Are you looking for an introduction to foods for baby squirrels? Read on for the ultimate food intro guide recommended by an expert squirrel rehabber! Our Baby Squirrel Feeding Chart is an excellent resource for rehabbers, squirrel owners, and wildlife rehabilitators to introduce new foods to baby squirrels. We also provide in-depth information about what age is suitable for different foods.
Disclaimer: If you find a sick, injured, or orphaned animal, please don’t take on the responsibility of caring for it yourself. Please locate a licensed rehabber in your area, and remember, this is about the animal’s one chance at life.
Looking for a Rehabber? Here are 3 Resources
- Squirrel Rehab Locator Map – input your zip code or city into the search bar of Google Maps.
- Animal Help Now – licensed rehabber directory
- Squirrel Connections – licensed rehabber directory by state
Baby Squirrel Feeding Chart: Feeding Tips
The baby squirrel feeding tips are the best practices of Karen C., an expert rehabber in New Orleans, LA. If you want to connect with Karen, you are welcome to send a message through Kitty City Squirrels or visit her Instagram page @omakoda.
Squirrels need a quality formula from birth through self-wean, usually at 12 to 14 weeks of age.
Fresh drinking water is available as soon as the squirrels open their eyes, usually around 5 weeks old. My preference is to expose the squirrel to water, even though squirrels may not begin to drink water for one to two weeks after opening their eyes.
Starting daily at 4 weeks of age, Karen places a fresh piece of rodent block in their feeding dish. The squirrel gets accustomed to the smell by having a new piece daily. They may not eat the block immediately but begin to gnaw on it.
Rodent blocks are offered daily while the squirrel is in Rehabber Karen’s care. At the age of 8 weeks, the serving increases to two (2) blocks per day.
When squirrel babies open their eyes, Karen offers solid food. When she first began rehabilitating squirrels, she witnessed babies having diarrhea and bloat. These unfortunate circumstances led her to develop a system to introduce new foods. This series of introductions work for Karen, and individual results may vary.
How Old are Squirrels When They Open Their Eyes?
Squirrel species can vary in their development, but most baby squirrels open their eyes around 4 to 5 weeks of age. At birth, squirrels are hairless, blind, and helpless, relying on their mother’s care for nourishment and protection. As they grow, they develop fur, gain mobility, and eventually open their eyes. Once their eyes are open, they become more aware of their surroundings and start to venture out of the nest and explore, typically around 6 to 8 weeks of age.
Baby Squirrel Feeding Chart 5 to 8 Weeks Old: Introduction to Vegetables & Fruits
At 5 weeks old, or when eyes are open, the squirrel is introduced to vegetables. Karen offers one kind of vegetable at a time. If there are no issues after 24 hours, another veggie is introduced. If any vegetable causes problems like diarrhea or bloat, the veggie is discontinued and introduced later.
Cut vegetables into big chunks to avoid choking. Continuallymonitor when introducing new foods.
5 to 8 weeks old
The only fruit offered during this time (5 to 8 weeks old) is avocado. Most squirrels LOVE avocados. Avocados can cause choking because the squirrels become overzealous and put too much in their mouth.
Cut avocado into thin slices and hand-feed due to possible choking hazards. Please remember to Continually monitor when introducing new foods.
|5 to 8 weeks old: Vegetables & Fruit Introduction|
|Garbanzo beans (fresh)|
|Sugar snap peas|
| 5 to 8 weeks old: Fruit|
Baby Squirrel Feeding Chart 6 to 7 Weeks Old: Introduction to Nuts
Karen introduces shelled almonds and pecans at 6 to 7 weeks old. One piece is given as a bedtime treat.
Introducing unshelled nuts to squirrels is tricky due to nut aggression. Karen saves unshelled nuts when the squirrels get transferred to the release enclosure. When in the release enclosure, Karen stops handling the squirrels.
Nuts in the shell can turn squirrels into little devils. If you’re not worried about nut aggression, then 6 to 7-week-old squirrels can have 1 to 2 nuts, NO more than that if the squirrel is captive.
Baby Squirrel Feeding Chart 8 to 9 Weeks Old: New Fruit Introductions
Karen offers apples to squirrels at 8 to 9 weeks of age. If there are no issues after 24 hours, feed blueberries, followed by grapes. Please remember to give only one type of fruit at a time. If there are no problems, continue with other varieties like blackberries, cantaloupe, cherries, coconut, cranberries, citrus, kiwi, persimmon, pomegranate, raspberries, etc., watermelon.
During a volunteer rehab shift, Karen witnessed an 8-week-old squirrel struggling. A piece of apple skin was stuck to the squirrel’s palate, and removing the skin took two people. They considered themselves lucky to be there during that emergency and used it as a lesson learned.
Remove apple and grape skins until the Squirrel is 10 weeks old or until you are sure it can handle itWithout choking.
| 8 to 9 weeks old:|
|Apples (introduce first & remove skin)|
|Grapes (remove skin)|
Baby Squirrel Feeding Chart 9 to 10 Weeks Old: Animal Protein Introductions
At 9-10 weeks old, the squirrels are fed animal protein. This includes dried grasshoppers, crickets, live or dried mealworms, and live moths. Please note that not all squirrels are into these, but giving them a try is a good idea.
| 9 to 10 weeks old:|
Animal Protein Introductions
|Live or dried mealworms|
Baby Squirrel Feeding Chart 9 to 10 Weeks Old: Wild Food Introductions
Squirrels love wild foods offered at 9 to 10 weeks of age. As a rehabber, Karen’s job is to familiarize the squirrels with some of the local area’s natural foods. If you are a rehabber, have a captive or non-release squirrel, consider educating yourself on wild edibles.
The following list I offer includes: branches with lichen, camellia buds, oxalis (all parts), pine cones, rosebuds, rose hips, white clover (all parts), wild hibiscus, etc.
| 9 to 10 weeks old:|
Wild Food Introductions
|Oxalis (all parts)|
|White clover (all parts)|
One of the most important things to know when caring for baby squirrels is what they need to eat. The diet a baby squirrel requires is complex. Learning to feed a baby squirrel can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have tips or tricks that have worked for you when feeding baby squirrels, send Kitty City Squirrels a message or leave a comment below.
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16 thoughts on “Baby Squirrel Feeding Chart – An Ultimate Intro to Foods”
What invaluable information here! Thank you very much.
Thank you so much for leaving this feedback. Makes me feel good to know that you found value in the information. Karen, the rehabber was so gracious to put the core information together for me to help others. Thanks again!!
They really have a complex diet!! Thank you for sharing and Thank you Karen for helping so many babies squirrels ❤️
Thank you, Viviane for taking the time to read the article. When Kitty City Squirrels branches out with a Fan Club, you will be the CEO!!!! Many thanks.
Fantastic guide for begginers or finders, who might find it difficult, or impossible, to locate a licenced rehabber. Like us here, in UK, where greys are illegal to keep (and, ironically, release – are we supposed to just let them die, where they are? I don’t think so) & rehabbers few & far between.
We don’t have blocks in shops but the squirrels don’t seem to mind, as long as calcium reach foods are implemented & regularly offered.
We have to improvise. But, where there is a will, there’s away! And every little helps… we very much like a carefully put together dietary plan for young squirrels & new carers.
Yes Kasia, I had another rehabber reach out to me that suggested I include calcium requirements on all dietary articles. I will be including that valuable and life-saving information. The laws in the UK are not in favor of the Greys and seem cruel. 🙁 Thank you for all you do for the Greys in the UK.
When I fell into rehabbing squirrels about 6 years ago info like this article would have helped immensely! I knew nothing and there were no rehabbers that would take my baby. I was more than happy to assist kittycitysquirrels with this article. Hoping this info helps those who are interested.
Thank you so much, Karen, for contributing your valuable knowledge to help others in the future. Just today, I had a message from another rehabber in Florida that recently had an incident with a squirrel almost choking on grape skin. Thankfully like you, she was there to intervene. She said it only takes once to learn not to make that mistake again. This information is essential because you may save numerous squirrels by sharing your experience with others. Kitty City Squirrels thanks you immensely and look forward to more trusted rehabber knowledge from you.
This article has valuable information even for squirrels living in a backyard tree. Most of the time my squillys do their squirreling on their own as far as veggies are concerned. Eating tree leaves, grasses, and dandelions. They know what they need best. But, since there are no local fruit trees or vines, I’ve noticed that if I set out some fruits, (grapes, blueberries, avocado, or the occasional peach and then pumpkin in the fall) they seem to enjoy the additional yummies to their diets.
Wow, what a variety you offer your backyard babies! Mine, as you know 🙂 go for grapes, blueberries, avocado, and cherries. I shall give peach and pumpkin a try! @omakado did a wonderful job helping me with the valuable information in this article! Thanks so much for reading and supporting Kitty City Squirrels.
This is a wonderful article, and I’m glad to see the way I have been introducing new foods has been a good method! However I was wondering, how many peices of vegetables would you give them a day, based on weight or age? I’ve got a 7 week old eastern grey, and he’s small for his age, should I be overly concerned about offering him too many vegetables; or will he sort that out himself? He loves the veggies I’ve been giving him, I just want to make sure I’m not offering him too much. Today I gave him one rodent block and 4 peices of vegetables. Not huge peices, maybe the size of my thumb or a little less. (He gets one nut per day right now, an almond or hazelnut. I wait until the end of the day so that I know he’s eating his other foods throughout the day and not being picky and only wanting the nut)
Hello Lena, Thank you very much for your comment. I also sent you a direct email with Rehabber Karen’s response which is also posted below. Many thanks, Maddy
We’re so pleased to know that the squirrel feeding article is helping you raise your little one. I would recommend offering more than 4 pieces of food. I’d probably double the pieces offered, plus add a couple of green leafy veggies. Continue with the rodent block. You will have waste. That’s just part of raising a squirrel. Because you mentioned your baby is a bit on the small side, I’d make one of those pieces be avocado because of its high fat. ***Monitor their intake of avocado, especially the first few times you give it. As I mentioned in the article, they can become overzealous and choke. Sounds like you’re doing a great job!
Your article is great and thank you. Here is my story of the little orphaned squirrel I found:
“My cat found a baby squirrel, which had fallen from a tree. It looked dead and cold, but when I picked him up he still moved… I took care of him and after 2 weeks he is doing very well, he has a bushy tail and is supper strong with sharp claws. I think it is time to buy a cage to keep him until next spring when he is able to fend for himself. He is still on Esbilac formula every 4 hours. Need to start on solid food, maybe avocados. Any additional advice, which could help me?
Thank you Sylvia,
I emailed you as well as Karen the author of the article regarding your questions. Thank you so much for supporting the website. Maddy
Wonderful article. I was looking up when you introduce fresh drinking water to my baby squirrel. His eyes opened yesterday. After every meal I wipe him down with a wet napkin to remove any spilled milk or urine off of him. I noticed he licks the napkin everytime I use it. Should I try offering water in the syringe, a dish of water in the enclosure, or a rodent bottle water that goes on the side of the cage? In the past I used the syringe but I was wondering if there is a better option so he can stay hydrated on his own terms.
Thank you for your question and I have sent your message to Karen and I am awaiting a reply. Will let you know when I hear from her.