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Thread: Age and diet

  1. #1
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    Default Age and diet

    Hi, I have two baby Red Squirrels that I rescued, Nutkin is the girl & Fidget is the boy, I found Nutkin on Memorial Day, four days after finding her dead mother and did not find Fidget until he had been without his mother/food/water for a whole entire week! Based on her development I believe Nutkin was 5 weeks old when I found her, that makes them around 9 weeks old now. Due to his being without food for so long, Fidget is much smaller than Nutkin and struggled with health for the first couple weeks I had him. He is doing great now, but in the last couple days has been refusing his formula or only eating 1-4 MLs, while Nutkin is still eating 4-12 MLs per each feeding (3x/day).
    Fidget is still eating seeds and nuts and (I think) the rodent block, although it's hard to tell since they stash it. Should I be concerned about him not wanting formula or is this normal for his age? I am more concerned because of how small he is and he seems to be a bit on the skinny side compared to his plump and muscular sister. He acts normal, is playful and looks healthy otherwise.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Age and diet

    Keep checking back for help and advice. Folks on here get pretty busy.

    See if they might eat some avocado without pits or skin. Sugar snap peas are a favorite as well. Keep trying to get formula in them as long as they will take it.

    What flavor block are you using? Try hhb picky blocks or hazelnut blocks when available.

    Keep us posted.

    Have any video or pics you can share?

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    Default Re: Age and diet

    Quote Originally Posted by Nutkin&Fidget View Post
    Hi, I have two baby Red Squirrels that I rescued, Nutkin is the girl & Fidget is the boy, I found Nutkin on Memorial Day, four days after finding her dead mother and did not find Fidget until he had been without his mother/food/water for a whole entire week! Based on her development I believe Nutkin was 5 weeks old when I found her, that makes them around 9 weeks old now. Due to his being without food for so long, Fidget is much smaller than Nutkin and struggled with health for the first couple weeks I had him. He is doing great now, but in the last couple days has been refusing his formula or only eating 1-4 MLs, while Nutkin is still eating 4-12 MLs per each feeding (3x/day).
    Fidget is still eating seeds and nuts and (I think) the rodent block, although it's hard to tell since they stash it. Should I be concerned about him not wanting formula or is this normal for his age? I am more concerned because of how small he is and he seems to be a bit on the skinny side compared to his plump and muscular sister. He acts normal, is playful and looks healthy otherwise.

    You should be concerned (very concerned) about them eating lots of seeds and nuts, that will result in MBD after a while. Here is a link to the healthy squirrel diet:

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Pet-Squirrels

    Stop the seeds and nuts, change to a healthy diet and continue to offer Fidget formula... you might try placing it in a shallow dish to see if he'll lap it up that way.


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    Default Re: Age and diet

    In the nuts and seeds, they are mostly getting pine cones and sunflower seeds. I only give them a little of other nuts here and there, I found sunflower seeds as a good food during research on an orphaned wildlife site. Should I not give them sunflower seeds?

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    Default Re: Age and diet

    Also trying to figure out what other "wild food" to give besides pinecones. I am in Alaska and there is not much that I know of them eating here that I can find ripe right now... No berries or such yet. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    I raised/rescued a rabbit, cat and Raccoon before, but never a squirrel.

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    Default Re: Age and diet

    I am feeding Mazuri rodent block, only thing available here and got a bag of Kaytee fortidiet rodent health off Amazon that I haven't opened yet. Still haven't figured out how to add pictures.

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    Default Re: Age and diet

    Oh and what is MBD?

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    Default Re: Age and diet

    [ATTACH]315325
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    Default Re: Age and diet

    Beautiful babies!

    MBD is metabolic bone disease. When they don't get proper calcium in their diet, the body pulls it from their bones causing them to become weak etc. A very dangerous and life threatening condition for squirrels.

    That's why formula intake is so important or the consumption of one or two rodent blocks a day will supplement their calcium needs. In the wild they eat enough wild food to take care of the problem. Nuts and seeds (sunflower) pull calcium from the body.

    If they won't eat the blocks you have as they are you can grind them up and make a homemade block out of them that they tend to eat better. Most folks order HHB's from Henrys to get them though the early development stages.

    You should read the info on squirrel care in the link posted by Spanky above. 6 pages I think.

    Thanks for helping your little sweet babies!

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    Default Re: Age and diet

    Quote Originally Posted by Nutkin&Fidget View Post
    I am feeding Mazuri rodent block, only thing available here and got a bag of Kaytee fortidiet rodent health off Amazon that I haven't opened yet. Still haven't figured out how to add pictures.

    The Mazuri is very good but they have to actually eat it.. the Kaytee is a last resort kind of thing.

    Like a toddler that would rather gummy bears than spinach, squirrels would rather sunflower seeds than Mazuri. So if you are willing to give them their fill of seeds and cones, they'll never eat the block.

    In case you ever rescue squirrels in the future, the block is the first and only solid food that should be given.. for a week or more... until they are eating the block. Then start introducing veggies... seeds and nuts are occasional treats. I continue to hand out block individually twice a day before serving up the veggie buffets... it usually gets eaten before the buffet is ready. There are advantages to having multiple squirrels too.. giving them block with no other food in the cage, they'll eat it before surrendering to a cage mate. They'd probably eat just about anything before surrendering it to a cage mate!


    Quote Originally Posted by Nutkin&Fidget View Post
    Oh and what is MBD?
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Bone-Disease)

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    Default Re: Age and diet

    Since these are red squirrels, their basic diet is made up mostly of seeds and fiber from conifers: pine cones and pine nuts. Their bodies can tolerate more phosphorous vs calcium than other arboreal squirrel species who don't live on conifers. However, not sure about the sunflower seeds so I definitely would limit those. (Not too many sunflowers in Alaska, right? )
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  23. #12
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    Default Re: Age and diet

    Quote Originally Posted by island rehabber View Post
    Since these are red squirrels, their basic diet is made up mostly of seeds and fiber from conifers: pine cones and pine nuts. Their bodies can tolerate more phosphorous vs calcium than other arboreal squirrel species who don't live on conifers. However, not sure about the sunflower seeds so I definitely would limit those. (Not too many sunflowers in Alaska, right? )
    Haha, yeah, definitely not wild sunflowers here. I am going to stop all treats 'til evening for my babies and give only formula and blocks in am, then add in some other healthy foods mid-day. I will keep giving lots of pinecones and they already get more block then they can consume so not limiting that. Fidget ate 4-7 MLs last few feedings so that's better. Don't have any way to get Henry blocks because Amazon is taking so long for delivery that they won't get here soon enough to make a difference. I ordered the Fox Valley formula May 26 and it just arrived a few days ago. So babies have been living off of Goat milk formula and (don't cringe) Espilac. Nutkin did great on it, but Fidget didn't that's when I found the goat milk recipe here. I still add Pedialyte to their formula also, is that okay? Just 2T per batch. It seemed to keep them from getting soft stool. So I haven't tried taking it out again.

  24. #13
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    Default Re: Age and diet

    Quote Originally Posted by Spanky View Post

    The Mazuri is very good but they have to actually eat it.. the Kaytee is a last resort kind of thing.

    Like a toddler that would rather gummy bears than spinach, squirrels would rather sunflower seeds than Mazuri. So if you are willing to give them their fill of seeds and cones, they'll never eat the block.

    In case you ever rescue squirrels in the future, the block is the first and only solid food that should be given.. for a week or more... until they are eating the block. Then start introducing veggies... seeds and nuts are occasional treats. I continue to hand out block individually twice a day before serving up the veggie buffets... it usually gets eaten before the buffet is ready. There are advantages to having multiple squirrels too.. giving them block with no other food in the cage, they'll eat it before surrendering to a cage mate. They'd probably eat just about anything before surrendering it to a cage mate!




    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Bone-Disease)
    Thanks, I actually did do that right, they didn't get other food until they were eating the rodent block. I just made the mistake of offering other foods on the morning once I started adding them in. Do you think it is better to limit block so they feel the need to eat right away? Or give it freely as I have been?

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  26. #14
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    Default Re: Age and diet

    Quote Originally Posted by Nutkin&Fidget View Post
    Thanks, I actually did do that right, they didn't get other food until they were eating the rodent block. I just made the mistake of offering other foods on the morning once I started adding them in. Do you think it is better to limit block so they feel the need to eat right away? Or give it freely as I have been?
    With the Mazuri you need to free feed it as they need to eat quite a bit of that.... most of us here feed Henry's which is a better tasting block and a supplemental type block so they need only to eat 2 blocks or so a day. Best if the Mazuri were a majority of what they eat.

    https://www.henryspets.com/squirrel-diet/

    https://www.amazon.com/Henrys-Picky-...NsaWNrPXRydWU=


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    Default Re: Age and diet

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    Here is picture to show how much bigger Nutkin is than Fidget. I know it's blurry, but you probably know that squirrels almost never hold still.

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    Default Re: Age and diet

    Quote Originally Posted by Nutkin&Fidget View Post
    Also trying to figure out what other "wild food" to give besides pinecones.
    There are not red squirrels where I am here in the South but I grew up in Michigan. And in the Upper Peninsula especially it seemed red squirrels dominate. I still return to the southern shore of Lake Superior and there are red squirrels where we camp... and they pretty much ignore the nuts I try to share with them. I am usually there in early May, which is well before spring and the wild red's seem to exist solely on pine cones.

    The chipmunks however, will hoard away as many nuts as I am willing to hand out!!!

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  31. #17
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    Default Re: Age and diet

    So I know pansies and Violas are edible, but they are not in the list of flowers to feed. Do these have health benefits for my babies or would they just be a treat?

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