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  #1  
Old 10-06-2008, 09:50 AM
margaret margaret is offline
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Default when to release

I have a baby squirrel which has just weaned. It is living in the garage in the stuffing of a decorative scarecrow(!) I am concerned because it is still very small (about the size of a rat), does not roam at all far from its nest and still does not seem to be eating a huge variety of foods. It is begginning to get cold at night here. Should I try to let it go now so that it can acclimatise, let it overwinter in the garage or what?
The last squirrel we raised was much larger and more active when we let it go and it was much earlier in the season.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Margaret
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:42 AM
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MissDolittle MissDolittle is offline
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Default Re: when to release

Heyas margaret, welcome!

Are you sure the baby is weaned already? Can you tell how old it is at all? What else is it eating and what are you offering that it's not eating? Are any other siblings or parents around? Any more history?
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:43 AM
margaret margaret is offline
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Default Re: when to release

I have had the baby about three weeks. A friend of mine called and asked me to take it. It was blown from its nest by high winds and was initially left for 24 hours for the mother to retrieve but she did not. There was a sibling who was severely dehydrated when I got the babies and died. This one was fully furred,eyes open, moving around but unsteady and nursing, Started refusing the bottle/cutting back about a week ago and I am no longer offering the bottle. It will eat sunflower seeds and some seed heads from the garden and nuts but not berries, fruit or acorns. Stays very close to the nest even though I have placed tree branches around the garage to help it "practice". Should I perhaps continue offering the bottle? - it was only accepting it once a day with much persuation so I thought it had self-weaned.
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:35 PM
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MissDolittle MissDolittle is offline
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Default Re: when to release

Ok, lets see. First off, good job you are doing there! And sorry one of them died .

It sounds like the baby had the eyes just open when you got it, and you have it for 3 weeks, that makes it 7-8 weeks old. Does that sound about right?

They normally wean around 9-12 weeks. Most of them start to run away from the person that feeds them, because the wild instinct kicks in and they display fear.

In that case I just take them in my hands and feed them this way. Once they figured out it's the formula, they drink. They are usually weaned by the time they turn 3 months old, sometimes a week or 2 older.

It is very normal not to eat much of anything but the starter foods, which consist out of Cheerios and cracked open pecans and acorns here. I offer fruits and veggies too once a day at that age, but it takes a while until they take to it. I do offer monkey biscuits or Rodent Block, but I have yet to have a squirrel that actually eats the stuff.

In your case I'd try to start the bottle again for a couple of weeks. In a week he'll be climbing around and eat everything else.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:42 AM
margaret margaret is offline
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Default Re: when to release

He is steadfast in refusing the bottle, he will come to me and search mjy hand for food but will flinch away from the nipple and even if I pick him up and offer it he is not interested - he does like cheerios though! I have increased the number of things I am offering to make sure he has variety. This morning (in the middle of a thunderstorm) I heard what sounded like a kitten crying and it was the squirrel. Maybe he was demanding breakfast because he stopped when I put out some cheerios but I have never heard a squirrel make that noise before.
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:20 AM
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Default Re: when to release

I never fed a squirrel with a bottle..tried once and failed miserably, so I'm using a syringe with a long nipple on it. Works like a charm, even with older squirrels. If you have a syringe around, try it, even if you don't have a nipple for it. Of course remove the needle first! They'll suckle on the tip. Just squeeze a little drop out of it, so he can taste what's in there and see what happens.

Just be extremely careful not to squeeze too much out of. If it comes out of the nose, you are aspirating the squirrel and it can come down with pneumonia from that. Many of them die from that. But if you squeeze too slow, they get bored and move on to other things...it takes patience and time.

I'm concerned that he might not get enough calcium not getting formula. If you can, feed some extra broccoli tops, mine love it, especially if I dip them in applesauce (Gerber, baby food jar, not the normal sugary stuff with preservatives). You can also sprinkle some calcium supplements for humans over the food, like crush up half a pill and mix it into a bowl of cheerios or so.

The noise you heard that sounded like a kitten, was it a really high pitched call? Those can go through blood and bone, I tell ya! They are mostly distress calls, but some use them when they are very hungry too. Scared or hungry or cold or in pain or all of the above.
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