How to Tell the Age of a Baby Squirrel
There are many methods scientists use to determine the age of a squirrel. Vets use X-rays to determine bone growth, and they weigh the eye lens to estimate the age. There are alternative methods, however, which are slightly less accurate. Listed below are the three most common methods of determining the age of a squirrel. Read on for a detailed description of each one. Listed below are three ways to tell the age of a baby squirrel:
Feeding a baby squirrel
How to tell the age of a baby tree squirrel while feeding him can be challenging to determine. While squirrels are usually quite resilient, sometimes they can become injured and in need of medical attention. If you have ever witnessed a baby squirrel getting hurt, the first thing you should do is to find a quiet room to observe the animal. Then, use a washcloth to lick the baby, mimicking the way the mother licks the baby.
The youngest baby squirrels are pink and have open eyes. They also have long, thin, gray hair on their bodies. The fur around the mouth is still gray and not filled in. The tail is longer than normal. A baby squirrel is about five weeks old. At this age, they start to behave more like an adult, including feeding themselves. They will start exploring their world and learning how to use branches and trees.
Checking for hairless spots
One of the ways to tell how old a baby squirrel is by checking for hairless spots on its body. Young animals often have these spots when they are young, so you can use this to your advantage. This method will help you identify if your squirrel is a newborn. However, it is important to note that this method may not work for you if you have already spotted the baby.
A newborn squirrel is pink and hairless, with closed eyes and joined fingers. It is approximately the size of a human thumb. Around five days old, soft fur will form around its nose and mouth. If you find a squirrel without a hairless spot, it is likely under a month old. Even though it may still look young, it’s important to recognize this age range to avoid scaring your baby.
Checking for loose stools
Baby squirrels produce urine within a couple of minutes. If the stools are brown, the squirrel is dehydrated. It is also stimulated to defecate in a similar way. When the stools are loose, the infant squirrel smells of food and has a yellow stain on the material. It’s also important to note that the feces of a baby squirrel are small and oblong. If the baby is still drinking formula, you need to reduce the amount.
To determine the age of a baby squirrel, wash it thoroughly with warm water. Then, take a soft washcloth and gently rub its belly. Use your tongue to simulate the mother squirrel’s for a few seconds. This should stimulate the genital area. The stools should be firm and yellow to brown. If the stools are runny or pasty, the baby squirrel is suffering from diarrhea. It’s best to take the animal to a vet if you notice any of these symptoms.
Checking for aspiration
If you see a baby squirrel, check its ears. Unless the ears are open, it is probably younger than a month. If it has a full set of teeth, it is likely about four weeks old. Eyes are open and can be cloudy or clear. The squirrel is about five weeks old. Look for lower incisors and upper canines. If they do not appear, it is probably a few weeks old.
If you notice bubbling liquid in the nose or mouth, there is a chance the baby has aspiration. This happens when the squirrel drinks too quickly, causing fluid to get into the nose and lungs. Pneumonia is a serious condition caused by liquid in the lungs. During feeding, be sure to watch the baby carefully for aspiration. Tip it forward and watch it carefully.
Checking for open ears
The eyes of a baby squirrel tell you its age. If they are closed, it is less than three weeks old. If they are open, it is at least five weeks old. Squirrels have very little hair at birth. However, the hair on their heads and tails begins to grow at two weeks of age. By four weeks, the tail should have about 2 mm of hair. Finally, the underside should be covered in white fur.
During the first few weeks of life, baby squirrels need to stimulate themselves to urinate and poop. To do this, you should wipe the squirrel’s belly with a damp cloth. If you see it urinating and passing poop, it is probably too young. If it is hairless or emaciated, you cannot use this method to tell its age. As a result, it is important to assume it is dehydrated when you see it.
Observing for six to eight hours of daylight
There are various methods scientists use to determine the age of a baby squirrel. They use X-rays and dissection to evaluate bone growth and weigh the eye lens. There is no surefire way to determine a squirrel’s exact age, so alternative methods are needed. Listed below are some of the most popular methods. They provide a roughly accurate estimate of a squirrel’s age.
If you see an injured squirrel, it could be suffering from a broken bone or open wound. It may also be covered with fly eggs, which look like tiny grains of rice. It might be wet, cold, or crying. It is important to bring it to a veterinarian to determine its age. To find the exact age of a baby squirrel, observe it for six to eight hours of daylight each day.
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.