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Thread: Too soon to be weaning?

  1. #1
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    Default Too soon to be weaning?

    Hello fellow squirrel lovers!
    I am new to this, and my two black colored gray squirrels are now somewhere between 8 and 9 weeks. Bean and Nugget are happy and seemingly very healthy. I've been feeding them Esbilac four times a day, using the 7% body weight formula. Over the last few days they have not been much interested in nursing. Nugget, the female (235gm), hardly wants any at all. Bean, the male, is much larger than her (260gm), and is still taking about 1/2 his regular portion of formula. The reduction in liquids is concerning me. I have 2 water bottles in the cage, but they haven't really figured them out yet, and I've done all I can to show them.

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    I have other foods in the cage:

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    Henry's block (high protein and picky) total 3 blocks per day broken in half - they are eating around 1 block each now

    Vegetables (depending what I have - I offer 3-4 small pieces of each every day):
    sweet potato
    cauliflower
    broccoli
    brussels sprouts
    romaine

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    Snacks offered (2-3 of the items below per day):
    1/2 grape per day each
    1 small piece of avocado each
    1/4 walnut each
    1/2 almond each
    small piece of apple each

    I also have a couple of black walnuts in the shell for them. BIG hit!

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    My questions are:
    1. Is it normal for them to be eating solids and only a little formula at 8.5 weeks?
    2. Am I doing the right thing by providing the solid foods I'm giving them?
    3. Do I need to worry about dehydration?

    I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with me! My "kids" are crazy, rowdy bad monkeys, and I want to keep them that way!
    Rabs,
    Bean and Nugget

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Too soon to be weaning?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rabs View Post
    My questions are:
    1. Is it normal for them to be eating solids and only a little formula at 8.5 weeks?
    2. Am I doing the right thing by providing the solid foods I'm giving them?
    3. Do I need to worry about dehydration?

    I'd decrease the formula feedings to only 3 times a day, in another week or two that will drop to 2X a day. It is a bit early for them to be weaning, but reducing the feedings may bring them back around...

    Here is the link to the healthy diet pyramid. Careful on the nuts, check out what percentage of their diet should be fruit versus veggies.
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Pet-Squirrels

    I am surprised they have not figured out the water bottle yet... have you "introduced" it to them and demonstrated there is water in there? I have never had to do this, but that might be because they have other squirrels using a bottle they can observe.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Too soon to be weaning?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spanky View Post

    I'd decrease the formula feedings to only 3 times a day, in another week or two that will drop to 2X a day. It is a bit early for them to be weaning, but reducing the feedings may bring them back around...

    Here is the link to the healthy diet pyramid. Careful on the nuts, check out what percentage of their diet should be fruit versus veggies.
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Pet-Squirrels

    I am surprised they have not figured out the water bottle yet... have you "introduced" it to them and demonstrated there is water in there? I have never had to do this, but that might be because they have other squirrels using a bottle they can observe.
    Thanks for your help Spanky!
    I will cut down to 3 feedings a day. Neither of them wanted the morning feeding, but Nugget guzzled the afternoon feeding, Bean only about half. I think offing it less often will make a difference.
    Even though the nuts I give them are small, I'll cut that back to every 2 or 3 days.

    I have tried to show them about the water bottles (two different styles) but I have never gotten them to drink, and have not seen any indication that they are drinking. Any suggestions? If I put a little water bowl in there I know it will be upside down in minutes. They are naughty.

    Thanks again,
    Rabs

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Too soon to be weaning?

    They are naughty and adorable! I have always hung a water bottle on the cage and they eventually drink from it.
    redwuff
    State Licensed
    Master Wildlife Rehabilitator

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Too soon to be weaning?

    Mine did the same thing, and then she came down with severe diarrhea. There may be a problem with the Esbilac. There is a warning on Henry's with the message that 5-7 wo squirrels have been reported with MBD and severe bloat. Did you open a new can right around the time they started turning up their noses?

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