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.
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.
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.
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.