How to Feed an Infant Squirrel
If you’re wondering how to feed an infant squirrel, it’s best to learn about the feeding habits of a baby squirrel. Sucking on a nipple-like appendage is the main feeding method for babies. Ensure that you observe the squirrel for six to eight hours a day. Observe the baby for a period of at least six hours to determine the best time for feeding.
Baby squirrels suck on a nipple-like appendage
There are a few ways to feed an infant squirrel, but the easiest way is to simulate a mother’s tongue. You can do this by wiping the squirrel’s abdomen with a warm wet cloth or using a Q-tip to stimulate the genitals. Make sure you stimulate the infant for several minutes, until it has an empty bladder.
If the baby squirrel does not have siblings, it may be a good idea to give it lots of love and attention. You may want to do this alone, as the presence of siblings could impede the release. Although squirrels bond very strongly with human caregivers, unlike other wildlife, they do not “imprint” on humans. Then they release their attachment to you. However, do not use cheap syringes. Use quality o-ring syringes, and be sure to handle the animal slowly and with gentle care to prevent aspiration.
Esbilac is the best formula
While homemade formulas can be fun and rewarding, they don’t meet your animal’s nutritional needs. Luckily, Esbilac comes in powder form and is suitable for squirrels. You can mix one part powder with four parts water and feed your little squirrel the result. The mixture should be warm to the touch, but not too hot. Also, it is important to avoid giving your squirrel too much formula at once, as it can result in a tight belly.
You can find this formula at most pet stores, and it is formulated for infant squirrels under five weeks old. It contains no yogurt, probiotics, or cream. It’s perfect for young animals who can’t consume their mother’s milk, and is also designed for other types of young animals, like mice, rats, and Eastern cottontails. Esbilac is the best formula to feed an infant squirrel.
Pedialyte is more efficient than water mixture
A diluted solution of Pedialyte and water is a better solution for feeding an infant squirrel. It can be found at any drugstore, and contains electrolytes and hydrating qualities. If you do not have Pedialyte on hand, you can prepare your own solution by mixing sugar and salt into water. This solution will not last more than 24 hours.
Pedialyte contains more nutrients than milk formula. A mixture of milk and water is also a great choice for an infant squirrel. The ingredients in milk replacer should be healthy for the baby squirrel, including whey and casein, as well as vegetable oil. In addition, it should contain probiotics, which are beneficial for digestion and prevent gut infections. The best part is that you can prepare Pedialyte in advance.
Observe the baby for six to eight hours of daylight
If you have found a baby squirrel, you should immediately observe it. Keep it warm – a baby squirrel that is cold is not likely to survive if it is left out in the open. If the squirrel is cool, do not feed it right away. If the baby has closed eyes, it will need a source of heat. A hot water bottle or sock can be placed nearby. Make sure that the water is warm enough. If the water is too hot, you can place it under a blanket.
Observe the baby squirrel for six to 8 hours of daylight. Young squirrels need to be stimulated to pee and urinate. You can stimulate them by wiping their abdomen with a wet cloth. Once they urinate and/or poo, you should gently release them. This may take several days, but the end result should be the same: a bowel movement or a urination.
Reunite the baby squirrel with its mother
Whenever possible, try to reunite the baby squirrel with its mother when it is feeding. It is important to remember that young squirrels have delicate stomachs, and forcing them to eat can cause them harm. Depending on the circumstances, the baby squirrel may have fallen from its nest or become temporarily separated from its mother. After finding the baby, try to reunite it with its mother. If that is not possible, make sure to keep the baby squirrel contained in a cardboard box, out of the reach of children and pets.
Reuniting the baby squirrel with its mother should be done indoors. Try to keep the weather calm and try not to disturb the baby. If the baby is a bit older, it may be worried about falling out of the container, so try to place it under the tree where the mother was feeding. Once you’ve successfully reunited the baby squirrel with its mother, let it feed normally as soon as possible.
How soon after birth should you start feeding an infant squirrel?
You should start feeding an infant squirrel 4-5 hours after birth.
What kind of milk should you feed an infant squirrel?
You should feed an infant squirrel goat’s milk or Kitten milk replacer.
How often should you feed an infant squirrel?
You should feed an infant squirrel every 2-3 hours.
How much milk should you feed an infant squirrel per feeding?
You should feed an infant squirrel 1-2 cc per feeding.
What should you do if the infant squirrel is refusing to eat?
If the infant squirrel is refusing to eat you should check to make sure that it is warm enough as they may be cold.
If they are not cold then you should check for signs of physical illness.
What are some signs that an infant squirrel is not getting enough to eat?
Signs that an infant squirrel is not getting enough to eat are weight loss lethargy and low body temperature.
What should you do if you think the infant squirrel is not getting enough to eat?
If you think the infant squirrel is not getting enough to eat you should take it to a wildlife rehabilitator.
When will an infant squirrel start to eat on its own?
An infant squirrel will start to eat on its own around 3-4 weeks old.
What should you do if the infant squirrel starts to vomit after eating?
If the infant squirrel starts to vomit after eating you should take it to a wildlife rehabilitator.
What are some signs that an infant squirrel is ready to be weaned?
Signs that an infant squirrel is ready to be weaned are if it is eating on its own if it is starting to explore its environment and if it is less dependent on its mother.
How do you wean an infant squirrel?
To wean an infant squirrel you should start by offering it solid food like fruits and vegetables.
You should then gradually decrease the amount of milk you are giving it until you are no longer giving it any.
What should you do if the infant squirrel is not eating solid food?
If the infant squirrel is not eating solid food you should take it to a wildlife rehabilitator.
What are some signs that an infant squirrel is ready to be released?
Signs that an infant squirrel is ready to be released are if it is eating on its own if it is independent and if it is able to thermoregulate.
How do you release an infant squirrel?
To release an infant squirrel you should first find a good release site.
The release site should have food and water available and it should be away from areas with a lot of human activity.
You should then release the squirrel in the morning or evening and make sure to watch it until it is out of sight.
What should you do if the infant squirrel is not ready to be released?
If the infant squirrel is not ready to be released you should take it to a wildlife rehabilitator.
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.