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Thread: Weaning/Release?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2022
    Location
    Maryland
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    Default Weaning/Release?

    According to my aging estimates when I found my guy in early August, he's about 8 weeks now. Active (very!!!), bright, almost like a "real" squirrel.

    Everything I've read says they will need formula until 12+ weeks, and that babies that reach 4mos in the fall (so, for us, he would be 4mos in Nov, in Maryland) should not be released until the following spring.

    However, getting him to stay still long enough for formula is next to impossible. We're lucky if we can get him to take 15ml 2x/day. He is eating well so far - he tears apart his Henry's squirrel blocks, is learning to like crunchy vegetables and some nuts. We bring in (safe) tree branches for him to nibble and climb. We have not introduced anything "sweet" to avoid a junk food addicted squirrel

    So, my questions - is it too soon to give up on formula? If it is, how much and how often should I be trying to get him to take some? Should I panic if he'd rather "squirrel" around? It's like having a hyperactive toddler and being worried about him not getting enough nutrition.

    Also, should I be planning to keep him overwinter? My daughter (16) is raising him - there is no way I want to risk anything going wrong with his release.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated - thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    East coast of Florida
    Posts
    9,039
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    Default Re: Weaning/Release?

    Yes, Iíd wait until spring to release. Older squirrels do much better, anyway. In November there wonít be leaves on the trees for protection, he wonít have a cache of nuts when food is scarce and he wonít have anyone to snuggle with and no nest.

    As for the formula, itís too soon for him to wean. Twice a day formula consumption is acceptable at this age. When heís so active that he will not take any formula from a syringe you can provide it in a bowl. Iíd continue to give it to him by syringe for as long as is feasible since you will be able to monitor how much heís taking.

    Some squirrels like vanilla full fat yogurt and will lap it from a bowl. This is an excellent source of calciumÖalthough a little messy.

  3. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Mel1959 from:

    Diggie's Friend (09-09-2022)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2022
    Location
    Idaho Falls
    Posts
    108
    Thanked: 53

    Default Re: Weaning/Release?

    I hope Iím not hijacking your threadÖ but I have a baby who will need to be overwintered inside. Iím wondering if anyone has suggestions/feedback on building a proper enclosure to do so. I want to do it while the weather here is still tolerable, and want to make sure it is big enough for the whole winter.

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