August 10, 2017

What Dan Found on Top of the Barn

The other day Dan was working on floor joists for the new barn's hay loft. He has floor boards laying across one section of them, and when he climbed the ladder he found this lying on the boards.


A teeny tiny brand new baby squirrel! Alive! That section of the barn-in-progress has a huge magnolia tree overhanging it. Birds and squirrels shelter in it, so likely that's where it fell from. The magnolia leaves are so thick that he couldn't see where a squirrel nest might possibly be hidden, but between crows flying around and cats and ducks frequenting the top of the barn, he didn't feel it was safe to leave it there. So he brought it inside while he did some research to find out what to do.

A squirrel website told him there was a possibility that the mother may return for it. They advised making a nest of grasses and leaving it where it was found. Dan did that and kept a distant eye on it for the rest of the afternoon, but no mother squirrel returned to claim it.

When the afternoon temperature began to drop for the evening, he brought it in. I found an eyedropper and gently heated some goat milk. At this age they need to be fed about every two hours, so Dan had nursery duty all night.

Early the next morning Dan called our vet, who gave him the number of an exotic animal clinic. He gave them a call, and they told him to bring it on in. The clinic works with animal and wildlife rescue and would make sure it was properly taken care of. All projects for the day were abandoned as we took a spontaneous trip to deliver the baby squirrel. Then we did some shopping and pricing at Tractor Supply, and I got taken to lunch!

It was actually pretty amazing that Dan happened to go up on top of the barn at that time to find it. We didn't realize that August was still squirrel baby season, but obviously it is. So alls well that ends well, especially for that baby squirrel.

19 comments:

Michelle said...

So glad you found it and saved it. Bless you both!

KathyB. said...

Amazing what surprises can be found on a roof and how one find can send you on a journey of discovery. In your case, what to do with a newborn squirrel. I hope the squirrel survives and thrives.

What a kind and merciful husband you have.

Leigh said...

Michelle, in truth Dan isn't particularly fond of squirrels, mostly because we tend to get overrun with them they and eat all the pecans. You have to be careful when you walk under the pecans trees so you don't get bonked with a half-eaten pecan (we're pretty sure they use us for target practice. :) However, he strongly feels that the young should have the chance to grow up. So he made sure it had the opportunity!

Kathy, good to hear from you! Yes, Dan has a real soft spot in his heart. :) We hope it survives and thrives too.

Henny Penny said...

Oh, that tiny baby squirrel. How nice of you both to take care of it. I think it was meant for Dan to go up there just at that time. You two have kind hearts.

Theresa said...

I do so love a happy ending! Kudos!

DFW said...

Sweet little babies. We have problems with them here except it's green pine cones they take up in the trees to strip. Sometimes they drop them because their eyes were bigger than the cone. I almost got hit by 2 different ones yesterday morning!

Sam I Am...... said...

How did you even know it was a baby squirrel? LOL! When they're that young it's hard to tell. What a blessing you both are to that little squirrel and I pray they are able to save it.

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

You have a very gentle compassionate husband to do save the squirrel and do every two hour night duty! Nancy

Goatldi said...

I love a happy ending! And bonus you got a fun day out and lunch.

Leigh said...

Henny Penny, I think it was providential too!

Theresa, kinda wish we could follow along on this on as he gets bigger, but at least he's in good hands.

DFW, always sweet as babies and then they grow up! One of our cats hunts them and helps keep us from being overrun. We've eaten them too, but Dan isn't a fan.

Sam I Am, I was clueless at first too! Not the typical "find" for baby animals. LOL

Nancy, yes he is!

Goatldi, we're not ordinarily very spontaneous, so this was a real treat. It was fun going to a different Tractor Supply too. This one had a lot more stuff in the yard so we compared and priced stock tanks. We'd like to get one to make a duck pond.

Ruth Ciani said...

Dan sounds a lot like my husband. When we first bought our property we ended up with two baby deer in our living room because he thought they had been abandoned. We then learned that Mom would probably come back for them so we returned them and sure enough she did. He also tells a great story of when he was a boy and brought home 3 baby skunks whose mother had be killed in the road. His mother freaked out when she saw baby skunks in the house and they ended up taking them to the Humane Society. God bless Dan and you for caring for God's creatures.

Rain said...

Oh Leigh, that melted my heart. But my gosh, how did you know it was a squirrel? I would not have been able to tell from the photo. I feel pride for you and Dan for saving that little fella! :)) Thanks for making my day!

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Awesome!

Mrs Shoes said...

At first glance, I thought it was a baby rabbit (looks pretty similar but for the tail).

On a roof, this story could have happened here, but if the baby fell on the ground I'm afraid that *cover your ears, ye tender-hearted* Saint the Good Shepherd would have ended it's struggle in one swallow.
Nature is cruel.

Ed said...

I have a confession to make. I used to volunteer at a wildlife clinic that mostly dealt with birds of prey like owls, hawks and such. We were constantly given baby rabbits, mice, occasional squirrels and such. Now for my confession. They became a food source for the birds of prey though they were quickly dispatched first. It sounds like you found a better home for your squirrel.

Leigh said...

Ruth, that's too funny about the baby skunks. Dan is actually a skunk whisperer. We've had a terrible time with them and so don't want them around. He found a place out in the country that has a stream and plenty of brush so he catches them in the live animal trap and rehomes them there. He can approach the trap, load them into the back of the pickup, and release them, never having been sprayed once. I think that's something!

Rain, Dan knew what it was but I was stumped too. But its the only thing that could have fallen out of the tree!

Nancy, :)

Mrs. Shoes, very true. I got scolded once for mentioning in a blog post how mean animals can be to one another, but they do not have the same sense of fairness and compassion that humans are capable of (lots of humans refuse to display those qualities as well). If our cats had found it first, it would have been lunch.

Ed, when Dan was researching what to do he learned that lots of people take them to their vet who isn't equipped to take care of them and so puts them down. It's possible your scenario was the case for this little guy, although the receptionist at the vet's office seemed to know quite a bit about baby squirrels and took charge of him immediately. Some people do keep squirrels as pets! Kind of hope our intervention was a good thing, but even feeding something else is a good thing in its own way.

Klaus said...

Its very common for healthy squirrel populations to have two litters a season. What most people don't know is that they have nurseries also. What I mean is that few mothers will place their young in a single nest and take turns watching and nursing them. Being an arborist for more years now than I care to remember,you learn things. I love your blog and what you and your husband are doing is truly inspirational.
Tony.

Leigh said...

Tony, interesting! I didn't know any of that about squirrels. Thank you for taking the time to comment. And thank you for your kind words about my blog! I appreciate the encouragement. :)

M.K. said...

Awww - you are both good Samaritans! What a sweet story.