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Squirrels

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First, determine if the baby is indeed an orphan.  Try putting the baby in a safe place in a tree as close to where it was found as possible.  Then observe from a distance for 1-2 hours to see if a mother comes to retrieve the baby.  Even if the nest has been removed from the tree trimming or destroyed via a storm, quite often a parent will return for the babies, particularly if the baby cries out.  If the baby cries and their mother does not respond, then you can consider the baby an orphan.

A newborn squirrel is born pink and hairless.  Within the first week the skin appears to turn grey, that is the fur beginning to develop under the skin.  Usually the first hair you see on them is their whiskers.  The ears will open the third week of their life.  Their eyes do not open until they are five weeks old.

Babies begin to be weaned between 6-7 weeks of age but will continue to be nursed until 10-12 weeks.

Follow the general instruction for care of the orphaned mammal babies as described above.  Squirrels should also be given KMR powder with two parts water to one part KMR powder.  Use a medicine dropper only for baby squirrels; a baby bottle will almost always cause aspiration, taking milk into their lungs, and result in pneumonia and ultimately death.

Warm the formula to body temperature and hold the baby in one hand with its head slightly higher than its rear quarters.  Gently force the dropper just inside the mouth and release a tiny amount of formula.  Remove the dropper and allow the baby to lick and swallow.  The baby should begin to lick and suck on the dropper but exercise caution and ensure a slow feeding.  If bubbles appear at the baby's nose or if it opens its mouth very wide in a gagging motion, then you are expelling formula too quickly and the baby cannot handle the amount you have given it.  If this happens, tilt the head down so the formula can drain from the mouth and nose and wipe the excess formula from the face with a soft cloth.  Once the baby has recovered continue but more slowly.

Amount to Feed:

A baby squirrel with no fur may only take two to ten drops at a feeding. An older squirrel that has fur but still has its eyes closed will likely take two-six dropperfuls. A squirrel fully furred with eyes open will usually take four to ten dropperfuls at each feeding.

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