime of it.*
For the whole lot you should learn about squirrel baffles, take a look at this text:
Tip #2: Place Your Hen Feeders Properly
Do you know that squirrels can leap 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 timber you see within the above video. Due to this truth, I’ve to depend on the opposite methods mentioned on this publish!
As you might be deciding the place to position hen feeders in your yard, keep in mind that they are going to be topic to an aerial assault from squirrels!
To forestall squirrels from making the leap, discover a appropriate space that’s not less than 10 ft away from any timber, tree branches, homes, decks, energy strains, or the rest that they will climb to make use of as a launchpad. My feeding station is simply about 5 ft away from the closest timber, and the squirrels make that leap simply!
It’ll in all probability be probably the most enjoyable to position the feeders only a bit out of the squirrels’ attain. By doing this, you get to look at them TRY to make the leap however miss, which gives some leisure. ?
Tip #3: Spend money on a Squirrel-Proof Hen Feeder
If you’re 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 enable 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’s 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, usually 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:
Audubon Squirrel-Proof Caged Tube Hen Feeder
Some feeders are surrounded by a metallic cage to cease squirrels. The openings within the enclosure are giant sufficient for small birds to fly by means of 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 will be the most enjoyable! When a squirrel climbs on the feeder, the motor kicks in to begin spinning, which tosses them off!
For an inventory of my favourite squirrel-proof hen feeders with trustworthy evaluations, take a look at the next article:
Tip #4: Supply meals that squirrels don’t like
There could also be places you need to place your feeders which are nearly unattainable to maintain squirrels away from, similar to 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’ll be able to’t blame them for attempting to get to your feeders.
However are you able to consider there are a handful of meals that may entice a number of birds AND forestall squirrels on the similar time?
Listed here are three meals you should utilize that squirrels don’t like:
Cardinals, chickadees, titmice, and lots of finches love this small, white seed whereas squirrels don’t. Blackbirds (starlings and grackles) additionally don’t eat safflower seeds, which makes me assume 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 blissful it’s accessible.
Tip #5: Preserve Squirrels Away With Sizzling Peppers!
After I first realized concerning the technique of stopping squirrels with scorching peppers, it sounded unusual to me however made quite a lot of sense as soon as I realized extra.
Have you ever ever eaten a scorching pepper? In that case, you realize that it might make your mouth a bit uncomfortable.
The “warmth“ that you just really feel in your mouth after consuming a scorching pepper is attributable to a compound known as capsaicin. The explanation we really feel ache, discomfort, and burning after consuming scorching 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 unwell 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 greatest squirrel repellants you may make the most of. All it takes is one odor or style, and they’ll begin trying elsewhere. ?
However is it protected to feed birds capsaicin?
Merchandise that include capsaicin have been in the marketplace for a very long time now. There aren’t any studies 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:
Cole’s Sizzling Meats Sunflower Seed View Value – Amazon
Tip #6: Feed squirrels at a separate feeder
This tip runs counter to nearly the whole lot else on this checklist.
To forestall and deter squirrels from accessing and consuming your entire meals and scaring away birds, attempt feeding them at a separate feeder only for them!
For instance, beneath my hen feeders, I’ve a tray that’s all the time crammed with sunflower seeds only for the squirrels!
Woodlink Tray Feeder: View Price – Amazon
By offering a limiteless provide of meals for squirrels in a separate feeder, you might be hoping they gained’t even trouble going by means of all the additional work to succeed in your hen feeders.
This tip works properly as a squirrel deterrent. I exploit this similar technique to assist management Home Sparrows too!
Make certain the feeder is in a straightforward 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!
Now we have already established that squirrels will do about something to succeed in hen meals, and they’re extremely decided and acrobatic.
Understanding this, attempt having some enjoyable and make them work arduous for his or her meal!
There are quite a few squirrel feeders designed with human leisure in thoughts. One in every of my favorites is a big wheel that options cobs of corn on the ends. If the squirrels don’t steadiness themselves proper, the wheel begins to spin round. The squirrels finally get to eat, but it surely’s not simple!
Here’s a spinning squirrel feeder in motion:
Woodlink Squirrel-Go-Spherical Feeder View $ on Amazon
Tip #8: Don’t Damage Squirrels!
Sadly, out of frustration, many individuals have provide you with methods to maintain squirrels off their hen feeders that damage 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 protected. Keep in mind that squirrels are simply attempting to outlive themselves and doing what comes naturally to them!
So my closing suggestion is to keep away from something that may injure squirrels. I do know these pesky rodents might be overwhelming, however please resist any temptations to get rid of them completely.
Attempt to respect squirrels as a part of nature and keep 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 by chance ingests some?
Glue or the rest sticky in your hen feeder pole:
It not solely must be extremely painful to have their fur ripped out, but it surely’s nearly unattainable 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:
Just like glue, that is extremely troublesome 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’s nothing you may shoot at a squirrel that won’t damage it, besides a digital camera.
Letting your cat exterior 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 assume letting your cat exterior is a superb thought?
Killing the squirrels in your yard is a traditional instance of treating the symptom and never the issue. Squirrels breed rapidly, so you may all the time anticipate extra to reach. Utilizing a mixture of the ideas above will work a lot better as long-term options to your squirrel issues than homicide.
By using among the suggestions listed above, it’s completely doable to repel, deter, and hold squirrels off your feeders and cease them from consuming your entire hen meals!
I’ve had the perfect 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, it’s possible you’ll find yourself having fun with their loopy antics. And simply so you realize, The Squirrel Lover’s Membership is all the time searching for new members!
Earlier than you go, I need your assist to make this text even higher. Are you able to assist reply a few of these questions within the feedback under?
How do you cease squirrels from getting onto your hen feeders?
What are the perfect methods you have got discovered to discourage and repel squirrels?
Thanks for studying, and good luck!