Weaning a Baby Flying Squirrel
You can begin weaning your baby flying squirrel from pellets at about six months of age. This process can cause stress and abnormal behaviors. During the daytime, make sure they have plenty of light and activity. Changing their light schedule to make them active can also cause stress and abnormal behaviors. You can also give them chicken and hard-boiled eggs occasionally. However, these treats should only be given to your baby once in a while, otherwise, you risk their deterioration.
Weaning them to adult food
Weaning a baby flying squirrel to the same food you feed an adult is possible. Start by using a hanging bottle or a small dish. The bottle will work best if you can train the squirrel to lick the end of the bottle. It will not pick it up on its own, so be sure to supervise the squirrel’s feedings for the first two days. If you notice that the squirrel is not eating solids, hand feed him occasionally until he gets used to it.
During the first three weeks, you can feed the baby flying squirrel formula once or twice a day. Feed them approximately seven to eight cc each time. By week five, you can reduce the number of feedings to twice a day and the amount of food to nine or 10 cc each time. During week seven, you can feed the baby squirrel fruit, apple bits, or shelled nuts. Make sure that they are warm before you introduce them to new food.
Once the baby flying squirrel reaches about six weeks, you can begin to wean him to the food of an adult. Henry’s Healthy Blocks are 100% nutritional and are a natural supplement to the squirrel’s diet. Cut them into pieces and offer them daily when the squirrel begins to nibble. Afterwards, add these to the squirrel’s cage. Your baby will have a healthy and balanced diet!
Bonding with a baby flying squirrel
Baby flying squirrels are easier to bond with than older species, and can be carried in a pocket near the heart or in a bonding pouch for at least two weeks. When you begin to bond with a baby flying squirrel, you will notice that it becomes very attached to you, and will want to be with you all the time. Make sure your flying squirrel has a comfortable habitat that includes food and water, branches to climb on, a nest box, toys, and clean bedding.
While flying squirrels do not contract many diseases, they should be regularly checked by a veterinarian to ensure their health. Unlike other pets, flying squirrels have robust health and should be seen by a veterinarian once a year. You should always consult a veterinarian with expertise in exotic animals. It is also important to find a local veterinarian who specializes in these species so that you can ensure their proper care. When you get a baby flying squirrel, be sure to keep your home clean and safe, as these animals can be dangerous.
Remember to groom the flying squirrel regularly, especially if you have a newborn. Squirrels can become nervous about being handled, so be gentle when handling them. If they become too stressed, they may bite. Flying squirrels should not share a home with other pets, including cats and dogs. Large birds and ferrets can be dangerous to flying squirrels. And don’t forget about the fact that they cannot coexist with other pets.
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.