Animal Stories - Pet Squirrels


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ike - 2013-05-14
i found a week old baby squirrel and hand fed him for about 8 weeks he was eating nuts and doing great i left the other day to help someone out to come home to find him dead his name was rocky and he was the best pet id ever had i always want him to be remembered love you rocky and we miss you sweetheart our house just is not a home anymore with out you love dad

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-05-14
    I am so sorry. What a wonderful experience raising him, but such a loss. My deepest condolences.
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Animal-World info on Southern Flying Squirrel
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Victoria - 2013-04-14
Hello, I found a baby flying squirrel at my fiance's parent's house yesterday. My fiance's mother informed me that the dog and cats had messed with it and he even got bitten on the leg. My fiance's dad also accidentally sucked him into the vacuum cleaner. The poor little guy was really scared and so he bit me which is understandable. I got a little fish aquarium to keep him in for the time being and I purchased food for a hamster which has nuts, corn, and dried fruits in it. I am not really sure what he needs to drink. He is about six weeks old. I have a very big cage that my old monkey lived in for him to live in. I don't want him to die. He has been through a lot already so I want to make sure that I am doing things correctly. Any tips??

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-04-14
    I would be concerned about broken bones or internal injuries, but it sounds like he may be okay as you didn't say if he's having any trouble getting around or acting funny. The comments from re-habbers and other folks above have some great info on what they drink and other baby foods! Good luck
  • wook - 2013-06-02
    go to www.thesquirrelboard.com and go to the forum and ask for tips.
  • Anonymous - 2014-09-25
    My sister and I raised 10 squirrels. We went to the vet and they gave us a bunch of of free syringes with little nipple attachments. We tried the small bottles from WalMart and (trust me on this one) did not work. We used WalMart kitten formula. Heat it luke warm. For the first times you have to carefully hold their tiny heads. Make SURE your thumb is barely pushing because they can kinda suck it out on there own. The nipple will look very long and hard but trust me it's fine this. Has worked on my 10 babies and on all of my cousin's squirrels. Once or twice and I promise they got the hang of it. 😉
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Sandra Stephenson - 2012-05-20
I have a flying squirrel i think she is a little over a year old my daughter brought her home when she was just maybe 2 weeks old and she is doing great but i am concerned about her front teethe growing to long . Can they be trimmed or what do i do ? Also how long do they live in captivity ?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-05-20
    In the wild it is said to be about 6 years and I would think it would be at least that in captivity. For the teeth - you can get a hard chew toy--- lava rock bird toy, dog bone, soup bone (boil it) usually knuckle bones at grocery store. Something hard for it to chew on and it will wear her teeth down. Vet can also probably sand them down but i don't think she will like it.
  • Rick - 2012-09-01
    My wife not only make sure our squirrel has shelled nuts to gnaw on like hazel nuts, brazil nuts, almonds and pecans, we also purchased flavored wood chews in the hamster section at the pet store. She seems to enjoy them and her teeth are doing well.
  • Kisha - 2012-12-04
    I have heard a calcium block is used for ones kept in captivity, as pets to wear down the teeth.
  • bryan - 2014-06-25
    I've done so much reading on these flying squirrels yet I can't find out how they are with children, new borns etc. Can you help me out?
  • Linda Jo Decker - 2014-09-25
    Me and my sister have raised 5 flying squirrels. We have one now. She is 5 which is longer than usual. We keep small sticks in there for her she enjoys chewing them. It gives her Something to do. They also need calcium so it is good to keep pieces of deer antler or sterilized bones. I hope I was helpful!! 😉
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michelle705 - 2014-09-24
Help please!! I got two adult flying squirrels a couple months ago. A male and a female and I have had a really hard time bonding with them because the male is agressive! I'm wondering if I could let them out the cage for a little while to let them bond with me more, but I'm afraid I won't be able to catch them again.so my question is if I let them out will they eventually return to their cage!

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  • Linda Jo Decker - 2014-09-25
    Me and my sister have raised 10 eastern grey squirrels and 5 flying squirrels.and my favorite ones where the flying squirrels. They are so cute and tiny!! The one we have now is 3 and we let her out every night. She runs around the room and climbs to the top of the door and glides to the bed. She usually is out about 30 mins. And runs back in her cage and sits there waiting to be fed. If I Were you I would go into a smaller room for the first few times. And I would let only one out at first. After they are used to their surroundings they can be together. Before,when we had 2 they were a lot more active. If you want to bond with the male I suggest you take them apart for how ever long you want. The male wouldn't be near as aggressive if there wasn't a female around. Mine of corse where raised as a baby.So... But what ever you do PLEASE enjoy your flying squirrels!! 😉
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Butch Robinson - 2014-09-19
we live in western WASH.state. our flying squirrel got out 4/5 yrs ago. We wondered what happened to it. A yr or so later our cat killed a squirrel that looked like a southern flying squirrel but larger. This morning another was brought in . This leads me to believe they are reproducing with local red oer gray squirrels.

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Animal-World info on Eastern Gray Squirrel
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Terrie Lyn Nutter - 2014-05-27
I have a Gray Squirrel called Ms Chips, or Chippers. I got her from a local vet when she was about a year old, Whoever had found her as a baby did not do any research as to how to properly feed an infant squirrel, therefore without supplemental calcium on a daily basis she would be deathly sick from metabolic bone disease, She is not releasable. She is the most dearest and lovable of creatures. I feed her a very varied diet, including Hibiscus flowers, various greens, fruit, lettuce, shredded wheat, fruit and nut wild bird food. I spend my early autumn days collecting pine cones and acorns for her, and when the mixed nuts come out in the grocery stores, I buy about ten pounds of them for her. I freeze the majority and give her two to three a day and they usually last her the season until the come out again, In the spring when the neighbors trim their oak trees I collect several logs for her to chew on because she likes the green inner bark, she also likes Mahogany tree seed pods and whole coconuts which she destroys with great pleasure. For her metabolic bone disease she gets a fruit tums every other day and has a vast array of bones and deer antler to chew on for her calcium, she is quite artistic and has left remnants of bone with very pleasing designs. She sleeps in a wooden nest box which she has remodeled to her likes, she also has a cloth pouch hanging on the side of her cage which she also sleeps in. She has a great deal of toys to amuse her including hanging bird toys and stuffed animals which she likes to wrestle with and sleep on. She is housed in a Critter Nation with a deep pan on the bottom filled with aspen shavings. She has perches and branches to climb on including rope swings and ladders. She comes out to play daily and loves to play with my dog. I would never keep a baby squirrel if I found one outside, I would take it to a rehabilitation center to be raised and released back into the wild where they belong, but Chippers needs human intervention in order to survive. When the vet gave me Chips I already had another injured squirrel, and I told him I would give her a good loving home for as long as she lived and I must be doing something right because Ms. Chips turned fourteen years old in April 2014, and shows no indication of slowing down, and I love her dearly.

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Jennifer Ashley - 2009-10-26
Raising "Baby Piglet" a squirrels' tale...........
I found Baby under our oak tree 8/11/09. She was pink,hairless, and her umbilical was still wet. Poor baby had fallen 50ft from a leaf nest and was bruised but active and wiggling around. She wouldnt have lasted long with the cats nearby so I had to take her. Like most people I had no clue as what to do. I contacted local rehabbers and none would take her. They told me she would die or they didnt have the time and resources to care for a "pinkie". I finally found someone to give me care instructions.
For weeks I did feedings every 2 hours round the clock....no sleep.....but worth it. It is amazing to watch your baby grow and develop from a pinkie to getting fur and then: they open those sweet eyes. She's is fat and healthy and looks like a proper squirrel now and just begining to eat some solids.
I found lots of advice online....some good....some bad....and some scary. If you decide to care for an orphan baby here is a list of things you should know.

First found...... check your baby for injuries ( broken bones, lacerations, bruising, animal bites) the baby may appear fine but could have internal damage. if hurt call your local vet or rehabber.

your baby will be cold......warm them gently in your hands. a warm baby is actively wiggling when awake (never feed a cold baby you will kill it)

Dehydration.....your baby may be dehydrated. gently pull skin and if it doesnt spring back your baby needs fluids. Pedialyte works great (never gatorade) you can make your own pedialyte. mix 1 quart water 1 tsp sugar 1 tsp salt. feed with eye dropper at room temp.

the baby bed........ I had to get creative because I have a dog,cat,birds, and kids running around. I cleaned out a drawer in my night stand. placed a heating pad on the bottom and covered that with a towel. The heating pad should be on its lowest setting. this way i could keep her in a safe dark warm place. I used white towels so they could be bleached and kept sanitary for baby.

formulas...... Never feed baby cows milk! youll kill it. the fat in cows milk is too big for your baby to digest. Most reccomend puppy milk that you can get at your local pet store. But I found a cheaper formula. Meyenburgs goats milk !
you can find it at any grocer at the milk case or evaporated even dry powder. I used the dry powder and mixed it with plain unflavored yogurt. 2 parts milk to 1 part yogurt mix well. ( use blender) I would mix up a weeks worth at a time so i always had fresh milk available. Fill up several eye droppers so they get to room temp before feeding......rinse and fill again after feedings and milk will be at room temp by next feeding. I let her fed until she was full and fall asleep. They do like to wiggle around when feeding and you must feed them slowly or they will aspirate (inhale) the formula. pat milk away from face when they start bubbling milk from nose and wait a minute before finishing feeding.

Going potty.......after each feeding your baby needs help to go potty. I placed my baby on clean washcloth and with a dry Q-tip...gently stroke genitals until baby goes. You can shake the lil poops in the trash and wash the towel. (Baby will needs lots of towels and I found its cheaper to buy a large pack of wash clothes for feedings and potty rather than paper towels) say go potty every time you do this so you can housebreak baby later.

Introduce solids.....once your babys eyes are open and starts to get a bushy tail you can start introducing solids. If your baby sees you eat it they will want to try it. Bananas work great, split grapes,apple slices. let them eat their fill and still give their regular milk feeding.

I hope some of this will help someone.!

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  • oversweet10 - 2011-08-10
    Thanks for all the info! I rescued a baby squirrel 3 days ago. She is about 5-6 wks old I think and is thriving. My question for you....Sometimes she just wants to eat fruit and nuts ie, bananas, pine nuts, almonds, etc. and doesn't want the milk as much. Should I slowly stop giving it to her or how would I go about doing this? Also I am afraid she might exasperate. :(

    ~Janelis
  • kathy staggs - 2012-03-01
    I've had my baby about two weeks and he seems to be doing well. I've read everything I could find on the net and you all seem to have the best advice. My son said to name him Phillip but I call him little Phill. He is the sweetest little thing, I can rub under his chin and he holds his hand out so I can rub more lol. Any way just thought I'd share .
  • arghya - 2013-07-25
    Thanks for such great info.
  • Nutjob - 2014-05-24
    Wow omg were can you buy one?
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Animal-World info on Eastern Gray Squirrel
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Velcro - 2013-04-29
Hi, I've been raising Velcro since he was 4 1/2 weeks old. Eyes were not even open yet. He is so sweet. He loves me and my son, and has changed toward others. He doesn't like anyone else around like he used to, but my son and I, he loves. He's never bitten anyone tho. He just makes the noises at others letting them know to leave him alone. Ha! He was 4 1/2 months old during the winter and knew I couldn't release him then. He is now 10 months old, and has actually been outside to play all day 4 times now. And comes back to me. I then put him back in his cage. He seems to be wanting out more, but really worried about how to go about it. He don't know how to build his own nest, etc. Anyone have any suggestions on what to do if I'd let him stay out now. I actually built him a nest house, and was thinking of nailing it up in the tree, but just hoping he uses it when it's there. Just don't want to do wrong with him. Just seems so happy when he's out running tho, and he seems sad now when caged. Please, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Cindy - 2014-01-08
    Hi. The 2 squirrels we raised took to the nest box immediately on release. My husband fed them almost every day by climbing the ladder to their box. However as of day b4 yesterday they were gone. There 1 night and gone the next. Do you know if they might return? They r now about 5 months old. They had stayed in the nest box for over a month. I am so sad.
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Jessica Jean - 2006-04-12
I have an eastern gray squirrel that we have had for almost 6 months. She came to us fully furred with only the top or bottom teeth - can't remember now. She couldn't have eaten for days. She and two other squirrels finally fell out of a palm tree after their mother had died in the round 5-7 days prior. I gave her sugar water when I first took her in. She slept for the next 22 hours. This gave me time to research and buy esbilac, karo syrup, electrolyte water and whipping cream. She liked everyone, at first, but now, she only likes myself and my son. She will bite anyone else! We love her and spoil her rotten. She eats everything that she should - avocado, squash, apple, pear, grapes, spinach, brussels, carrots, sweet/potato, snow/snap pea, kiwi, celery, corn, oranges, strawberry, banana and nuts of course! She takes a nap in the middle of the day and sleeps at night. I would not recommend this animal as a pet for everyone, but it has worked out just fine for us. We have a lot of time on our hands!

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  • DONNA - 2013-03-28
    I ALSO HAVE RAISED A 2 DAY OLD BABY SQUIRREL. HE IS NOW ALMOST 8 MONTHS OLD. I CAN HANDLE HIM WITH NO PROBLEM BUT, HE ATTACKS MY HUSBAND. I AM TRYING TO TRANSITION HIM TO OUTSIDE LIFE SO I CAN EVENTUALLY RELEASE HIM. ANY SUGGESTIONS??? I HAVE ALSO NOTICED HIM SUCKING HIMSELF IS THIS NORMAL???
  • Becky - 2013-04-02
    @Donna--while doing research on squirrels I remember reading that sometimes squirrels will suck on each other or themselves. I tried going through some of the websites I'd saved for reference but must not have saved that one. But apparently it's a normal thing. OK I just looked up if it was normal for a squirrel to suck himself & there are some fun responses on the squirrelboard.com. They say it's normal; he's just getting his jollies off LOL But seriously, they say at that age they do that and will be humping their toys/stuffed animals. So now you know! (Must be a teenage squirrel);)
  • Mr. Bill - 2013-12-26
    My 2 squirrels do this too. It seems disturbing but is normal. Although it seems that this repetative action is elongating their genitals. I have twin boys about 15 weeks old and they do this just after feeding for the most part. I want to release them but feel I should wait till spring as not to cause any undo hardship by kicking them out during winter. They spend time outside daily but always come in at night when its freezing. Is this OK or am I just being too protective?
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Catherine Garriga - 2013-12-07
Ooooh! Let me see! What is it? It’s so little. What is it? It’s so cold! What is it? Go get me a scrap of flannel from the sewing room. What is it? Get the brooder plugged in. What is it? We need a bottle of Pedialite and a can of puppy formula so we can rehydrate and get him fed. What is it? This, almost a conversation, was the heralding of the newest member of our family. While my daughter sped off to Wal-mart for the puppy formula and Pedialite, my up to now, ignored, grand daughter was answered. She was not only answered, she was allowed to see and touch the tiny creature. He was naked, pink, cold, blind and had a tail like a piece of string. It was a very young baby boy squirrel.

I held him and his scrap of flannel against my chest to warm until the brooder had gotten warm, then put him in to warm up until we could get him rehydrated. I had rounded up an assortment of small bottles and nipples we keep to feed orphaned puppies and kittens and whatever other creatures come along. As it turned out, he never used one. He was too small and weak and had to be fed with a 1ml syringe.

For the first couple hours we gave him only the Pedialite for hydration, then we started the formula. We added an extra spoon of water and about half a spoon of cream to increase the fat content. He had no trouble with the syringe, at all. This may have been due to great hunger. I don’t know. We had no idea how old he was, so we just had to wait until he opened his eyes, and count backwards. Squirrels open their eyes at 5 weeks. Puppies, kittens, large parrots and things I am familiar with all open their eyes, pretty much on schedule,so I had no reason to think he would not do the same. He was about a week and a half old when we got him. My daughter was in the back yard with the dogs, and one of the dogs wouldn’t come back, so she went to see what was so interesting, and he had found what she thought was a dead mouse. We had put out rat poison the week before, and did not want the dog to mess with it, so she ran back in the house to get the “grabber” to pick it up and throw it over the fence. When she picked it up, it moved and did not look right to her, so she brought it in for me to see. 

After he opened his eyes, it was only a few days until he was doing loop-de-loops in the brooder. It has a fan and switches and stuff in the top and we did not want him hurt, so we knew he had to be moved. A cage was selected and outfitted just for him. It had all the requirements a young squirrel would need. We put in manzanita limbs,a heating pad, a thick layer of towels, several small stuffed animals, a water dish and best of all, his most loved “thingy”. It was a Christmas stocking, we turned inside out and turned the fake fur cuff back over a ring ,about 1 inch wide,cut from a 2 liter soda bottle. The thin plastic was not very stiff, but it was enough to hold the stocking open wide enough for a door. He was crazy about it. You could go in, play games, have a snack, find treasure or just fall over and take a nap. Unlike myself, my daughter is a whiz on the computer and spent a couple hours a day looking up the things we should be doing for our baby. This was not my first squirrel, but she wanted to be sure we did it right. We knew it was time for him to start getting used to the taste of food, so we got small jars of baby food in flavors we thought a squirrel would like. We got applesauce, peaches, peas,sweet potatoes, etc. When we made his formula, we added about half a teaspoon of one of these. He ate them all, but he really loved the sweet potato. Every time he ate he got bathed off with a wash cloth. First, his hands and face were washed, then his head and back and right around to his belly. He always enjoyed this. For some reason, it soothed him. He groomed his tail himself. From the very first, we had decided not to name him , because we knew he had to be raised to live wild. I’m not sure ,exactly, when we lost this, but I think it must have been about the time he was opening his eyes, because he has been called Peep Eye all his life. Via the internet, we were told many things, among them was a warning to watch for diarrhea. He did not get it. He also, must have small pieces of dry dog food, a rodent block, and a piece of antler or sterilized bone. Our stores were all fresh out of antler so Peep Eye got bone. He did bite the dog food, and immediately dropped it. As far as I could tell, the bone was never bitten and the rodent block doesn’t have a scratch on it. He grew fast and his jumping and running out grew his cage in just a few weeks. It was time to move, again. 
We selected a cage a bit larger in perimeter and more than twice as tall. All his belongings were moved and a coconut shell with 3 holes in the side, hanging from a chain, and a pinata for birds, made from cane or raffia of some kind, were added. We also added a pink velour, printed with red hearts, hammock. This became his big boy bed immediately. We had been told he should have acorns and pinecones. All our acorns had been eaten and the pinecones were dry and open. We gave him a couple, anyway, and he was a bit puzzled. He studied them a minute, walked all around them and sniffed at them, then sat up and gave us a strange look. It was as if we were brain damaged and he was obliged to be kind to us. We started giving him more grown up food at this time. He got pieces of sweet potato,apple,string beans,kale, and whatever fresh produce was available. We strung cheerios on a string and made a big loop. They are great training food for large parrots, so why not squirrels? He played with them, wrestled and climbed them and they frenquently whipped his little squirrel behind, but eventually he got the best of them and actually ate a few and broke a few. He was introduced to the wonderous world of nuts and seeds shortly after this. Peanuts were not a problem, neither were sunflower seeds. At first, we cracked the harder shelled nuts, like walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, and filberts, just to give him a head start. The almonds he could handle himself. He proved to be a real southern gentleman, just like I had thought. Pecans were his favorites!! 

We were all smitten with him by this time, especially my daughter. She had taken over 90% of his care long before this time. She was totally enamored by him and the feeling was totally mutual. When she left the room, he hopped down the hall behind her. He was so adorable it’s hard to describe. He ran around jumping from chair to chair and person to person faster than your eyes could track him. He would nuzzle your cheek and play with your hair and perch on your shoulder and make a low, strange, snuffling kind of noise I can only describe as a sort of purring. He did not do this very often and it seemed to be a kind of contented noise. He was growing so fast and there was a lot for him to learn before he could make it on his own.

He had to have a nesting box to use until he could build his own, so we got busy and gathered up the wood needed for this little project. We made it the suggested size and put both an entrance and an exit door, just the way we knew he liked because he had eaten two in every basket and such we had given him. I have a large greeenwing macaw who has a very large wrought iron cage she only uses for sleeping. This leaves the cage empty all day, and it makes a wonderful play ground for a squirrel. We had been wondering exactly how a person would teach a squirrel to build a nest. We soon had an answer. We placed the nest box in the large iron cage, along with a bundle of nesting stuff and some fo his favorite toys, one of which,was a tiny stuffed dog. When we put him in the cage, he was a bit leery at first. After a minute or two curiosity got the better of him and he sneaked around behind the box, climbed up the bars and pounced on top of it. He froze. After a minute it had done nothing, so he decided it was safe and proceeded to examine it completely, inside and out. He went in and out both doors, then started hauling in the nesting material. Boy! Did we feel stupid, or what? He liked the nesting box and played in it all the time, but would not sleep in it.

We started putting him out side, on the porch during the day, in another larger cage we had. I know most people don’t have all these cages and a brooder just sitting around, but we have raised macaws, silkies,and Rhode Island reds for many years and do, and we chose to use them instead of the Tupper wear tubs recommended. We also felt that life with no playmates would be rather boring, so we chose to provide PeepEye with toys and as much entertainment as feasable. The first day he was outside, a young female came to visit. They rubbed noses and patted hands and she squeezed between the bars and he allowed her to share his food. She came to visit every day. After 3 days it was obvious that he wanted out, so we opened the cage. He ran off, but came back that night, freezing and starving. He came in and ate for hours, then went to sleep and slept like the dead. This happened twice and then he stayed gone overnight. Again, he was starved and frozen. This time he slept and ate alternately all night and the next day. He stayed gone all night, while we worried ourselves sick, and then it was over. He came home and was sitting on the porch rail, so my daughter went out to take him a pecan. He jumped on her shoulder and nuzzled her cheek a minute, then he jumped down and ran off into the trees. That was the last time any one touched him. Both PeepEye and his little girl friend and another slightly larger friend come everyday. They look for a treasure and we make sure there is always one to find.

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