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Thread: Ground squirrel parents

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    Smile Ground squirrel parents

    Hello. So I destroyed a ground squirrel nest this spring while clearing a wood pile on our property. Mama took off and after almost 24 hours had not returned. I raised 7 babies from just a few days old. One baby's top incisors grew in wrong, then one fell out and didnt grow back. The rest were released but Tinkerbelle has stayed with us. She eats great and chews plenty but the single top tooth is just a tiny nub and we trim her bottom teeth every 3 weeks. She has her own bedroom, run of the house and a romping cage outside. She's spoiled and demanding, and hilariously curious and fun. Im glad to find a forum of other squirrel parents!

  2. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Tinkerbelle from:

    Snicker Bar (09-28-2020)

  3. #2
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    Default Re: Ground squirrel parents

    Welcome! I can't wait to see pics of her!

    So the official first question is always: What is her diet? We want to make sure she stays healthy!

  4. Serious fuzzy thank you's to CritterMom from:

    Tinkerbelle (10-06-2020)

  5. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Ground squirrel parents

    I was totally clueless about where to even begin when my first special needs girl fell out of a tree and into my heart ! The members here will be an amazing resource and support for you , as they have been for me There are many threads about tooth issues ; how to properly trim etc. I also have a spring baby that has “wonky” teeth . Sounds like you’ve done an amazing job! And so glad you detected her condition before release... That would have been terrible outcome in the wild; a slow and painful death. You are her hero

  6. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Snicker Bar from:

    Tinkerbelle (10-06-2020)

  7. #4
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    Default Re: What do I feed Tinkerbelle

    Hi again - I first found information about rehabbing the California Ground squirrels in an Animal Advocates paper by Mary Cummings. It gave much information I relied on while bottle feeding the babies, introducing a variety of solid foods, transitioning to an outdoor pre-release habitat, and ultimately the release plan for the rest of the bunch.

    I was surprised at the huge variety of edibles these squirrels eat in the wild. So, I offer Tinkerbelle a huge variety. She has a staple of rodent-diet pellets, also some guinea pig mix. These I hack into bite sized pieces so she can eat them without gnawing. But I leave some whole as well. She gets a variety of bird seed, meal worms, fresh greens from all over my property where her mom and other older relatives still live. Fruits and veges, chicken scratch, oatmeal, other cereal, dried fruits, nuts, flower petals, branches and leaves, hay, a salt lick, calcium grit, a fresh chunk of earth from time to time.

    I offer her pretty much anything I'm eating - well, more accurately I could admit she jumps up on the table and checks out my plate and helps herself to what she wants. Her favorite foods are peanuts (actually peanut butter), and tortilla chips (of all things).

    Spoiled? Nah.... well, maybe a little.

  8. #5
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    Default Re: Ground squirrel parents

    [QUOTE=Snicker Bar - I was totally clueless about where to even begin when my first special needs girl fell out of a tree and into my heart ! And so glad you detected her condition before release... That would have been terrible outcome in the wild; a slow and painful death....]

    Hi, yes, I didn't know anything about these squirrels that are all over our property, and never dreamed I would end up with a nest-full of babies to raise! It has been very interesting to learn and to share what I've learned.

    Since I had the other babies to compare, I did find Tinkerbelle's problem early. There was blood on the nipple after I fed her, and that's when I noticed her top incisors were spread apart so the bottom ones actually went in between them. Then she lost one of the top ones. I kept watching it, and comparing to the other babies as well as researching the condition. My only legal choices were to euthanize her or release her. The only choice I could live with was to see if I could give her a great life AND take care of her teeth. Fortunately it is pretty straight-forward. So far, so good I think.

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