Breeding Flyers and Raising Pups

Joan
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Breeding Flyers and Raising Pups

Postby Joan » Fri Aug 13, 2004 9:19 pm

Breeding:
  There are generally two breeding seasons for Southern Flying Squirrels:
November to February and May to July, although in the warmer climates, they breed almost year around. Flying Squirrels can be bred successfully in captivity and become sexually mature at around one year of age. The male will detect when a female is in heat and will pursue mating. For a picture of a female in heat go to:   http://www.wildthingdesigns.com/FlyingS ... gnant.html
Oldest flyer to give birth that we know of is 10+ years. Youngest, 4 months.

   Females in heat and those pregnant often develop "an attitude" which includes biting and generally "obnoxious behavior." It will pass.

Variables Involved in Getting Flyers to Breed
There are many variables involved in getting flyers to breed. Some won't stop breeding (Chuck & Mishi), some never breed, some need near perfect conditions to breed. Cage size, cage location, number of nest boxes, location of nest boxes, type of nest boxes, diet, number of squirrels per cage, amount of human interaction during breeding time, amount of artificial light per day compared to natural amount of light, are all factors.
It could also be the male that is infertile and not the female.
Dennis Q. has a male about 15 years old that has never fathered a baby. After several years, he put the females in a different cage with proven males. The next breeding season both had litters.

  Generally the female will have 2 to 4 babies per litter, once or twice per year, but can produce up to seven or eight. As with most rodents, conditions of the cage should not become overcrowded because tension will occur and could possibly cause cannibalism or extreme fighting. The female needs to be isolated before giving birth and kept in her own private maternity cage.
  The gestation period is 42 days and weaning will occur between 8 and 10 weeks, although sometimes as early as 6 1/2 weeks.

Signs of Pregnancy:
1. Parents are sleeping in separate boxes. Male is chased away a week
or so after female becomes pregnant..
2. Female takes more nesting material to her chosen box.
3. Female may begin chewing chew calcium mineral block or another
source of calcium.
4. Female doesn't come out to play as usual
5. Will often squabble dramatically with any flyer
6. Vaginal area become more prominent a few days before birth.
7. Female's teats will be far more visible than usual - the hair around the
nipples will be flattened & even missing, if nursing.

Photo of Andrew Watts' BIG mama pregnant: http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/10 ... 0394ieCdmw Most flyers don't get this big when pregnant. :D
Sometimes it's difficult to tell when the female is with pups.

Raising Babies:
  If they don't get bothered and stressed out, flyers are great mothers and really need no help. Always move the mother and baby's nest box to a "maternity" cage in an unused room or area that is calm.  Or remove the male to a separate cage. DO NOT attempt to remove the pups or disturb them for the first 2 weeks.
  Most mother squirrels will NOT let you touch the babies. They can be down right nasty if you try. If the mother will allow it, you can start taking the babies a few hours a day when they get to 4- 5 weeks old.
  If she won't allow you to get them out, you can take them out permanently at 5- 6 weeks and hand feed them Esbilac formula. This makes them VERY tame and easy to bond.  At this age they would need a heat source to keep them at 85-90 degrees until 7- 8 weeks old.
  You can keep them in an aquarium or small clear plastic pet carriers.  Put an old t shirt in there for them to hide in. The container can be placed half on, half off, of a towel-covered heating pad, set on low. That way they can go toward or away from the heat as they want.
  A basking light can be used if they can get away from the heat if they want. If they are in a nest box and can't move, they can get overheated easily. Some use a light on a dimmer switch so you can control the temperature better.

Pictures of Baby Flyers from birth to 6 weeks:
http://www.wildthingdesigns.com/BabyFly ... ayOld.html

Care of Your Newborn Flyer

Housing Babies:
  Baby flying squirrels require some special care. They need to be housed in a draft free environment. The ideal set up is a 10 gallon aquarium or similar container with a vented lid. This should have a heat source under half of it. Use a heating pad on low under one half. Cover the tank with a loosely woven cloth that allows ventilation. Use paper towels in the bottom and give them a snag resistant cloth to hide in. Do not use towels or material with loose strings. These can get wrapped around a toe or wrist and do great harm.  Instead of a water bottle, you can use a shallow au gratin dish and put a multivitamin in the water after they are weaned from formula. Provide a calcium block for the pups to gnaw at their leisure.

  After they are getting around, they can be housed in a cage equipped with a nest box. A wren's box with a hinged lid is ideal. Put 100% cotton or cotton balls for nesting material. A flip top nest box is easiest, but then a shoe box with a lid works well, too. If a flip top box is mounted on the outside of a cage, make sure the lid is secured with a small hook and eye so the flyer can't escape.

Cages should have wire spacing no greater than 1/2". Wire spacing of 1/2" x 1" works very good.

Sexing A Flyer:
Sexing a baby flyer is relative easy UNTIL they are fully furred. Then it can be much more difficult. The following pictures should help you:
http://www.nfsa.us/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=80

Taming Babies:
  Do not to disturb new mother for at least four weeks, when she has pups. Give her plenty of privacy.  Then, begin to open the nest box and peek in, sometimes putting a finger in to stroke Mom and her pups if she allows it. She may respond by moving the pups to a different nest. Make several nests available to her just for this purpose. Eventually, she may get over the idea of moving them and accept the attention. But a wild momma might be far less cooperative.
  If able, give the pups 6 weeks with momma, then take the pups and finish raising them on formula. Or, if you're not short on time and patience, you might try giving her 6 weeks, but keeping her in a cage that has just the brood nest box. Then, open the box, which will usually make momma jump off the nest. Take one pup, and carry it with you for a few hours. Momma will likely just remain with the other pup(s), if she has no option (if she's in a cage). After an hour or so, switch the pups, and carry the new pup for an hour. Keep this up for a few days and watch for momma's behavior. It's likely she will continue to nurse the pups, if she has no alternative anyway. But have a can of Esbilac on hand, in case you should find she will not return to her nest.
  If she has more than one pup, she'll likely keep lactating and continue caring for the pup that is with her. If you wait until the pups are 6 weeks you'll have the advantage of a pup that could survive without momma a lot better than a younger pup.
Last edited by Joan on Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:28 am, edited 8 times in total.

Judy C.

Postby Judy C. » Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:04 am

I use a shelf liner in the bottom of my nurseries. It's fairly heavy, so it stays put, slightly textured to give good footing (very important with baby birds), washable for easy cleaning, and inexpesive. It also gives an extra layer of insulation from the glass or plastic. I usually use paper towels, an old tee shirt or a piece of fleece over the liner for 'snuggability'. Using the liner makes it possible to clean the floor quickly and easily without worrying about dampness. I get it at WalMart, it comes in a roll, and I just cut off what I need.

Judy

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Avalon
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Receptive Females

Postby Avalon » Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:19 am

I've heard that the females when breeding are receptive only once or is that one day?

I have 7 SFS here in Massachusetts. Is their breeding cycle different than the SFS in Florida and Texas?
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Re: Receptive Females

Postby den942 » Sat Dec 18, 2004 9:50 pm

Avalon wrote:I've heard that the females when breeding are receptive only once or is that one day?

I have 7 SFS here in Massachusetts. Is their breeding cycle different than the SFS in Florida and Texas?


From what I've been told they are in heat about 24 hours total.

Flyers from Mass. will breed diferent times than ones from FL. and
TX.. Flyers from FL. and TX. that are in Mass. might breed when
Mass. flyers do or might breed when FL. and TX. do. Sometime they
might breed inbetween the times the Mass. flyers and FL. and TX.
breed.

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gloryaf88
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Trying to figure out if Martie is.....

Postby gloryaf88 » Sun Sep 23, 2007 12:25 am

Signs of Pregnancy:
1. Parents are sleeping in separate boxes. Male is chased away a week
or so after female becomes pregnant..
2. Female takes more nesting material to her chosen box.
3. Female may begin chewing chew calcium mineral block or another
source of calcium.
4. Female doesn't come out to play as usual
5. Will often squabble dramatically with any flyer
6. Vaginal area become more prominent a few days before birth.
7. Female's teats will be far more visible than usual - the hair around the
nipples will be flattened & even missing, if nursing.

I know that Pistol got to Martie in either July or August, can't remember which, but I do not know if she was in heat or not.
1) Martie and Pistol stay way far away from each other. They pretty much always have except for a few times.

2) Martie is chewing up my favorite jeans and making a nest out of the material. 3) She goes to her cage some of her food and is drinking more yogurt. 4) She only comes out to eat and to visit for a few minutes. When she is out, she sits on a shelf, just watching, but she does not seem to feel bad. 5) Squabbles with Pistol? No. Squabbles with me? Yes and bites anyone who gets near her. 6 & 7) Can't get cclose enough to tell without losing a finger. She has gotten to be almost twice the size of Pistol and is eating a good deal more, plus hiding all of Pistol's food she can steal. She has a very pudgy stomach that she did not have before.
If she is and it happened in July or August how much longer do we have to go?
Glorya, Owned by Pistol Pete, owned partly by Martie Monster, whose heart will always belong to Amy, now owned by Count Dracula Monsterpete--Drago, and Little Foot MonsterPete.
In Loving Memory of Scoot, whom I will always miss!!

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Re: Trying to figure out if Martie is.....

Postby Joan » Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:40 am

gloryaf88 wrote:... If she is and it happened in July or August how much longer do we have to go?


"The gestation period is 42 days." give or take a couple of days.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Postby Airstreamlady » Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:12 pm

In the wild would the mother actually build a nest or would she take over an empty birds nest? I didn't know if they built nest like a bird or not.
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Joan
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Postby Joan » Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:33 pm

They tend to nest in hollow areas in trees, but will go to wild bird nest boxes easily.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Postby gloryaf88 » Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:09 pm

Martie is only coming out for food again, hiding most of it(her nest looks like it is going to explode from nuts), two of her teats are where you can see the tips of them. not letting her out of the cage to see if she is going to attack me.

Pistol goes to Martie's cage and sniffs every inch of the outside and tries to talk to her, but she ignores him.
Glorya, Owned by Pistol Pete, owned partly by Martie Monster, whose heart will always belong to Amy, now owned by Count Dracula Monsterpete--Drago, and Little Foot MonsterPete.
In Loving Memory of Scoot, whom I will always miss!!

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Re: Breeding Flyers and Raising Pups

Postby kcbuster33 » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:41 am

I have a male flier that will turn one year old dec. 21 (Chip) and i was wanting to breed him to another flier but i'l have to catch a wild one on acount of nobody else in my area has fliers because i live in louisiana and it isnt accaculy legal YET. so i was wandering if there is any dangers in it.

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Re: Breeding Flyers and Raising Pups

Postby rover » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:09 pm

Hello, I have two flyers, boy and girl. I've had them for several years, is there a way to get them to breed? So far no babies, they get along just fine. Just curious why they haven't bred? Thanks :bday: :lover:

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Re: Breeding Flyers and Raising Pups

Postby Joan » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:01 pm

There is no rhyme or reason to which will breed and which won't.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Re: Breeding Flyers and Raising Pups

Postby rover » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:31 pm

O.K. thanks Joan!!!! That's kind of what I figured!!! I'll just keep enjoying them and not worry about babies!!! If it happens that would be great if not that is fine too. I love them just how they are!! Thanks again!!!

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Re: Breeding Flyers and Raising Pups

Postby Joan » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:46 am

Good luck! :D
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh


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