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Thread: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    Quote Originally Posted by island rehabber
    Our flyer experts can really give you the scoop here, but no flyers do not have the same need for sunlight exposure for exactly the reason you stated: they are nocturnal and they metabolize calcium & Vit D differently.
    I just ordered a Zilla UV light, just in case. I might turn it on for her a little bit everyday. Although she's been a really good girl and she eat ALL the mushrooms I leave in her bowl (and quickly disposes of it from another side... lol).

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    By the way to update, my flyer hates the Zilla UV light, when I turn it on she runs back to her cage immediately.
    She seems extremely healthy and strong now with the proper diet I've been feeding her the last few months, mushrooms are daily, and pretty much every day she eats especially the very dark brown inside the mushroom.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    Quote Originally Posted by tphss
    By the way to update, my flyer hates the Zilla UV light, when I turn it on she runs back to her cage immediately.
    She seems extremely healthy and strong now with the proper diet I've been feeding her the last few months, mushrooms are daily, and pretty much every day she eats especially the very dark brown inside the mushroom.
    yes, proper diet can supply vit D they need.

    another important flyer diet nutrient that gets overlooked often: protein.
    Flyers need more protein that grays: worms, hard boiled egg, cooked chicken

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    what do you guys think of the ott light , they use to sell it at home depot and people hear were using them, that way it was safe for you also because they were natural light, im thinkin i might get one on line somewere if it is in fact the right lighting

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    Well at the recent gathering Dr. E shared with us that the do need vit D3 EVERYDAY...wether it comes from the sun or a supplement... Hope this helps....

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    I use a UV light and after reading some comments I'm concerned that maybe I shouldn't due to the possible damage to the eyes. It is usually on 20 to 30 minutes per day. Any feed back would be appreciated.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    No lights for flyers, you can blind them! Mushrooms are fed for the vit. D. As far as 'regular' squirrels, I have bought a repti-sun 10 bulb to put over Peanut (but have to find a special fixture, as I got the 48" bulb). I do believe they need exposure to UV rays and since Peanut refuses to go anywhere near the outside (he would probably have a heart attack if I tried to force the issue, cannot even get him near a window), I bought a light. Peanut goes through very strange and specific fur loss (his underbelly, he does not have lice, mites, etc). It grew back in (without doing anything different) and he has lost it again, so will see if the light will do anything.
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  8. #28
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    Default Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    There is some very interesting and useful information here! I was thinking about this recently and wondered, since my red's cage has wheels and is easy to push outside, if that would that be a good idea now, in the colder weather? His cage is near a window but I do know that the sunlight through the glass is not helpful. He is about 9 weeks old now, I have had him for about 5 weeks. And maybe some mushrooms for him? The information that I have courtesy of a helpful re-habber (a printout from a wildlife organization) says that at his age he should get a nut,a veggie or a fruit only 2-3 times a week. He is on HHBs and still also on formula. Thanks.....Gussie

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    I know I'm late to the party here, but I just wanted to be clear: If you are feeding them a block (such as Henry's), they do not require a UVB light, correct? The point of getting D is to metabolize calcium but the bag of HHBs already states that it contains 100% DV for Vitamin D. So are HHBs a sufficient source of Vitamin D? I just want to make sure that I understand this right and this would make sense to me in my biology-oriented head.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    Yes, HHBs provide sufficient D. Some people use the light anyway, but they seem to be few.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    My Marven (3 yrs old) has been eating HHB since he was 8 weeks old and his large size cage
    is placed by the window where he is able to get daily sunlight exposure --he is doing marvelous
    and has never had any medical problems or bones issues.

    Plus I always make sure that Portobello Mushrooms is the first food given to all my baby squirrels, so
    they will develop a taste for them and want to devour the mushrooms for their Vitamin D.

  12. #32
    Kristi S Guest

    Default Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    There seems to be a little confusion between Ca and Vit D in some posts. Few foods are naturally high Vit. D, which is necessary to metabolize Ca. You can feed an animal as much Ca as you want, but without Vit D it will be wasted.

    Whether they get enough Vit. D from HHB would depend on how much of their diet comes from the blocks. Food makers aren't likely to add extra Vit. D for fear of toxicity. One poster said she fed her squirrel Vit D as a supplement, and this is dangerous for the same reason.

    Indirect bright sunlight is better than nothing, as long as it's not through glass.

    Personally, if buying a UVB light I would opt for the ZooMed 5.0 or equivalent. The 10.0 are made for desert reptiles, and might over time be too much for the eyes of temperate mammal species. That's just a gut feeling, though. (I'm a reptile keeper.)

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi S View Post
    There seems to be a little confusion between Ca and Vit D in some posts. Few foods are naturally high Vit. D, which is necessary to metabolize Ca. You can feed an animal as much Ca as you want, but without Vit D it will be wasted.

    Whether they get enough Vit. D from HHB would depend on how much of their diet comes from the blocks. Food makers aren't likely to add extra Vit. D for fear of toxicity. One poster said she fed her squirrel Vit D as a supplement, and this is dangerous for the same reason.

    Indirect bright sunlight is better than nothing, as long as it's not through glass.

    Personally, if buying a UVB light I would opt for the ZooMed 5.0 or equivalent. The 10.0 are made for desert reptiles, and might over time be too much for the eyes of temperate mammal species. That's just a gut feeling, though. (I'm a reptile keeper.)
    I just replied to one of your other posts regarding the Henrys, and gave you a link so you can do some reading on them.

    Despite feeding these blocks which are supplemented with the correct amount of Vit D per day, I also use Zoomed 10.0 lamps over my enclosure. I do NOT use the compact fluorescents due to the eye issue - the "point" lights like those can be hard on the eyes and in my case, with a 14' long enclosure, they would be absurdly small! I use 1 4' fluorescent Zoomed 10.0 (there are a total of 6 4' tubes over the enclosure - the single herp bulb is in the fixture over a favorite basking spot for him. He lays under it or not as he wishes.

    I will say however that this is likely me being overly careful - we have yet to see a single case of MBD in a squirrel being fed the Henry's blocks PROPERLY. The link I sent you has all sorts of nutritional information on it. MBD is not just about calcium and D - I has a huge amount to do with the quantity of phosphorus in the diet. Almost all of the "intuitive" foods that people feed squirrels - like corn and peanuts and sunflower seeds - are enormously high in phosphorus.

  14. #34
    Kristi S Guest

    Default Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    Like I said, it's just a gut feeling when it comes to the 10.0 UVB bulbs and squirrel eyes. The Zoo Med site recommends that humans wear eye protection when checking UV light sources, but I use the 10.0 bulbs for my reptiles, it's not that I have anything against them per se.

    Always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to MBD!

    I've been doing a lot of reading about squirrel nutrition in a rehab setting, and investigated HHB long before I found this forum. They are obviously a very good way to get captive squirrels the nutrition they need as long as the diet as a whole is considered.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    I've been using HHB's for my rehab squirrels probably since the first month they came out. During that time I have had overwintered babies and long-term rehabs, as well as NR's, and never has there been a case of MBD under this roof. Granted I have not had anyone for longer than 18 months so far, but I still think it speaks well for HHB's. I don't use lights but it hasn't been a problem so far. Just my .02
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  16. #36
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    Default Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    Hey I'm new to this but reading about the hit D how young can you start with either the bulbs or sunlight? I have 3, 3 week olds and am wondering if I should be letting them get some sunlight.

  17. #37
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    Lightbulb Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    Quote Originally Posted by PBluejay2 View Post
    Sunlight filtered through glass won't cut it. The glass filters out a lot of the UV rays (even screen filters out a lot). I wheel my cages outside every day I can. You can also purchase UV bulbs at PetSmart. Look for "Repti-sun 10" (about 35 dollars) or "Repti-glo 10" (about 20 dollars), and keep them on during the day within two feet of the cage.

    Could it be in a room with vented "windows" not strait in the light? Maybe this way more shines thru?
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    Last edited by Squirells; 04-02-2017 at 12:23 PM. Reason: Mistake in size

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    Quote Originally Posted by island rehabber View Post
    Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

    It is recommended by many that squirrels get at least one hour per day of natural sunlight to help provide vitamin D as well as other health benefits. If you choose to do this, use careful judgement, common sense, and these guidelines:

    1. Never place a caged squirrel in direct sunlight.
    2. Always provide water and shade.
    3. On hot and/or humid days, indoor squirrels should be kept inside.
    4. To-be-released squirrels need to be slowly acclimated to summer temps.
    5. Never leave indoor squirrels (or unacclimated to-be-released squirrels) unattended outdoors.
    6. Make sure your squirrel is in a secure cage (they can chew through screening), safe from predators, and not exposed to mosquitoes.

    Symptoms of Heatstroke
    Mild--Damp fur, appears to be sweating, rapid heartbeat and breathing
    Moderate--Drooling or "foaming at the mouth," labored breathing, vomiting
    Severe--diarrhea (may contain blood or mucous), uncoordination, seizures, collapse

    If you see any of these symptoms, bring the squirrel indoors immediately and begin Emergency Cool-Down Procedures.

    A squirrel can develop heatstroke in as little as 10 minutes, even in the shade!
    I just bought vitamin d3 for my nyka. How many mgs should she get daily?

  19. #39
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    Default

    I noticed that when ever I take my Squirrel's out for some sun, and bring them back inside they get extremely hyper. Is this normal?!
    mama of 3

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