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oowee

Protecting Hazel Nuts and Sweet Chesnut.

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I have pretty much removed the squirrels from my orchard with the air rifle. I can watch the orchard quite closely from my lounge and kitchen. 

At the other side of the house I have planted some Hazel and Sweet Chesnut which at about 4 years old look to have a decent crop this year. Being on the blind side they are vulnerable to squirrels coming in from the neighboring bad lands and wilderness. Is it worth installing a trap and if so what sort? I could imagine them ignoring bait in favour of the rapidly ripening nuts. 

I am making sporadic early morning visits in my dressing gown 🙂 rifle in hand but I did the same last year and all the fruit disappeared. 

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Solway Mk4 or Fen Trap Mk4 or The Magnum Bodygrip 116 Trap.

Edited by old'un

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32 minutes ago, old'un said:

Solway Mk4 or Fen Trap Mk4 or The Magnum Bodygrip 116 Trap.

Do you reckon they will come to the bait in the trap with the option of nuts in the trees? 

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They will come to a flip top feeder or a cage trap. Obviously the cage trap is best as you need to be there to shoot them off the flip top.  I use the basic squirel cage trap and then make a wire peanut feeder which goes across the back behind the treadle....phot tomorrow.... I feed with peanuts and the small birds come in to feed which acts as an attraction to the squirrel.

A bit of aniseed on the peanuts might also work but I have not needed to use it to be succesful.  My orchard/wood is covered in hazel nuts, walnuts and sweet chectnuts and at the moment we are squirrel free. I have seven cage traps set around the wood.  B&Q sell the sheets of peanut feeder wire and you can make a cage to fit and I wire this in place.  Easy to pour peanuts through the cage wire.

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This time of year they may possibly go for the fruit on the trees but they are inquisitive animals so you could use the body grip trap set vertical on the trunk, you will need to make a tunnel/box, although I have seen Solway/Fen traps used in a vertical position but they work better set horizontal, to give you some idea have a look here…https://www.fourteenacre.co.uk/shop/fineren-bodygrip-box-for-squirrels/

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1 hour ago, Walker570 said:

They will come to a flip top feeder or a cage trap. Obviously the cage trap is best as you need to be there to shoot them off the flip top.  I use the basic squirel cage trap and then make a wire peanut feeder which goes across the back behind the treadle....phot tomorrow.... I feed with peanuts and the small birds come in to feed which acts as an attraction to the squirrel.

A bit of aniseed on the peanuts might also work but I have not needed to use it to be succesful.  My orchard/wood is covered in hazel nuts, walnuts and sweet chectnuts and at the moment we are squirrel free. I have seven cage traps set around the wood.  B&Q sell the sheets of peanut feeder wire and you can make a cage to fit and I wire this in place.  Easy to pour peanuts through the cage wire.

Very interested to see the pic. I have sacks of peanuts 😉

I am looking at the solway fenn traps too. I have a gap between three horse chesnut trees and the copse of nut trees. The squirrels must cross open ground or along a post and rail fence which looks to be a good trap station. 

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I'm about to teach my granny to suck eggs I'm sure, but ... If you set a Fenn on the post and rail fence make sure it's in a tunnel and not open to the sky. Best is to make a wooden tunnel from 4 pieces of plank and make the centre section openable or removable so you can get at the trap. A baffle board or sheet of mesh held vertically around and above the tunnel will encourage the little **** to go through rather than over or round.

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As promised. The over cage is to stop hen pheasants sneaking in and setting off the trap.  That feeder is not quite full size due to the fact I was running short on material but it still works.

Occasionally get a woodpecker in the cage but visited twice a day and easy to let them out unharmed.

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I set 2 fenns in a tunnel made of bricks and a paving slab in my chicken run. The bricks keep it narrow and easy enough to make the entrance small enough for the target species.  I caught 5 or 6 rats and 4 squirrels in it. 

Entry either end will result in a quick death for the rat/squig. The tunnels are easy enough to make out of wood or you can buy purpose made one's. 

They are curious creatures and can't help exploring. 

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