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Thread: Newbie Squirrel Momma

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Northwest Suburbs
    Thanked: 2

    Default Newbie Squirrel Momma

    I'm a newbie to this amazing site but I grew up helping my mom raise baby squirrels that my grandfather (who was a conservation officer/game warden) would bring when they were abandoned or casualties of logging. On April 11, I rescued 4 baby grey squirrels - 2 boys and 2 girls. They originally were found in a car that had been parked all winter and discovered when they popped the hood. The babies were placed in a shoe box next to the car, but their mom did not return 10 hours later and at 10pm I went and picked them up after no-one would help and said just let nature run it's course I bottle fed them puppy formula and they slept in their shoe box in the middle of my king size bed with a heating pad underneath them for warm. I didn't want to not hear them if they woke up and wanted to eat. This would be their place until the graduated to their pre-release cage we made them. My bf said "I never ever would have imagined, I'd ever say I slept with squirrels in my bed!" He soon fell in love with them. Two days after we started caring for them, they opened their eyes. They ate well, we used wet washcloths to make sure they used the bathroom after each feeding. They eventually began eating pureed baby fruits and loved it! A couple weeks later we had to travel out of town as my mom was sick. While we down there my mom passed and then next evening we lost one of the little girls. She crawled up in the blanket and got to far away from the heating pad - and being temperature dependent she got too cold and we couldn't get her warmed quick enough and she passed. My heart broke two days in row. By the first weekend of May the babies were being introduced to fruits and nuts and the following week had weaned themselves off the bottles. We graduated them to a large dog crate that we had customized with small square wire mesh, a hollowed out log for them to run through and hid/sleep and a branch that ran the length of the cage and sat at an angle to simulate a tree they could climb. They loved it! We started bringing in the fresh tree branches from the maple tree with the helicopters attached. It would be gone within 30 minutes! So Memorial day approached and we decided that would be our "launch weekend". In the week leading up we placed the crate outside for them to adapt to the noises, weather, etc. for a couple hours each day. Saturday came and we took the cage out to the large maple tree, opened the door and watched as they timidly experienced their new world. They slowly made their way to the tree and began exploring. A few hours later, we checked on them and they were sprawled out on the lowest limb. As I sat to watch them, the little girl came down the tree and crawled up on my shoulder and laid down - oh no... This would be the beginning of her following me into the yard - chasing would be better description - and jumping up and crawling back on my shoulder. We realized we had a failure to launch. So we decided it wasn't safe for her to stay outside over night. At dusk I went to check on the boys and they both immediately came to me. We brought them all inside and would wait a couple more weeks for them to get older. We continued with their daily outside time and branches from the trees outside that they would devour in minutes. We let them have "playtime" several times a day and we would open the door and they would run around the outside of the cage and up the wall around the picture frames. They were hilarious to watch. One night as I was watching them play I hit me that they had not where they felt "safe" to go at night when they were outside. So I ordered a wooden squirrel box online and placed it in their cage so they could get used to it. We made sure to put food inside so they would explore it. They soon would sleep inside. So last Sunday we decided it was launch day #2. We hung the box in the same tree and released the babies again. This time, they explored more and were in the box at dusk. I was a happy momma. The next morning, I called "Hi babies!" and out popped three little heads - they made it through their first night. I would see them again on Tuesday morning, but Tuesday evening they were not in their box at dusk, again missing Wednesday morning and I was so sad. I wanted them to be free and safe - I just wasn't ready to never see them again. So Thursday morning, I went out again and called "Hi babies" and here comes the little girl. She jumped on my shoulder and came and gave me a kiss on my lips as she had when she was inside every morning. My heart was happy again. She would return every morning and I would see the boys from a distance - more timid as always. Last night was their first major thunderstorm - it was so loud all night and must have scared them so. I went out this morning and as I said "Hi babies" a little squirrel head popped out of the box. They had found safety in the storm! We had breakfast (cherries and peanuts) and she sat on my shoulder for 45 minutes. Then she jumped back on the trunk of the tree and took off. It just makes my heart happy everyday that I get to see her. Even if it is for only a short time that I get these moments, it will forever be a memory of how this little squirrel and I shared an amazing bond.

    Attachment 302080

  2. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Brickett1973:

    cava (06-10-2018), HRT4SQRLS (06-10-2018)

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Planet Earth
    Thanked: 8785

    Default Re: Newbie Squirrel Momma

    to TSB Brickett
    Reading your post brings many questions to mind but are moot at this point since babies have been released but I'm glad you joined TSB.
    Our forums are full of information that I know can help you in the future with any babies you may acquire and you are welcome to ask
    any and all questions that come to mind. We are all about the squirrels!
    State Licensed
    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator

  4. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to stepnstone:

    cava (06-10-2018), Mel1959 (06-11-2018)

  5. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Thanked: 7532

    Default Re: Newbie Squirrel Momma

    to TheSquirrelBoard

    Thank you for helping the babies. We would love to see pics. I couldn't get the attachment to open. We will be glad to help in the future if you get babies again. If you have a question, no doubt, someone has the answer.

    Here's is a link we like to share. It contains good basic information for raising baby squirrels.

    Here's a link to the Healthy Diet for captive squirrels.

    When someone has raised baby squirrels they seem to magically find you in the future.
    Sorry about your mom and the one that passed.

  6. 3 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to HRT4SQRLS:

    Mel1959 (06-11-2018), Nancy in New York (06-11-2018), stepnstone (06-11-2018)

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