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Thread: Tums?

  1. #1

    Default Tums?

    My squirrel has been nipping little bites of paint off the walls whenever he can and eating them. We have white paint. I assume it's the calcium he's craving. I feed him HHBs every day - picky eaters - he eats about half a block every day. The rest of his diet is mostly veggies. Every morning I give him a buffet consisting of: fresh rosemary, fresh mint leaves, zuccini, carrots, sugar snap peas and lettuce. Sometimes he gets fruits and baby corn. Sometimes nuts.

    Anyway - he was nipping away at some paint - that worries me because i'm afraid there may be lead in the paint - if not it's still probably not something he should be eating - so I assumed he wants calcium - so I gave him a tums. He took it and starting eating it. He ate a good bit of one. I imagine he'll eat Tums on a regular basis if I give them to him.

    Isn't this a bonus? Aren't blocks mostly all about getting them to eat plenty of calcium? If a squirrel will voluntarily eat some of a Tums tablet that is a good thing right? Those things are made out of calcium carbonate - they're a calcium supplement for humans. Squirrels too. Right?

    So - assuming we're A OK with Tums snacks - how much is too much? He's a full-grown adult male eastern gray. He's my little Rocky.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tums?

    The HHBs are great, but you should be feeding him two a day. Half a block a day is only providing him with 25% of all of the vitamins and nutrients - and calcium he needs. He likely IS deficient.

    I believe that 2 HHB's has about 300mg of calcium if I remember correctly, and that is what a guy his size should have. You are much, much better feeding it to him that way than with Tums. We use them for MBD treatment because they are so easily and immediately available in an emergency, but they have fillers and artificial flavors and colors, etc. - none of that is GOOD for them. You would be MUCH better increasing his HHB ration.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tums?

    I've attached a picture of his typical morning tray. He snacks on this most of the day. In the evening he gets usually 3 nuts in the shell (he needs the oils, protein and calories).

    Every morning when he's still asleep I clean out his cage - a Henry's cage - of all foods. When he gets up I hand him an HHB. He goes thru stages with them. Sometimes he'll take them from me and eat the whole thing. Sometimes he will not take it and will not eat it. I have to leave for work eventually so before I go I give him a veggie tray. Sometimes I also add fruit peelings.

    I'd say he's getting an average of a half an HHB/day.

    So what do I do to get him to eat more HHB? Not give him the veggie tray? Give him nothing else until he eats an HHB? 2 HHB?

    Wow. I have spoiled this squirrel unimaginably. I line the inside of his cage with branches from the local trees (hickory, cherry, pear, apple) and fill the bottom with grass from outside. He eats the bark off the branches (and the blooms when there are some to be eaten). This keeps his teeth filed down. I give him sticks to chew on.

    I just always thought that as long as he eats lots of veggies he's OK. Not too many nuts and he'll be fine.

    If I understand you correctly he needs the vitamins and minerals in the blocks? not just the calcium?

    That's good information. I'll see what I can figure out about getting him to eat more HHBs.

    Thanks
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    South Carolina
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    2,871

    Default Re: Tums?

    What things do you have for him to chew
    that's ok?
    Fresh branches, cuttle bone deer antlers etc
    are all good..
    Dragon's flame has gone out but his spirit lives on within me

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tums?

    If I could stop folks from feeding just ONE thing to squirrels, it would be corn. It is SO high in phosphorus, which is calcium's "enemy" (the more phosphorus in the diet the more calcium they need to balance it), and they LOVE it so eat it to the exclusion of other things. I am also unsure of the nutritional value of the herbs - and shocked he would eat something as strongly flavored as the rosemary! I would stop the baby corn - buy a bag of spring mix without spinach and try that - and go to our diet forum and check out the lists of good vs bad veggies.

    I see teeny tiny corn and teeny tiny zucchini...do you live near a teeny tiny farm?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Tums?

    Quote Originally Posted by justAddNuts View Post
    I've attached a picture of his typical morning tray. He snacks on this most of the day.
    In the evening he gets usually 3 nuts in the shell (he needs the oils, protein and calories).

    So what do I do to get him to eat more HHB? Not give him the veggie tray? Give him nothing else until he eats an HHB? 2 HHB?
    I would for go the nuts and give him another HHB in the evening...... he needs the HHB more, and then give him 1 nut after wards.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Orange Park, FL
    Posts
    4,122

    Default Re: Tums?

    Don't worry about giving him a Tums a couple of times a week. He may very well need the calcium supplement and they won't hurt him. Better he have a Tums once or twice a week than MBD.
    I love the tiny zucchini, wish my local store carried the baby veggies they are so tender and sweet. No baby veggies, no squash blossoms, none of that available locally. Having to get to work in the mornings is a must, you are doing a good job feeding him before you leave. I, too, would limit corn to just now and then and not as a daily or even weekly treat. Try some other fresh greens that you buy for yourself-sugar snap peas, endive, radicchio(rocket), green beans(mine love the Italian or pole beans). Otherwise you are doing great!
    Anne
    Wildlife and Squirrel Rescue,Inc.
    Rescuing Fl squirrels since 1979
    Moderator: NFSA Emergency Care
    Wildlife Intake Coordinator and Rehab Consultant at "The Ark Wildlife Care and Sanctuary Inc"

    Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but learning to how to dance in the rain"

    "The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it taken place."
    George Bernard Shaw

    "Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear." - Mark Twain

  8. #8

    Default Re: Tums?

    Many people give HHBs first thing in the morning and nothing else until they are gone. And you can doctor them up by warming them, or cutting them into quarters, or dusting them with oil, or grinding them up and making boo balls, etc.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Tums?

    I believe Ann answered it best of all because some squirrels just don't like HHB and I have another sq that doesn't like them. Sometimes she will eat about half of one if I starve her. I to give my sq Tums to make up for the difference. Like Ann said Tums is better than MBD. Keep her on a good veggie regiment along with Tums and I believe it will be ok.

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