If squirrels and birds prove a problem - eating the fruit before you get a chance to pick it - then cover your strawberry patch with netting.
Straw should be laid down between the plants in order to prevent weeds from growing, and to provide a protective surface for the growing fruit to rest against, should they fall to the ground or grow low.
Put the straw down from late May, the best kind is Barley straw, which is used for its soft and tractable qualities. If the straw is not practical, then polythene sheeting can also be used. We would also recommend that you hoe between the rows and individual plants on a regular basis.
You also need to ensure that you protect from slugs, using whichever anti-slug method you prefer.