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Thread: Solids are not for me !!

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Question Solids are not for me !!

    Greetings to dear All!

    Found a lone baby Chipmunk 3 weeks ago in an unoccupied house. It did not make any sound or any serious attempt to run away, so kept it on a window sill. When re-visited after about 6 hours it was still there; no screaming, so brought home. Reading various posts in this forum and articles from the web, its age is guesstimated to be about 5 weeks when found, making it approx. 8 weeks old now.
    When unattended, it’s now housed in a 2 x 1 x 1 feet cage and we have no intention to restrict its life to such unnatural environment forever. But we have a few concerns which are listed below;

    1. First day or so, it did not consume anything at all, but now drinks only and only “Ensure” Vanilla flavored milk. We tried fruits (Mango, Banana, Papaya) vegies (Carrots, Pumpkins, sweet-potatoes) both in pulped and solid form, bread crust, cookies, nuts etc., etc.
    No way! not interested at all, just sniffs and licks; that’s all.

    2. When a danger is sensed, it freezes rather than running to a hiding (that’s how we held it by hand the very first day); and our garden and surroundings are visited by all kinds of predators like stray cats, snakes, mongoose, raptor birds etc.; also, scores of other adult Chipmunks.

    3. We live in Colombo, Sri Lanka; a tropical country - temperature about 26C-32C throughout the year. Despite such hot whether it loves to be curdled close to our bodies for warmth and perhaps, for security.

    For all above reasons, we feel it is best to babysit the poor thing until it is at least 4 - 6 months old and until she makes up her mind to eat solids etc.,

    My questions are;
    Will continuous feeding of “Ensure” cause any long-term harm?
    We cannot bring our hearts to let it starve on a “we give nothing until you eat solids !” kinda stance either, but could they go without consuming any solids forever?

    Sorry for the long post, but We don’t have a variety of pet food / accessory stores, nor rehab centers to resort to as alternatives in our locality.

    Thanking you in advance,

    ViKARLL

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

    Chirps (04-08-2021)

  3. #2
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    Default Re: Solids are not for me !!

    I know very little about chipmunks however I'm guessing they eat a formula at that age like we would give a baby squirrel. It's a special formula specific for squirrels and certain other wildlife.
    Foxvalley is one Esbilac another sometimes a goat milk formula.
    I don't know the formula for a chippy, I'm sure someone here will.
    It's extremely important to give them the proper diet while they are babies for them to develop healthily.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help, however hang on while others chime in.
    Thank you for rescuing this little one and good luck.
    Charley Chuckles gone from my arms FOREVER in my heart 8/14/04-3/7/13
    Simon, our time was too short together, but you gave us so much love, be with CC now 3/7/14


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  4. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Charley Chuckles from:

    Chirps (04-08-2021)

  5. #3
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    Default Re: Solids are not for me !!

    I’ve never raised a chipmunk, others on this forum have so I hope they chime in.

    The only problem with the Ensure is that it contains a lot of sugar. If you found him at 3 weeks he would have still been on moms milk. Since you didn’t provide any type of formula that has been used with wildlife all you can hope is that he received enough of the necessary nutrients to not develop Metabolic Bone Disease. MBD is caused from an imbalance of phosphorous to calcium in the body. When phosphorous levels are high without the proper calcium provided the body pulls calcium from the bones to maintain the balance. This results in hind end paralysis, seizures and eventually death if it’s not treated.

    I am attaching the pages regarding chipmunk care from the Wild Mammal Baby book for you to have. I think you should try to find some of the foods listed and specifically some type of rodent block. If you intend to keep him for that long before releasing him he will need to eat a rodent block.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  6. 4 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Mel1959:

    Buddy (04-08-2021), Chirps (04-08-2021), stepnstone (04-08-2021), ViKARLL (04-08-2021)

  7. #4
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    Default Re: Solids are not for me !!

    Thank you, Charley Chuckles for your kind response.

    Mel1959 I have no words to say! I am indebted to you for the much valuable information passed.
    Especially on the MBD issue. May be its an unreasonable and too techno-medical question to ask, but Ensure has 450mg Calcium and 235mg Phosphorus per 100g.
    How does it sound? At least in comparison to a more specialized formula you find there for Squirrels / Chipmunks ?

    ...If you intend to keep him for that long before releasing him....
    Do you opine that it will be ready to “face the world” earlier?
    By keeping it too long, would I be impeding / diminishing her natural ability for survival? Right now, its sense for security is zero.

    Also, we are compelled to release her only in our bedroom (which has the minimum clutter) with door and all windows closed, under close supervision. She once fled into our Store Room and could not find the way back for one whole day. Next day, we had to embark a massive search operation and the anxiety and stress on us was far from comforting!

    Thank you again Mel1959 for your invaluable information in the book!

  8. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to ViKARLL:

    Buddy (04-09-2021), Mel1959 (04-08-2021)

  9. #5
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    Default Re: Solids are not for me !!

    You’re welcome, I’m glad I can help.

    I think you have to follow your gut. If you sense that she is ill-equipped to live on her own then hang on to her. There could be some medical reason why mom abandoned her, if that may be what happened. It’s hard to say, but your observations of her behavior sound like she could be a bit “off”.

    The calcium to phosphorous ratio in the Ensure sounds about perfect. We like to have a 2:1 calcium to phosphorous ratio in most foods, or low phosphorous, to prevent MBD.

    When I rehab squirrels I take them into my bedroom or bathroom to run and practice jumping....there’s fewer places for them to get into and it makes them easier to catch.

    Keep us updated as your journey with Chippie continues.

  10. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Mel1959:

    Buddy (04-09-2021), ViKARLL (04-08-2021)

  11. #6
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    Default Re: Solids are not for me !!

    Thank you Mel1959 for the comforting observation on Ensure. Nevertheless, we will try our best to follow the guidelines of the book you sent and try to introduce solid foods ASAP.

    And surely, shall keep TSB posted on the progress as we go

  12. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to ViKARLL:

    Buddy (04-09-2021), Mel1959 (04-09-2021)

  13. #7
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    Default Re: Solids are not for me !!

    Just like putting a switch "On", our little chippy started eating solids!
    Ranging from my Smartphone cover to baked fish, now it nibbles anything and everything but is careful to swallow only food. Also, drinks soup, water, fruit juice etc.
    I am now greatly relieved that I might be able to release it sooner than anticipated earlier.

    My only persisting worry is her reaction to danger. Last day she jumped onto the TV Remote, causing it to fall on ground making a loud noise. Getting alarmed, instead of running under cover she froze and curled to a ball, unmoving. I guess this behaviour needs further monitoring, before release to hostile environs.

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