How Long Does a Baby Squirrel Need Milk?
Initially, you may wonder how long does a baby squirrel need milk. Baby squirrels suck on nipple-like appendages and need about 5% of their body weight every 20 minutes. This amount may sound too high, but it’s not uncommon for baby squirrels to require up to three times their own weight in milk each day. While some experts suggest that feeding a squirrel with a water-Pedialyte mixture is more effective than water, a syringe will work fine.
Pedialyte is more efficient than the water mixture
When it comes to milking a baby squirrel, a Pedialyte solution is much more effective than a water mixture because it contains electrolytes that make it more digestible. Babies squirrels rarely drink water. They rely almost exclusively on their mother’s milk. However, if you have a rescued baby squirrel in your home, you can use a mixture of Pedialyte and water. This way, you can give it a drink that will not only satisfy it but also make it more comfortable.
Babies with bloated stomachs often develop internal parasites. This is why it is critical to give them fluids before starting the nursing process. Too much milk, too fast feeding, or a dropper delivery may all lead to bloating and diarrhea. The solution is Pedialyte. It has been proven to be more effective than a water-water mixture in reducing the risk of bloating.
Feeding eyes-closed baby squirrels 5% of body weight
If you want to find out how long a squirrel needs milk, you need to be very careful when giving it. Not only is it harmful to the squirrel, but it can also lead to diarrhea. This can lead to heart failure and electrolyte imbalances, which is dangerous for the animal. It is therefore important to prepare the milk carefully and serve it at the right temperature to prevent this from happening. Here’s a simple recipe for squirrel formula, which you can make at home.
Squirrels are not ideal pets and cannot be fed by humans. Once they are no longer babies, they become very independent and can bite. Moreover, if you try to handle them, they may become afraid of you. The best way to handle squirrel babies is to make loud noises, place some bird seed or uncooked rice inside a sock and wrap it with a soft cloth. If you manage to catch a baby squirrel, be sure to place the baby inside an open container away from your home. Do not feed the baby with your own food, as it may be an orphan.
Feeding syringes are a feeding syringe
The first step in feeding a baby squirrel is to obtain a small syringe. These syringes are a lot safer than those that contain 10cc of formula. You will want to slowly pour formula into the syringe while closely watching the baby. If air bubbles appear in the syringe, the baby squirrel is sucking the fluid faster than the plunger.
While a squirrel’s baby stage is quite short, you should not let it get too big too soon. As with any new baby, squirrels need a lot of attention and affection from their caretakers. This is especially true if they are alone and do not have siblings nearby to distract them from their new role as a caretaker. Because they do not “imprint” on humans like many other animals, it is important not to give them too much milk too soon.
The best way to determine how much milk a squirrel needs depends on their body weight. If their eyes are closed, you should feed them about 5% of their body weight at each feeding. If they are open, they may need up to 7% of their body weight. If you are unsure, try to weigh the baby squirrel yourself using a postal scale or kitchen scale. Make sure the baby squirrel is comfortable after feeding so that it does not feel bloated or tight. If it isn’t, it is probably fine.
Handling a baby squirrel
First, it is essential to keep the baby warm. If it is too cold to feed it, the best thing to do is to place it in a box that is near a tree or where it came from. Make sure the box is covered with a blanket and is secure enough for the mother squirrel to get in. Then, if you notice that the baby is not eating or drinking, you must intervene to prevent further injuries. Put a hot water bottle nearby the baby squirrel, or you can cover it with a sock. Make sure to test the temperature of the water before placing it next to the baby squirrel.
Remember to keep the baby squirrel away from children, pets, and noise. Commercial formulas may cause the baby to die. In such cases, the baby should be handled with care. Its mother should be nearby if the baby needs her milk. If the mother squirrel is not around, contact a wildlife rehabilitator. If you cannot reach a wildlife rehabilitator, you can attempt to take care of the baby squirrel yourself.
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.