Because they are so young, I do not think that they will live. But I decided to include this story on the internet so we can all learn something about taking care of lil' baby animals!
If you find a baby or hurt animal you should contact someone who has experience with taking care of wildlife, or just leave the amimal alone... a baby's mom may be just out finding food and will return to tend to the young ones. This site has a great listing for Wildlife Rehabilitators or you can contact your local Veterinarian.
May 26, 1998
Baby chipmunks, just days old. They have no fir. Eyes are not open. Ears have just started to pop away from their heads. They have lil' whiskers (what hair they have is by their whiskers). Their skin is still very thin, and you can see some of their organs through the skin. From the tip of their nose, to their tail bone, they are only about 2" long.
We are feeding them a mix of water, sugar and puppy milk. One to two drops every half hour. They are laying in a bed of pine chips with a yellow lamp over them to help keep them warm.
Here is a picture of under the dog house... Julia the pig's house! You can see where the chipmunk dug her little house area. There was an entrance and an exit hole on each side of her home.
What happened... and why do we have these babies?
While moving the outside animal pens (so they would have more shade)... we found these lil' baby chipmunks. There were eleven of them... but only 4 were still alive when we found them. One of the babies was very weak, and only taking a breath every minute or so. He died an hour after we had brought them in our house.
The mom chipmunk had built her home under Julia's house (our Pot Belly Pig). She may have been injured when we moved the house because she did not return to get her babies. This is why we decided to bring them in to our home. We know these are baby chipmunks because we knew a chipmunk lived under the house, often times we watched her scurry around for food. (One lived under Peanut's house too - there were no babies found there!)
PLEASE NOTE: If there is a chance of a Mom being around to care for babies, it is best to leave the babies where you find them!
May 27, 1998
The babies have not grown much... giggle! It's only been a day that we've had them in our home. But it is nice to see that we've made it through one day!!! We still not have seen the Momma Chipmunk, but are keeping our eyes open or her in hopes that she will come back looking for them!
They cry when you pick them up to feed them. I wrote to a few people who have web sites on chipmunks, and I read all of the information I could find by using the search engines.
I've changed their diet to include a blend of water, puppy milk, bread, peanuts, mixed baby cereal (for human babies), lettuce and a couple little pieces of carrots. I put this all in a blender and liquefied it. I put this in an eye dropper to feed them (sometimes also using a tiny nursery bottle for animals). Again, still only giving them one or two lil' drop fulls at a time.
They have started moving around more. I put small seeds in an area of their cage... as I read that some rodents can eat them when they are young (very young)... like gerbils and hamsters. Even though they are scooting around their cage more, we have not noticed them eating any seeds.
May 27, afternoon...
Here is the real color of the babies. The others were taken under their yellow "warming" light. This is just about the actual size of the babies.
We received an email from Toni... Toni has really nice pages about Chipmunks! Toni had some great suggestions about what we should feed the babies! ...and suggested that we should try our best to find the Mommy Chipmunk because she had milk that the babies really needed!
We decided that we should take the babies outside so that maybe their mommy would come along and find them. We nested them in a lil' basket of pine chips... along with a few seeds for mom! Their body temperature went down, so we set up a make-shift nursery for them to keep them warm. Then we put a fence around them to protect them from the dogs, ducks and geese. This area is only a few feet away from where they were found, and the fence sets by the wood pile were we have seen Chipmunks skuttle to. Every half hour we go out to check on them, and to give them food and/or water.
May 27, afternoon...
We never saw Mommy Chipmunk all day... but we think she was near by (or at least another chipmunk was around) Shortly after we brought the babies in for the night... one of them died. His breathing was shallow, and he did not eat. The other two seemed to be getting use to the eye dropper and nursery bottle... they actually have started lapping their food up when placed in their mouth. We just hope that they are getting enough food... and enough of the nourishment they need.
We will try again tomorrow to see if Mommy Chipmunk will find her babies. Toni wrote us, checking on the babies and offered some more great advice... we added a stuffed animal so they have something to snuggle with... the Teenie Beanie fits perfectly! It seems they love to sleep on their backs! In the photo you see one of them resting that way! ...and the other, is snuggled with Happy the Hippo!
The two babies made it through another night. Both are doing fine. One seems to eat the formula better than the other. Their skin appears to be a bit thicker. You can no longer see through it as I did when we first found the babies. ...but there does seem to be more skin than they need right now, as it bags over them. ...sort of like the style of clothes today! smile!
May 28, afternoon
They are still doing fine... and moving around more. Today we had to go out for a couple of hours ... uh-oh... WHAT do we do with the babies? No one would be home to care for them. We decided to pack them up and take them along with us. We placed them in their small basket, this way they would be close for warmth... we could not take their heat light with us. It is still very important that they eat often, so we took thier bottle of formula and feed them as we went out to do our errands! They didn't seem to mind the ride at all! ...when you have babies... you have to make sure you take care of them!
We were not able to set them outside today in hopes that Momma Chipmunk would find them. When we returned home it began to sprinkle... with the possiblities of a thunder storm. Looks like the weather will be the same tomorrow. We will keep an eye on the weather!!!
You were right Toni... Momma Chipmunk enjoyed the bread! She grabbed it up and filled her lil' cheeks! She may have ate it all... except the ducks waddled by and gobbled it up before Momma could get back from where she was storing the food. Tomorrow we will try Almond Nuts as suggested! We've decided to call this Chipmunk... Toni! We are still not sure if this is Momma Chipmunk... or may be Daddy Chipmunk???
Debi emailed with a great suggestion... she nursed a starving baby dachshund when it was only a day old by using a syringe to feed her baby puppy. Sounds like this is a good idea, as the baby chipmunks mouths are so tiny!
We think this is Momma Chipmunk (the photo above). This chipmunk ran around the yard gathering food... in all the normal places we have seen her (them - all of the chipmunks) at before. We decided to set up camp and sit outside with the babies. Camera in one hand, the baby's bottle of formula in the other. The chipmunk kept running to the area where the babies were found. She came within a few feet of the babies, but seemed to be scared off easily. By the end of the day she got within a few inches, but never close enough to check out what was in the basket. Maybe tomorrow. We decided it was time to come in about dusk when the misquetos started buzzing around us. It appeared that Momma Chipmunk decided it was also time to end her day as she had not come back out of hiding for sometime.
The mix of formula seems to be doing good... the baby's skin is thicker, and they are growing a bit fatter. The mix now is water, puppy milk, corn syrup and baby dry cereal. We are still feeding them a few drops every 1/2 hour to hour. They continue to show improvement on their eating habits... lapping the drink up as it is fed to them. One, the smallest, is even washing her face after she is done eating. Today one even scratched as if he had been bitten by a flea.
We sat outside Saturday for a few hours with the baby chipmunks, Toni was no where to be seen. Sunday, Toni came out once that we noticed. But she never came by the baby chipmunks.
Today I sat outside for awhile again with the babies, although we saw Toni... she never came near us. We will try again later. The babies are still drinking their formula, but have slowed down today on how much they are drinking at one time. Both Roger and I have the flu, and hope that the babies don't get sick because of us.
They seem to be getting stronger. We can find them moving around their home area. We placed them in a large plastic storage box, about 20x30 in size. Their heat lamp fits perfectly on it! On the bottom of the box we put pine chips and some of the leaves and grasses that were with their nest when we found them. When we go outside with them, we still place them in their small basket.
They don't seem to be as pink as when we first found them... instead their skin is turning a darker shade on their top side. There stomach and legs are still pink. Their eyes are still shut (it looks like black dots with skin over the top of them), and tiny slits are starting to form.
...one week later
Today should have been a grand day... but it turned out not to be such a happy day! Roger and I had the flu... we thought... turns out it was a virus due to bad water. (We have well water) In the early morning, both babies were not drinking their formula, or water! One would not even open her mouth to take in any food, and when forced, the food was rejected. Her breathing became worse. The other lil' one was running all around their box... really running!
I stayed up with them trying to help them hang on to life... but about 3 in the morning, one died. A few hours later, the other one died. Our other animals were okay, they are older, so the water did not effect them... but for the babies their system had not been strong enough to fight off the germs from the bad water.
Thank you.... to everyone who sent email!!! I will be posting some of their suggestions to share with everyone!!!