How to rescue & care for an orphaned baby squirrel
Table of Contents
Baby squirrel: All you need to know
The survival rate of Baby Squirrel increases when they are cared for by their mother. If you find an abandoned kit or baby squirrel, then it is important to assess their condition. Check if they have an open wound or serious injury.
Did you find it in a dog or cat’s mouth?
Were there any maggots present on its body?
Observe if Baby Squirrel is crying, it would sound like a high-pitched whistle. If the baby squirrel is injured then it is better to immediately take it to a vet. You can also get in touch with the wildlife rehabilitation center.
If Baby Squirrel seem well and are not injured in any manner, they might have fallen from their nest. Then, you need to determine its age to know whether it needs rescuing or not.
Baby squirrel growth
Newborns (Baby Squirrel) up to 5 days old are hairless and pink When they are 1 to 2 weeks old their skin becomes greyish pink.
Baby Squirrel start to grow their fur by 3 to 4 weeks and grey fur can be noticed. Their eyes slit and ears also slightly open. Their front teeth start to appear and they open their eyes.
Baby Squirrel’s tails start to straighten out by about 5 to 6 weeks. About 6 to 7 weeks, they learn to sit upright. They almost resemble an adult by 7 to 10 weeks.
If a nearly 6-inch fluffy tail is observed then they are in the juvenile stage. You can scare them away so that any pet or other humans may not hurt them.
If Baby Squirrel look younger than 5 to 6 weeks, try to relocate their mother and reunite them as this is an infant squirrel.
What should I do if I get baby squirrel
Step 1: You can take a cardboard box and then put their nest or a warm towel inside it. Take a sock and fill it with rice and then microwave it for about 30 sec and keep it in the box to provide warmth. This can be done every 2 hours to keep them warm.
Step 2: You can encourage Baby Squirrel to climb the tree when they open their eyes. If their eyes are still closed or are they not able to climb the trees then the container can be linked to the tree.
Monitor the kit in daylight for 6 to 8 hours while keeping them warm with the heated sock. If you are not able to find the mom or if it does not return, then besides the previous stage you should also allocate a safe site to place the kit.
Then, for a source of light place a 100W bulb about 1 and a half distance above it. The kit should be kept warm and also keep them hydrated.
You can carefully bring a moist cotton ball to their mouth for them to suck on it.
What should I feed baby squirrel
You can employ a syringe to feed them after removing the needle. Cerelac can be used to feed them as per the instruction given on the box.
Baby Squirrel are to feed after every 2 hours based on their age. The formula should be kept a little warm otherwise the baby squirrels may not eat and will starve themselves to death.
You can check the temperature of the formula by testing a few drops of it on your wrist.
Baby squirrel care
Before 5 weeks Baby Squirrel are not able to defecate or urinate on their own and need to be stimulated. You can wet a Q-tip or cotton ball and gently flick it over their genital area usually before or after feeding them.
Look for any symptoms of diarrhea or bloating. You can offer them fruits and nuts from the 5th week onwards. Their container or box should be regularly cleaned. You can mix some multi-vitamins in their food once a week.
Their teeth appear by 5 to 6 weeks, you can keep some things they can chew on in their box. By 7 or 8th week let the container open but don’t close it. They can learn to roam outside for a few hours before coming back.
Next, after some time-release them in a park or near a tree by about 10 weeks. If their mom returns to them, then you should be glad you successfully rescued a baby squirrel.