Baby squirrels are some of the cutest animals found in the animal kingdom, with their big eyes and fluffy tails. But what do these adorable creatures eat?
As with all animals, the diet of baby squirrels is an essential part of their growth and development.
When baby squirrels are born, they are blind, hairless, and completely dependent on their mother for survival.
During the first few weeks of their lives, they rely on their mother’s milk for all their nutritional needs.
As they grow and develop, baby squirrels will start to eat solid food, gradually transitioning from a diet of milk to one consisting of nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects.
For those who find orphaned baby squirrels, it is important to know what to feed them. While it may be tempting to give them cow’s milk or other human foods, baby squirrels require a specialized formula that mimics their mother’s milk.
If you find an orphaned baby squirrel, it is best to contact a wildlife rehabilitator who can provide the proper care and nutrition needed for the squirrel’s survival.
What Do Baby Squirrels Eat?
Baby squirrels, also known as kits, are born blind and completely dependent on their mothers for sustenance.
As they grow, they start to explore the world around them and begin to eat solid foods in addition to their mother’s milk.
Once baby squirrels are around six weeks old, they start to eat solid foods. Their diet mainly consists of nuts and seeds, such as pecans, walnuts, and acorns.
They also eat fruits and vegetables, including apples, grapes, strawberries, watermelon, and avocado.
It’s important to note that baby squirrels should not be fed processed or salty foods, as they can cause dehydration.
For the first six weeks of their lives, baby squirrels rely solely on their mother’s milk for nutrition. Squirrel milk is high in fat and protein, which helps the kits grow quickly.
It’s essential that baby squirrels receive enough milk during this time to ensure they develop properly.
Fruits and Vegetables
In addition to nuts and seeds, baby squirrels also eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. These foods provide essential vitamins and minerals that are important for their growth and development.
Some good options include apples, grapes, strawberries, watermelon, and avocado.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a staple in a squirrel’s diet, and baby squirrels are no exception. Pecans, walnuts, and acorns are all great options.
It’s important to note that nuts should be unsalted and not coated in any sugary or chocolatey substances, which can be harmful to baby squirrels.
Overall, baby squirrels have a varied diet that includes solid foods, milk, fruits, and vegetables. It’s important to feed them a balanced diet to ensure they grow up healthy and strong.
How to Feed Baby Squirrels
Feeding Orphaned Baby Squirrels
When feeding orphaned baby squirrels, it is important to first determine their age. If they are less than 5 weeks old, they will require a special formula that mimics their mother’s milk.
This formula can be purchased at most pet stores or obtained from a wildlife rehabilitator.
The formula should be warmed to body temperature before feeding. Baby squirrels should be fed every 2-3 hours, including throughout the night.
A small syringe or dropper can be used to administer the formula, being careful not to force the formula into their lungs.
As the baby squirrel grows, they can be introduced to solid foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
These foods should be chopped into small pieces and offered in a shallow dish. Fresh water should also be provided.
Weaning Baby Squirrels
Weaning baby squirrels typically occurs around 8-10 weeks of age.
At this point, they can be introduced to a variety of foods such as nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. It is important to offer a balanced diet that includes both protein and calcium.
Gradually decrease the amount of formula being offered and increase the amount of solid foods. Offer fresh water at all times.
Baby squirrels should be monitored closely during the weaning process to ensure they are eating and gaining weight properly.
If you are unsure about how to feed baby squirrels, it is recommended to seek the advice of a wildlife rehabilitator.
They can provide guidance on proper feeding techniques and ensure the baby squirrel is receiving the appropriate nutrition for their age and condition.
Baby squirrels require a specific diet to ensure proper growth and development. Depending on the species of squirrel, their diet may vary slightly, but generally, they require a diet rich in protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
American red squirrels, for example, have a diet that consists of a variety of foods, including seeds, nuts, fruit, and insects. They also eat mushrooms, tree bark, and sap.
It is important to note that baby squirrels should not be fed cow’s milk or human baby formula, as these do not provide the necessary nutrients for their growth.
Instead, specialized squirrel formula can be purchased at most pet stores or online.
As with any animal, it is important to consult with a veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitation expert before attempting to care for a baby squirrel.
They can provide guidance on proper feeding and care to ensure the squirrel has the best chance of survival.
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