How to Tell the Age of a Baby Squirrel
There are several ways to determine the age of a baby squirrel. First, you can use a soft cloth to wrap the baby in. Then, gently hold it in your hand to warm its body. The mother squirrel does not recognize body temperature changes in her baby, but she will try to keep her young squirrel warm. However, it is important to note that the infant should not be exposed to the elements when it is still in its nest.
A baby squirrel will have pink skin with dark pigment and closed eyes. Their fur will be a peach fuzz. They will have no teeth. This indicates that they are too young to be able to eat solid food. The bottom incisors will erupt at about three weeks of age. Around four to six weeks, the top two will begin to erupt. Then, at five to six weeks, the cheek teeth will erupt.
When the baby squirrel is four weeks old, it will have a grayish coat. During this time, its fur will have begun to grow. Its eyes are closed and its ears are moving away from its head. Then, at six weeks old, its nails will start to grow. Though they are still lacking teeth, they will soon have a full set of incisors.
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At ten weeks of age, a baby squirrel can be self-sufficient and should be able to take care of itself. This is the age when it will be released into the wild. After this time, it will have fully developed and independent habits. By that time, it should be able to survive on its own. The baby should be able to care for itself in the wild.
The fur of a baby squirrel is the same as that of a baby bird. The fur of a baby squirrel can be characterized by the length of its tail. Until six weeks, a squirrel will not develop more fur. At eight to twelve weeks, a squirrel will not be fully weaned and will require more attention. A healthy and happy baby squirrel is also a healthy one.
To tell the age of a baby squirrel, you need to count backward on the calendar and look for teeth. A squirrel’s eyes open around three to five weeks of age, and it is possible to identify the age of a squirrel by its teeth. In case of injury, you should immediately take the baby to a wildlife vet. Moreover, if you find the animal suffering from an illness, it is best to take it to a wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian.
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.