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Thread: Weaning Diet

  1. #1
    elle77 Guest

    Smile Weaning Diet

    Hi everyone, I'm new to the board and am currently raising my first grey squirrel. He's about 3.5 weeks now and I've had him since 2 weeks. He's eating FV formula and I just started adding in a little heavy cream yesterday- so far he's doing great and gaining weight, no diarrhea either. I just bought probiotic capsules that I'm going to add to his formula as well. I know he's nowhere near ready to be weaned but I want to be prepared when the time comes! I'm wondering what I should be feeding him, and at what age I should introduce solid foods. I was looking into rodent blocks and it looks like a lot of rehabbers have success with Henry's Healthy Pet blocks supplemented with fruits and veggies? What kinds of fruits/veggies are best, and should I be feeding anything else like nuts, cheerios, etc? I'm worried about MBD after reading all the emergency posts about it. I usually rehab baby bunnies, and squirrels are very different! I do have some help from a licensed rehabber but to be honest, everything I learned about the bunnies I had to learn on my own- most of what I was told by the rehabber and vet techs at work ended up being wrong.

    Also, he came in alone and so far we haven't gotten in any other squirrels close to his age. Is he ok to be raised alone or should I try to coordinate with another rehabber to see if I can get a buddy for him?

    Thank you so much! I'm so happy to have found a great source of info for my little guy!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    City Island, Bronx, NY
    Posts
    38,124

    Default Re: Weaning Diet

    hi Elle77 and to The Squirrel Board. Glad you found us!
    My approach to weaning is this: the squirrels wean themselves. I offer Fox Valley Day One for Squirrels formula until they absolutely, positively don't want it anymore. I do not add anything to FV, unless a baby is not thriving and I will add Ultra Boost, a Fox Valley product. I do switch from the 32/40 to the 20/50 at about 4-5 weeks old, or when their eyes open. At that time I also begin introducing solids, meaning rodent block. The first blocks I offer are the Zupreem Monkey Biscuits, which I chop in half or quarters for them. At about 6 weeks I start offering 1 or 2 HenrysHealthy Blocks (Growth Formula) morning and night, along with lots of the Zupreem and maybe even Mazuri or KayTee Forti Diet Rat & Mouse blocks for variety. I do not give cheerios or nuts. Nobody gets a nut until they are about 9-10 weeks, and then only almonds and walnuts, 1 or 2 in the evening. No pecans, no cashews, etc....once they taste a pecan they become picky nut-eating brats and then you start worrying about MBD . Along with the rodent blocks I always get them eating kale, chickory, and two kinds of sweet potato. If you'd like to see what the babies look like on this diet, check out my IR's Place...etc thread in the Nursery Section.
    Hope this helps!!
    Island Rehabber
    NY State Licensed
    Wildlife Rehabilitator


    "Ancora Imparo" (I am still learning)
    Michelangelo


    *
    If you can't afford the vet,
    You can't afford a pet.
    NEGLECT IS ABUSE.

    "Better one day in the trees, than a lifetime in a cage."


  3. #3
    elle77 Guest

    Default Re: Weaning Diet

    Thank you so much! Little Sammy is about 6 weeks now and doing GREAT, he's nice and chubby lol. He also got a sister yesterday which he's very happy about- a little girl about 6-7 weeks who was found after the hurricane. They are both nibbling the rodent blocks and I have just started adding small amounts of certain veggies- they got carrot slices today, kale yesterday, and so far aren't really interested but we'll see what happens. I don't want to add too much too fast. I have to say little Sammy was raised on FV plus a little heavy cream and he is healthy as a horse and not at all on the slim side! I like my foster babies a bit chubby just incase they need extra reserves lol. I have enjoyed rehabbing him and now his sister Sophie so much, I will definitely be continuing with squirrels!

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