Sumo Squirrels

I mentioned last week that I had taken in two stragglers. Well, so far they’ve been doing very well. They have really healthy appetites, they’re peeing and pooping the way they should, and (knock on wood), no one’s come down with any kind of illness. There’s just one thing…


One of the best ways to judge a squirrel’s age is by when their eyes open, which is pretty consistently at the 5-week mark. So, since they had just opened their eyes when I got them ten days ago, that would make them about 6-1/2 weeks old now. According to the charts, they should way between 110 and 150 grams.

This morning, when I weighed them (before they’d drunk a drop of formula), the female was 190g and the male 199! They’ve been gaining between 5 and 12 grams a day, which is a lot for this age—usually they would gain 2-5 grams from one day to the next.

However, I guess i shouldn’t really be surprised. Because the other thing that’s different is that they drink the full amount of formula—12cc—at every single feeding. With my other sets, most of them would have at least one feeding a day where they wouldn’t be that hungry and they’d push away the nipple when they were full. Not these guys! They take every drop they can get. 🙂

This is actually a good thing, as the bigger they are when they go outside, the better their chances of thriving. What makes it seem strange, however, is that their behaviour still reflects their ages. So, for example, they’re just starting to climb and are quite tentative about it, even though they’re as big as my earlier sets were when they were running like maniacs all around the cage.

It reminds me of a story a friend of mine used to tell. When his son was two years old, he was as tall as most three-year-olds. So when he was out playing with other kids, everyone thought he was a little backwards because they thought he was a year older than he actually was. It all worked out fine but when I watch these Amazonian-like squirrels taking a few steps on the side of the cage and then stopping for a rest, I remember that story.

Here are a few pics and a video of my “little” sumo squirrels.

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