3. How to Feed a Baby Squirrel
Once the baby squirrel is warm and hydrated, you are ready to start feeding. What do baby squirrels eat? Formula, also called “milk replacer.” Since Esbilac changed their product, there is no safe formula you can buy at the store, so start with homemade goat milk formula. Then order the appropriate Fox Valley formula from Henry’s.Homemade Goat Milk Formula Plus (HGMF+):
- 3 tablespoons goat milk
- 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ egg yolk
You can buy goat milk at most grocery stores. If you can't find fresh goat milk, you can use canned or powdered. Note: Canned or powdered milk must be mixed with water FIRST according to label directions. Do not use HGMF+ for more than a few weeks at a time; use Fox Valley 20/50.Formula Recommendations for Different Ages:
- Birth to 2 weeks: HGMF+
- 2 weeks to 4 weeks: HGMF+ or Fox Valley 32/40
- 4 weeks to weaning: Fox Valley 20/50
Be alert for bloating, diarrhea or constipation, and take immediate action. Call us at 321-626-1897 if you need help.
Make sure formula is very, very warm. Baby squirrels will not drink formula that is only slightly warm....they will starve to death!
Mixing, Feeding and Storing Formula
- Each night, mix up the amount of formula you will need the next day. With powdered formula, use very warm water, stir well. Place in the refrigerator.
- In the morning, stir the formula and draw up enough syringes of cold formula for your first feeding of the day.
- Microwave a coffee mug of water until it is hot (but not boiling). Then dunk the filled syringes in the hot water. They will take around 30 to 60 seconds to heat up.
- Take one syringe out, tilt it to mix the formula within the syringe, and test it on your wrist before feeding.
- If the formula in your syringe gets too cool while feeding, re-dunk it and pull out another syringe.
Weigh the baby on a gram scale; multiply that number by 5%; and that will be the number of cc's (or ml's) to feed per feeding. You can go up to 7% (weight in grams x .07) for most babies after a few feedings. Do not overfeed! Baby squirrels will overeat if you let them and get diarrhea or bloating, which can be fatal. Weigh the baby every day at the same time to determine if they are gaining or losing weight and adjust the formula amount as needed.EXAMPLE:
Squirrel weighs 50 grams
50 x 5% = 2.5 (Using a calculator, it's 50 x .05 = 2.5)
So you feed 2.5 cc's per feeding
A baby squirrel less than 5 weeks old will need to be stimulated to poop and pee. Use a warm, wet cotton ball, Q-tip, the corner of a Kleenex, or your finger, and flick lightly across the genital area. Some babies may need stimulation before and after feeding. A few may eat better if you potty them in the middle of a feeding.
Don’t use cheap syringes that stick; use quality o-ring syringes and go slow to avoid aspiration!