There is a geographic difference in size for Eastern grey squirrels in North America.  Body mass increases as you go further north, so young born in the north will likely be bigger on average than those born further south – although features of each age (for example time when eyes open, or teeth erupt) will be the same.  This chart is based on the experience of wildlife rehabilitators at the northern edge of Eastern grey squirrel habitat.  Some internet sites indicate a baby Eastern grey squirrel will weight 13-18 grams at birth and about 90 grams when its eyes open at 4 weeks of age – whereas the experience of rehabilitators further north found that young just opening their eyes averaged 120-135 grams, and newborns weighed 20-25 grams in the birth to 1 week age range. Weights for young at the same stage of development will thus vary not only between individuals but across regions as well.  Therefore it is best to decide how much formula to feed based on individual weights using this chart as a general guide only.


AGE (weeks)











Birth to

1 week


3 inches long excluding tail


pink, no fur


eyes tightly closed




Feed 0.75 – 1.25cc per feeding 8 times a day every 2.5 hours including overnight feeding 


Example of a feeding schedule for 8X a day:   7am, 9:30am, noon, 2:30pm, 5pm, 7:30pm, 10pm, plus once overnight


Formula should be kept at bit warmer than body temperature during the entire feeding since it cools down quickly once drawn into the syringe.


Formula placed in a 1-cup measuring container fits nicely into a 2-cup measuring container partially filled with hot water and will keep the formula warm during the feeding session. Place a small cloth over formula to retain heat.





Keep baby squirrels in a warm secure room in a small enclosed box with breathing holes.  Create a cozy nest with several layers of soft non-ravelling cloth.  Change the bedding twice a day, and wash it without using fabric softener because the scents are hard on the babies’ respiratory system.  Likewise, wood chips release aromatic oils, and are thus not good to use for bedding.


Provide external heat by setting the box half-on, half-off a heating pad set to low, or put a hot water bottle well-wrapped in a cloth in the box.  Make sure it does not leak and that it is not too hot for the babies to snuggle against.  Refill it at every other feeding, or when it is no longer warm enough.



Keep small babies warm during feeding sessions by cupping them in a small cloth, while resting your hand on top of a hot water bottle.  Feed them in a quiet warm room with no distractions.


Stimulate them at each feeding – gently stroke genital area with a wet finger, Q-tip, tissue or soft wet cloth until they finish peeing and/or defecating.


Thoroughly wash their face, neck and chin after each feeding.



2 weeks


pink, scant fuzz of fur


no fur on belly


eyes closed



Feed 2.5 – 3cc per feeding 6 times a day every 3 hours 


Example of a feeding schedule for 6X a day:  7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, 10pm









3 weeks


4 inches long excluding tail, thin fur all over


eyes closed


lower front teeth (incisors) erupt at about 3 weeks of age (19 – 21 days)



Feed 4 – 5.5cc per feeding 6 times a day every 3 hours 


Example of a feeding schedule for 6X a day:  7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, 10pm








4 weeks


5 inches long excluding tail, fur all over


eyes open at about 4 weeks (27-30 days old)



Feed 6 – 9cc or more per feeding 5 times a day every 3.5 hours


Example of a feeding schedule for 5X a day:  7am, 10:30am, 2pm, 5:30pm, 9pm


After eyes open, put a few pieces of rodent block (such as “Mazuri” or “Kaytee”) in their nest with them.


If rodent block is introduced as a first teething food before other solids, they will learn to eat it, and accept it as a staple of their diet.







Note:  As babies become more aware after their eyes open, it is important to continue to feed them in a quiet room with no distractions. 


Wrapping them snugly in a soft cloth with their eyes covered will often reduce their stress and allow them to nurse better.  Feedings should be a smooth, gentle, unrushed experience for the baby and rescuer both.



5 weeks


6  inches long excluding tail, fur all over, thinner fur on underside


upper front teeth (incisors) erupt at 4-6 weeks of age


cannot yet curl tail





Feed 10 – 12cc or more per feeding 4 times a day every 4 hours


Example of a feeding schedule for 4X a day:  7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm


Continue to provide rodent block and add two new elements to their housing at this point:


1) a drinking water bottle


2) a small mammal mineral stone





Keep squirrels in a quiet warm room still, but provide them with more space to play and exercise – for example a large dog-size pet carrier (26”x15”x17”high) with a towel in the bottom and enough room for their hanging water bottle and food at the front and more soft bedding at the back they can hide in and sleep under. This enclosed space will give them a sense of security much like a tree cavity or nest. 


Start to remove their supplemental heat source gradually – unless it’s a single baby or they are not well.  Change bedding and clean carrier daily.



Rodent block is crucial to the squirrels' good health.  They need to eat this staple once they are weaned to maintain 100% nutrition in a cage – so try not to introduce other solids until they have acquired a taste for it.


After the squirrels are chewing the rodent block, other teething materials should be provided – such as hardwood branches and twigs, replaced daily. 



6 weeks



eyes fully open


cheek teeth erupt at about 6 weeks of age


can sit up

can curl tail



Feed 12 - 14cc or more per feeding 4 times a day every 4 hours


Example of a feeding schedule for 4X a day:  7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm


Add large striped unsalted sunflower seeds not the small oiled black sunflower seeds, to the dish of rodent block and a separate dish of chopped fruit such as apple, grape, banana, avocado, melon, berries, etc.







7 - 8 weeks


7 - 8 inches long, furry all over including underside of tail


tail bushier


can sit up and hold food in front paws


sleeping less, more active



Begin weaning at 7 weeks by reducing formula feedings to 3 times a day and then at 8 weeks reduce to 2 times a day, offering all they want (within reason!) at each feeding. 


Example of a feeding schedule for 3X a day:  8am, 1pm, 6pm


Example of a feeding schedule for 2X a day:  8am, 6pm


Solid foods should now consist of about 50% rodent block and 50% other foods such as: large striped sunflower seeds, nuts, a dish of fruit, and vegetables such as yam, broccoli, carrot, beans, spinach, snow peas, snap peas, cucumber, etc.







8 - 12 weeks


long fur


bushy tail


increasingly active


can climb well


By 12 – 13 weeks of age the youngsters are ¾ of adult size and ready for release.




Weaning is usually complete by 10 weeks of age.  They will want less and less formula as they eat more solid foods and most will “self wean” – but if some continue to want a little formula give it to them since it is good for them. Offer a free choice of rodent block and other foods as above.



At about 8 weeks of age, move squirrels to a large pre-release cage (at least 4ft. x 2ft. x 4ft high, made of 1” welded wire mesh) in a secure shed or garage, and provide a wooden nest box (10” x 12”). Put a large piece of plywood on the inside floor of the cage to place their dishes on so that food does not fall through the wire.


This is a very messy stage so the cage should be cleaned daily.  Place a plastic tarpaulin under the cage with an old sheet on top which will catch the debris – change the sheet once or twice a week.



Furnish the cage with fresh hardwood branches with leaves (they prefer maple) and as many natural elements as you can gather, such as acorns, maple seed keys, pine cones, flower seed heads, bark, mosses etc. Put a big hardwood stump or large log of hardwood in the bottom of the cage.




12+ weeks


Some squirrels will disappear for several days or even a week or two after they are first released, as they explore their new world.  Be sure to continue to stock a feeding station every day even if you do not see them since they need your support.


Provide their food within sight but some distance from the nest box since you do not want to attract other animals to their box. 



A good staple to provide your squirrels post-release is large, striped, unsalted sunflower seeds.  You can also give them some hard shell nuts like almonds, pecans, hazelnuts or walnuts as treats, since they can bury them and have a back-up supply of food.  One way to make sure they have fresh water (until they scout out their own source) is to nail a yoghurt container onto the truck of the tree holding their nest box, low enough for you to refill it daily. 



For spring youngsters, released in the summer, provide food and water for at least 4 weeks post-release.  For those released in the fall, please continue to feed all winter since they will not have had the time to collect and store food for the winter.