Friday, April 19, 2013

How Big are the Babies?

First, I need to give a shout out to my cousins-in-love (FIL's nieces)
Hi Gloria!!      Hi Karen!!


The babies are between 11 and 12 weeks old now.
If they'd grown up in the wild, mom squirrel would have weaned them by now.

These babies are now getting apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, leaves, twigs and a special rodent food that has all the nutrients they need to grow properly.





I fully weaned these four off their formula, last week.
In the wild, they would still be living with their mom and sharing the same nest.


They would be scurrying about in their tree and venturing further and further from the nest each day.
In the wild, this is when they would be most vulnerable to predators.
As with youngsters of any species, they get busy playing and forget to watch out for themselves.
Hawks, cats and tree climbing snakes are their main worry.
Once they venture onto the ground, their predator list jumps dramatically.


photo credit: http://cabinetcuriosities.deviantart.com/

This is also the age when their teeth really begin growing quickly.
If you've ever had a squirrel in your attic, you'll know about their constant chewing.
Squirrel teeth continue to grow throughout their lifetime.
Chewing is the only way to keep their teeth the proper length.


Deer antlers are great for chewing on, plus they provide a valuable source of calcium.
  You can certainly tell how sharp and tough their teeth are by looking at this bit of antler in their cage.
I've been bitten by an adult squirrel one time.
Right through a fingernail.
Not fun.



Just within the last week, they've gotten very frightened of me and Jenna.
The constant handling during bottle feedings has given way to running and hiding when one of us enters the room.


People ask me if it makes me sad that they are afraid of me now.
Quite the opposite.
I'm thrilled!
It means I've done my job properly.
Next week when I get back from a quick trip to see family, I'll begin the process of release.  
It'll take another month, but it's time for them to move to a bigger and outdoor cage.

3 comments:

  1. Your squirrels seem to be doing great!! We raised two baby squirrels my Dad found in the woods - eyes still closed. They went from box, to little dog kennel to big dog kennel to our back screen porch. When they started jumping on my Mom when she walked out - she opened the screen door and they lived in the back yard and came in to the screen porch for only a couple of days. Larry and Moe lived in our back yard for several years.

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  2. Your adopted squirrel babies look great. You're a fine squirrel momma. The baby squirrels around here are coming out to play, and just like most kids, they forget to be careful. Still they're fun to watch. Here's hoping those big-eyed babies of yours continue to thrive.

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  3. Your "baby" squirrels are very cute. You seem to have done a great job in raising them. I look forward to the "baby" updates.

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