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Thread: New to the Board, have some questions.

  1. #1
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    Default New to the Board, have some questions.

    Hello all

    Thank you for adding me to this group. I have researched on here for quite a while and learned a lot of things over the years but Iíve never had to post. Today, I do have several questions. I have three 5/6 week old babies.

    -In the past I have been lucky enough to have babies in the spring. Iíve never released babies in the fall and am nervous for my little guys. Any advice is greatly appreciated on caring for them as the cold months approach. I am an hour outside of Chicago, Illinois. Iíve never used a nest box and am thinking of using one now. Good idea/bad idea? Any good sites where I can get a predator free, good one? Iím not looking to spend hundreds, just something to help them through the winter. When can I introduce them to the outdoors? In the warm months I had them out between 11/12 weeks but it will start getting cold here by then.

    -As I said, I have three babies. Two girls and one boy. Their eyes opened last week and the boy has a white/pink eye. Iíve never encountered this so any help is appreciated.

    -Last but not least, Iím exhausted!! Itís been about two years since I last had baby squirrels and lifeís changes are making me unusually tired. That combined with night time feeding, Iím pooped. How long can they go at night without a feeding? Right now they are eating 3ccís every 4 hours. (I started feeding 4ccís off of memory and realized that was too much). They were just introduced to block a few days ago and have been nibbling.

    Thanks for taking the time to read!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: New to the Board, have some questions.

    Hi Spookley
    to TheSquirrelBoard

    We release babies at 16 weeks. Unfortunately it will be cold in your area by then. I’m afraid you will need to over winter them. That makes for a long winter with bored ‘teenage’ squirrels. It’s quite a challenge.

    If you can post a pic of the babies and the pink/white eye we might be able to help.

    5/6 week olds don’t need night feedings. Get some rest. Feed them before you go to bed and first thing in the morning. Now that the eyes are open you can offer a rodent block. I give a commercial rodent block (Envigo Teklad 2018) and Henry’s Healthy Picky Eater block. The commercial block is free choice. The Henry’s block is a supplement so the amount received is limited. (1 per day each). After they are eating the block well you can start introducing heathy veggies.

    I think you might be underfeeding them. We feed based on the weight. We feed 5-7% of the weight per feeding.
    (Example .... a 100g baby would eat between 5-7ml per feeding) I’m guessing here but I bet a 5/6 week old squirrel in Illinois is at least 100g, maybe more.
    You can use a small kitchen scale. You can go to 5 hr feedings. You’re actually getting close to 6 hr feedings.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: New to the Board, have some questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    Hi Spookley
    to TheSquirrelBoard

    We release babies at 16 weeks. Unfortunately it will be cold in your area by then. Iím afraid you will need to over winter them. That makes for a long winter with bored Ďteenageí squirrels. Itís quite a challenge.

    If you can post a pic of the babies and the pink/white eye we might be able to help.

    5/6 week olds donít need night feedings. Get some rest. Feed them before you go to bed and first thing in the morning. Now that the eyes are open you can offer a rodent block. I give a commercial rodent block (Envigo Teklad 2018) and Henryís Healthy Picky Eater block. The commercial block is free choice. The Henryís block is a supplement so the amount received is limited. (1 per day each). After they are eating the block well you can start introducing heathy veggies.

    I think you might be underfeeding them. We feed based on the weight. We feed 5-7% of the weight per feeding.
    (Example .... a 100g baby would eat between 5-7ml per feeding) Iím guessing here but I bet a 5/6 week old squirrel in Illinois is at least 100g, maybe more.
    You can use a small kitchen scale. You can go to 5 hr feedings. Youíre actually getting close to 6 hr feedings.
    Thanks for the reply. "Over winter".....can you explain a little more?

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    Default Re: New to the Board, have some questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spookley View Post
    Thanks for the reply. "Over winter".....can you explain a little more?
    Over wintering is holding them through the winter for a spring release. There are many problems associated with a fall release in cold country. The cold is just one aspect. Another problem is associated with lack of foliage on the trees. Bare trees put them at a high risk of being taken by predators. They also donít have a stash of food collected to take them through the winter.

    Over wintering is definitely a challenge but it can be done.

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    Default Re: New to the Board, have some questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    Over wintering is holding them through the winter for a spring release. There are many problems associated with a fall release in cold country. The cold is just one aspect. Another problem is associated with lack of foliage on the trees. Bare trees put them at a high risk of being taken by predators. They also donít have a stash of food collected to take them through the winter.

    Over wintering is definitely a challenge but it can be done.

    Thanks again for responding. I tried attaching a photo, hope it works.

    So holding them through the winter, doesn't it get them used to humans more? What size cage?
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Default Re: New to the Board, have some questions.

    Oh my, thatís a bad one. That might be permanent. One blind eye doesnít prevent them from release but he definitely needs the extra time.

    No, holding through the winter wonít imprint them to humans. They might get more friendly than usual but squirrels wild up when given the opportunity. It is extremely rare for a squirrel to prefer human interaction to freedom in the trees. Even the friendliest squirrel can successfully be released. There are rare exceptions but I would say less than 1%.

    For 3 the bigger the better as far as a cage. Some times they get so wild and crazy that they canít have Ďout of cageí time so a spacious cage is important.

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: New to the Board, have some questions.

    I just realized that I didnít ask which formula they are on.
    The reason I asked is because I just read an interesting article about formulas with low arginine causing cataracts in puppies and kittens.

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  12. #8
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    Default Re: New to the Board, have some questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    I just realized that I didnít ask which formula they are on.
    The reason I asked is because I just read an interesting article about formulas with low arginine causing cataracts in puppies and kittens.
    I would hate it if I was the cause of his damaged eye! They are on Esbilac Puppy powder. I add a little bit of whipping cream for extra fat.

    I've never kept squirrels over the winter and am a little hesitant. I don't have a large cage and they would go nuts in the one I have. I may look for a rehabber in my area, otherwise my family just grew!

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    Default Re: New to the Board, have some questions.

    Just making sure.
    Is this the formula he's on?



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    Default Re: New to the Board, have some questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy in New York View Post
    Just making sure.
    Is this the formula he's on?


    I'm not at home right now so I had my daughter look at the can. She said our can at home does not have the blue banner on it. I'll double check the ingredients when I get home.

    On another note, I called the rehabber in my area. She has no idea what white eye is and said she would not take them. I looked to find others in my area and there are none close. Does anyone know of anyone close to Bartlett, IL who can help? I don't mind keeping them over the winter but as I said before, I have never done that. I don't even have a cage large enough to keep them in. If it comes down to it, I will take care of them if no one else is available. I don't want to see them die. I have a thing for the cute little guys!

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    Default Re: New to the Board, have some questions.

    This wildlife center isnít that close to you. They are in Princeton about 120 miles from you.
    More than likely she has a network of people that work with her. She might have a recommendation for someone closer. She is excellent. It would be worth the call to see if help is available near you.

    https://www.2ndhandranch.com/contact-us.html

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    Default Re: New to the Board, have some questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    This wildlife center isnít that close to you. They are in Princeton about 120 miles from you.
    More than likely she has a network of people that work with her. She might have a recommendation for someone closer. She is excellent. It would be worth the call to see if help is available near you.

    https://www.2ndhandranch.com/contact-us.html
    And make sure you tell her we sent you!

  19. #13
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    Default Re: New to the Board, have some questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    And make sure you tell her we sent you!
    I did!! I told her about my squirrels and my conversation here on the form and she said "I love that board". My husband and I will make the 2 hour drive this Saturday. She said her vet will look them over and they will live with her all winter until their release in the spring. If the little guy I have is blind, he will live out his days on her farm. I feel so much better finding a safe place for him. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.

    Regarding the food I used, I still feel bad about his eye. I don't see that blue ban on my can, but it is the same powder. Years ago I used powdered kitty milk. What's your recommendation on powdered milk?

    Thanks again everyone!!

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    Nancy in New York (09-05-2019)

  21. #14
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    Default Re: New to the Board, have some questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spookley View Post
    I did!! I told her about my squirrels and my conversation here on the form and she said "I love that board". My husband and I will make the 2 hour drive this Saturday. She said her vet will look them over and they will live with her all winter until their release in the spring. If the little guy I have is blind, he will live out his days on her farm. I feel so much better finding a safe place for him. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.

    Regarding the food I used, I still feel bad about his eye. I don't see that blue ban on my can, but it is the same powder. Years ago I used powdered kitty milk. What's your recommendation on powdered milk?

    Thanks again everyone!!

    I'm thrilled this has worked out so beautifully.
    Nancy is one in a million.
    Thank you too for making the 2 hour drive.
    You're the best!

    About the formula.
    Back when their formula was changed,
    the new cans were the ones with the blue banner.
    They also added pre and probiotics.

    Several months after that can was introduced they
    switched the label.

    People kept looking for the blue banner, and it
    didn't exist anymore.

    I made up a photo of the can with a statement
    If you don't see the blue banner, the third ingredient
    is dried whey protein concentrate.



    What you fed was exactly what we recommended.
    The can is the same, minus the blue banner
    which nobody can find anymore since the label switch.

    Wishing only the best for your little munchkins.


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  23. #15
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    Default Re: New to the Board, have some questions.

    I am SO happy for you. You couldnít have found a better place. When you leave your babies with Nancy you can walk away knowing that they are in the most competent and caring hands. I personally donít know how she does it but she does it with excellence. She rescues both domestic and wildlife.
    She has a special place in her heart for senior dogs that others have discarded like yesterdays news. She gives them a home until their time here is done. Everyone wants a puppy but no one wants the sad elderly dog with health problems. Thatís the ones Nancy takes. Yes, she is pretty special.



    Quote Originally Posted by Spookley View Post
    I did!! I told her about my squirrels and my conversation here on the form and she said "I love that board". My husband and I will make the 2 hour drive this Saturday. She said her vet will look them over and they will live with her all winter until their release in the spring. If the little guy I have is blind, he will live out his days on her farm. I feel so much better finding a safe place for him. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.

    Regarding the food I used, I still feel bad about his eye. I don't see that blue ban on my can, but it is the same powder. Years ago I used powdered kitty milk. What's your recommendation on powdered milk?

    Thanks again everyone!!

  24. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to HRT4SQRLS:

    island rehabber (09-05-2019), Nancy in New York (09-05-2019)

  25. #16
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    Default Re: New to the Board, have some questions.

    What a happy outcome! Your little ones truly will be in an angel's hands. Nancy is so special. Thank you for taking the time to find the right thing for these babies, and for your willingness to do whatever it takes. You are SO one of us.
    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."

    '...and the greatest of these, is Love. '

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