Raccoon babies

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by All country, May 14, 2005.

  1. All country

    All country Well-Known Member

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    We had some nasty storms here last night. A huge limb that a raccoon family was living in was blown from a tree and crashed to the ground killing all but 2 very little babies. The are very young I would guess maybe 2 weeks. They do have their eyes open. Anyway because of the storm I was unable to get to town to buy some special formula for them before the farm supply store closed. They got very hungry last night so, I used some raw cows milk, diluted 1/2 with water and added a bit of blackstrap molasses. They seemed to like this OK and this morning were ready for more. They didn't seem to have any problems with it. I was wondering if anyone knows if this formula would work to raise them on. I was thinking maybe to add a raw egg into the mix. We can buy the formula if we have to, but money is tight and we would like to avoid the expensive formulas if we can.

    They quickly latched on to the family with no aggressive behavior. They really like to snuggle at our neck and will cry to be picked up. Does anyone have any other ideas how to care for these babies.
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Canned condensed milk has worked before for coons and kittens both.
     

  3. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    They are really cute when babes but just think what they grow up to be.
     
  4. Mary in MO

    Mary in MO Well-Known Member

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    I've never bottled a coon so I'd just guess a good animal replacement formula would work. I do know they are prone to distemper so I'd go to a vet and have them checked out. Rabies too, but I don't know about passing it on if the mom was infected. They are very cute till their hormones come in. If you want to release them (I strongly encourage this) just keep them warm and comfy now and when they are ready for solid foods start breaking the attachment. You might want to keep them outside and just provide water and a bowl of dog chow to encourage them to look for natural foods. Wean them off your dog food rations as they mature so they go on. It's a lot of work.

    I had coons I fed for years at my old place. Many generations that were a source of education and humor. We had a bad year of distemper that killed off more than 2/3 of them and we slowly weaned them off of our feeding them before we moved. I bought cheap dog food from sams and it wasn't that much of a big deal. I remember the chirping noise the babies would make. Very cute. Again, I wouldn't recommend them as being a house pet. They are too "bossy" and get into everything. I knew people who had one as a pet and it was not a fun thing.
    Mary
     
  5. k.i.s.s

    k.i.s.s New Member

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    All Country, pasteurized whole milk is fine and Esbilac can be added to it when you can get to the vets or feed store. Any chance you could place the babies by the home tree (in a box with high sides and a blanket) to see if mom would reclaim them? Course, if it's pouring rain not a good idea. You could give them a good meal, then place them under the tree and check on them in two hours. Even better if you can watch with binoculars to see if mom comes for them. If not, then raising them can be a long term commitment as they usually stay with their family for about a year. Check with local vets to see if there is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in your area. They are wonderful critters who will steal your heart, but have very definite needs above what you may be willing to do long term. God bless you for being so kind.
     
  6. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    My Mom bottle-fed a baby coon when I was 6, & we had it for about a year. I don't remember exactly what the formula was ,as this was 50+yrs ago, but I would imagine that it was condensed milk. If you are going to keep them you are going to need a good large cage. They are cute when they are little , but they will get into things...like cabinets & the refrigerator.
     
  7. All country

    All country Well-Known Member

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    I would have preferred to leave them with their mama if at all possible, but their mama and 2 other babies didn't make it :waa: .

    I have heard stories of their escapades and have no desire to keep one as a pet. My kids & DH might be a little harder to convince that they aren't a suitable pet, but it won't take long for the novelty to wear off. We have enough pets for them to know they don't stay cute babies long.

    I will check into a wildlife rehabilitator. As cute as they are they seem to be an awful lot of work. If that doesn't work out we will take care of them till they are old enough to release, perhaps at an Uncle's farm. I do not want to release them here, I like my chickens!
     
  8. pygmywombat

    pygmywombat Well-Known Member

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    http://www.tc.umn.edu/~devo0028/contact.htm

    This site has listing by state of wildlife rehabbers. You want to get the raccoons to one of them soon so they can be raised in a way that they won't become a nuisance because they are not frightened of humans.
     
  9. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    I found this:

    What do you do if you find a baby or injured animal?
    The DNR, Division of Fish and Wildlife maintains a list of wildlife rehabilitators who have state or federal permits to care for wild animals. If you find an injured animal, call your local wildlife biologist or Division of Fish and Wildlife's central office at (317) 232-4080 and they will provide you with your local rehabilitator. The DNR, Division of Fish and Wildlife does not care for injured animals or transport them to a rehabilitator.
     
  10. JoyKelley

    JoyKelley Well-Known Member

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    There is a woman in fort myers that raises all the baby coons that anyone finds, This is a long shot but I am in Fort Wayne Indiana visiting right now, where in Indiana are you? do you think they'd let me fly them home to her ?
     
  11. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Rabies can be passed on from mother to babies. You may need to bring the body of the mother to the vet or DNR. Ask the vet, he should know.
     
  12. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    We bottle raised a pair as kids. I think we just used whole milk with some sort of supplement we had around. I don't recall what it was. They are quite cute when small but when they get older they are handful to put it lightly. Might be an interesting project once but I wouldn't want to do it again. They do like to play rough and they are a real handful when they get bigger. I'm not sure I'd let a little kid mess around with one unless they were comfortable and experienced with animals. I've still got a scar from those ferocious little balls of teeth and claws.

    Of course before you start with something like this it should be noted that you are most likely breaking the law and are subject to all sorts of legal hassles with the state should you get caught.
     
  13. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) It's a hard thing to turn your backs on these cute babies. The very best thing for them though, and you too, a well as your family, is to get them to a licensed rehaber. There is a knack to raising these smart little guys so that they can survive once released and to be healthy.

    Their mom would be teaching them to survive in the wild and would teach them to stay well away from Man and his domestic animals like dogs. Raccoon babies raised withtout this cautious nature soon get killed.

    I do rehab raccoons and it's complicated. Firstly they should be on KMR for kittens..diluted at 1/2 and 1/2 with water at first. It's the closest thing you can get to their own Moms milk. forget about any other junk. Start them on soaked puppy chow when they are ready for it and have some good little teeth. You can, at the age of 7 or 8 weeks start feeding them hard boiled eggs(never raw!) and some fruits, cottage cheese etc along with cooked chicken, turkey and the like. Don't feed raw foods! We usually add a supplement to this called Nutrical. Then, you will need to get them out and teach them to forage on their own. I'm on a river here and I take them out every day starting at 6 weeks of age so they learn to hunt crawdads, snails and the like.

    Previous to this I start putting small crayfish in for them to play with so they learn about them. They really do need a very large compound to run and climb around in,a minimum of 16 X 16 X 6ft. high made of welded wire with tree trunks, limbs and other things in there and a large wading pool. Also LOTS of toys that are made for babies, so they learn to manipulate things and learn how to tell what is food and what is not.

    NOW I WANT YOU TO PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THIS...Raccoons MUST be wormed every two weeks all of the time that you have them! This is not just for their safety and well being but for YOU, YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR LIVESTOCK AND PETS. Wild raccoons can carry a nasty parasite that we call Balis ascaris that can be very dangerous for people and other mammals. It's very tough, lives for years in the soil and is almost impossible to kill as it lives on in a protected cyst. Because of this no other mammal should EVER be kept in the same quarters as Raccoons..not ever!

    Then, as others have mentioned they should be on the correct series of Distemper Vaccines. You will need a strong net to handle them with and it's a tricky thing to give the shots and worm medications with out getting bitten.

    So, wash your hands very well after caring for these little guys and make sure your kids do too. Keep these wild babies well away from your house hold in their own compound.

    It should go without saying that if you truely want them to be released and you are not just indulging yourself, then you need to raise them WILD. NO cuddling, no contact with people or pets except the bare minimum needed by you to keep them fed and clean and to get them out to forage.

    Hope this helps......LQ
     
  14. insocal

    insocal Well-Known Member

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    Little Quacker: Thank you for your mention of the raccoon roundworm, Baylisascaris procyonis. Here is a link to the CDC's page on it (those of you who hate the government and think the CDC is evil should just ignore as it must be lies, right?):

    http://homesteadingtoday.com/newreply.php?do=newreply&noquote=1&p=790918

    A Google search is also helpful. Just be sure you spell it right:

    BAYLISASCARIS PROCYONIS

    I had to laugh, for years I thought it was "Bayliascaris".
     
  15. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just a note on contacting a rehabber, I had a nest of robin chicks that was torn from the tree when it was cut down by tree trimmers. Momma robin never showed up (I put the nest in a limb on the ground)

    Contacted a rehabber who went on to tell me they were full at the time, couldn't be bothered for "just old robins", AND THEN in the other breath, that if I didn't turn them in, I would be prosecuted!! :confused: I never contacted them again. The robins lived happily until fully feathered & then released!

    Raccoons are a handful, everyone seems to know! Just make sure you treat them like what you know they are, wild animals. To be released on their own when they are ready. Enjoy them & know they will grow to be back in the wild soon! ;)

    tricia
     
  16. All country

    All country Well-Known Member

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    We ended up picking up kitten replacement formula for them. They seem to be doing well.

    I have been very strick about everyone washing with hot soapy water each and everytime they touch them. (I didn't know about the worms though)

    My Husband is making arrangements to take them to a rehabilitator today. They are cute and it has been an experience. We just don't feel it would be in the best interest of my children or the raccoon babies for us to raise them. I know my family if we were to raise them we would turn them into pets. I know our kids & DH they would try to sneak them into the house on a regular basis :no: These cute little babies would turn into big pains. I don't think it would be fair to the animals.
     
  17. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    Good choice All Country! I remember my experience of raising a baby coon as a lot of fun, but my Mom, who did all the work, remembers it differently. After 50+ yrs, she said that she wouldn't do it again! I was only about 7, & I remember all of the fun things he did, but Mom remembers it differently! She remembered when he escaped his cage & trashed the kitchen.That little bugger was cute,but he was destructive. When he was about 6mos old he got into our neighbors garden & created Havoc. He stripped the ears of sweet corn & took a bite out of each ear & then went on to the next. He used to cuddle up to me like a kitten when he was young,but that changed when he came of breeding age. He wanted to go to the woods & eventually I had to let him go. He came around for a couple of months for hand-outs,& I saw him occasionally for a few years. The last time I saw him he would have been about 4yrs old & he came up to me in the backyard & acted like a babie. He wanted to be peted & stroked. After about an hour, he dissappeared into the woods & I never saw him again.