How to Feed a Squirrel Baby
When you decide to bring home a squirrel baby, there are a few things you should know. For a squirrel baby to be healthy, it needs full spectrum light and at least six to eight hours of daylight a day. It should also be fed a soft formula made especially for squirrels called Esbilac. When feeding a squirrel, be gentle and avoid hurrying the process. Once you have your squirrel baby home, you will need to provide it with more room to play and soft bedding. You can even try setting up a small, enclosed area to mimic a tree cavity or nest.
Observe a baby squirrel for six to eight hours of daylight
If you decide to hand raise a squirrel, you will have to observe the animal for at least six to eight hours a day. This is crucial to allow the young animal to develop a sense of independence. To begin, place it in a tree nest and observe it for six to eight hours a day. Offer it food every two hours and reheat it when necessary. The mother will return to retrieve her baby after the feeding period.
While the child is still a baby, it has no fear of humans, and is not yet ready for release. If you do find a baby squirrel on your property, make sure to observe it for at least six to eight hours before feeding it. The child is best off reunited with its mother. If this doesn’t happen, contact your local wildlife rehabilitator right away.
Give it Esbilac formula
If you have a baby squirrel, you can feed it Esbilac, a milk-replacement formula, by mixing one part powder and four parts water. The powder should be mixed in water until the powder is completely dissolved. It can be fed to the squirrel every half to two hours, or as needed. You can feed it Esbilac until it reaches standard feeding size, which is two weeks.
When feeding a squirrel baby, measure its weight with a scale, in grams. Then, multiply this number by 5% or 7% to get the mls or cc’s of the formula. If the squirrel’s eyes are open, give it more fluid or unsalted nuts, or nibble on small pieces of broccoli or kale. A little bit of Esbilac will go a long way.
Provide full-spectrum light
The best way to ensure that your baby squirrel is growing up healthy and strong is to provide full-spectrum light. It may take several days before your squirrel baby starts spending significant time outdoors. If this doesn’t happen, you’ll need to intervene. Don’t panic. If your baby doesn’t appear to be growing at a rapid rate, don’t worry! A squirrel’s body temperature will gradually increase as it becomes sexually mature.
Avoid giving it too much formula
Unlike humans, baby squirrels aren’t used to consuming large amounts of formula. But if you’re feeding your pet a bottle of formula every day, you’re at risk of overfeeding it. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent this from happening. Here are some tips for giving your baby squirrel the right amount of formula. After you’ve chosen the right formula, you’re ready to introduce healthy, tasty foods!
First, make sure the squirrel’s feces are clear. When fed with a normal formula, a squirrel’s feces will range in color from a yellowish-golden color. They’ll also be well formed, just like small seeds. If they’re struggling to urinate or appear pale or watery, it’s likely they’re getting too much formula. To prevent this, you can provide your baby with a warm bowl of formula. This will help keep the squirrel hydrated and encourage it to drink more.
Avoid scaring a baby squirrel
Be patient when you approach a baby squirrel, but remember to use caution and wear gloves. If you accidentally scare the baby, it may suffer from various health problems and will need veterinary attention. Baby squirrels are still young and vulnerable, but they have an excellent chance of survival if they are raised by their mother. A good rule of thumb is to always avoid touching the baby until it has reached about 10-12 weeks old.
If you want to keep your squirrel in a hutch, you should leave it alone at least half an hour before you feed it. The squirrel will likely come out to eat and be left alone, but try not to disturb them too much. You can give them occasional nights off, but it is recommended that you keep them in a cage all the time. Try not to touch the hutch, electrical cords, or food while you feed them. This will ensure that they remain safe and secure in the nest.
How do you prepare to feed a squirrel baby?
You will need to purchase a special high-protein rodent formula from a pet store or online.
How often do you need to feed a squirrel baby?
You will need to feed them every 2-3 hours for the first week.
How much formula do you need to give a squirrel baby?
You will need to give them 1-2 cc of formula per feeding.
What kind of syringe do you need to use?
You will need to use a 1 cc syringe with a needleless tip.
How do you hold a squirrel baby while you’re feeding them?
You will need to hold them in one hand while you’re feeding them so they feel secure.
What do you do if the squirrel baby refuses to feed?
If the squirrel baby refuses to feed you will need to try again later or consult with a wildlife rehabilitation center.
How do you know when the squirrel baby is full?
The squirrel baby will stop sucking on the syringe when they are full.
What do you do with the leftover formula?
You will need to discard any leftover formula.
How do you clean the syringe after each feeding?
You will need to rinse the syringe with warm water and mild dish soap.
How often do you need to clean the syringe?
You will need to clean the syringe after each feeding.
Where do you get the formula?
You can purchase the formula from a pet store or online.
What type of formula do you need?
You will need to purchase a special high-protein rodent formula.
How much does the formula cost?
The cost of the formula will vary depending on where you purchase it.
How do you store the formula?
You will need to store the formula in a cool dry place.
What is the shelf life of the formula?
The shelf life of the formula is typically around 6 months.
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.