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Thread: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

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    Default Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    I know this is probably going to sound like a ridiculous question, but we rescued our baby when we got a call late at night 2 1/2 weeks ago. His eyes were still closed and nearly a week later he opened them and have been open for about a week and a half now. He will always come to us for feedings. We did make the mistake of letting him play in a small area on the floor last week we thought a little bit of time out each day was good for him but then I had asked that question from a rehabber and was advised that they should not be doing any of that yet. Now that he knows thereís a whole world out there he seems more anxious to be out of his cage. Tonight when I was switching out his syringe to put more formula in he crawled down my leg and onto the floor so my daughter went to pick him up, and as they usually ďplayĒ he will play wrestle her fingers, tonight be nibbled on one and bit down a little hard and let out a squeak when he did it. Before tonight we have never heard that sound. Usually while heís eating as well he likes to be pet but tonight weíve noticed instead of just sitting and relaxing with us after he was done eating he seemed to want to be on the go. Then, he was extremely vocal, especially when I went to give him some little rubs. Is he just going through a preteen phase? He will be 7 weeks next week it appears from the timeline. Iíd like for him to continue to have the bond with her and I that he has seem to built so this new behavior is confusing but perhaps itís normal?

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    Unhappy Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    @islandrehabber I didnít want to overload your messages, could you help?

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DanniCristina View Post
    I know this is probably going to sound like a ridiculous question, but we rescued our baby when we got a call late at night 2 1/2 weeks ago. His eyes were still closed and nearly a week later he opened them and have been open for about a week and a half now. He will always come to us for feedings. We did make the mistake of letting him play in a small area on the floor last week we thought a little bit of time out each day was good for him but then I had asked that question from a rehabber and was advised that they should not be doing any of that yet. Now that he knows thereís a whole world out there he seems more anxious to be out of his cage. Tonight when I was switching out his syringe to put more formula in he crawled down my leg and onto the floor so my daughter went to pick him up, and as they usually ďplayĒ he will play wrestle her fingers, tonight be nibbled on one and bit down a little hard and let out a squeak when he did it. Before tonight we have never heard that sound. Usually while heís eating as well he likes to be pet but tonight weíve noticed instead of just sitting and relaxing with us after he was done eating he seemed to want to be on the go. Then, he was extremely vocal, especially when I went to give him some little rubs. Is he just going through a preteen phase? He will be 7 weeks next week it appears from the timeline. Iíd like for him to continue to have the bond with her and I that he has seem to built so this new behavior is confusing but perhaps itís normal?
    I would say if it is a squeaky sound itís not threatening. If it was a growl it could have been something that he smelled on her hands he didnít like. Squirrels are much like dogs I would say. If they put their teeth on you it isnít always aggressive. They nibble and lick to love on us. Yes they apply a little pressure when playing but I think it is their way of testing how hard they can nibble on us. So when they do that say ouch, something consistent though. They learn what it means which is saying that hurts. I use ousie, ousie, ousie...he knows not to bite any harder. Iím not saying they wonít bite because they have teeth and a mouth, and also they usually pick one person in the house. Changing lotions and body wash shampoos cleaning supplies usually set them off. Tuff attacked me around 12 weeks because I had been cleaning with bleach. Lesson learned, do not touch him after cleaning with bleach until the next day. I almost got it again because I had been working on the pool=chlorine=bleach. It scared me but my boy is 7 months. So in saying that to say this. They make sounds like humming which sounds like a low growl or a purr which means they are happy, squeaks are usually hurt or playful, growls usually come with a push you away with their paws, which is a warning to leave me alone. Teeth chattering is also a warning which means give me a lot of space. Believe me you will know it when you hear it. You will be tempted to go whatís wrong and move closer, which usually is a bad idea. They are lightening fast when mad. So all in all yes they need time out of the cage supervised very closely, always monitor them around children but again they chose one person in the house usually. Make sure you squirrel proof his areas meaning nothing plugged in because that will kill them. Keep anything that might be dangerous put away while they are out, hide your remotes they will eat the buttons off, get him a cat tree to run up and down. He is young and curious, but at that age he can get lost or hurt because they are still a tad clumsy. The mother usually doesnít let them out of the nest until weened which is 14-16 weeks.

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    This information is invaluable to me, thank you so very much!! It was a squeak that was kind of loud, the first one we ever heard from him- as he bit down harder than normal on her finger tip. He seems to want to be out of his cage often now that he has been out to play before. We will make sure that we keep our hands extra clean and no additional scents on us when we are around him. You said that they usually choose one person, so I am thinking they form a close bond with their human?

    He is going on 7 weeks, we ordered him the Teklad Global Rat Food Pellets 2018, I just want to make sure those are the correct ones and not a different Tekland I was supposed to order? I noticed since he has been on Clavamox, his poops donít seem to be as much, and they are kind of long and harder, darker again and not like the formula poops. Could he be dehydrated? Or constipated? He was almost dead when we found him, we have worked around the clock to ensure his survival and I want him to thrive. I truly appreciate all of your help. I am so happy I found this board.

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DanniCristina View Post
    This information is invaluable to me, thank you so very much!! It was a squeak that was kind of loud, the first one we ever heard from him- as he bit down harder than normal on her finger tip. He seems to want to be out of his cage often now that he has been out to play before. We will make sure that we keep our hands extra clean and no additional scents on us when we are around him. You said that they usually choose one person, so I am thinking they form a close bond with their human?

    He is going on 7 weeks, we ordered him the Teklad Global Rat Food Pellets 2018, I just want to make sure those are the correct ones and not a different Tekland I was supposed to order? I noticed since he has been on Clavamox, his poops donít seem to be as much, and they are kind of long and harder, darker again and not like the formula poops. Could he be dehydrated? Or constipated? He was almost dead when we found him, we have worked around the clock to ensure his survival and I want him to thrive. I truly appreciate all of your help. I am so happy I found this board.
    The tekland is what I also feed Tuff but I also give him Henryís blocks. Henryís give them 100% of his nutritional value. Henryís is the first solid foods they should have. You can search for their website. They make food formulated for squirrels and you can also directly order formula from them. I will put the link in another message for you. At 7 weeks he should still be on formula, fox valley 20/50 or esbilac puppy powdered formula is the best. He could be dehydrated with the poops being like that. You can hydrate between feeding with pedialyte clear unflavored or just water. DO NOT mix pedialyte with the formula. You can add him a water bottle the kind that hangs on the side of the cage he should have that offered to him around 5 weeks. Yes they form a very close bond with humans but as I said they usually pick just one person and they can be dangerous to any other people that mess with that person. They also become protective of what is his. Some are food aggressive, some are cage protective. I got lucky with Tuff he doesnít care what I do to his cage really, the older he gets the less he likes it though. Some stash foods, something Tuff doesnít do either. I was very careful who was around Tuff and no one is allowed to touch him or do anything with him now he is almost full grown. They will become very protective of their person and can and will show aggression which is not what I think he did. Just making you aware of what may come to pass. They love to play at 7 weeks, everything is new to them. Take advantage of it they are a laugh a minute. Get him stuffed toys with no eyes or squeakers in them. I hung my old boot socks in his cage, just be careful that their claws donít get hung in them. He climbs and hangs from them.
    Enjoy your time with him, feed him and love him (best time is at sundown). They will love you back 10 fold!!!
    Read a lot on here, read the sticky notes. Study this page it is amazing at the information that it holds!!!!

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions


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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    My Joe makes a very adorable sounding squeak when he has almonds, but that adorable squeak is a big ol "I'll bite!" He only seems to make the sound around his most beloved foods. He makes little soft chatter growls when he has climbed uphigh & wants us to notice, soft chatters to play, & super soft chatter growls to snuggle wrestle. Loud chatters are defensive. I can clean his cage out, but he has to be climbing me the whole time with annoyingly through supervision! His "pee shelf" (his #1 potty spot) requires more frequent cleaning & he doesn't care as much about that.

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    Thank you! He seems to make a high pitched shriek/squeak around his food too or if heís upset. He does this chattering sound when he wants food, itís adorable. He seems to like to play in his cage, like having us chase him around it with our hands while we are holding one of his softer toys he gets so excited! Once heís on the floor and playing thatís when he seems to be acting like a little teenager! Sometimes I feel loved and other times I feel bullied Haha

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuff View Post
    The tekland is what I also feed Tuff but I also give him Henryís blocks. Henryís give them 100% of his nutritional value. Henryís is the first solid foods they should have. You can search for their website. They make food formulated for squirrels and you can also directly order formula from them. I will put the link in another message for you. At 7 weeks he should still be on formula, fox valley 20/50 or esbilac puppy powdered formula is the best. He could be dehydrated with the poops being like that. You can hydrate between feeding with pedialyte clear unflavored or just water. DO NOT mix pedialyte with the formula. You can add him a water bottle the kind that hangs on the side of the cage he should have that offered to him around 5 weeks. Yes they form a very close bond with humans but as I said they usually pick just one person and they can be dangerous to any other people that mess with that person. They also become protective of what is his. Some are food aggressive, some are cage protective. I got lucky with Tuff he doesnít care what I do to his cage really, the older he gets the less he likes it though. Some stash foods, something Tuff doesnít do either. I was very careful who was around Tuff and no one is allowed to touch him or do anything with him now he is almost full grown. They will become very protective of their person and can and will show aggression which is not what I think he did. Just making you aware of what may come to pass. They love to play at 7 weeks, everything is new to them. Take advantage of it they are a laugh a minute. Get him stuffed toys with no eyes or squeakers in them. I hung my old boot socks in his cage, just be careful that their claws donít get hung in them. He climbs and hangs from them.
    Enjoy your time with him, feed him and love him (best time is at sundown). They will love you back 10 fold!!!
    Read a lot on here, read the sticky notes. Study this page it is amazing at the information that it holds!!!!
    Thank you for all of this!! Do some people on here end up keeping them as pets for good? If so, is it because they tried to release and it didnít work? I am so attached to Murphy itís going to be so hard to let him go but I know thatís what is best if we can.

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DanniCristina View Post
    Thank you for all of this!! Do some people on here end up keeping them as pets for good? If so, is it because they tried to release and it didnít work? I am so attached to Murphy itís going to be so hard to let him go but I know thatís what is best if we can.
    Well I think itís more of some are kept because they have a medical issue that requires us to take care of them for the remainder of their life. Things from head trama, para, teeth, amputated limbs, blind, things like that. There are some that have no idea that they belong in the trees. They donít want to go, they want the cushy life of A/C and heat. None of us hope for that our goal is to raise them and release them to be free. Iím struggling with mine at the moment because he spends most of his time pacing wanting back inside the house. Oh he will romp in the trees but the minute I am out of his site he comes and searches for me. Heís just not ready and he has been outside in his release room since March. Itís crazy the bond that he has with me, but that can change quickly.

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DanniCristina View Post
    Thank you for all of this!! Do some people on here end up keeping them as pets for good? If so, is it because they tried to release and it didnít work? I am so attached to Murphy itís going to be so hard to let him go but I know thatís what is best if we can.
    The older they become, the stronger their desire to be outside becomes. They are wired to be fruitful and multiply. Males can become quite aggressive towards their human caretakers in some instances. (The dominant male gets first dibs on the females in heat.) They are very willful. If they don't get the positive attention they desire, they will settle for the negative attention that comes from chewing on things. They range wider and wider within the house looking for food and can make some poor choices. Squirrel proofing can become an ongoing chore. Eventually all sorts of things will have a chunk taken out. (Their teeth are growing constantly so they have a need to chew.) Just because they ignored a potential hazard last week, doesn't mean they will ignore it this week.

    They are ultimately very high maintenance and 98% of them have no desire to be cooped up inside, in the long run. Some take longer than others to get to this point.

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    I appreciate how helpful everyone has been to me here, especially with me being a new user! Another member confirmed my recent suspicions that our Murphy is actually a girl, not a boy! She seems healthy to me for the most part, she did just finish her Clavamox last night, and does not have constipation anymore either, so great news! I am really trying to find out what toys are appropriate for play besides the safe stuffed animal... any wooden toys for chewing? I would welcome any idea's. Also, I did ask on another thread, just waiting to hear back if a 1 inch bar spacing is okay for a cage, or must they be only half inch. I was offered a great cage to upgrade her in but it is 1 inch spacing.

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DanniCristina View Post
    Also, I did ask on another thread, just waiting to hear back if a 1 inch bar spacing is okay for a cage, or must they be only half inch. I was offered a great cage to upgrade her in but it is 1 inch spacing.
    One inch is too large, it allows them to get their head in and chew on the bars which can cause serious tooth problems which might create a permanent disability.

    They love to run and jump. Eventually they will begin practicing escape and evasion, doing some lightening fast parkour type moves. They like to play with their caretakers, much more so than amusing themselves. Some people put on light gloves or socks for some of the practice.

    For chewing you can given oak branches and some other species as well, but just not random branches. Some like to chew on deer antlers. Give bits of plain cardboard to see if that hold any interest. You can also give materials with which a nest can be made.

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Monkey View Post
    One inch is too large, it allows them to get their head in and chew on the bars which can cause serious tooth problems which might create a permanent disability.

    They love to run and jump. Eventually they will begin practicing escape and evasion, doing some lightening fast parkour type moves. They like to play with their caretakers, much more so than amusing themselves. Some people put on light gloves or socks for some of the practice.

    For chewing you can given oak branches and some other species as well, but just not random branches. Some like to chew on deer antlers. Give bits of plain cardboard to see if that hold any interest. You can also give materials with which a nest can be made.

    Thank you for this!! Iíll order an antler off line! She does love to run circles around me then do this run/jump on me, then run down my back, up it again, to the top of my head then sit on my shoulders. She is 8 weeks, how long before we can take the heating pad out? Iíll also order a half inch bar cage instead! Thank you!

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DanniCristina View Post
    Thank you for this!! Iíll order an antler off line! She does love to run circles around me then do this run/jump on me, then run down my back, up it again, to the top of my head then sit on my shoulders. She is 8 weeks, how long before we can take the heating pad out? Iíll also order a half inch bar cage instead! Thank you!
    Gosh the heating pad is something I never quite got an answer on, and believe you me I googled and googled and searched and searched. But I do believe I read on here or another page, once they get fully furred than you can do away with the heating pad. Tuff still sleeps on fleece because itís soft and if he gets cold he has his cube packed out with fleece and toilet paper lol.

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuff View Post
    Gosh the heating pad is something I never quite got an answer on, and believe you me I googled and googled and searched and searched. But I do believe I read on here or another page, once they get fully furred than you can do away with the heating pad. Tuff still sleeps on fleece because itís soft and if he gets cold he has his cube packed out with fleece and toilet paper lol.
    I have also tried to find an answer and I have fallen short! I have a cozy fleecy area for her too, maybe I should give her some shredding materials as well. I clean her cage daily, I was surprised that even though she does pee/poop on the papers on the other side of cage, she is starting to poop even where she sleeps lately. Itís like her potty training is back stepping. Itís warm in the room we have her in, I just donít want to make her too cold at night if she still needs the pad.

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    Once they're fully furred and able to hide in a nest on their own or tuck themselves in, the heating pad isn't necessary. Joe became too active to be a "bra baby" around 6 weeks, and transitioned to a cage around 7 weeks. We used a tall ferret cage, but he gets long periods of supervised free time 2-3 times per day.

    I completely understand your loving your baby so much you think about keeping her, as I felt the same way! However, as has been mentiioned, the urge to go out and be destructive gets stronger and your baby will become aggressive to other household members. My daughter prevented Joe from throwing a small plastic container off of a shelf and he ran over and bit her arm. He's very demanding of time, not conscious of how sharp his teeth and claws are, and my husband and daughter actively avoid being in the room when he is running around. He's only 11 weeks old, but displays an increasing list of squirrel milestones that let me know he's ready, such as developing or remodeling multiple dreys (beds) in his enclosure, interest in a variety of outdoor vegetation when offered, hiding snacks in places around the room when out, etc. We are planning to build him an outdoor enclosure for soft release as soon as the weather allows! He isn't "mean" he's a wild animal and has no other way to tell us that he needs to be allowed to be a squirrel.

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    Quote Originally Posted by KCullen View Post
    Once they're fully furred and able to hide in a nest on their own or tuck themselves in, the heating pad isn't necessary. Joe became too active to be a "bra baby" around 6 weeks, and transitioned to a cage around 7 weeks. We used a tall ferret cage, but he gets long periods of supervised free time 2-3 times per day.

    I completely understand your loving your baby so much you think about keeping her, as I felt the same way! However, as has been mentiioned, the urge to go out and be destructive gets stronger and your baby will become aggressive to other household members. My daughter prevented Joe from throwing a small plastic container off of a shelf and he ran over and bit her arm. He's very demanding of time, not conscious of how sharp his teeth and claws are, and my husband and daughter actively avoid being in the room when he is running around. He's only 11 weeks old, but displays an increasing list of squirrel milestones that let me know he's ready, such as developing or remodeling multiple dreys (beds) in his enclosure, interest in a variety of outdoor vegetation when offered, hiding snacks in places around the room when out, etc. We are planning to build him an outdoor enclosure for soft release as soon as the weather allows! He isn't "mean" he's a wild animal and has no other way to tell us that he needs to be allowed to be a squirrel.
    I appreciate your words of wisdom. Murphy is becoming very different in personality as well. She is still loving and wants to play with us, but she is definitely more independent in many ways and doesnít ďcomeĒ as easily when called. She was all about my daughter and I before and lately she is more about running the room and doing her own thing, though she still wants us to play wrestle with her. Another challenge we are having is now she poops everywhere! And not just on the papers we had down for her in part of the cage. I am going to attempt to litter box train her. I miss her being little. She is about 9 weeks now but I also love seeing the milestones!

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DanniCristina View Post
    she is more about running the room and doing her own thing, though she still wants us to play wrestle with her.
    In retrospect, that is the one subtle clue our guy gave us before he wilded up (began attacking). Instead of wrestle playing on the sofa before heading to bed, he was kinda antsy and just more interested in exploring and looking for stuff to get into, mainly the garbage can. Just continue to be very observant as you have been, it can happen like flipping a switch.

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel sounds, behavior questions

    Quote Originally Posted by sundoesshine View Post
    In retrospect, that is the one subtle clue our guy gave us before he wilded up (began attacking). Instead of wrestle playing on the sofa before heading to bed, he was kinda antsy and just more interested in exploring and looking for stuff to get into, mainly the garbage can. Just continue to be very observant as you have been, it can happen like flipping a switch.
    This exactly! Joe is now 13 weeks and he gets into EVERYTHING. He has learned that cords or trash are easy ways to get instant attention, so if he even picks up a cord or starts throwing tissues or something, even though I'm in the room, I will immediately stop whatever I was doing and remove him from a space. He loves to wrestle, loves kisses and to be stroked, but has started hating anyone but me. He will chase my daughter or husband, biting if necessary, from even a cracked doorway. He then runs back to me like he deserves a treat for his little victory as a tiny house rodent dictator! He has also started "cussing" at me if dinner is late! He climbs onto the curtain rod over my bed (bedroom is his safe room), and makes loud chuck or scream sounds until dinner appears in his bowl. He knows exactly how many blocks or nuts appear and at what times to expect them. He has been totally weaned for weeks and as soon as Florida calms the monsoon down long enough to work on an enclosure for him, we will start the soft release. I love him to pieces, but he is more than ready to be his own wild man

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