I feed my hens all the right things. Now for a hen, besides sow bugs, earwigs, slugs, worms, flies, grubs and anything else that is small enough and slow enough to be caught in a beak, the right things are water, oyster shells and "layer pellets." They drink a fair amount of water. Hens go for the oyster shells on a need-to-eat basis. Their body just tells them when their calcium is low, and they head on over to the nutritional buffet. Layer pellets, however, are their staple. The pellets have the right balance of protein and fat. Most importantly the pellets have calcium needed for strong shells when the hens are laying eggs. To make eggs, the girls need "layer" feed or the equivalent.
But back to the squirrels. I've discovered that if you are feeding large critters (chickens), everything smaller that wants to eat can get to the food as well. Little fly-by birds, rats and those very large rats with fluffy tails that we call squirrels all get in line for their (not so) fair share. If the hens can get in, so can all the rest.
|Squirrel ran up the near-by tree to avoid a mug shot.|
I would never put out a squirrel feeder. These critters multiply based on food supply. There are enough of them in my neighborhood that they are routinely seen flattened on the road. Not only is my layer feed increasing the numbers, but also we have squirrels that are off-the-charts obese. One of them waddled across the yard the other day, barely able to run. When the hens are not in the feeding buffet, there is usually a squirrel clamped to the edge, stuffing its cheeks, stuffing its belly, stuffing its paws.
It can't possibly be one of the Things I get to do today, but I'd certainly like to find the nest where those squirrels are laying all those eggs they're making from eating what I feed the chickens.