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better place one squirrel at a time
Calcium is absolutely required
Calcium prevents a host of illnesses, most specifically metabolic bone disease. Consider any of the following:
calcium powder (sprinkled on fruit), cuttlebone (available at pet stores), deer antler or cleaned beef bones, Fox Valley formula (can be fed to adults in as a liquid or sprinkled on food as a powder), and yogurt. Dont forget mushrooms, they provide a significant source of Vitamin D, a nutrient necessary for calcium absorption.
Variety is key! We can never replicate the perfect balanced diet for any species of squirrel. There are many factors such as geographical range, time of year and the lack of research available on the nutritional needs of flying squirrels. The best we can do is provide local natural foods supplemented with a wide variety of items we can purchase in pet and grocery stores.
Natural Foods In the wild, flyers dine on mushrooms and other fungus including truffles (only feed flyers mushrooms safe for human consumption. If you aren't sure, purchase portobellos or other mushrooms sold in your local grocery store). Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D, a must have for nocturnal animals to absorb calcium.
Flyers also eat tree products (see list below of safe trees) such as saps, lichens, flowers, & buds. Try also a variety of fruits and berries.
Tress provide an important source of nutrients and help the flyer to maintain healthy teeth. Always provide clean young branches untreated by pestisides. The following trees are safe for squirrels: acorn, apple, aspen, birch, bottlebrush, cherry, dogwood, filbert, fruit, hickory, locust, magnolia, maple, mulberry, oak, orange, pine, pear, pecan, pine, poplar, portulaca, raintree, spruce, torenia, and walnut.
In the wild, flyers eat insects such as cicadas, crickets, grasshoppers, grubs, and moths.
You can also offer insects available for reptiles in most pet stores such as mealworms and wax worms. Freeze dried crickets or meal worms are an easy alternative. As are hard boiled eggs.
Treats are always offered sparingly
Almonds, black walnuts, chestnuts, dried fruit
flax seed, hazelnuts (filberts), oats (raw/dry/unflavored/unsweetened), pecans
pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, safflower seeds
sesame seeds, soy nuts, and squash seeds.
Unlike tree squirrels, rodent block should not make up the bulk of the flyer’s diet. Consider a block made for Flying Squirrels, like Henry’s Healthy Pet Block for flying squirrels along with a mix of healthy fruits & veggies.
Information on the natural history and care of flying squirrels
Flying Squirrels ARE NOT sugar gliders!
Sugar Gliders (Petaurus breviceps) are marsupials more closely related to the possum with entirely different nutritional needs than flying squirrels. Never feed flying squirrels commercial diets for sugar gliders.
Please discuss diet with a knowledgeable resource or your veterinarian.
Squirrel Refuge makes every effort to publish accurate information. It is your responsibility to verify the accuracy of all information, claims, and advice before taking any action that may cause harm to your pet or wildlife in your care. If you believe any information is inaccurate, please contact us.