Emergency baby squirrel food

Baby Squirrels | The Wildlife Center of Virginia

Gray squirrels nest twice a year, in late winter and summer. They commonly have litters of three or four pups. Babies' eyes open at four weeks of age and the young are often starting to explore outside the nest at six weeks of age. They are typically weaned and ready to be on their own at 10 weeks of age.

A baby squirrel has the best chance of survival when it is cared for by its mother. Sometimes healthy young squirrels are found on the ground by themselves are not orphans -- they simply need help reuniting with their mothers. Often, mother squirrels will "rescue" their fallen or displaced healthy babies by carrying them by the scruff back to the nest.

Do any of the following apply to the squirrel?

  • It is bleeding, has an open wound, or has a broken bone.
  • It's been in a cat's or dog's mouth.
  • It's covered in fly eggs [these look like small grains of rice].
  • It's cold, wet, or crying nonstop.
    • If YES, the squirrel is likely injured or orphaned. Take it to the nearest wildlife veterinarian or rehabilitator. 
    • If NO, the next step is to identify its age to determine if intervention is needed. 

Does the squirrel ... 

  • Have a fluffed-out tail [like a bottle brush]?
  • Have a body longer than 6" [not including the tail]?
  • Approach humans or pets?
    • If YES, this is likely a juvenile squirrel. You do not need to intervene. Even at the young age of 10 to 12 weeks, the squirrel is independent. If the squirrel is approaching humans or pets, try to scare it by making loud noises when it comes near.
    • If NO, this is an infant squirrel. You will need to guide the healthy baby back to its mother:
      • Place uncooked rice or bird seed in a sock and warm in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Wrap the sock in a soft towel and place it with the baby in an open container [e. g., a box]. Remember, do not give the baby food or water!
      • Return the squirrel to its nesting tree -- this should be a tree in the immediate area where the squirrel was found. If you don't know which tree the squirrel's nest is in, or if the nest was destroyed, then choose a tree closest to where the squirrel was found. Squirrel nests can either be in tree cavities, or in "dreys" -- the big balls of dried leaves at the tops of trees. 
      • If the baby's eyes are open, place the baby on the tree trunk to encourage it to climb. If it does not climb, place the squirrel in the container and attach the open container to the tree. If the baby's eyes are closed, attach the open container to the tree. Keep children, dogs, and cats out of the area. Click here for more ideas on re-nesting containers.

Observe the baby squirrel for the next six to eight hours of daylight. Reheat the rice/birdseed bag every two hours. Has the mother returned to retrieve her baby?

  • If YES ... congratulations!  You helped reunite a baby with its mother. This is best for the squirrel!
  • If NO, take the squirrel to the nearest permitted small mammal rehabilitator.

NOTE: Each animal's nutritional, housing, and handling requirements are very specific and must be met if the animal has any chance of survival. Cow's milk and human milk replacers will make wild animals sick. Raising a wild animal in captivity is illegal in Virginia unless you have a state permit. For information on how you can become a permitted wildlife rehabilitator, contact the Wildlife Center of Virginia, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, or your state's wildlife agency.

Baby Squirrel Care - Formula Feeding

Once the baby squirrel is warm and has had some hydration fluid, you are ready to start feeding. What do baby squirrels eat? Formula, also called “milk replacer.

Formula Recommendations for Different Ages

  • Pinkies less than 10 days old: Homemade Goat Milk Formula for 10 days, then switch to either Esbilac Puppy Milk powder, or Fox Valley 32/40, then switch to Fox Valley 20/50 by 4 weeks old.
  • 10 days old to 2 weeks old: HGMF or Esbilac until you receive your Fox Valley 32/40, then switch to Fox Valley 20/50
  • 3 weeks and older: HGMF or Esbilac until you receive your Fox Valley 20/50

HGMF works the BEST for tiny pinkies in our experience.

Homemade Goat Milk Formula Plus (HGMF+):

  • 3 tablespoons goat milk
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ½ egg yolk

You can buy goat milk at most grocery stores. If you can't find fresh goat milk, you can use canned or powdered. Note: Canned or powdered milk must be mixed with water FIRST according to label directions. Do not use HGMF+ for more than two weeks at a time as it is not fully fortified with vitamins/minerals. If you can't find goat milk, double the yogurt (6 tablespoons).

Be alert for bloating, diarrhea or constipation, and take immediate action. See page 5, "Common Problems."

Make sure formula is very, very warm. Baby squirrels will not drink enough formula if it is only slightly warm....they will starve to death!


Mixing, Feeding and Storing Formula

  1. When using a powdered formula, mix with very warm water. Allow the formula to sit for a while (or overnight) in the fridge so it dissolves.
  2. Before each feeding, stir the formula and draw up enough syringes of cold formula for the feeding.
  3. Microwave a coffee mug of water until it is hot (but not boiling). Then dunk the filled syringes in the hot water. They will take around 30 to 60 seconds to heat up.
  4. Take one syringe out, tilt it to mix the formula within the syringe, and test it on your wrist before feeding (should be VERY warm).
  5. If the formula in your syringe gets too cool while feeding, re-dunk it and pull out another syringe.
  6. Discard made-up formula after 24 hours.

7% Feeding Rule:

Weigh the baby on a scale in GRAMS; multiply that number by 7% (.07) and that will be the number of cc's (or ml's) to feed per feeding.  You may need to start with smaller feedings at first, and work up to 7% after a few feedings, especially for emaciated babies. 

Do not overfeed or increase feeding amounts too quickly! Baby squirrels will overeat if you let them and get diarrhea or bloating, which can be fatal. Weigh the baby every day at the same time to determine if they are gaining or losing weight and adjust the formula amount as needed.

Squirrel weighs 50 grams
50 x 7% = 3. 5 (Using a calculator, it's 50 x .07 = 3.5)
So you feed 3.5 cc's per feeding

Potty Time

A baby squirrel less than 5 weeks old will need to be stimulated to poop and pee. Use a warm, wet cotton ball, Q-tip, the corner of a Kleenex, or your finger, and flick lightly across the genital area. Some babies may need stimulation before and after feeding. A few may eat better if you potty them in the middle of a feeding.

NOTE: Baby squirrels need lots of attention and affection, especially if he has no siblings. This will not hinder the release process in any way. Squirrels bond strongly with their human caretakers, but they do not "imprint" on humans like other wildlife. When it's time for release, their wild instincts will kick in just fine.

Don’t use cheap syringes that stick; use quality o-ring syringes and go slow to avoid aspiration!


"Wild squirrels don't domesticate": spouses from Samara save little squirrels from yard cats and crows

Komsomolskaya Pravda

House. FamilyPicture of the Day


June 23, 2022 17:55

Residents of Samara organized a shelter for squirrels at home and take care of babies that have fallen out of the nest [photo] [video]

Now the spouses have two baby squirrels living at home Komsomolskaya Pravda"

In modern society, there are many caring people who are involved in saving animals. Someone picks up dogs or cats on the street, but a married couple from Samara sheltered two abandoned baby squirrels. And these are not the first kids in trouble who are rescued by the owner of the Nikolsky Veterinary Center Yuri Chigarev and his wife Elena from the Upravlenchesky village.

It may also be interesting to listen to: Clients of the veterinary center often bring wild animals to their appointments

Yury Chigarev is a practicing doctor who has 28 years of experience, and his wife Elena is involved in the development of the clinic and management issues. People bring different animals to the clinic, even wild animals and birds from the local forest. Veterinarians are already used to dealing not only with cats and dogs, but also sometimes meeting a compassionate grandmother with a dead bird or a wounded squirrel on the doorstep. Over the past 1.5 years, they have come several times with affected squirrels, the director of the veterinary center Elena Chigareva, together with her husband, took responsibility for nursing and treating small rodents. The Samara woman told a KP-Samara journalist how she and her husband came up with the idea to create an informal shelter for squirrels in their house and what difficulties they have to face while communicating with wild animals.

- We live in our house right on the edge of the forest, so communication with forest dwellers is not new for us. Feeders are hung around the perimeter of the house, where we constantly pour nuts and cereals for local squirrels and birds, - says Elena Chigareva.

Squirrels become independent already at the age of one month

The history of the creation of a shelter for squirrels began 1. 5 years ago, when the squirrel Yasha was brought to the clinic. The couple successfully got the baby out and decided to continue to rescue baby squirrels in trouble. In the early spring of this year, a squirrel got into the squirrel shelter, which accidentally fell out of the nest and was severely injured. As a result, the squirrel girl Marusya lost her hind legs, but she coped with it and now calmly and confidently climbs trees on her front legs.

Yuri and Yelena take care of wounded squirrels or babies left without a mother Photo: Courtesy of Komsomolskaya Pravda

- In a month, squirrels are already quite independent and can be returned to their natural habitat if everything is in order with their health. You should not worry about their acclimatization, since squirrels born in the wild are practically not domesticated and do not lose their skills and instincts, says the manager of the veterinary center.

They brought two babies who fell out of the nest from the 4th floor

Recently a caring resident of the Upravlenchesky village came to the Nikolsky veterinary clinic and found two frightened little squirrels under the porch of her entrance. As it turned out, the squirrel made a nest under the balcony in the house in the 15th quarter and brought out the squirrels. Curious kids grew up a little and began to explore the world. In an instant, the squirrels were on the ground, and when falling from the 4th floor, one of them scratched the muzzle. The squirrels were frightened and huddled under the porch, where they were found by a caring pensioner.

- The woman understood that the babies were in serious danger in the form of yard cossets and birds, so together with their neighbors they put baby squirrels in a bucket and brought them to our veterinary center, - says Elena Chigareva.

Squirrels born in the forest will not become affectionate pets. A husband and wife set aside an entire room for an unofficial squirrel shelter. In addition to squirrels, two cats live in the Chigarevs' house on a permanent basis, one of which is a rat trap. According to Elena, the room with squirrels is always closed, they make sure that the cats do not encroach on easy prey.

On the first day in the new surroundings, the squirrels were very stressed, huddled together and refused to eat. On the second day, we got used to our shelter a little and began to examine the apartments with curiosity. Literally a week later, the kids got so used to it that they even stopped being afraid of people.

- A few days ago my husband Yury was lying on the bed in this bedroom, and the squirrels were playing and running right over him. As he says, these are very interesting sensations, - Elena says.

After active games, babies quickly fall asleep. For a night's sleep, the squirrels chose Elena's dressing room.

- In the bedroom closet, one door does not close tightly, and they climb onto the bottom shelf, wrap themselves in a scarf and sleep together there. Apparently, they are calmer at night on a shelf in a closet, like in a mink, - says our interlocutor.

Favorite place to sleep is a scarf in a dark closet Photo: Courtesy of "Komsomolskaya Pravda"

Now the kids already feel great, eat on their own and run a lot. The squirrels were found when they barely opened their eyes; they have been living with the Chigarevs for the second week. According to the spouses, in a few days they can be released into the forest.

However, unfortunately, there are tragic cases in the history of the veterinary clinic. Once, a squirrel was brought to Nikolsky to Yuri Chigarev in a very critical condition. The veterinarians did everything possible to save the severely injured animal, but the squirrel did not survive until morning. Elena Chigareva asks Samarans not to be indifferent and, if possible, immediately take the injured animal to the veterinary clinic, because every minute the chances of saving the animal are getting smaller and smaller. However, when transporting, you must not forget about the rules for your own safety:

A person needs to be careful when dealing with wild animals. Squirrels bite very strongly, so you need to take them through thick rags and with gloves.

An injured squirrel should be carefully placed in a bucket or box and taken to the veterinarian. You can’t carry an animal in your hands, there is a risk of damaging the thin bones of the skeleton.

If it is not possible to bring the wounded animal to the doctor, then, if possible, the veterinarians of the Nikolsky clinic themselves come to the place. The Chigarevs take on further care of the rodent.

Veterinary center "Nikolsky" is located in the village of Upravlenchesky at the address: st. Parizhskoy Kommuny, 30a

Tel: 8-846-211-03-03

Veterinarians provide emergency veterinary care around the clock

Residents of Samara have organized a shelter for squirrels and take care of babies that have fallen out of the nest

2 :

"Dogs can eat him!" In Samara, looking for the owners of the lost squirrel

Residents are not sure that the animal can be released into its natural habitat without any problems (details)

Squirrels have chosen a grove near the houses on Solnechnaya Street and breed townspeople for nuts

Furry animals have become bolder and move closer to people ( details)

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A doctor for a squirrel. Where they are ready to accept forest patients for treatment for free > Rubric City in Samara

Squirrels like to settle next to a person: there is more food. The parks named after Gagarin and Zagorodny are famous for such residents; in the village of Upravlenchesky they can be found in the park named after Kuznetsov. Many of us, going for a walk, carry nuts and seeds with us to feed cute animals, who willingly take treats right from the palm of their hands. Unfortunately, sometimes they need not only food, but also medical care. We tell you what to do in such a situation.

First experience

About seven years ago, kind people brought an almost newborn squirrel, blind, with a broken leg, to the Nikolsky veterinary center in the Krasnoglinsky district - they found him while walking in the park.

— The founder of the clinic and doctor Yuri Chigarev is a specialist in this field. But there are many difficulties here. The animal is small, it was not easy to assemble the limb with the help of metal structures, but everything went well,” says Elena Chigareva, manager of the center.

The little squirrel grew up healthy, active and nimble. The couple, who discovered him in the park, decided to keep the baby as a pet. They had a hard time: even such a small and cute wild animal is capable of wreaking havoc in an apartment. The squirrel dropped everything that was possible, turned it over, scattered it. In general, not the best choice for a pet. But for veterinarians, the experience is interesting. They remembered the rescued animal with great warmth.

Yasha: refused to stay, but 9 comes to visit0082

A year ago, another patient came to the clinic with an intra-articular fracture of both hind legs. This time he was discovered and taken to the doctors by a caring young man.

- What happened could not be established. But, as a rule, injuries are caused by other animals and birds. The main enemy for squirrels is crows, magpies. They destroy nests and eat babies. There are cases when little squirrels get injured falling out of the nest, - Elena Chigareva explains.

The baby, who was named Yasha, lived in a hospital, in a small cage. He was treated, fed with warm milk, steadfastly enduring bites and scratches. When the active little squirrel grew up, it became obvious that he was cramped and uncomfortable in the cage. Then the Chigarevs decided to take all the worries and expenses of treating the restless patient on themselves and take him to their private home in order to create more comfortable conditions there without dogs barking in the hospital. In their house, the couple settled Yasha in a room isolated from other pets. He liked to sleep on a double bed behind a pillow. And during the day, the fidget fully enjoyed everything that was in the bedroom: the tulle on the window had to be changed after an unusual guest. But Elena and Yuri are not very worried about material losses. The satisfaction from the fact that Yash managed to return to a normal life for a wild animal outweighs.

- We set ourselves the task of adapting the baby squirrel in its natural environment: those born on the street will not be able to live in an apartment. A lot of Yasha's relatives live near our house, we hoped that he would join their company, - Elena continues.

The Savior agreed with this decision and even gave his ward a spacious outdoor house. He was hung from one of the trees growing on the site. True, the squirrel refused to live in it. But he often visits the Chigarevs, almost every day, because in the feeder Yasha and his comrades are always waiting for goodies.

- If suddenly there is no food, he knocks on the window, demands. Yasha is easily recognizable by her red tassels. Other local squirrels have black ears, the couple say. They admit: it was after this incident that they decided to help squirrels in trouble - to treat, restore and return to nature. The center has everything you need for this.

Marusya: she can't jump, but she runs fast

Another injured squirrel, this time an adult, was sent to Nikolsky by colleagues from another veterinary clinic. She was unable to move due to a spinal injury.

- We named her Marusya. It was difficult for her. Because of the shock, she refused to eat, and this is a very disturbing symptom for wild animals. Swaddled, fed forcibly with milk or crushed nuts, wearing special gloves: you never know, suddenly rabies, - Elena recalls.

The hind legs did not work. The squirrel has lost the ability to push off and jump. After a couple of weeks, she began to stand on her right limb, but dragged her left anyway, but, leaning on her front paws, she moved quite quickly. She spent two weeks in the hospital, then also went to Yuri and Elena's home. True, Marusa did not like life locked up. She began to actively protest and fight for her rights: she shook the cage, screamed.

“We had no choice but to release the rebel, although we understood that we would not be able to catch her,” Elena continues. “Somehow we just opened the windows, presenting her with a choice. Marusya preferred freedom. We were very worried, but the very next day we saw her in the feeder, although the structure is quite high. It became clear that the squirrel itself can move through the trees. A little later, we noticed that she settled in Yasha's empty house. The gift came in handy. The cat cannot get there, and the crow cannot get through the narrow entrance. The squirrel is safe, although the hind legs never fully recovered. Yasha goes to visit her, and perhaps they will even have babies, which, of course, we will be happy about.

Do not remain indifferent

Yuri and Elena Chigarevs assure that they will be able to accept all the squirrels who need their help.

— It is important that we can observe how our former patients live, feed them every day, help them if they are in danger. Once a crow pursued a squirrel with particular cruelty, intending to peck it right on the crown of the head. Large birds may well kill the animal. We try to scare away aggressive birds. If it suddenly happened that you witnessed accidents with forest dwellers, please do not pass by, but deliver the injured squirrel to us. The clinic is open around the clock, all employees are warned. We will bear the financial costs. Do not be indifferent, - calls Elena Chigareva.

If you find an animal: