Saving Squirrel Babies: Unexpected Additions


| 4/27/2009 11:45:40 AM


Lori DunnIt was a normal Friday afternoon at our house. My husband, Jim, had gotten home from work around 4:00. We usually have a Friday ritual of going to the bank and the grocery store to pick up any items we might need, and sometimes go out to eat. Hubby was on the phone, so I decided to go collect the eggs awhile. That way, when he was off the phone, we could leave. I grabbed the egg basket and away I went.

We have to check for eggs late in the afternoon because about half of our hens are late layers. I stepped into the chicken house and was gathering eggs when I realized I was hearing a noise. It sounded kinda like a high pitched squeal or whistle. My first thought was, “Oh, there is a nest of baby birds close by.” I dismissed it as that, and started back about my business. In a couple minutes, the noise got louder and more demanding. I listened again, giving it more of my attention now and I realized this was not baby birds but something else. I looked out the door that the chickens use to go in and out of the chicken house, and I saw all of our ducks and chickens with their faces pointing the same direction, intently staring directly on the other side of the fence. I knew that whatever was making the noise also had the attention of our poultry. I finished gathering the eggs and walked around the back of the fence. There, on the ground, squealing their little heads off were three baby squirrels that had obviously fallen from the nest. It was very windy, cool, and raining. I’m not sure if the wind blew them out of the nest or if they crawled out and fell, but it really didn’t matter. As soon as I saw them, I scooped the poor little darlings up and brought them in the house to show my husband and to warm them up. They were still pretty small. They did have some hair on them, but not completely covered, and their eyes and ears were stilled closed.

The New Baby Squirrels

We are not strangers to taking care of baby squirrels. About three years ago, my husband found a single baby squirrel that had fallen out of the nest not far from the same place these three did. We decided then we were going to try to save that one too. We got online and looked up info on how to determine the age of the baby squirrel, and how and what to feed them. The info was not difficult to find. We were to use a syringe, remove the needle of course, and fill that with the formula to feed the baby squirrel. We needed to get puppy milk replacer, available at our local pet store. That squirrel we named Spunky. It was very easy to teach him to drink from the syringe, and he did very well. We fed him the recommended amounts, and after a few weeks, we started to wean him on to solid food. He ate things like seeds and dried fruits and nuts.

Spunky the Squirrel



I have to say here that I do NOT recommend keeping wild animals as pets. It was and is our intention to raise these babies up, re-introduce them to the wild, and set them free. When Spunky was big enough, we started taking him outside every day.

Lori
8/10/2009 9:02:15 PM

Martin, I've sent you an email. Go to this site, http://www.squirrels.org/t_raising.html .It will tell you what you need to know! Good luck with your baby, and keep me updated!


Martin_2
8/10/2009 8:14:12 PM

A newborn squirrel just appeared on the ground this morning and was being consumed by maggots. We cleaned it up and have gotten to take milk from a rubber ear srynge. Now that I read your description will go out and get some formula. It's got practically no hair and has not opened it's eyes. What are the chances of survival? I need to prepare my twin 5 year olds for whatever comes next.


Lori
6/16/2009 10:49:00 AM

Hi Nebraska Dave! My "kids" are doing wonderful! They are all outside residents now, just as you guessed. They still come to us, and we spoil them a little with some corn and sunflower seeds, but they are doing good at foraging for themselves too! It has been very busy around here lately. I intend to do another blog entry very soon. I'm sure you will not be dissapointed with the pressure canner! I have a Pennsylvania Dutch Cookbook that has a few recipes in it you might want to try for the tomato jelly. I haven't made these yet, but everything else I've made from this cookbook has been really good! Green Tomato Jam 8 cups green tomatoes 4 cups sugar 2 lemons 1/4 cup vinegar 1 tablespoon cinnamon or ginger Wash tomatoes. Cover with boiling water and let stand 5 minutes. Drain and slice into thin pieces. Add layers of sliced lemon and sugar. Add vinegar and sprinkle with spice. Let stand overnight. In the morning, cook rapidly until tomatoes are clear and the liquid is like syrup. Pour into hot jars and seal! The other recipe is very similar. Yellow Tomato Preserves 1 pound yellow tomatoes peeled and sliced 3/4 pound sugar 1/2 lemon peel tomatoes and cut into thin pieces. Add sugar and let stand 1 hour. Add thinly sliced lemon and rind. Cook until tomatoes are clear and syrup is thickened. Pour into jars and seal! If you decide to try these, let me know how they turn out!