Recently I received a call where
the client had found an abandoned baby squirrel in the yard. “What should they do with it” was the
question they had for me.
Extension answer is “Release it back outside and let Mother Nature take its
course.” Sounds harsh I know, but in
reality it is the right answer, as handling wildlife, especially sick wildlife,
can be dangerous to us and stressful to the animal.
Next day, another call; baby
squirrel is still alive, what should they do?
Same answer, but this time I also gave them the Kansas Department of
Wildlife and Parks office number and warned them they will likely give the same
That afternoon, we visit again, and
yes, same message by Wildlife & Parks.
I sympathize with them, & yet encouraged them to let it go back into
the wild. Four thirty that afternoon, I
received a box with the baby squirrel and I was given permission to take my own
advice. Never should have looked in the
It reminded me how easy it is to
provide the best answer or solution but sometimes it is hard to follow through
on that decision. Other factors
On a daily bases I provided non-biased,
research based, information to clients.
I provide soil test recommendations, I help write lease agreements, help
determine lease rates, encourage people to work on their management skills,
identify weeds, make herbicide recommendations, crop rotation recommendations,
manure management suggestions, soil compaction management and much more.
This incident re-emphasized to me
how much easier it is to give the advice than it is to follow the advice. Encouraging farmers to hold off harvesting or
planting when the soil is moist is easier said than done when that crop is
needed to pay the bills. Encouraging
tenants to take time & re-evaluate their leasing agreements is easily said,
but more difficult to do when that isn’t the wheel that is squeaking the
loudest. Encouraging producers to change
the way they use a herbicide is easier said, than the time it takes to find a
new herbicide that works as well. It is
easy to show how a crop rotation is better than continuous wheat, but it’s
harder to adapt a new rotation when in it involves new equipment and a
production learning curve.
The good news though is when given
factual information, most people will apply it the best they can. So please
keep calling Extension & use the information to the best of your
All of us want to do the right
thing, but getting there is a journey.
As for my baby squirrel, I am going to do the right thing & let it
go. I am just going to do it 6 weeks