Do not forget to toilet
them; using a soft piece
tissue or cotton wool, gently tickle their genital area
to stimulate the passing of urine and faeces.
You should barely touch
the skin; a light touch is
the most effective and doesn't make the skin sore.
Holding the squirrel
almost upright so that you can see what you are doing may be necessary
until you have more experience of the process. Then you can toilet the
squirrel while it is standing on a towel.
The Very First Feed
For their very first feeds if very
dehydrated or ill, a newly
arrived squirrel is given warm
similar rehydrating liquid.
Rehydration is vital to alleviate shock and organ damage and is given
for 1-3 feeds, depending on the condition of the patient.
After 3 complete rehydration feeds, give a smaller amount of fluid
followed by a milk based feed until the squirrel is back to normal.
35g; between 0.5 and 1 ml every 1½ -2 hours
Only warm up enough mixture for one
feed at a time.
To feed them use a 1ml sterilised
syringe and small teat. (Catac size
35 - 40g; about 1-2 ml every 2
40 - 60g; about 2-3ml every 2
65 - 85g; about 3-5ml every
90 - 110g; about 4-6ml every
120g and over; about 6-8ml
every 3 hours
Feeding Position and technique
Fold a towel and place on a heatpad (or hot water bottle) when feeding
Larger babies can be positioned on a towel on a table, your knee or
Squirrels feed lying on their tummies or held in a slightly more
position with their back feet on a towel;
they like something to hold
You need to be able to see the baby's mouth and throat so I find
sitting at a table or standing at a bench are best.
Put your reading glasses on if necessary!
You can cup a small baby in one hand and close your fingers gently
around it, it will hold on to a finger or to the syringe.
New babies need time to get used to the system and you will probably
have to gently push the teat in at the side
of the mouth to start with for the first 3-4 feeds.
Some will shake their heads and keep refusing the teat but you must
persist and feed them at least a minimal amount.
Try a tiny dab of honey on the teat as incentive. Not too much, though
as honey can cause diarrhoea.
They eventually get the hang of feeding and will suck eagerly at the
You need to press the plunger fairly slowly but smoothly, keeping pace
with the rate of swallowing.
Be prepared to stop occasionally as the young squirrel will pause and
make a kind of yawning movement.
Sometimes they will pause before you do and some milk will get up their
nose and be sneezed out.
STOP feeding immediately.
Dab the nose with soft tissue and mop up any droplets.
Let the baby
rest a few moments;
inhaling milk is shocking and it needs time
If the feed was almost finished when the accident happened, give the
back a gentle patting and rubbing and mop up
any more milk that is sneezed
If the baby is able to resume feeding, be extra careful when giving the
final few mls.
Make a note on the feeding record and put the squirrel back in the
incubator to recover.
Injured or dehydrated squirrels
Once their body temperature is
back to normal, you must get some
liquid into them.
Warm up a small amount of
lectade or similar rehydrating liquid
and add 2 drops of Rescue Remedy or
1 tablet each of Homoeopathic
Aconite 6 and Arnica 6. Stir well to dissolve.
Fold a towel and place on a
heatpad (or half filled hot water
Lie the squirrel down on its stomach and gently raise the head and
shoulders with one hand while you introduce the teat to the lips.
Very carefully squeeze a drop or two of warm lectade solution into the
mouth onto the tongue.
Stop and check to see that it is swallowed and hasn't just run out of
the side of the mouth.
Be gentle but persistent, it is important to rehydrate these small
animals as soon as possible to prevent organ damage and combat shock.
Squirrels are remarkably resilient so if it is impossible to get it to
feed, it may have severe internal injuries and
will have to be
given sub cutaneous liquid by a vet instead.
Feed at regular intervals
(1½ 2-hourly at first)
between 6am and
- Always use a previously sterilised 1ml
syringe and teat
- To sterilise feeding utensils
successfully they should be kept in a pot filled with sterilising
solution to cover the contents.
- There should be one set of clean
feeding utensils for each baby in the incubator at every feed.
- After use they must be taken apart and
thoroughly washed in warm soapy water, rinsed and placed back into the
- Do not put the small teats loose in
the sink, they will disappear down the plug hole.
- Do be patient when feeding these
- Concentrate on the job in hand, watch
their mouths carefully and stop feeding them immediately they stop
- If you don't they will choke, milk
will go down their noses into their lungs and they will become sick and
- Before you remove a baby from an
incubator for a feed, make sure you have got everything you need for
that feed prepared and within reach
- i.e.. feeding chart, feeding utensils,
soft tissues and the milk warming in the microwave or by standing in
small bowl of hot water
- Check the chart for the maximum
amounts of milk to be given and only warm up about that amount so very
little is wasted.
- If the milk is already made up, give
the container a good 10 second shake as the rice will have settled.
Squirrels under 35g
These are tiny, mainly
babies, their ears and eyes are closed and
the skin is very delicate.
Use soft woolly gloves or a fine wool cloth when handling.
These need the colostrum in Esbilac and are too young to
digest the rice in 'squirrel mix'
Make up their feed with 1 part Esbilac : 3 parts hot, previously boiled
Mix the ingredients thoroughly together and store in a clean container
Give the milk a good 10
second shaking up before
use as some ingredients will have settled.
Feed 1½ hourly at first, between 6am and midnight.
Toilet before and after every feed and make notes of whether urine and
were produced and the amount of feed taken.
As they develop they will refuse feeds or feed erratically so the
be changed to 2 hourly after 1-2 weeks,
depending on their progress,
until the weight approaches 35g
Very tiny babies will
take between 0.5 and 1 ml in
each feed at first,
gradually increasing to about 2.5 -3 mls.
Check the temperature of the feed on your wrist first.
Do not let it get cold;
stand container in a small pot of hot water to keep warm.
Feed very carefully and watch to see each mouthful is swallowed before
the syringe plunger again.
Squirrels 35g and over
These are fed a special
“Squirrel mix” mixed up as
1 x 15ml measure
milk (or 3x5ml teaspoons)
2 x 5ml teaspoon
1x 5ml teaspoon
¼ pt warm,
Mix the ingredients
thoroughly together and store
in a clean
container in the fridge.
If this isn't enough for one day of feeds, use double or treble the
but be careful to measure them out accurately.
Make sure all the powder is tipped out of the measuring spoons each
time, otherwise the mix will not be nutritious enough to satisfy them.
If the squirrels seem extra hungry and want a lot of milk at some feeds
the mix is probably too thin.
How much, how often?
35g Tiny squirrels with a
hint of grey fur, closed ears and eyes
These need between 1 and 3 mls at 2 hourly intervals
between 6am and midnight
Weight 60-80g Developing fur; ears and eyes beginning
Give 3-5ml at 2½ - 3 hourly intervals between
6am and midnight.
Weight 90-100g Eyes open, beginning to eat solid food.
Give 5-7ml at 3 - 4 hourly intervals.
They are now able to eat solid food quite well, so
give 7-9ml squirrel mix four
times a day between about 8am and 10pm
Give 3 feeds x a day of 7-9ml each feed. You can
tell a lot by sitting quietly
and watching them.
If they are eating their dry food well, cut the milk
feeds down to 2 a day to encourage the to feed themselves.
Give 2 feeds a day, then 1, then gradually
phase them out altogether.
Once they are weaned they can get pretty feisty so do wear thick
when handling them.
If a squirrel produces
runny faeces, make up 100ml
of Lectade or similar rehydration fluid.
Take out enough for a full feed and warm up. Stir in a pinch or two of
baby rice to thicken it slightly.
Give this mix instead of milk for up to 3 feeds and then gradually
milk back into the diet.
The following two or three feeds can be made up of 1- 2ml of lectade
then squirrel mix for the rest of the quantity.
If the diarrhoea persists add 1 crushed tablet of Arsen alb 6 to the
the tablet between teaspoons and dissolve in the warm mix.
Add 1 crushed tablet to subsequent feeds if needed, ideally to feeds 12
Make sure the urinogenital area doesn't get sore.
Wash gently and dry thoroughly by dabbing with very soft tissue,
finally applying a thin smear
of vaseline or homoeopathic Hypercal ointment to the
This puts a waterproof film over the delicate skin and protects against
irritant effect of the urine and faeces.
The maximum amount of milk to be given at any one feed must not exceed
10mls. The squirrel should be eating a lot of solid food by this stage.
Too much milk when older will cause severe diarrhoea.
If the squirrels seem permanently hungry for milk check that you have
made it correctly, stirred it before use and have added enough Baby
Squirrels are weaned on
brown bread, rabbit mix
Rabbit food), chopped nuts, small pieces of fresh sweet corn and
Later they can have acorns, hazelnuts and walnuts in shell,
mix, corn on the cob, sweet chestnuts, peanuts, apple, grapes
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