How often should you feed a baby squirrel

How To Care For Baby Squirrels

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Last Edited: July 9, 2019

You found a baby squirrel, now what?

Make sure the little squirrel is really a baby, just because the squirrel is tiny doesn't mean he's a baby. If the squirrel has a fluffed-out tail or a body longer than 6”, he's probably fine on his own. If you’re sure this is truly a baby and doesn't have visible wounds, the main goal is to get the baby squirrel warm and to reunite with its mom. Usually, the baby has just fallen from the nest. Check your surroundings to see if there is a fallen nest nearby, if there are other squirrels, etc. Do not leave the baby squirrel in the yard unless you know for sure when the nest fell and where. If the mom is going to come and get the babies, she will do so right away after the nest or babies have fallen. If the mother is not in sight, the baby could need help right now because it is getting colder by the minute and seen as prey for many animals. If you believe the baby fell recently and the mother is nearby you can keep it warm in a nest box until she retrieves it.

Make a nest box using a small plastic container (lid off) and fleece blanket to put the baby squirrel in. Use gloves or a soft cloth to pick up the baby and put it in the box outside. If you use a cardboard box it will dehydrate the baby. Towels will catch on its nails and injure it, use a soft blanket or shirt. Baby squirrels are too young to generate their own heat so having a temporary heat source is essential. Monitor the baby to make sure it stays at a normal body temperature (approx. 96-101° F). You can pour some uncooked dry rice or uncooked dry beans in a small sock, tie it off, and heat in a microwave for 30 seconds until warm (will need to reheat about every 2 hours). If you don’t have rice and beans, you can use a water bottle filled with warm water and put it in a soft sock for the squirrel to cuddle up to. If the mother doesn’t come within 30 mins, bring the baby inside. If it is nighttime, or there are potential harmful animals nearby (dogs), bring the baby inside immediately without waiting for the mother. Only until you’ve seen that the baby squirrel has been alone for some time and the mother is not retrieving it, should you remove it from the environment.

If the mother did not retrieve the baby, you should bring it inside full time and consider it a rescue. Once the baby is inside you can place the lid on the plastic container, but make sure there are holes in the top of the lid. If a squirrel rescue is not nearby, and you are dedicated to rescuing and raising the squirrel yourself, start acquiring what you’ll need. The baby squirrel should be moved into a more stable home than a plastic container, it would be best to get a Nest Box filled with soft bedding. Made with 100% natural cotton fibers, this nesting material is soft, cozy, and makes squirrels feel safe and secure. Remember, towels and other materials will catch on its nails. Fleece Nesting Pouches are a great option for safety and comfort. You can use the heating tricks above temporarily, but will need a no-auto-shutoff heating pad eventually. Place a Heating Pad underneath one side of the box. That way if the squirrel becomes too hot, it can simply move to the other, cooler side of the box. This heater is animal-safe and provides continuous, adjustable heating temperature to your pet. If the squirrel is too young to move itself, set the heating pad on low and monitor the baby’s temperature to see what the best placement and settings of the pad will be.  

When the baby is warm, check for injuries using a light cloth. Carefully clean baby with blue Dawn soap or Instant Shampoo, which is a no-rinse formula that gently loosens dirt, dissolves oils, and deodorizes a squirrel's skin and coat. Remove any visible parasites (fleas, larva, eggs, etc. ) on baby’s skin using an old toothbrush and/or tweezers. Then use a Q-tip to stimulate the genital area, rubbing their "nethers" with a wet and warm cloth gently. There are many helpful vidoes on youtube that will show you how to stimulate your squirrel to make them pee, demonstrate proper feeding techniques, etc.

Before feeding, make sure the baby squirrel is warm. Baby squirrels cannot digest food when cold. Use O-Ring syringes with Wonder Nipples attached.  The steps of feeding are - rehydrate baby first (using homemade fluid), then feed baby (using pedialyte, homemade milk replacers, and then squirrel milk replacers). Steps of hydration are listed below in FAQ. After being rehydrated, you can temporarily give your baby squirrel unflavored pedialyte for the first 24 hours of care, before beginning milk feedings. Pedialyte is very high in sodium and can only be used for a short time. Kitten formula is not usable, squirrel babies need much more fat and way less protein than kitten milk provides. You can use one of our Squirrel Nursing Sets to give the baby the Specialty Milk Replacer Formula to feed it. Specialty milk replacer provides nutrients for strong animal development (read FAQs for more info). If you don’t have the correct formula on hand and must wait for it to be shipped, you have two choices for a temporary formula for any age baby….homemade goat milk formula or esbilac puppy milk with probiotics (read FAQs for more info). Do not use these homemade formulas for more than a week, as they are not fortified with vitamins, minerals, and protein. Skip down to the FAQ section to read as much information as possible about your baby squirrel.

Babies less than five weeks old will need to be stimulated to poop and pee, they do not do it themselves naturally. Use a warm, wet cotton ball or Q-tip, and flick lightly across the genital area. You are simulating the mother squirrel’s tongue. Some babies may need stimulation before and after feeding, a few may eat better if you potty them in the middle of a feeding.

When do you feed your baby squirrel?

Day 1 to Week 4: Use the Squirrel Nursing Set, feed every two hours. Weeks two and three, feed every three hours.

Week 4 to Week 7: Continue to use formula. Feed every four hours.

Week 7 to Week 9: Still feed formula. Introduce solid foods, like Deluxe Squirrel Diet, which is high-protein pellets mixed with healthy nuts. Try to feed majority pellets and leave the nuts behind at first. Make sure you have a Glass Water Bottle, Stainless Steel Cup or Ceramic Feeding Dish for the water and solid foods. These dishes are chew-proof, dishwasher safe, lead-free and much more sanitary than plastic. During the transition to solid foods do not give nuts, fruit, or treats of any kind. Concentrate on formula, protein pellets, and healthy veggies. It's important they learn to love these healthy foods before being introduced to sweet fruit and treats that will make them picky.

Week 9 to Week 10: Still feed some formula, feed two times a day. Introduce even more solid food, such as Apple Sticks, which help maintain clean and trim teeth. Begin to feed healthy Veggie Blend Treat, which contains sweet potatoes, carrots, and green peas. Use Squirrel Booster Multivitamin or Squirrel-Cal if you wish, to make sure your squirrel is getting the nutrition and calcium it needs.

Week 10 to Week 12: Once the squirrel is eating its healthy foods well, you can feed nuts, fruits, and treats. Add in the nuts of Squirrel Complete or try Premium Nut Mix. Explore other treat options. You can also feed your squirrel fruit now, like Papaya & Mango, made with real fruit. All during this process, continue to offer formula until the squirrel weans himself at around 14-16 weeks of age. Never wean a baby squirrel off formula; let them wean themselves.

How do you know how old your squirrel is?

Less than 4 Weeks: Pink, no hair at all for first few weeks of life. After two weeks, soft hair grows around nose and mouth. After a month of life, light hair starts growing all over back, and lower front teeth begin emerging. Some white hair begins to grow on belly and legs.

4 -7 Weeks: Hair gets thicker, including on legs and belly. Tail hair is short, and tail begins curling over the back. Eyes open, becomes fully furred, sleeping less with more active periods. Keep your squirrel in a box until seven weeks, then start planning for a cage.

7 - 9 Weeks: About ½ full size, tail is fluffy. Should be placed in a cage with plenty of room to play. A great forage accessory for a squirrel is a Chew Stack that attaches to the cage and is made of natural wooden blocks, cylinders, and cubes. Use a large Nest Box that can attach to the cage and helps mimic the natural nesting techniques squirrels use in the wild. Make sure to fill the nest box with bedding. Clean the cage frequently and use cage liners and wipes.

8 Weeks: Looks like a miniature squirrel. Very active and will shred fabrics.

9 - 12 Weeks: More muscular, about ¾ full size. Can release at 12 weeks. Upgrade your cage with the Brisbane/Congo cage Accessory Kit, that adds two shelves to your squirrel’s existing cage.

For young squirrels less than 8 weeks old, it's best to keep them in a travel carrier or small cage less than 20 inches tall, such as our Zanzibar Cage or ZooPro Travel Cage. Once the squirrel is 8-weeks or older a full-sized cage is better, to give it space to exercise and explore, along with a wooden nest box containing nesting material and other cage accessories. It's recommended to keep the bottom of the cage padded with towels as youngsters may fall and hurt themselves. 


Is it dangerous to leave the baby squirrel in the yard? I want to reunite it with its mom.

Do not leave the baby squirrel in the yard unless you know for sure when the nest fell and where. If the mom is going to come and get the babies, she will do so right away after the nest or babies have fallen. If the mother is not in sight the baby needs help right now because it is getting colder by the minute and seen as prey for many animals.

Should I feed the baby squirrel first or give it water?

Feeding can actually cause death by pulling fluids from the system of a severely dehydrated animal in order to process the food that you feed it. It must be determined if the baby is dehydrated first. Give it plenty of fluids, then give it food.

How do I check for dehydration?

Pinch the skin on the back of his neck. If it doesn’t spring back immediately, the baby is dehydrated. If the pinched skin stays up like a tent for more than a second, the baby is badly dehydrated. Other signs of dehydration: lack of appetite, lethargy, pale gums, spiky fur, dry skin, looks thin and wrinkly. Note: These tests are not reliable in very young babies; assume every baby is dehydrated when you first find them. Use a homemade rehydration fluid if baby is dehydrated. If the baby isn't badly dehydrated, you can begin formula feeding within a few hours. Even if the baby is badly dehydrated, you will need to begin formula feeding within 6 hours.

Is there a homemade formula I can give the baby if I don’t have pedialyte or milk replacer available?

A homemade rehydration fluid is made by mixing 1 ½ tablespoons sugar with 2 cups warm water. Always warm up before feeding by filling a coffee mug with hot water, filling the syringe with the fluid, and place filled syringe in the mug for a couple of minutes. Test by squirting a drop on the inside of your wrist, it should feel very warm but not hot on your skin. Store in refrigerator if not feeding immediately. Discard after 24 hours.

How do I feed the baby squirrel?

Always hold the syringe so that the tip (where the baby is drinking from) is higher than the end (where you are holding). Hold it so the tip points up toward the mouth and the baby is sucking it in, it should not be spilling downward forcefully into the baby’s mouth. Place the syringe tip on the baby’s lips and squeeze out one drop for him to taste. Don’t squirt a steady stream. Let him swallow one drop before squeezing more. Go very slow, it sometimes takes a feeding or two for them to catch on. Newborn babies are fed drop by drop. With older babies you can squeeze slowly for one second, wait for him to swallow, then squeeze again. If fluids dribble out his mouth or nose, you’re going too fast. Stop and tilt the baby’s head down so the fluid drains out (support his head and neck). Then wipe his nose and mouth with a tissue. Start over, slower. If the baby isn't badly dehydrated, you can begin formula feeding within a few hours. Even if the baby is badly dehydrated, you will need to begin formula feeding within 6 hours.

How do I make homemade goat milk formula?

3 parts goat milk, 1 part plain yogurt, 1 part heavy cream. Leave out the cream for the first few feedings and then add it in gradually. If diarrhea occurs, reduce or eliminate the cream for a few feedings. You can buy goats milk at almost all grocery stores. Remember this is only temporary, specialty milk replacer needs to be ordered and fed as soon as possible.

How do I make esbilac puppy milk formula?

Esbilac puppy milk (powder not liquid) must say “with probiotics and prebiotics” on the label. Dilute 3 parts water to 1 part powder for the first few feedings and then slowly increase the powder until you’re mixing it full strength according to label directions. You can find esbilac puppy milk at pet stores and Walmart. Remember this is only temporary, specialty milk replacer needs to be ordered and fed asap.

How do I make specialty milk replacer?

To use this milk replacer, add 250 g of powder to 400 ml of pre-boiled water. Mix to make a paste, then add 1 liter of pre-boiled water and mix thoroughly.

What sex is my baby squirrel?

If the genital opening appears near the anus, it's a female. Male baby squirrels have a larger space between the genital opening and the anus (scrotum sac).

How much bedding material should I use?

Make sure the bedding is 1- 1 ½ inch thickness to provide ample support.

How high should the temperature of the heating pad be?

Ideally you want your baby squirrel’s body temperature to be around human temperature (approx. 96-101° F).

How much time does it take to open its eyes?

Most squirrels should open their eyes at about five weeks of age. Do not try to open them yourself, you could cause permanent damage.

What do you do if your squirrel is being stimulated but isn’t peeing?

Check the privates very closely. Squirrels will self nurse on their privates when they are hungry and it is possible there is a small scab that has blocked the opening. If you see any scab, soak it for a while with warm water (you can just hold a warm, wet cotton ball on it) until it softens and can be gently rubbed away. Make sure to be observing the area frequently afterwards and keeping it clean. If nothing is there, your squirrel is probably just dehydrated and needs to be given even more fluids. Give plain tap water if you need to give extra fluids between feedings. If your squirrel is still not peeing, take the squirrel to the vet. They will be able to give you good tips and might be able to get it to pee.

What should I do if my squirrel is not drinking water?

Try using a dropper and drop a small amount in their mouth, but make sure they swallow it. Wipe away excess moisture with a cloth. If they are too weak to swallow, they could choke. Remember, baby squirrels cannot digest anything when they are too cold.

How do you treat baby squirrels for fleas?

Wash them with warm water and soap. Use tweezers to sift through the hair and pick out fleas. Fleas will usually not die just by squishing them, and can jump out of tissues if you try to roll a flea up in one. You must try to rip the flea apart, or flush directly down toilet.

Can I feed a baby squirrel ‘squirrel food’?

No. Feed the baby squirrel milk replacer until it is old enough to properly eat and digest solid foods (around 7-9 weeks old).

How often should I feed my baby squirrel?

See the above ‘Feeding’ information. Make sure that the feeding schedule is consistent. Example of a three hour feeding schedule: 6am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, 9 pm, 12am, 3am, etc.

How should I feed my baby squirrel?

Hold your baby squirrel upright in your hand. Make sure your squirrel is wrapped in a soft fabric while your hold it. Never feed a baby squirrel lying on its back. Make sure after feeding, you help the baby urinate and defecate using a Q-tip.

What happens if my baby squirrel bloats?

Watch the stomach to make sure that it does not become too bloated. If this does occur, skip a feeding and decrease the amount of formula for the next feeding. Lengthening the amount of time between feedings and stimulating to encourage the elimination of waste will also help.

What do I do if my baby squirrel aspirates during feeding?

If the baby does aspirate fluids, pull the nipple away from the mouth, hold the baby in both hands face down and quickly by gently tip the baby forward and down to help gravity drain the fluid from the nose and lungs. Blot fluid from the nostrils and mouth. When the baby is calm and the airways are clear, resume feeding.  If the baby shows any signs of illness contact your vet or wildlife resource immediately.

How do I know if my baby squirrel is dehydrated?

Physical signs of dehydration are sunken eyes, overly wrinkly and/or dry skin (some wrinkles and loose skin is normal), lethargy, hypothermia, dark or hard feces, dark urine (if any), dry mucous membranes, pale gums, and signs of shock. After warming the baby, provide formula.

What do I do if my baby squirrel is experiencing diarrhea?

The baby squirrel is experiencing diarrhea if the stools are non-formed, loose, runny, or foul smelling. It is a strong indicator that something is not right in baby’s gut. This can occur with the baby is not properly transitioned to a new formula, fed the wrong formula, fed too frequently, or fed too much at feeding and ‘over extending’ the stomach. To correct, switch the baby back to an electrolyte rehydration formula such as the milk replacer formula for a few feedings. If problems continue, the baby should be seen by a vet.

When will my baby squirrel start to ‘play’ and explore their surroundings?

Baby squirrels do three things. They eat, they potty, and they sleep. When their eyes open, they will start exploring their habitat and become more alert.

When do I stop giving my baby squirrel formula?

Between around 10 weeks. After that time frame, the squirrel will most likely reject the formula. If not, let the squirrel wean themselves off.

When can my baby squirrel start eating solid foods?

Between 6-7 weeks.

What if my baby squirrel’s habitat starts to smell?

Change the bedding in the your baby squirrel’s box. If the smells persists, get a different box. Use an odor eliminator, like Elimina, an odor eliminating spray that eliminates smell internally. Spray Elimina on animal's food daily, the smell from the waste will be virtually undetectable in 3 days.

How often should I clean the squirrel’s cage?

Change the cage liners every couple of days and clean the cage once a week.

Do squirrels hibernate?

Your pet squirrel will not hibernate however, they do sleep a lot. Squirrels are awake and active for a few hours after sunrise and a few hours before sunset. They are resting or sleeping the rest of the time. Certain species of wild squirrel do hibernate, like the ground squirrel.

How do I trim my squirrel’s nails?

Use a nail trimmer like the Pro Nail Trimmer, a double-bladed trimmer that has a long-lasting, sharp cutting edge with a comfort grip handle great for left or right hand use. Make sure you hold the paw firmly and only trim tip of nail with a single stroke. Do not cut the nails too short or the nails will bleed. Repeat as needed, every 1-2 weeks.

I cut my squirrel’s nails too short and now they are bleeding. What do I do?

Wipe away the blood and dip the nails in some flour or press the flour into the tip. Make sure the nails have stopped bleeding before putting your animal back in its habitat.

Can squirrels use cage accessories, such as wheels and stones?

Yes! Some squirrels like wheels, especially ground squirrels. Make sure you get a jumbo sized one that is tail safe. They can hurt their back from arching too much if the wheel is too small. Make sure to bolt the wheel firmly to the cage so it doesn't tip over if your pet decides to swing on it. Pumice Stones are perfect for squirrels because it satisfies your pet's natural gnawing instinct and won't splinter like wood chews, even after hours of chewing. The chew block also promotes dental health and naturally wears down teeth.

What do I do if my squirrel bites me?

Lightly tap the nose, blow in their face, and sternly say no. Next time you handle them, wear gardening gloves for protection.

What if I want to release my squirrel into the wild?

Start weaning off human contact. Provide lots of toys and other cage accessories. Start to take the cage and your pet outdoors to help adapt to the smells and sounds. Do this for a few days or a week. Then leave the cage outdoors. Put some weather protection on top of the cage. Introduce natural foods such as pine cones, acorns, natural branches. Provide natural nesting material so your pet can build his own habitat. Once your pet learns to be self-sufficient and be scared of humans release him by opening the cage door. Release your squirrel in the spring or summer, never in fall or winter. Baby squirrels do best if not released until at least 4-6 months old.

What if I want to keep my squirrel?

Make sure it is legal; some states require a license or permit. Try to take the squirrel to a rehabilitator, someone who will train your pet to be ready for the wild, who will place him in a home and with other squirrels.   


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Squirrel Wildlife Rehabilitation - Baby Squirrel Feeding With Eyes Closed

Squirrel Wildlife Rehabilitation - Baby Squirrel Feeding With Eyes Closed

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Baby Squirrel Feeding With Eyes Closed


ATTENTION  The information contained on this web page is not designed to take the place of a wildlife rehabilitator or a veterinarian BUT is designed to give you some guidance in what you can do to help the baby squirrel(s) you have found until you can reach a rehabilitator. If it is an injured adult, please take PRECAUTIONS so that you do not get bitten.

Make sure you read this entire page first before attempting to do anything as there is a lot of information here and it is all very important.

Get The Baby Warm
Before trying to give the young squirrel anything to eat, you must first get him warm. Make sure that you warm him slowly and make sure you monitor his warming so as not to overheat him. The normal temperature for a squirrel is 99 degrees, which is close to that of our own temperature of 98.6 degrees.

Place the squirrel in a box or plastic container with a clean cloth in the bottom of the box (preferably a cloth baby diaper or baby receiving blanket, NO TOWELS) and place a light cover over the squirrel. The reason I say "no towels" is the squirrels will get their toenails hung in the loops and either rip out a toenail, break a toe, or break a foot trying to get loose.

I use the see thru Rubbermaid boxes to put my squirrels in. I cut out sections of the lid and place screen over the holes and use duct tape to tape the screen in place from the outside of the box. This allows the squirrels to get air and keeps them in the box. I use bigger boxes as the squirrels grow and need more room to roam around. Make sure that the boxes you use have a lid that locks on.

Put a heating pad under one half of the box with a towel folded twice between the box and the heating pad. If the squirrel is unable to move on his own, you will need to monitor the temperature of the squirrel very closely so he does not overheat. When he is warmed up, he should feel warm to your touch. A healthy, fully grown squirrel that has plenty of cover to snuggle under will not need the heating pad once he has reached his normal body temperature.

Baby squirrels that are kept in a dry environment could develop dry skin. A little baby oil rubbed on daily for a few days may help. You can also place a wet cloth over one corner of the box and that may help add some moisture to the box. Make sure this wet cloth DOES NOT get near the baby squirrel.

Before feeding the baby anything, they should be rehydrated first. To feed the baby formula without rehydrating it first can kill the baby.

Pour some Pedialyte into a small container (only what you will use for one feeding) and warm it in the microwave, but do not over heat it. Test a few drops on your wrist to make sure that it is not too hot. You do not want to burn their mouth. You should give some Pedialyte every 15 minutes for 2 hours. Any unused Pedialyte must be stored in the refrigerator and must be thrown away after 72 hours. Any amount that is unused for that feeding should be thrown away and not put back in the bottle.

You should test to make sure the baby is rehydrated by slightly pinching the skin between the shoulder blades. If it remains tented or goes down very slowly, the baby is still dehydrated and you should continue rehydrating. If the skin falls back down quickly, then the baby is rehydrated and you can start them on formula.

If you do not have access to Pedialyte, you can make a homemade rehydration solution as follows: NOTE: Pedialyte and the following recipe are NOT a formula that the baby should be on for an extended period of time, it is only for rehydration.

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons regular table sugar
  • 1 quart warm water
  • NOTE: This is NOT a formula that the baby should be on for an extended period of time, it is only for rehydration.
Stir all of these ingredients together and make sure they are well mixed and everything is dissolved. Be sure to store this in the refrigerator.

What Formula To Feed
Updated 3-29-2013
Once the squirrel has been rehydrated with Pedialyte, you can start to give powdered puppy milk replacer mixed as follows: Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer, (but you MUST check the ingredients on the label of the can to make sure the first 5 ingredients are listed as: Vegetable oil, Casein, Whey Protein Concentrate, Cream and Dried skim milk) , reconstituting it with distilled water. Feeding an improper formula can result in Metabolic Bone Disease as well as other medical problems that will not be reversible once the damage is done. You can look at these photos and see what an Improper Diet can do.

Mix the powdered formula 1 part powder to 2 parts water (USE DISTILLED WATER ONLY) and 1/8 part of heavy whipping cream. By whipping cream I mean real cream that is found in 1/2-pint cartons in the dairy case, not substitute whipped creams. Only mix what you will use in a 1 day period and keep it refrigerated. The powdered formula can be kept in the freezer.

You should gradually introduce the new formula to the baby. You should mix 25% formula with 75% rehydration solution for the first couple of feedings. Then you need to mix it 50% formula with 50% rehydration solution for 2-3 feedings. Then you mix it 75% formula with 25% rehydration solution for 2-3 feedings.

Make sure that you warm this formula up in the microwave and only warm up what you will feed in ONE feeding. Be real careful not to overheat and you can test the formula on your wrist to make sure it is not too hot.

Elimination Of Waste
Young squirrels who do not have their eyes open will need help in eliminating their waste. After each feeding gently stroke their genital and anal area with a Kleenex for about 60 seconds. Normal urine will be a light yellow color. If the urine comes out dark it indicates that the squirrel has held the urine too long, and will need to be stimulated more often. If the urine is thick and honey colored, the squirrel is dehydrated and needs to be placed on a rehydrating formula. The normal bowel movement of an infant will be soft and have a deep yellow color to it once he has gotten the formula in him. When you first get him it will be almost black and well formed. After the squirrels eyes open you can cut back on the number of times you stimulate him to go, but make sure you watch to make sure they are going on their own. Continue to help them as long as it is needed. You may sprinkle with corn starch if a rash develops.

Feeding Tools
When you first receive a young squirrel, it will not be familiar with a dropper or syringe. DO NOT USE A PET NURSER, the babies will drink to fast and get formula in their lungs and get pneumonia or literally drown. Most of the time it takes several feedings for him to get use to eating. The best thing I have found to feed a baby squirrel with is a 1cc syringe with a Catac nipple attached to the end. These nipples can be ordered through mail order catalogs where they carry pet supplies. You can order them online from Chris's Squirrels and More, item ST1 Nipple. The nipples will fit on the end of a syringe (without the needle of course). You must cut the very tip end off of the nipple to open it up.

You have to be very careful when feeding the baby squirrels, they can suck so hard that they will get the milk down in their lungs and this can cause pneumonia. If the formula starts to come out of the nose, immediately stop feeding and dab the nose with a tissue to absorb any formula that comes out of his nose or mouth. Do no allow him to breathe the formula back in. If you should notice a faint clicking when he breathes or any difficulty breathing, you should contact a veterinarian immediately. They may need to be put on antibiotics for pneumonia. Also listen and watch for the symptoms when you first receive a squirrel. They can also get pneumonia from the exposure of laying in the cold until they are found. If these respiratory problems are treated in the early stages with antibiotics, they can be cleared up. Make sure the veterinarian you use has experience in dealing with wildlife as their dosages are different than most animals.

Weighing The Baby Squirrels
I cannot stress the point of weighing the babies on a DAILY basis on GRAM scales. The weight gain/loss from day to day is not enough to be picked up accurately on scales that weigh in ounces. By the time any weight loss shows up on the ounce scales, it will probably be too late to save the baby.

Gram scales can be bought almost anywhere and they are worth every penny when you have to base what a baby gets to eat every day on his/her weight. If you are going to be rehabbing, you should invest in a real good set of scales. I paid over $100 for mine 8 years ago and they have more than paid for themselves. So do yourself and the babies a favor and get a set of good gram scales, you never know when it could save their life.

Feeding Schedule
Begin feeding every 2 hours when you first get a baby squirrel after it has been rehydrated, then adjust the schedule based on age as follows. Please note the amount of each feeding has been left out as this has to be based on the babies weight in grams.

If you want to see the chart, you have to click on the link, but keep in mind that every baby MUST be weighed once a day and his weight used in the mathematical equasion below the chart on this page to determine how much they must be fed.

1 based on weight every 2 hours YES
2 based on weight every 3 hours YES
3 based on weight every 3-4 hours YES
4 based on weight every 4 hours YES
5 based on weight every 4 hours If Needed
6 based on weight every 4 hours If Needed
I use a formula to figure out, based on the squirrels weight, how much they should eat each feeding. We take the squirrels weight in grams and multiply by .25 then divide by the number of feedings in a 24 hours period. That will give you the number of cc's per feeding.

EXAMPLE: Squirrel weighs 25 grams X .25 = 6.25, then divide by the number of feedings, let's say 12 = .5208 or .52 cc's.

5% Feeding Rule
You can also figure the amount to feed going by the 5% feeding rule. The stomach capacity is generally 5% of their body weight in grams (this will NOT work if you weigh in ounces). You can weigh the baby on your gram scales and multiply that by 5% and that will be the amount you should feed for that feeding. This amount will be a little more than figuring it the other way, but this is easier for some people to calculate.

EXAMPLE: Squirrel weighs 50 grams X 5% = 2.5 cc's

Squirrels will overeat and get diarrhea if you are not careful. That is why feeding based on their weight is more accurate. You will need some digital scales that can weigh in grams. The squirrels need to be weighed every day at the same time to determine if they are gaining or losing weight. As long as you are not losing ground you are OK, there should be a weight gain every day, but if occasionally stay the same that is OK.

Squirrels are like humans in that they come in different sizes and the schedule may need to be adjusted to fit the squirrel. A small 5 weeks old that has his eyes open, but is not developing as he should needs to be feed every 3 hours. Also a large 4 week old that does not have his eyes open but eats like a horse (6-8 cc) maybe OK on a 4 hour feeding schedule.

Squirrels that are 6 to 8 weeks old should be eating solid foods and should not have to be fed the formula as often. Offering water in a hanging bottle will supply the squirrel with liquid if they get thirsty and yes they must be shown how to drink from the hanging bottle.

NOTE: When you are feeding a baby squirrel, make sure you feed him in a natural position on his stomach with his head up.

Baby squirrels may nurse on the males genitals when they are housed together. Watch to see that the genital area does not get swollen. If necessary, you may have to separate the squirrels until they are a little older. You can try rubbing Vicks vapor rub or Bitter Apple on the male and sometime this stops them, but not always. I have never had any luck with the thumb sucking medicine for children, but you can try that also.

Bloating can occur when a squirrel eats too much and too often. Also it can be caused from eating too fast and getting air in their stomach. Watch the stomach to make sure that it does not become too distended. If this does occur, skip a feeding and decrease the amount of formula for the next feeding. Lengthening the amount of time between feedings and stimulating to encourage the elimination of waste will also help.

Hypoglycemia is a problem that squirrels seem to be susceptible to. It can be caused from spacing the feedings too far apart. If you notice a squirrel with its back arched and gasping for breath, start the squirrel on a mixture of one part distilled water or Pedialyte mixed with one part of Kayro syrup. Once the squirrel is improved, you should see an improvement within 30 minutes, adjust the feeding schedule so that you are feeding smaller amounts more frequently.

Feeding Trance
Frequently, when you are feeding young squirrels, they will go into a gulping trance. Their mouth will gap open and partially close while their arms will stretch forward. This is nothing to be alarmed about, except that it is real easy to let them overeat because they will not stop until you pull the food away. Sometimes you will have to massage them to get them to come out of it. When they have come out of the feeding trance, you can resume feeding them.

Which One Have I Fed?
When you are caring for 3 or more babies, it is sometimes difficult to tell which one you have fed. It is OK to mark them with nail polish, I use the polish made for dogs nails that the groomers use. I will put a little on top of the head if I have more than 1 of sex in a litter so I can tell which ones are which. I always keep a written record of what time I have fed, how much was eaten and by whom. That way, if I have to go to the vet for anything I have my written record on each squirrel for him to look at. I also record the weight each day on this chart also. It does not take long to write down who ate how much and it sure does save wondering later on how each one was doing on a certain day. Also, if the wildlife officer ever comes to visit, he has records to look at to tell what I am doing and how many squirrels I had and what I did to each one.

Food For Squirrels With Eyes Closed
Their eyes open when they are 5 weeks old, Eastern Grey Squirrels that is. I usually place rodent block in the box with them before their eyes open so they get use to the smell and can nibble between feedings. I also use Zu/Preem Primate Dry monkey biscuits which can be ordered from Jeffers, 1-800-533-3377 (Item number NA-D2-43 for 2 pound bag, cost $4.59, which is subject to change). Try the rodent block or monkey biscuit first and give them an opportunity to try it. Just place it in the nest box with them and leave it, they will nibble on it inbetween feedings.

Housing For Infants
I will repeat this section here in case it was missed in the earlier section. I use the see thru Rubbermaid boxes to put my squirrels in. I cut out sections of the lid and place screen over them and use duct tape to tape the screen in place. This allows the squirrels to get air and keeps them in the box. I use bigger boxes as the squirrels grow and need more room to roam around. Make sure that the boxes you use have a lid that locks on.

When I move them to the real long one, I put a small cardboard box, with the top removed, in one end of the Rubbermaid box with their blankets in the cardboard box. I also cut out a section of the front for the "door" that is sort of like a squared U so that they can use that to get in and out of the box. Sometimes I place a baby cloth diaper going thru the door to the floor of the plastic box in case they have a hard time getting back in, they can pull themselves up the diaper and get back in. I use newspaper with paper toweling on top to line the bottom of this box.

Feeding An Infant Eastern Grey Squirrel When Eyes Open
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How to save the squirrel? | Animals

That baby squirrel was found in the forest, fell out of the nest - a small, defenseless red-haired miracle that immediately trusted the man. He lived in a light bulb box at work and in a hat at home. He slept all day and sometimes woke up to eat. And he ate white bread soaked in goat's milk. And at the same time he champed and smacked his lips so deliciously that we also wanted to eat bread in milk and in a box - to sleep. nine0003

Since then, a struggle has begun with a wild desire to have a squirrel at home and the understanding that no one will fall out of the nest especially for me. Asking myself the question: tell me honestly - why do you need her, I knew only one answer - "she is not like everyone else."

I will say right away: I have a squirrel. There were even two of them. I bought one from a dealer and buried it almost immediately. The squirrel was sold to me as a tame squirrel from an aviary, but in fact it was caught from nature and never reconciled to captivity. Although it was bought for a lot of money, the squirrel did not appreciate it. After the solemn funeral at home, we got a currency - one dusya (equivalent to 200 USD). That is, a flat-screen TV in the kitchen costs 3 dusi. But my cosmetics for a month - half a day, etc.

And the second squirrel appeared when we didn't expect it at all. Well, it’s not the season, the squirrels don’t fall out of the nests, they have already grown, and therefore we decided to wait for spring. The rut of the squirrels is about to begin, and then we will find it in the forest and start it. Even my husband was inspired, the desire was already mutual. In the end, we ... adopted the squirrel 3 days after the decision to “wait” was made. True, a week later we made another amendment - we adopted a squirrel. Here is such a zigzag of fate: there was Kuzey for half a year, and she became Kuzyusha. nine0003

Squirrels are born 2-3 times a year: in spring, autumn and sometimes in winter. The latter, as a rule, rarely survive, unfortunately. Blind and bald are born. Eyes open at 10-12 days. On the 30th day, a squirrel with fur already looks out with interest from the gain (nest). And, it happens that it falls out of it by negligence.

If you, while walking in the forest, park, garden, etc., suddenly find an exhausted, frightened, bald or not very little squirrel, help him survive. It's not very difficult. But it's so important to him! nine0003

So, you found a squirrel and brought it home:
1. The squirrel needs to be warmed up: it can be your hands, hat, handkerchief, pocket. Even hot water in a bottle next to it will do.

2. The squirrel needs to restore the water balance, and not try to feed it right away: put some water into the pipette (not from the tap, it's dangerous!). He needs to start drinking. Remember, squirrels are at risk: they have a very weak intestine and with improper feeding or drinking, the struggle for life goes on for minutes. nine0003

3. Then try to feed him. It is advisable to offer him goat's milk or a milk replacer for kittens (sold in pet stores). If the squirrel is already grown up, then white bread soaked in goat's milk is what you need. Cow's milk is contraindicated for squirrels! If it is not possible to feed other than cow, dilute it with water 1: 1. Remember that a very small squirrel needs to be fed like a baby - every 2-3 hours. nine0003

My friend used a pipette to feed both at home and at work (he is tiny, he slept in his own box most of the time). From a pipette - drop by drop so that it does not choke. If you hold him in your hands, he will quickly understand that you and your smell are a source of delicious treats. Consider that from now on and forever the squirrel is a friend.

If the squirrel is already grown enough to eat solid food, offer him pine nuts, only in the shell (less likely that the nuts were affected by some kind of fungus that is dangerous for the squirrel), seeds (only natural in the shell, not fried), twigs with leaves (apple, pear, willow), acorns, apple, carrot. In general, you can only offer a squirrel what he could find in nature. Sugar cookies from the hands of compassionate citizens in the parks, of course, do not count. And remember that his teeth grow all his life, he must grind them on solid food. It is enough to feed a grown and grown squirrel 2 times a day. nine0003

4. Designate a place for it, eg in a box. In no case should there be cotton wool, the squirrel can get tangled in it or suffocate. It is very good to put a terry towel as a bedding. If the squirrel has grown up and you are afraid to leave him at home alone on a free range, you will have to purchase a cage. Remember: the higher the cage, the better the squirrel. About 50x50x100 is fine, but it's better if you let him run around under supervision, and not just keep him in a cage. nine0003

The cage must have fresh water (I repeat, not from the tap!). Secure the bowl or drinker so that the squirrel does not turn the water upside down. In no case do not lay the newspaper on the bottom, it is better without anything: ink on printed publications contributes to the accumulation of lead in the animal's body. Also provide a house where the squirrel can rest and another house where she will make stash for a rainy day. Lump chalk is needed for the formation of bone tissue, give a mineral stone, vitamins for rodents. nine0003

5. If, God forbid, your little squirrel has loose stools, help him. Brew oak bark (not much) and put it in a cage for half a day. You can give smects: we gave them directly smeared on the finger - the squirrel licked it himself. And most importantly - remove all fruits, only dry food.

In general, the little squirrel is a wonderful animal, but it likes to pull the blanket over itself. Try to teach him to live by your rules from childhood. Squirrels have the intelligence of an adult dog, they are just very small. Remember that the squirrel should feel at home in his rest house, like in a fortress: do not climb there, the squirrel cleans up there by herself - throws out the nut shells, spreads her bedding. By the way, cleaning directly in the cage at least 2 times a week will ensure that you don’t smell any (I just replace the bedding at the bottom of the cage). nine0003

The squirrel, which we fed with the whole team, has been living with my friend for almost a year. He went to work with her, sitting at her place. in a jacket pocket. And he is so tame that he can even kiss on the lips. But this did not stop him one day from running out into the street from the fifth floor of a high-rise building. Contrary to all forecasts, we still removed him, trembling, from the tree with the help of firefighters. The firefighters had to make "alcohol intragastric compresses" - they were bitten very badly. nine0003

If you are lucky enough to find a baby squirrel in the forest, save him, I beg you, do not pass by, he is so defenseless and so wonderful!

Tags: squirrel, enthusiasm, pets, animals

Sumy region veterinary medicine - How to feed a baby squirrel? nine0001

What to feed a squirrel?

One of the products that I use in feeding baby squirrels is Esbilac milk replacer for puppies. You can purchase it at most pet stores.

Esbilac may be sold in powder or liquid form. I prefer to buy Esbilac powder. Do not buy instead of Esbilak its substitutes that you can offer in the store. At the same time, get a few syringes in the store (or pharmacy), but without needles. nine0015 You can pick up a gift for your loved one in the online store
Never, ever use bottles with nipples when feeding a squirrel! The squirrel can suffocate because of them!

Instead of bottles, you will need 1 to 3 unit syringes for feeding very young squirrels, and 5 to 10 unit syringes for feeding slightly older squirrels.

Instead of needles, you need to put small papillae on syringes, which can be sold in pet stores.

If you cannot find such small papillae, then use a pipette, but in this case, be extremely careful not to feed the squirrel too quickly, otherwise it may choke.

Mix 2 parts liquid esbilac with 1 part water (if using powdered esbilac add 2 parts water to 1 part esbilac). You can also add just a little fruity sweetener for kids. Only quite a bit! You can use fruit banana sweetener - squirrels really like this taste. nine0003

You can also add some yoghurt to the nutritional formula.

Mix the formula in a clean jar and then store the formula in the refrigerator.

Then, for each feeding, heat only the part of the formula that will be used for that feeding.

When heating the mixture in the microwave, be careful not to heat the mixture too hot.

Then draw the formula into the syringe and feed the squirrel very gently. nine0003

When feeding, I lay the older baby squirrels on a flat surface and feed them in that position. If the squirrels are still too small, then you can feed them by holding them in your hand.

Be very careful and slow to prevent the squirrel from choking.

Sometimes a baby squirrel can suckle formula so fast that it starts to choke. In this case, you need to immediately stop feeding and hold the baby upside down so that excess fluid can flow back out. After that, you need to wipe the squirrel's nose and mouth and then continue feeding, only more slowly. nine0003

A very small baby squirrel with no or little hair growth yet, needs to be fed regularly every 2-3 hours as thin squirrels cannot eat enough at one meal.

Two to three week old squirrels should be fed regularly every 3 to 4 hours.

Three to five week old baby squirrels need to be fed every 4-5 hours.

At the age of five weeks, squirrels should be fully furred and their eyes should be opening. At this age, they can be fed every four hours during the day, and can no longer be fed at night. nine0003

The amount of food a squirrel needs at each meal is not strictly defined. The squirrel may eat a little more or a little less.

Here is an approximate feeding schedule for baby squirrels depending on their age:

- From one day to two weeks old: 0.5-2 cc. see for each meal, 6-8 feedings per day.

- 2 to 4 weeks old: 2-4 cc. see for each meal, 5 or 6 feedings during the day.

4 to 6 weeks of age: 4-6 (or even more) cc. see for each meal, 4 meals during the day, you can no longer feed at night. nine0003

From six weeks of age, squirrels can already eat more solid food (zu prem biscuit and small pieces of vegetable food) in addition to the nutritional formula that they need to be given in a volume of 6-12 cc. see at every meal. Squirrels of this age need to be fed 2-3 times a day.

I always give baby squirrels a nutritional formula until then. Until they give up on it.

Also squirrels are given goat's milk with the following calculation:
1 day - 1:4 (goat's milk:water)
Day 2 - 1:3 (goat's milk:water)
Day 3 - 1:2 (goat's milk:water)

If a baby squirrel is fed goat's milk, its feces are like yellow toothpaste. If the feces become more liquid, start giving the squirrel the mixture as on the first day (1:4).
Squirrel must always be clean. After each feeding, wipe around the mouth with a damp cloth. Gently clean the genitals and anus several times a day (more often if necessary).
Vitamins must be added to goat's milk mixture.

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