And, we’re back.
I actually picked the gang back up on Tuesday, but haven’t had a chance to post again since then. They’re all doing really well and are MUCH bigger than when I sent them off to the babysitters—they’re all over 200g now and my biggest crossed the 300g threshold this morning!
The first day back was a bit difficult, because they weren’t as trusting of me as before when I tried to pick them up. And we have a new, bigger cage, to give them more room to climb, but it doesn’t have the best door setup for getting them in and out. And I can’t just put them in a shoebox after they feed anymore, because they can open it. It took me a while to figure out another option. I didn’t want to just put them in my cat carrier, because they will go right to the back of it, making them hard to reach (and making it easier for one to escape while I work on taking out another). So I put a couple of boxes in the back of the carrier and pressed towels in the gaps, so it’s not so deep. After a couple of shaky feeding sessions, it seems to be working out well now.
I left my squirrels with their “babysitter” this morning and I miss them already! But Connie is one of the most experienced members of the squirrel team, so at least I know they’re in terrific hands.
Since I don’t have much to report today (fortunately, they were all in peak health when I handed them over), and I won’t be posting again for another week, I thought I’d just share some more videos and pictures.
Spider Squirrel, Spider Squirrel
Does whatever a Spider Squirrel Does…
Everyone was in great shape today. Just in time for me to hand them over to someone else…
I have some friends coming into town on Wednesday, so tomorrow I’m taking the gang over to another volunteer’s house to look after them for the next week, then I’ll get them back. It’s going to be weird not planning my entire day around their feeding schedule!
I forgot to mention yesterday that my big guy has passed the 200-gram mark! Pretty soon we’ll have to start feeding him through the cage, ’cause they start to become unhandleable at about that size/age.
I’ll have some more videos to post tomorrow. I’ve been trying to take some more still photos as well, but it’s almost impossible now. They’re constantly on the move and my auto-focus lens can’t keep up with them!
My little girl is back to 100%, if not more. She’s completely full of beans, and I’m lovin’ it!
Instead, today’s worry was that two of the other squirrels weren’t taking in much formula for a few feedings in a row. They’re supposed to drink 10-15cc per feeding, based on their weight, but one was only drinking about 5cc and the other about 3cc. This isn’t unusual for a single feeding, but this happened at last night’s final feeding, this morning’s first one (when they hadn’t eaten all night), and the next one as well.
They were clearly healthy—very squirmy and pooping well. So my concern was that they might be eating too much solid food, and starting to wean themselves way too early. But fortunately they were guzzling the stuff down like crazy at 5:00, so all seems well again.
Whew… when I signed up for this gig, I had no idea there would be so many little things that could cause me so much stress. I have NO idea how parents do this for 18 years!
I spent most of today worried about one of my girls. She’s the smallest one of the group, although only by a few grams. She’s also the one who’s had occasional digestive problems, with some minor diarrhea and constipation. But recently she had been totally fine. In fact, even when she had those issues, she was always one of the more active ones when I would feed her. She would excitedly clutch at the syringe and when I reached for another one, she would run all around my lap until the next nipple showed up. And I’ve been saying all along that, as long as they’re running around full of energy, I figure they must be fairly healthy.
But at last night’s final feeding, when I picked her up from the cage, she was almost limp. She showed no enthusiasm for eating at all and didn’t struggle when I held her up to look at her belly—not like her at all. So I figured she must have overeaten during the day and by morning she’d be fine.
Now that they’ve all got their eyes open, they’re becoming a lot more active, as well as a lot more interactive, as you’ll see in this video. (By the way, you can right-click on the video screen and choose Zoom > Full Screen to get a better view.)
Also, based on their weight and the fact that each of them has been not hungry for at least one daily feeding, I’ll be changing their schedule tomorrow from every 4 hours/5 times a day to every 5 hours/4 times a day. They’re definitely growing!
Not much to report today (which is a good thing!). They’re now ranging from 126-186 grams, so they’re certainly thriving.
It’s funny though. Even though they’ve been doing so well and they’re all very energetic, I couldn’t help but worry when two of the males didn’t want to eat much at one of the feedings. But they both ate the normal amount at the next one, which I guess goes to show that, just like people, they don’t always want to eat the same amount at the same time every day. Especially since they’re now eating the solid food in the cage, so they’re not coming to each feeding with empty tummies like they were when they were younger.
I did take some more videos today, but haven’t had a chance to transfer them to my computer yet. So stay tuned…
Five squirrels. Ten open eyes. Woo-hoo!
I don’t have much to say today, so I’ll just post a few new videos.
This was how I found the gang when I went in for one feeding.
Another weird thing happened today, although this one was kind of funny.
At this morning’s first feeding, my little guy’s left eye was fully open. (Yay!) At the second feeding, his right eye was halfway open, but his left eye was closed again. (?) THAT didn’t happen with my other ones…
Then, at the third and fourth feedings, his right eye was fully open and his left eye was just slightly open. (!) But by the last feeding, they were both fully open, so I guess he isn’t regressing after all. (Whew! 🙂
AND… at the last feeding, my last little girl had one eye open too!
All in all, a very good day for squirrels.
Wow, has it been two weeks already since I brought home my little charges? It’s hard to believe I was ever worried about them not eating enough, seeing how much they love to toss back the formula now!
Even though they’re all eating more, the process goes much faster for several reasons:
- I’ve finally got my routine down pat: fill the syringes, moisten a cotton ball and a Q-tip in case they’re needed, set up a t-shirt so I can easily throw it over my lap as soon as I sit down, etc.
- I don’t need to spend five minutes before feeding each one just trying to get the air bubbles out of the syringes… 🙂
- Between me getting better at controlling the flow of the formula, and their mouths being able to hold more, they almost never aspirate anymore
- The three who have their eyes open don’t need to be stimulated to pee and poop afterwards
Speaking of opening their eyes, I’m starting to get a little impatient for the last two to get there. They’re both in the right weight range, but so far no signs. Maybe tomorrow?