What Do You Do With a Baby Squirrel?
If you are in a situation where you find a baby squirrel, you will need to know what to do with him. Baby squirrels can fall out of their nests and get separated from their mothers. In this situation, you should feed the baby squirrel with food and water. If you cannot do this, contact a wildlife rehabilitator. If the baby squirrel is not injured, return it to its mother. Mothers take better care of their young than humans do.
Place a baby squirrel in a tree
A successful way to reunite a baby squirrel with its mother is by placing him in a nearby tree near the nest. Make sure to choose a tree in the immediate vicinity. Squirrels can often nest in tree cavities or “dreys,” the big balls of dried leaves found at the top of trees. Place the baby squirrel in a small, open container and fasten it to the tree with a robe. Do not approach the baby squirrel unless you have the necessary permits and do not disturb the mother.
If you are concerned about the health of the baby squirrel, you should contact a wildlife rescue organization. If you discover a baby squirrel, it is important to keep it warm and quiet. Do not feed it, and avoid exposing it to bright sunlight. After placing the baby squirrel in the tree, allow it to recover until it is ready to be released into the wild. Depending on the species, this process can take just a few minutes, or even an entire day.
Feed a baby squirrel
When you’re feeding a baby squirrel, keep in mind that they’re only small and may not be used to human food yet. This can result in some problems. For example, a squirrel that has just been introduced to a formula may aspirate liquid, resulting in pneumonia in the lungs. The good news is that the squirrel will let you know when it needs formula by peeing on its food.
If you’ve seen a baby squirrel on the ground, don’t be alarmed – most of them don’t open their eyes before they’re at least 4 weeks old. The first few weeks of their life are spent with no hair, though the second couple of weeks have some. Eventually, you’ll notice soft hair on the back and upper front teeth. By the time they’re a month old, they’ll also have white fur on the belly and legs and short tail hair. When a baby squirrel is fully furred, they’ll be pink and have opened their eyes. If they’re not fully furred yet, you can bring them indoors until they’re seven weeks old.
Keep a baby squirrel alive while transporting him
To keep a squirrel baby alive while transporting him, use the appropriate precautions and methods for safe handling. First, assess the injured animal in a quiet room. Place a wet washcloth on the injured squirrel and mimic how a mother would lick the baby. Next, put a piece of plastic wrap on the squirrel’s body and use your hands to massage it with the washcloth. This will help keep the animal warm and safe.
If you are taking a squirrel baby from his home to another location, make sure you have the correct temperature for him. It needs to be between 37 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit. Squirrels are often born with closed eyes. If you notice them in this condition, it is not yet mature enough to open them. Also, make sure you wear soft clothes, not towels, since the squirrel’s legs can easily break.
Aspirate a baby squirrel
Aspiration pneumonia is a pulmonary infection caused by inhalation of foreign material into the lungs. The fluid causes inflammation and death of the lung cells. In young squirrels, aspiration pneumonia is most commonly associated with formula ingestion. Other potential risks of aspiration include infection from rabies, tularemia, or Leptospirosis, which causes fever, rash, and jaundice. Rabies is transmitted to humans by scratching and biting.
One method for preventing aspiration is to tap the nose of the baby squirrel. The baby squirrel will likely feed more slowly if it feels choking or aspirating, so taping its nose on the ground will likely help it regurgitate. If the feeding seizure lasts more than 10 minutes, it is likely the baby squirrel is aspirating. The trick is to feed slowly and gently so that the squirrel doesn’t breathe formula into its lungs.
Reunite a baby squirrel with its mother
If you find a baby squirrel, try to re-unite it with its mother immediately. While it is not ideal, moms know best, and they will never reject their babies. Injured or dead female squirrels should not be re-united with their babies. If you are unable to find the mother, you can try to rescue the baby by using a bread basket or another container.
Before trying to reunite a baby squirrel with its mother, be sure to keep it warm and dry. If the baby is cold, it will be perceived as sick, and the mother won’t want to leave it behind. To keep the baby warm, use a heating pad or a latex glove tied like a water balloon. You can also microwave a glass jar with a lid in the microwave every few hours. Alternatively, you can put the baby on a heating pad and wait for it to find its mother.
Keep a baby squirrel safe from humans
Keeping a baby squirrel safe from humans starts with keeping it from getting hurt or being eaten. If you have a single orphan, try to keep it with you for the first few days. It will bond with you and require lots of tactile stimulation. You can provide toys in the cage to stimulate play, and keep it out of the reach of other people. However, you should avoid handling it with your hands. Instead, use a washcloth to mimic the way a mother licks her child clean.
The best time to release a baby squirrel is in the spring or summer, but not in fall. Wait until it is between four and six months old. Even then, it is too young for release. A squirrel’s natural fear of humans will be developed by interacting with humans. During these months, it is best to keep it in a cage or room where there is little human activity. Once it becomes more comfortable and confident, you can let it out.
Do baby squirrels need to be fed every two hours?
No baby squirrels should be fed every four hours.
What kind of milk should be given to baby squirrels?
Baby squirrels should be given cow’s milk.
How often do baby squirrels need to be given water?
Baby squirrels need to be given water every two hours.
What kind of food should be given to baby squirrels?
Baby squirrels should be given soft food such as mashed fruits and vegetables.
When can baby squirrels start eating solid food?
Baby squirrels can start eating solid food at around 4-6 weeks old.
How often do baby squirrels need to be given solid food?
Baby squirrels need to be given solid food 3-4 times a day.
What is the average lifespan of a squirrel?
The average lifespan of a squirrel is around 6-10 years.
What are the predators of squirrels?
The predators of squirrels include birds of prey snakes and cats.
What is the average litter size of a squirrel?
The average litter size of a squirrel is around 2-6.
What time of year do baby squirrels usually born?
Baby squirrels are usually born in the spring.
How long does it take for baby squirrels to be weaned?
It takes around 6-8 weeks for baby squirrels to be weaned.
What is the average weight of a squirrel?
The average weight of a squirrel is around 6-10 ounces.
What is the average length of a squirrel?
The average length of a squirrel is around 9-12 inches.
What is the average tail length of a squirrel?
The average tail length of a squirrel is around 6-10 inches.
What is the average height of a squirrel?
The average height of a squirrel is around 6-8 inches.
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.