What Can I Give a Baby Squirrel to Eat?
You can start your baby squirrel on solid foods at 6 weeks old. Start off with a small platter of solid food. Eventually you can wean your baby squirrel off of formula. In the meantime, you can introduce various foods to your baby squirrel. Broccoli, kale, Sweet potatoes, pecans, and other nuts are good choices. After these first few weeks, you can wean your baby squirrel off of formula.
If you’ve ever been around a squirrel, you’ve probably fed it or laid out food for it to eat. Squirrels love food, but many types of food don’t have much nutritional value and can harm the digestive system. Starchy foods, such as rice, pasta, bread, and rye, are not good choices. They are filled with carbohydrates and have little nutritional value, and may even be harmful for the squirrel’s digestive system.
If you have a baby squirrel at home, you may wonder if it is safe to feed it kale. Squirrels love kale, and the green leafy vegetable is rich in vitamins and minerals. Squirrels also love kale in the fall and summer, which may be a precursor to hibernation. This superfood is also good for the squirrel’s kidneys.
The benefits of sweet potatoes are endless. They are highly nutritious, rich in fiber, and filling. In addition, they are a great source of potassium, which is important for the body’s ability to synthesize proteins and repair damaged muscles. Nonetheless, they are not the only food that wildlife enjoys. Here are some additional tips to make sure your pet squirrel is getting all the nutrition it needs:
Your baby squirrel should be fed a high-quality diet full of vitamins and minerals. Without proper nutrition, they are susceptible to bone diseases. Try giving them fruit and vegetable pieces or rat or mouse pellets. You can also feed them nuts, preferably tree nuts. These are also excellent sources of calcium and magnesium, which are essential for healthy bones. In addition, you can keep the squirrel hydrated with water.
To give a baby squirrel nutritious food, you can buy milk powder. The powder can be mixed with warm water. Store in the fridge for at least a day and mix with water before feeding. Stir it well before each feeding. A squirrel’s face will be slightly sticky and will need about 30 seconds of warming before eating. After each feeding, clean it with a warm cloth. If the formula is too cold, it may cause diarrhea. In this case, change to a different brand or formula.
Avoiding fried food
You can provide your baby squirrel with a variety of nutritious foods by avoiding fried foods. Squirrels love peanuts and tree bark, so make sure to give them plenty of those! Other healthy foods for squirrels include carrots, which promote eye and bone health. Pumpkin seeds, which provide essential nutrients for squirrels, are also a good choice. Cabbage is another feel-good food for small animals. Rats and mice often nibble on cabbage leaves in your garden. The leaves are particularly tasty for your baby squirrel!
Squirrels love to snack on peanuts and other nut products. While you may think of peanuts as an everyday food, it’s important to remember that they are a source of fat and protein, so they can travel a long distance to gather them, resulting in allergies. While this food is highly preferred by squirrels, it is never a top priority over other types of insects, fruits, seeds, and fungi. Some varieties of peanuts, including peanut butter, can be toxic to your squirrel’s body, and should not be offered to your squirrel. Furthermore, peanut butter is not recommended, as it may contain aflatoxins, which can lead to liver diseases, as well as naturally-occurring mycotoxins that can impair blood clotting and protein synthesis.
Keeping a baby squirrel in a cage
Keeping a baby squirrel in a tin or wire cage can be fun for you and the squirrel. However, this can have disastrous consequences for the baby. Once it is grown up, squirrels are quite independent and are likely to bite if they are not fed. Keeping a squirrel as a pet is a terrible idea. It’s a much better idea to feed the squirrel in a natural environment where it will feel safe and protected.
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.