On a weekend, you just got up to water your plants and enjoy some nature. And, you found a tiny, little creature lying on the ground!
It’s a baby squirrel. Whoa!!!
You might be feeling wonderful about finding it but, sadly, the baby is away from his mother. Try to find his mother or the nest. If you don’t see anything around, now it’s your turn to rescue the baby squirrel.
What Kind Of Milk Do You Feed Baby Squirrels?
Baby squirrels are, of course, different from human babies and from infant animals of many species. So you have to feed them according to their unique nutritional needs.
Baby squirrels need lactose free, high-fat milk. So, most of the readily available milk types and formulas like cow milk, soy milk or human milk replacer are not suitable for baby squirrels. You can find Esbilac milk or Pedialyte as good choices to rehydrate and provide essential nutrients.
If you are still wondering what kind of milk you feed a baby squirrel, don’t worry. Here we have classified the drinkable milk for baby squirrels and harmful ones too.
Types of Milk that Baby Squirrels Can Drink
Some safer types of milk which you can feed to baby squirrels without worrying about any reaction are mentioned below.
- Esbilac milk
It must be your first choice when choosing a milk formula for a baby squirrel. It comes in two forms, i.e., powdered and liquid form. Prior should be preferred to later.
- Milk Matrix Zoologic
Another choice of milk if you do not find Esbilac is Milk Matrix Zoologic. It has a low lactose level and is hence easier on the digestive system of the baby squirrel.
Pedialyte also comes in the list of suitable fluids for baby squirrels. It has dextrose and works well to replenish the hydration of the body instantly.
- Fox Valley milk
If the baby squirrel is four weeks or older, Fox Valley milk is an ideal choice for him. Mix one part of powder with two parts of lukewarm water. Mix well and hydrate the baby squirrel.
- Puppy Milk
Puppy milk also comes in one of the best milk to feed a baby squirrel. Mix an equal amount of puppy milk in lukewarm water to make a dilute formula and feed it to the baby squirrel.
- Goat milk
You can opt for goat milk only if all the above-mentioned milk types are unavailable. Make a homemade goat milk formula by mixing an equal amount of goat milk with yogurt and two parts of heavy cream in it.
Harmful Milk Types For Baby Squirrels
The kind of milk that is high in lactose is not suitable for baby squirrels. If you give such a kind of milk to a baby squirrel, you will end up killing him. Here are the harmful milk types for baby squirrels that you must avoid giving them.
- Cow milk
Cow milk is a highly harmful choice for baby squirrels. It is low-fat milk, which is not suitable for them, so that it may irritate their digestive system badly. Instead of rehydrating, this kind of milk may lead to overhydration or diarrhea. Moreover, it can cause an allergic reaction in baby squirrels which may cause sudden death in them.
- Kitten milk
This type of milk can not suit squirrels as it has high protein, while they need lesser protein in their diet. Another fact is the low amount of fat in this milk, which baby squirrels need more.
- Human milk
If you think of giving breast milk to baby squirrels as suitable for infants, do not. You’ll probably make a big mistake. It can even cause death. Every organism has its nutrition requirements. You can not fulfill a baby squirrel’s nutritional needs with human milk.
- Almond milk
Almond milk is highly nutritious but is not suitable for infant squirrels. They have a fragile digestive system that can not handle a nutritional imbalance in any case. It is not as harmful as other kinds of milk in this list but not ideal either. So try to avoid giving almond milk too.
- Evaporated milk
Evaporated or skimmed milk is not suitable for infants, whether they are humans or squirrels. Their feed is given to them for hydration. And evaporated milk has 60% of its water content removed. So there’s no use of such milk that doesn’t provide hydration to the infant.
Best Squirrel Milk Replacer
Whenever you choose a milk replacer, make sure that it has all those ingredients included in the baby squirrel’s nutritional requirements. Although, it might be somehow inappropriate to guess the replacer based on the ingredients. But it may help on the other side.
A milk replacer for baby squirrels must have the following ingredients:
- Vegetable oil: A healthy fat source.
- Whey: A milk protein that is essential for the growth and development of the baby squirrel.
- Casein: Another milk protein that contributes to the growth of the baby.
- Cream: Another fat source with a rich blend of vitamins and minerals.
- Probiotics: Helps the gut bacteria in good digestion. It will also prevent the gut from infections.
If you’re finding a milk replacer for baby squirrels, then go for Esbilac puppy milk replacer. Its powder form is the best formula for baby squirrels without any risk as it is a safe choice. Try to choose powdered form as it is lighter on the digestive system of baby squirrels.
Make a dilute formula by adding one part of powder and four parts of water. Make sure the water is lukewarm. Do not feed the cold baby milk. If you have a liquid form available, dilute it with lukewarm water before feeding the baby.
Keep in mind that every age of baby squirrel has different nutrition needs and requirements, so feed them accordingly. But here, the question arises of how old your squirrel is. Read on to find the answer.
How Do You Know How Old Your Squirrel Is?
You can easily assume the age of a baby squirrel by seeing its appearance. Carefully observe the baby squirrel from all sides, and you will end up guessing its age.
- If a baby squirrel is not furred and has a pink body, it must be less than one week old. His eyes must be closed.
- If a baby squirrel has light hair on his back only and eyes still closed, it must be two weeks old.
- If a baby squirrel has front lower teeth coming in, this is clear evidence that it is three weeks old. Eyes will remain closed at this point.
- If a baby squirrel is 6 inches long, has just started developing light fur on the lower side of the body, and has opened its eyes, it must be four to five weeks old.
- If a baby squirrel is 7 inches long with front and back teeth and fur all over the body, it must be six to eight weeks old. It can sit on its own and even eat with its paws.
Milk Formula Recommendations for Different Ages
In the table below, you’ll find out which formula is the best to use for baby squirrels according to their age.
|Age||Milk Formula to use|
|2 weeks old or lesser||Esbilac or Homemade Goat milk Formula|
|3 weeks old or lesser||Fox Valley 32/40 or Homemade Goat milk Formula|
|4 weeks old or lesser||Esbilac or Fox Valley 20/50|
|5 weeks old or lesser||Esbilac or Fox Valley 20/50|
|6 weeks old or lesser||Esbilac or Fox Valley 20/50|
Why Should You Make Baby Squirrels Warm Before Feeding Milk?
Baby squirrels should be kept warm as they can easily get chilled. Even in summers, they are prone to getting cold because their body is not covered with fur like adult squirrels. Making them warm before feeding milk is necessary as it will help them with digestion. Moreover, warmth gives them a feeling of relaxation and makes them comfortable. Otherwise, their life can be endangered as they can not cope with the cold themselves.
How Do You Keep Baby Squirrels Warm?
To make them feel comfortable and relaxed, wrap up the baby squirrel in a towel. Here are some ways that you may use to make them warm:
- Rice method
Rice method is a traditional method to warm baby squirrels. Use an old sock for this. Fill it with rice and microwave it for 20 to 30 seconds. And then keep it near the baby squirrel. If the baby is too small, you can keep it in a cardboard box and put the sock there.
- Heating pad
Another way to keep them warm is by using a heating pad. But make sure the pad is not too hot. Place the heating pad in the box or towel where you have kept the baby.
- Hot water bottle
- Place a hot water bottle in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Do not place the bottle directly in the box.
- Wrap it with a towel and then put it in the box near the baby squirrel.
- Hot baths
Hot water baths can help to maintain the temperature of baby squirrels. Fill a tub with hot water. Make sure the water is not too hot. However, it must be lukewarm. Immerse a towel in it and wrap it on the body of the baby squirrel. Repeat this procedure 4 to 5 times. And then dry the baby completely.
How Warm Should You Keep A Baby Squirrel?
The baby squirrel should keep warm to its normal body temperature, ranging between 99 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit. You can assume it by touching the baby squirrel or using a thermometer. If the temperature is below normal, try to make him warm with the strategies mentioned earlier.
Feeding Schedule(Day and Night): How Much Milk Do Baby Squirrels Drink?
The feeding schedule of a baby squirrel depends particularly on species and their exact age. Different breeds of baby squirrels have different feeding schedules. The dietary requirements of gray squirrels do not match with red squirrels. Besides age and breed, another factor determining the amount of feed of a baby is its weight.
Here we have mentioned the feeding schedule of Gray Squirrel.
|Age||Amount of feed||During Day Time||During Nighttime|
|One week old or lesser||0.75 to 1 cc||Six times a day or after two hours||One feed at night|
|2 weeks old or lesser||1 to 2 cc||Four times a day or after three hours||One feed at night|
|3 weeks old or lesser||2 to 4 cc||Three times a day or after four hours||Only give feed if you feel the baby is disturbed and needs it|
|4 weeks old or lesser||4.5 to 5.5 cc||Three times a day or after four hours||Only give feed if you feel the baby is disturbed and needs it|
|5 weeks old or lesser||6 to 9 cc||Three times a day or after four hours||No night feed|
|6 weeks old or lesser||10 to 12 cc||Three times a day or after four hours||No night feed|
7% Feeding Rule For Squirrels
If you’re still confused about how much formula you have to feed the baby squirrel exactly, use this 7% feeding rule. It will provide an accurate and precise amount of feed that should be given to the baby without causing any harmful effects.
For this, you have to weigh your baby squirrel first. Whatever the weight is, convert it into grams and then multiply it to 7%. The amount you get in an answer is the amount of cc syringe your baby squirrel needs per feed.
For example if the baby squirrel weighs 35 g,
35 x 7% = 2.45 cc
Mixing, Feeding, and Storing Formula
You can mix the formula a day before feeding it to the squirrel. Mix the powder with warm water as advised. Stir well, and then let it set according to the room temperature. Then place the mixture in the refrigerator for storage.
For feeding, please take out the syringe and fill it with the mixture. Microwave a cup of water and place the syringe in this hot water. It will automatically be warm and ready to feed the baby. Test the temperature if it is ideally hot by drawing out a drop on your palm.
Homemade Pedialyte for Baby Squirrels
One week baby squirrels who have pink bodies and no fur need this homemade formula. Mix a cup of warm water with half a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt. You can also use honey as a substitute for sugar. Fill it in the syringe and then feed it to the baby.
Caution: Never use a homemade Pedialyte solution if it has been stored for four days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about feeding milk to squirrels:
What do baby squirrels drink?
Baby squirrels drink their mother’s milk, which has plenty of water content in it. If their mother is not around, you can give them packaged Esbilac milk.
Can baby squirrels drink cow milk?
No, cow milk is a low-fat milk and is highly toxic for baby squirrels. It may cause an allergic reaction in them.
What to feed a baby squirrel with teeth?
What should we feed a baby squirrel who is three days old?
A baby squirrel who is three to six days old needs milk feed only. Give him milk six times a day and one time at night. If you’re not sure what kind of milk you feed a baby squirrel of three days old, go for Esbilac or Fox valley milk.
What do you feed a baby squirrel that fell out of the nest?
Observe the baby squirrel for any injury or something. If there is any, do the first aid and put it back in the nest.
How to save a very tiny squirrel?
You can save a dying baby squirrel by doing very few steps. Look for any injury and give first aid. Warm the baby. Hydrate him. Make sure not to overfeed the baby.
How long does a baby squirrel need a heating pad?
Keep the heating pad near the container in which the baby is lying. Keep the heating pad until you feel the baby is warm enough. It might take 20 minutes. Also, once the baby is warm, maintain the temperature.
How long can a baby squirrel go without eating?
It depends on the baby’s age. Tiny baby squirrels with pink bodies can not survive much and die in a day or even hours without milk. Squirrels of more than 12 weeks old may survive three to four days without eating.
Do baby squirrels drink water?
No, baby squirrels do not drink water separately. Their milk already contains 80% of water, whether mother’s milk or packaged formula milk.
At what age do baby squirrels pee on their own?
When a baby squirrel is six weeks old and develops fur all over the body, be ready that the baby is going to start peeing on its own.
How to catch a ground squirrel in a milk jug?
You can catch a ground squirrel with a milk bottle or water bottle. Place it on the burrow opening and wait for a few minutes. The ground squirrel will automatically get trapped in the water bottle while drinking water from it. Turn over the bottle and cover it with the cap immediately.
The best milk for baby squirrels with formula is Esbilac, available almost at every pet store. It is the best among all the available milk for baby squirrels. If you don’t find this, you may give goat milk to the baby squirrel. Never give them human milk as it is incredibly toxic for them.