Should I ever feed a baby raccoon?

You’re going through a stroll in the woods and you find a baby raccoon alone at daytime, it could be for a ton of reasons; as the mother sleeps during the day, usually the litter strays from the mother because raccoons become nocturnal after a year and the mother will usually pick up the baby after more or less than eight hours. But, it should be looked after as it is a baby and will be susceptible to attacks from larger animals. Please make sure to wear gloves when coming in contact with the baby. Make sure the baby isn’t cold, covered with fleas, attacked by a wild animal or a cat or a dog, injured, breathing with difficulty, holding its head straight, and bleeding. If you say yes to any of these things, make sure you take it to a wildlife rehabilitation center.

The very first thing to do, before you try and feed them, is to make sure they are heated as baby raccoons cannot make their own body heat if they are younger than 5 weeks. You will need a heating pad set on low, a towel which you will fold and put atop the heating pad, then on top of that you will put a box in which you can put inside any type of soft cloth and place the babies there, for gradual heat distribution. Never, ever feed a baby that is cold, because it will result in death. Make sure they are at 101-103°F before attempting to feed them. Baby raccoons can also be dehydrated, mix 1 teaspoon of sugar in a pint of distilled or boiled water then add 1/3 teaspoons of salt. There are also other remedies, but this is the easiest.

Before feeding, make sure the baby is calm, hydrated and if not, is taking the solution in a good manner, start it on kitten replacement milk, it is in a power so it will need filtered water and not straight from the tap. The babies should be fed properly or otherwise they might die painfully. Do NOT feed them honey, milk and raw eggs. The kitten formula should be heated at their body temperature before feeding, if they can’t suck through the animal nursing bottle, use a syringe through which the baby will lick the formula form the tip. Feed it five times in a day for the first month.

After the baby grows out of the syringe, you will have to train it for a bottle. Place it on its stomach, put your hand over the muzzle and rub the back for it to start sucking. Don’t feed it too much, as they’ll start to sneeze and it can result in death after too many times. Put it on its back and let it stop sneezing, wipe the formula from the sneeze after every sneeze. It is best to stop feeding before the tummy is full and it stops sucking and searching for more. Wash the face with a damp cloth after feeding.

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Last night by carefully pulling out the wood stove fireplace and peering behind it we discovered that there were at least 2 adolescent raccoons. In reading the article it says the mother can climb down the chimney? Since there is no cap on the chimney what is the best way to retrieve the adolescent raccoons from the bottom and catch the mother somehow? Should we put a cap on the chimney now or after trying a trap at the top? Any info is greatly appreciated. Dave

My response: As stated on my website, grab the babies by hand with thick gloves, and use them as bait to trap the mother. If this is too hard, hire a trapper.

Thank you very much for replying back. Grabbing the 4 adolescent raccoons by hand is what my brother in law ended up doing the next day. I wouldn't want to so I'm glad they did it! They put a cap on the chimney so all should be safe and sound. Thanks again, Dave

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