How Big is a Baby Squirrel When It’s Born?
You may wonder: “How big is a baby squirrel when it’ s born?” A newborn baby squirrel is pink and hairless, with closed eyes, ears, and joined fingers. It is about the size of a woman’s thumb, and has no tail yet. By the time it is five days old, it will have soft fur around its eyes and mouth. However, a mother squirrel is fiercely protective of her young.
About 4-6 weeks of life
A baby squirrel’s body is very similar to that of a human infant, but it is much smaller, about the size of a woman’s thumb. At birth, it has no hair at all, but as it grows, it develops a reddish sable coat around the mouth. After two to three weeks, the body color changes to a deep purple, and lower front teeth appear. It still has no hair on its legs and belly.
A newborn baby squirrel should be kept in a secure shed until it reaches 8 weeks old. At this point, it should be transferred to a large, pre-release cage made of 1/2″ welded wire mesh. The cage should also contain a wooden nest box. Place plywood on the bottom of the cage to prevent food from falling through the wire. Daily cleaning of the cage is essential. Place a plastic tarpaulin under it with an old sheet on top to collect debris. A sheet should be changed once or twice a week.
Eyes and ears are open
A newborn baby squirrel is pink, hairless, and resembles a woman’s thumb. It has closed eyes and ears, and its tail has not yet developed a set of teeth. Its tail begins to grow at this stage, and at five weeks, the hair on the lower half of its tail will be longer than its body hair. Baby squirrels have no teeth yet.
If you find a baby squirrel, make sure you handle it gently. It may have an open wound or broken bone. It may have fly eggs or maggots, or even move like rice grains. If the squirrel seems cold or wet, it’s likely it has some sort of infection. In this case, it may require immediate veterinary attention. But even if the squirrel is not sick, you should avoid touching it too much.
Tail hasn’t quite filled in
By the time a baby squirrel reaches two to three weeks of age, it will already look like a baby squirrel. His ears and tail have not yet filled in. By eight weeks old, he is fully active, using his sharp claws to hang upside down and climb. By ten weeks old, his tail is full and bushy. By that time, his teeth will also have fully grown. A writer and photographer, Heather Vale, has experience in mind-body-spirit health. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in visual arts from York University.
While young squirrels can be aged to the month, adults are not as easy to identify. Older squirrels have already begun teething. Their tails aren’t fully filled in, but they’ll be different when they are older. They may be the same size as when they were born, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not a year old. Older squirrels often stay the same for a week or two before they reach six weeks of age.
Mother squirrels are fiercely protective of their young
After the babies are born, mother squirrels will remain in the attic for a few weeks before they leave the nest. Even though you might want to take care of the baby squirrel while it is still a newborn, you should realize that mother squirrels are often unsanitary. Mothers can be aggressive when they perceive danger and may attempt to move the babies to a safer place.
When it comes to protecting their young, different species have different methods. Some animals use protective shells while others simply hide in a tree hole. Mother squirrels protect their litter by relocating their nest or making multiple nests nearby. They move their nest to an elevated branch of the same tree. If the young are not safe in their new home, they will begin venturing out.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.