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Thread: Weaning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Location
    FL
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    Question Weaning

    After a bad windstorm, we rescued a baby EGS under our crepe myrtle tree on Aug 26, 2021 which was about 5-6 wks old. Waited for mama for 2 days=no show. Thus became first time rehabber as no one local would take "Myrtle". Over the next 3 days we ended up with 2 more EGS that our neighbor across the street had found. The male, "Lucky Pockets", was the last one found; was severely emaciated and covered in ants. Thankfully, they are all thriving well now. I estimated that "Lucky" and "Coco Puff" were around the same age when bought to me; around 3-4 wks old. Thus, Myrtle is appx 11 wks and the other two I'm questioning now as all the same size/behaviors. I believe they all may be close to same age. Due to Lucky being so emaciated, I believe he's a little developmentally behind the other two and why he's still sucking on nipple.

    My question is this: Coco & Myrtle don't suckle when being fed. They merely lick the nipple as if they're drinking from their water bottle. Does this mean their weaned and only taking because being offered?

    Also, thanks SO much for your input. There's SO much contradicting info out there, gets confusing. I've seen not to stop feeding until they're 14-16 wks old and others saying the EGS will decide. Will they flat out refuse it? Or is the drinking formula like their water a sign they're ready to go to outside pre-release cage?

    FYI, I'm in FL, hence I know I'll still have to provide food for them through spring. They are starting to out grow their current housing. My hubby almost done the cage.

    Attached are pics of current/future housing and them in current cage. Couldn't figure out how to rotate them. They're all sideways🙄
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    East coast of Florida
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    Default Re: Weaning

    Congratulations on doing a great job raising 3 healthy squirrels.

    No all squirrels will suck on the nipple…lapping is perfectly acceptable. When they stop taking any formula at any time of the day or night is when they’ve weaned. Many will continue to take formula from a bowl…even when in the release cage. Let them decide when they don’t want it. All you have to do is continue to offer it.

    We don’t recommend they go to the release cage until they’re 14 weeks old and then spend a couple of weeks in there acclimating to the sights, sounds and smells of outside before gaining their freedom.

    Are you going to put a nest box in a nearby tree? I find it helpful to have one in the release cage for them to get used to. You can then move it up into a nearby tree and their scent will already be in it and it will be familiar. You should keep some type of bed in the release cage as well in case they don’t leave the first night or two.

    Are you providing a rodent block? Which one? It’s imperative they eat some type of rodent block along with healthy veggies and fruit.

    I’m also in Florida but I am along the coast and can release year round. Other folks in northern or inland parts of the state need to be mindful of available tree cover and overnight temperatures before they release in the late Fall and Winter.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    NE Beleriand
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    Default Re: Weaning

    I am a fan of having extra nest boxes in my yard. I currently have five. I usually swap the fleece out yearly. Where I live, wonter is on the cold side, so while the nest boxes see little use from May-September, they are in demand the rest of the year.

    By the way, even without trees, nest boxes can work quite well. Three of my nest boxes are inside release cages, where the cages are left open. The other two are simply on green metal posts. I actually have a previous

    This nest box (open for illustrative purposes in photo) is right outside my back door. Arya (released 2020 after being overwintered) gave birth to her third litter inside this nest box in late August and is still there. (I suspect they will relocate to one of the other more secluded nest boxes for winter.)
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  4. Serious fuzzy thank you's to olorin19 from:

    Mel1959 (10-14-2021)

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Location
    FL
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    Thanked: 1

    Red face Re: Weaning

    [QUOTE]Congratulations on doing a great job raising 3 healthy squirrels.

    No all squirrels will suck on the nipple…lapping is perfectly acceptable. When they stop taking any formula at any time of the day or night is when they’ve weaned. Many will continue to take formula from a bowl…even when in the release cage. Let them decide when they don’t want it. All you have to do is continue to offer it.

    We don’t recommend they go to the release cage until they’re 14 weeks old and then spend a couple of weeks in there acclimating to the sights, sounds and smells of outside before gaining their freedom.

    Are you going to put a nest box in a nearby tree? I find it helpful to have one in the release cage for them to get used to. You can then move it up into a nearby tree and their scent will already be in it and it will be familiar. You should keep some type of bed in the release cage as well in case they don’t leave the first night or two.

    Are you providing a rodent block? Which one? It’s imperative they eat some type of rodent block along with healthy veggies and fruit.

    I’m also in Florida but I am along the coast and can release year round. Other folks in northern or inland parts of the state need to be mindful of available tree cover and overnight temperatures before they release in the late Fall and Winter.[QUOTE]







    Thank you SO much for the information!! I'm on the West coast near Crystal River.
    Yes, they were started on rodent block prior to being fed solid foods. They now also enjoy three times a day a variety of: Pumpkin, squash, radish, cucumber, grapes, lettuce, apples, squash, sweet potato, celery, almonds, pecans and believe it or not Rambutan; which is like a giant grape with a nutty taste. Of course, I remove the pit.

    Yes, there is one HUGE nesting box inside the release cage. If you look closely in the pic, it's on the right side. I've already placed the fleeced blankies they first slept in when rescued into the box. My hubby has made sure everything waterproof by lining outside of box. (pic1)

    For anyone interested, I use reusable doggie diapers for their "nest" now. They're easily hose washable and like a giant hammock for them. (pic2)
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    Last edited by OneLuckyLady; 10-15-2021 at 07:33 AM. Reason: Add quote

  6. Serious fuzzy thank you's to OneLuckyLady from:

    olorin19 (10-15-2021)

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