Cage forSqueakers

In october of 2008 we were fortunate enough to find a small baby squirrel that had fallen from it's nest. It was covered in flees and barely alive. So we picked it up, used some tweesers to pick off all the fleas and begin to take care of him. It was quite a challenge initially to give it water and kitten milk every two hours for days. Initially Squeakers, as he/she became to be called, was kepted in an aquarium cage and a reptile warmer but after a month or two that was out grown.
Feeding her initially was done with an eyedropper. Since this time I have been informed that keeping and raising a squirrel is against the law in the state of Texas. Don't know why... it just is. Squeakers got her name because as she would feed and the eye dropper was taken away to refill, she would make this squeaking noise demanding more.
But this page isn't really about Squeakers, it's about the cage I built for her. As she got older she became much more active and needed some room to move around. First considered was a larger cage built on the side of the house but was afraid of other animals and the fleas and such would be a nuiance. So the idea came to build one that could be used in the house and yet portable so it could rolled outside or to different rooms. It would also require an easy way to clean out the wastes and provide a 'hiding place' for her to sleep. So a design and basic dimensions were decided on and I began to build.
The bottome of the cage was made solid for two reasons, one was to provided a strong enough base for rolling casters to be mounted and the other was to allow for a clean out drawer to be used and yet prevent escape when the drawer was pulled open. In this photos you can see the drawer and associate latch and handle. It was simply a 'box' that slide on the floor of the cage.
To build the cage I used 2x2 board that were glued and screwed together. The solid back was made from plywood paneling. Once I had the basic structure made, I then covered it with fine mesh wire that I felt was stiff enough to handle what the squirrel would put it through. I used an electric staple gun to affix the wire the boards. In the upper right of this photo you can see the metal supports I used to suspend her house. I then made a small walk away to the front of the cage from the porch of the house.
The cage was rather flimsy without the wire, but once all the wire was stabled on, this helped with the stablity and strength a great deal. I mad the top solid as well to help provide some sense of sanctury and for her to sit upon when she was out.
Here is a photo of two of Squeakers once she was about 4 months old. She was quite the character and loved to sit on my sholders. I eventually made a climbing frame that consisted of a few pieces of plywood and 1x1 'legs' that I affixed to the top of the cage. It was on this that she would perch and eat what food we gave her.
I even made her a little house that looked like a house with a chimney and mailbox. I'll try to get that photo later. When we let her out she would watch everything intently, especially the cats and if I walked by close enough she would jump off and on to my shoulder and ride around. Being a squirrel she loved pecans and when given those she was such a treat to watch. If she was eating on one and you made a move as if to take, she would growl at you the best that a little squirrel could growl.