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RACCOONS

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How old is this baby raccoon?

The gestation period of a female raccoon is from 60 to 73 days with 63 being the most common.

Newborns
They are 4 - 6 inches long, have fur but no markings. Their ear canals and eyes are closed at birth and ears are pressed close to their heads.
At 7 days/ 1 week
They begin to crawl, and you can see an eyelid slit.
At 10 days
The mask begins to appear
13-18 day/ 2 weeks
Tail color rings begin to appear, they are noisy and 7 to 10 inches long.
19-24 days/3 weeks
Eyes and ears open. The eyes are a cloudy blue and stay that way until they are about 4 or 5 weeks old.
At 28 days/4 weeks
12 to 13 inches long. Crawling & walking begin
At 49 days/6 weeks
Fully ambulatory: walking, running and climbing.
At 63 days/9 weeks
They begin to show an interest in solid food.
At 70 days
If they had a mother, they'd begin going with her on evening outings.
At 112 days/16 weeks
Usually they are fully weaned from their mother.

Feeding Young Raccoons

What you Need

For the newborn: Glass graduated tip medicine dropper (or for the larger baby, a human preemie or stage 1 baby nurser ), KMR or Esbilac formula, blankets, pet carrier and a heating pad.

KMR - Kitten Milk Replacement or Esbilac. Use 2 parts water to one part formula. KMR and Esbilac are available at your veterinarian’s office or at most pet shops or feed stores.

Because KMR is higher in fat content than Esbilac (puppy milk replacement) baby coons seem to thrive on it more than on Esbilac, although some have successfully raised coons on Esbilac. Cow's milk is not suitable.

Follow the guideline below or stop feeding when their belly is full, but not tight.  If the coon is very weak, you may have to feed it small amounts of KMR more frequently so that it will be easier for the baby to digest.

Once they get used to the flavor of the formula, raccoon babies will suck very hard and this can cause them to aspirate (take in liquid to their lungs until it comes out their nose).  This is extremely dangerous for the baby as they can easily get pneumonia and die.  If aspiration occurs, allow the baby to recover fully before attempting to finish a meal.  You will have better control using an eyedropper in the smaller baby or by controlling the flow in a bottle by using a smaller hole in the nipple or tipping the bottledown after each sip so they get a chance to swallow a little at a time.  You may go through several nipples until you master the right size hole for the baby.

Follow the guideline below or stop feeding when their belly is full, but not tight. If the coon is very weak, you may have to feed it small amounts of KMR more frequently so that it will be easier for the baby to digest.

Once they get used to the flavor of the formula, raccoon babies will suck very hard and this can cause them to aspirate (take in liquid to their lungs…until it comes out their nose) This is extremely dangerous for the baby as they can easily get pneumonia and die. If aspiration occurs…allow the baby to recover fully before attempting to finish a meal. You will have better control using an eyedropper in the smaller baby or by controlling the flow in a bottle by using a smaller hole in the nipple or tipping the bottle down after each sip so they get a chance to swallow a little at a time. You may go through several nipples until you master the right size hole for the baby.

Feeding Chart

 
Amount to feed & frequency
Estimated age
Every 2 hrs
Every 3 hrs
Every 4 hrs
Birth to one week
4-6 cc’s
(1 x during night)
 
 
1-2 weeks
6-8 cc’s (1 x during night)
 
 
2-3 weeks
 
15-50 cc’s
 
3-4 weeks
 
50-60 cc’s every 3-4 hrs
 
4-8 weeks
 
 
60 cc’s
8 weeks –16 weeks (weaning)
 
 
60cc’s + boiled chicken (no-bone), hard boiled eggs, other fruit or vegetables

Fill the pet nurser with formula slightly warmed. Feed the baby until it is satisfied. When it has had enough, it will turn away and refuse more food. Hold the baby upright when giving it a bottle (head at the highest point). If you hold it on its back it may choke on the liquid and get it into its lungs (which is fatal).

Suggested reading: "Wild Orphan Babies" by William J. Weber, D.V.M. (ISBN 0-03-056821-8, Holt, Rinehart and Winston). This book tells how to treat injuries and diseases as well as showing how to feed the orphan.

Also see

Care of Orphaned mammal babies
I Found A Baby Mammal - Now What?
How To Rescue Baby Mammals

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