~ Crawdad Creek Wildlife Rehab ~

Orphaned Raccoon Help
Feeding baby raccoons


A raccoon's normal body temperature is 101 to 103 degrees F. It is  IMPERATIVE   that the baby's body core temperature be at an acceptable level  BEFORE  attempting to feed.  Trying to feed a cold orphan may result in death.  Put the baby in a plastic or cardboard box with a soft material,  NO  toweling material as the baby's toenails could snag causing harm.  Place a heating pad, set on  LOW,  underneath  HALF  the box and keep in a warm, dark place until the baby has stabilized.  If you do not have a heating pad, a plastic container/bottle, filled with hot water and tightly capped will do. Wrap this in a t shirt or other soft material and place where the baby can snuggle against it. To simulate a litter mate, a small  CLEAN "stuffy" will also be appreciated by the baby.  Once the baby has calmed and stabilized, usually within several hours, offer a hydrating solution such as warmed children's Pedialyte or warmed distilled water  SLOWLY with a syringe or an eye dropper and then again in a few hours.  A baby bottle and nipple arrangement, if eyes closed, can easily cause an infant to aspirate (get fluid into their lungs) until they are use to a nipple as the nipple will be foreign to them and in their haste to eat, they can draw in to much too quickly and aspirate resulting in death.  Handle as little as possible at this time, the baby has been traumatized and only your thoughtfulness for his/her survival will keep it alive. This baby does not have a clue what is happening to it, where it is or where his/her birth Mother and siblings are. Normal instinctual fear may cause it to over react, even try to bite you.  Only quiet and reassuring actions on your part will help it calm and respond to your offer of help.


Once the baby is calm and accepting the hydrating solution, you can begin offering a powdered mixed Kitten Milk Replacer  ONLY.  We use PetAg's  KMR , but any quality powder Kitten Milk Replacer will do. DO NOT   offer whole milk,  raw eggs,  or honey.  In lieu of the proper formula,  Pedialyte ONLY is recommended until the proper formula can be obtained.  Keeping the baby hydrated and getting his/her electrolyes back in balance will suffice until it can be properly fed.  Wildlife cannot tolerate whole milk or honey and either could cause a deadly digestive bacterial infection. PetAg's already mixed liquid or powder Kitten Milk Replacer may be obtained and delivered to your home by calling Chris's Squirrels & More, LLC at 1-860-749-1129  or visit their website:   Chris's Squirrels & More, LLC   to order secure online. Eyes closed, we feed 1 part powder KMR to 3 parts distilled water every 3 - 4 hours, warmed to room temperature. The insistence of Pedialyte or distilled water is stressed as fragile Orphaned Wildlife babies may be endangered by some of the additives or purification chemicals found in our normal tap drinking water.

    EMERGENCY ONLY  Kitten Milk Replacer:
    3 oz condensed milk
    3 oz water
    4 oz plain yogurt (not low fat)
    3 large or 4 small egg yolks - no whites
This is posted for absolute  EMERGENCY purposes  ONLY  . Do not keep orphaned raccoon kits on this formula as it cannot  supply needed calcium, minerals and other essential vitamins for proper growth and bone development. Orphaned Wildlife, not fed properly as infants, can and will develop Metabolic Bone Disease resulting in a horrid, painful death once released.

We feed properly mixed, depending on age, powdered KMR and distilled water as follows:

    Birth to 1 week:   4 - 6 cc's every 2 hours, once thru the night
    1 - 2 weeks:     6 - 8 cc's every 2 hours, once thru the night
    2 - 3 weeks:   15 - 50 cc's every 3 hours
    3 - 4 weeks:   50 - 60 cc's every 3 - 4 hours
    4 - 8 weeks:   60 cc's every 4 hours
To feed, place the baby on a towel or blanket lying flat on his stomach on a counter top, your lap or other comfortable location for you. Sometimes feeding can take awhile.  DO NOT allow the baby to over eat as raccoon kits are want to do. Overeating can cause bloat and/or cholic resulting in death. When the baby ceases to suck vigorously or search for the nipple, it is best to stop nursing. You must also encourage the baby to burp by laying the baby over your shoulder, much like a human baby, or across your lap and gently patting the upper back. Always have a soft piece of material between you and the baby to aide in clean up. Never allow a tiny raccoon on it's back to nurse. This can cause aspiratation resulting in pneumonia and possible death. Older raccoons may try to hold their own bottles.

A 4 ounce bottle used for human babies and if the kit will accept it, a nipple used for premature human infants (available at your local hospital's Maternity Ward if you whine a little), is what we feel is best. Most baby raccoons find it difficult to accept the strangeness of a rubber nipple. Sometimes dark Karo syrup on the nipple will help. You can also scratch the baby gently on the back of his/her neck or on his/her lower back where the body meets the tail to stimulate feeding responses much as the birth Mother would do. You will have to be patient and try different nipples. Be cautious, if able to get the baby to accept a nipple, that the baby does not have it's nose pressed into the nipple causing suffocation. Some babies may have to be fed with a large eyedropper or syringe and then later introduced to a nipple.

After feeding it is  IMPERATIVE  that you stimulate the baby's belly/genitals to induce urination and bowel movement. Baby animals do not have the knowledge to void on their own, this is something the birth Mother does, she stimulates the baby to void by licking the belly, genital area. What goes in  MUST COME OUT. This is best done over a sink or other convenient place for clean up. We use a warm moistened piece of cotton or other VERY soft warm moistened material to avoid injuring the delicate skin. Proper hygienge for  BOTH  you and the orphan  MUST be practiced at all times. Wildlife can present harmful parasites thru their stool.  On KMR, a normal stool would be golden brown and roughly the consistency of peanut butter. Promptly flush any fecal matter down the toilet and immediately practice proper hygiene.

It is important to raise orphaned Wildlife in groups of their own kind so they may develop normal socialization skills. A single orphan will attach itself to you in lieu of others of it's species. Wildlife orphans raised together teach each other and mature more quickly and more naturally. When release time comes they will also have the comfort and security of each other and not be "out there" alone.

This information is offered as an absolute EMERGENCY resource only.  Please do not rely on this or any other information on this web site to properly raise and release any orphaned Wildlife and assuming that you have read this far, you are genuinly concerned about the welfare and future of the orphaned raccoon kit/s in your possession.

Please know that the easy part is bottle feeding, burping, stimulating and adoring that precious, needy, tiny masked marvel. If you have done your job well, the real work will start in a few short months when you now have a healthy, rapidly growing, rambunctious and out of control raccoon kit on your hands. Part of growing and maturing for a raccoon is tousling, biting, scratching and playing with others of it's own kind, these are the early lessons of survival. In lieu of another of it's own kind, you will become the target. Growing raccoon kits can and will bite, nip, scratch and destroy anything in site. This is normal. Unpleasant for humans and their possessions, but normal. If you truly care about that little masked marvel in your care, please locate a trained Wildlife Rehabilitator as soon as you possibly can. Inexperienced, it will be almost impossible for you to properly wild this baby for successful release, to teach it how to find food on it's own, to teach it the manners and protocol it must know to survive in the wild among it's own kind and other wildlife. Without these skills, this baby, that you now have in your possession, the one that is now destroying everything you own, that is now climbing and scratching his/her way up your leg for attention, will not be able to make it if not properly wilded. Older raccoon kits, taken to a trained rehabilitator after the initial caregiver realizes it is more than they bargained for, present a major problem, both for the kit and the new caregiver. The kit will not only have to adjust to a new caregiver and a new location, but be forced to start learning life's much needed survival lessons late. If you do care about this baby's welfare, please locate a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator now, that baby's life and health are at stake.   Thank You......

Those who wish to pet and baby wildlife love them,  but those who respect
their natures and wish to let them live their natural lives, love them more.
cleargif~ Edwin Way Teal ~

Crawdad Creek Wildlife Rehab Home

PLEASE keep any orphaned Wildlife warm and quiet while you are locating a Wildlife Rehabilitator