How to Tell the Age of a Baby Squirrel
Observing the development of some characteristics of your pet will help you determine the age of your squirrel in weeks. Squirrels are born without hair, teeth, eyes, and closed ears. These characteristics will all develop within the first few weeks of the baby squirrel’s life, so by six weeks of age all these traits will be present. However, if you see the baby squirrel at an early age, you might end up being disappointed!
Symptoms of a baby squirrel
What are the symptoms of a baby squirrel? Most baby squirrels dehydrate within a few hours of birth, especially if they are left out in a warm environment. When a baby squirrel is born, most will have some degree of dehydration, and you can notice that dehydration by its sunken eyes, pale gums, dry mucous membranes, and lethargy. If you suspect that your baby squirrel is dehydrated, he or she should be treated immediately with antibiotics and fluids. If left untreated, a dehydration can lead to neurological issues, including seizures.
If you find a squirrel with a baby, be sure to keep it warm until the mother returns. If you do find a squirrel with a newborn, try to give it a warm, dark place to stay. Do not feed it or provide it with water during the day. If you find a baby squirrel that is already ill, put it out in the morning. The mother squirrel will usually take stray babies back to the nest to care for them. However, if the baby squirrel is very small, it may attempt to climb the tree trunk.
To tell the age of a baby squirrel, look for hairless areas under its tail, on the lower legs and on its belly. Newborn squirrels have pink fur, closed eyes, and jointed fingers. Their tails grow longer, and hair starts to form under their skin. At 3 weeks old, the baby squirrel is already more than an ounce, with grey hair along its back.
A squirrel’s age can be determined by the appearance of its eyes, and if it has teeth, it is at least three to four and a half weeks old. If the eyes are open, it is closer to six weeks old. If it doesn’t open its eyes, the baby is too young. Hair starts to grow from about 2 weeks old, and by the third week, it should be about 1 mm long. By the fourth week, the fur on the tail should be about two millimeters long, and by the sixth week, the underside should be covered.
How to tell the age of a baby Squirrel by looking at its nipple-like appendages is relatively easy to do, but there are a few things you should do to make sure that you are not endangering your new friend’s life. First, you should avoid using a larger syringe, as this increases the risk of aspirating the animal. Instead, use an eyedropper or a baby bottle. Do not use a dropper on the squirrel’s tongue or lips, which may cause aspiration.
During its first few weeks of life, baby squirrels are still sexless. Their teeth are not fully developed, and they lack fur. At two weeks, their tails are hairless, and their ears are closed. By five to six weeks, all of these traits are present, and they are fully furred. They also have sharp claws, which they use for climbing and hanging upside-down.
High-pitched squeaking noise
One way to tell the age of a baby squirrel is by hearing its squeaking noise. Squeaking noises indicate that a baby squirrel is around eight weeks old. At this stage, the baby squirrel is almost ready for release. A baby squirrel needs a large cage made of sturdy wire and at least the size of a dog crate.
Squirrels make high-pitched squeaking noises to warn one another of impending danger. These squirrels can’t defend themselves from many predators, including humans. That’s why they need to stay vigilant. The high-pitched noises they make are akin to meows. And when they see someone, they tend to run toward them.
There are several ways to determine the age of a baby squirrel, depending on its appearance. Most babies are born with closed eyes and no teeth. The incisors, or lower teeth, begin erupting about three weeks after birth. Upper and lower teeth will appear by the time the squirrel is about five weeks old. Once the eyes are open, the squirrel will start to sit upright and show more fur.
Upon birth, a baby squirrel is hairless and pink. The face and ears will be closed. The baby squirrel will be about the size of a female’s thumb. It will begin to develop soft fur around the mouth and nose. You can also look for white fur on the legs and belly. Once the baby squirrel reaches two months old, it will have an open mouth and a prehensile tail.
Feeding a baby squirrel
It is difficult to tell the age of a baby squirrel without touching it, but it is possible to observe the behavior of a young baby by watching him or her drinking. The baby squirrel can’t swallow liquid at one time and will need a small amount every half hour. It will also need to be stimulated after every drinking period. It should start eating nutritious food when its urine is light yellow. The nest will change as the squirrel grows, so it’s important to know its current age and feeding schedule.
To tell the age of a baby squirrel, observe its behavior and appearance. If the squirrel is a little fearful of humans, it will most likely approach you. Place some uncooked bird seed or rice in a sock and cover it with a soft towel. Then approach it, making noise and letting it sniff you. If the baby approaches you, it’s likely that it has been left alone for a long time.
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.