Most opossum babies end up orphaned, since their mommy was hit by a vehicle (their only real defense is come play dead...) or eliminated by dogs.

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for this reason PLEASE, if girlfriend care and you occur to struggle an opossum with your automobile - crashes happen - take it a minute and also make sure that there are no babies top top the animal, due to the fact that they usually make it through a lot within momma"s pouch. ~ all, they are America"s only Marsupials.

If you found an orphaned Opossum:

1. Examine for injuries. Seriously hurt babies must be taken to a veterinarian the day.

2. Heat the baby quickly if it feels cold

Heating pad: collection temperature on low. Ar the heating pad fifty percent under a closed crate the baby has been put inside of in addition to ravel-free cloths come snuggle with. Disposable plastic bottle: usage a plastic soft drink bottle or other plastic bottle. Fill it with warm water. Pave it through a towel or other cloth. Ar it inside a box through the baby. Make certain that it will certainly not roll about possibly hurting the baby. Rice sock: to fill a sock 2/3 full of rice. Microwave it on high because that 2 to 2 ½ minutes. Location it in the bedding in package with the baby.

3. Law dehydration. Give fluids by mouth using a 1 cc syringe, eye-dropper, or pets nurser. Sell the fluids in ~ room temperature hourly for up to 6 hours. Do not exceed 12 hours. Any type of of the following fluids may be used and can be purchased in ~ the grocery or drug keep :

Gatorade ( continual or clean flavors) Pedialyte (clear, no flavor) Sugar/salt water: 3 teaspoons Sugar, 1 teaspoon salt liquified in 1 quart very warm water. Cool the water come room temperature prior to offering it to the baby.

4. Provide it a warm box or pets carrier. Eyes close up door infants and also eyes open up young that space in shock must be placed in a cardboard box or small/medium pets carrier through ravel-free bedding such as a few tee-shirts. Administer consistent source of warmth such as a heating pad top top a low temperature setting.

location it fifty percent under the box or pet carrier.

5. Start offering dilute formula. make the formula as suggested in the diet section. Sell diluted formula every 2 hrs using a 1 cc syringe, eye-dropper, or pet nurser. Syringes are much better because there is much less chance of aspiration. Give three feedings that 1 part formula / 2 components water, then three feedings of 1 component formula/ 1 part water. If the baby does not develop diarrhea or bloat offer full strength formula in ~ the recommended quantities and frequency because that the age.

6. Administer food and housing as described below.



1 part ESBILAC powder 3 (instead the the recommended 2) components Water

Always begin brand-new infants ~ above dilute formula, and work increase to complete strength formula gradually. Feeding 1 component full stamin formula + 2 components water every 4 hrs until they deserve to leap from the dish on your own. If at any time the infant establishes diarrhea or bloating, cut earlier on the concentration that formula till the case clears up. If such problems persist for much more than 36 hours, seek clinical advice.

How to feed:

Use a 1 cc syringe to feeding formula. plunder the baby in a cloth to keep it warm and also secure. And hold that in a sitting-up position. Opossums seldom suckle a syringe however will lick indigenous it. As shortly as the babies are provided to the formula, you may pour part in a shallow dish. Opossums learn to lap from a food quickly. However, any type of baby not drinking well from the dish should continue to be hand fed till it is lapping from the dish and also gaining weight.

WORD that CAUTION: also though you could find it cute and adorable to have your dog or cat to communicate with your rescued opossum(s), please keep them personal from every other!!

Opossums have to be afraid of cats and dogs, due to the fact that they are organic prey and predators. It is vital to your survival to save this herbal fear!

Stimulating urine and feces:

This should be done because that babies who eyes are closed or simply opening. Use a slightly damp cotton ball or tissue to tenderness stroke the genital area. The infant should create urine within a couple of seconds. Babies might not urinate or create feces every time.


Self-feeding diet: Once the opossums teeth have fully emerged start offering the self-feeding diet. The basic chow (Science Diet) should be soaked in water to do it soft and also easier to eat until they reach about 12 mainly of period when it have the right to be readily available dry. Formula have to be poured over the wet chow until the babies have been weaned from formula at 10 weeks of age.

Two shallow dishes of water should be offered . One dish for drinking and one for defecating.

90% of diet: Premium dog food (soaked in water until the opossums room older). (Pour formula end it until babies space weaned) 5% the diet: Fruits and vegetables cut in dime come nickel dimension pieces. Any type of fruit or vegetable might be used. 5% that diet: Insects such together crickets and worms, dead mice (cut increase at very first then left entirety as babies gain closer to release age). Supplements: lightly sprinkle the food through a calcium/phosphate powder to aid prevent calcium deficiencies after the baby is no longer receiving formula.

Natural foods: include as many natural food items come the self-feeding diet as space available.

Infant Opossum flourish Chart:

bear - 1 Week: The child is about the size of a dime and also looks fetus-like. The hind legs room not emerged but they have actually a special claw on your front legs because that climbing right into the pouch. Over there is nothing any type of human have the right to do for them due to mouth gift still being closed. 2 Weeks: Still tiny, virtually embryonic, eyes and also mouth closed. Sexes deserve to be differentiated 3 Weeks: The hind legs and tail are recognizable. The infants make a sneezing sound when they inquire mom"s attention. 4 Weeks: weight is around 25 grams. An initial signs that skin pigmentation and fur growth. 5 Weeks: Whiskers begin to grow roughly the mouth. 6 Weeks: The fur starts to prosper on the neck and also back. Formula have the right to be fed every 3 hrs at this stage. 9 Weeks: Weight is around 30 grams. Eyes and also mouth are beginning to open and they are an ext active. 10 Weeks: The infants are beginning to manage their own body temperature (but still require that heating pad!) and also should start to lap indigenous a shallow dish. Feed formula 4 time a day. 11 Weeks: Offer tiny pieces that soft food and yogurt. 12 weeks: relocate to a bigger cage to enable climbing and also exploring. The infants are do clicking sound to connect with each other. 13-14 Weeks: They have all their teeth and also should be weaned. Deserve to thermoregulate well. 15 Weeks: they will cultivation fast and are all set to begin spending time outdoors in an enclosure or habitat. 20-22 Weeks: Time for your release back into the wild.

Releasing hand-raised opossums


Opossums should be ready for relax at 20 to 22 mainly of age. Before release, her opossums must have been in a huge outdoor cage because that at least two weeks, preferably longer.

They should be acclimated to weather changes, outdoor noises and the sights and sounds that the world. They need to be properly shy of dogs, cats and also humans ( EVEN girlfriend ). They should be familiar with their organic foods.

The release site must be exterior the metropolitan area, on floor with suitable shelter, a consistent water source and abundant natural food resources. There need to be other opossums in the relax area yet it have to not be overcrowded with them.

Since opossums space nocturnal (active by night), that is finest to relax them in the late afternoon to at an early stage evening. Release when great weather is projection for at the very least 4-5 days and the last chance of freeze temperatures has actually passed. Ideally, their nestbox need to be left at the relax site, under part bushes, and back-up food detailed for 4-5 days till they have located their organic food sources.

Keeping Babies Wild therefore They have the right to Go earlier To The Wild

A an excellent many infant opossums are orphaned every year. As babies, they are cute in an awkward means and will certainly respond to your caregiver v affection. They space still wild animals though. Individuals raising orphaned babies have to not treat them as pets. A infant opossum need to be elevated with at least one various other opossum of comparable age. This will aid in help it revert to its true wild nature after being weaned. Friend must obtain permission from your county video game warden to legally possess any kind of wild animal even because that a short duration of time.

Use good hygiene. Wash your hands after managing the babies and also cleaning the cage. To wash bedding and also dishes separate from her own. Disinfect bedding and also dishes making use of 1 component bleach come 30 components water. Enable bedding and dishes come soak because that at least 15 minutes then rinse. The details in this document is brief and also intended for raising healthy and balanced orphans.

Opossum Facts
north America"s just marsupial (female has actually a pouch) mammal. The mrs carries and also nurses she young in she marsupium till they are about 2 to 3 month old; climate they are brought on her back another 1 come 2 month whenever they are away from the den. Dimension of a cat; grey to black color fur; black color eyes; pink nose, feet and tail; black color ears; and pointed nose. Solitary and nocturnal: usually sluggish moving; when frightened and also unable to flee may fall into one involuntary shock-like state, "playing "possum". Hiss or growl and show their 50 spicy teeth once frightened; but, in reality, they space gentle and placid— they choose to stop all confrontations and also wish to it is in left alone. Omnivorous: eats insects, snails, rodents, berries, over-ripe fruit, grasses, leaves, and carrion; sometimes will eat snakes, floor eggs, corn or other vegetables. Adaptable; able to live where water, food, and shelter exist. At home in trees; offers its prehensile tail to assist stabilize position as soon as climbing— the does not, however, hang by that is tail. Few live past the period of 1 year in the environment; rare reports of life 5 come 10 year in captivity. Killed by plenty of predators: people (and cars), dogs, cats, owls, and also larger wildlife. Opossums are solitary nocturnal animals, but may end up being diurnal in cold weather. They build the swarms in tree hollows and also spend many of their time there. Opossums don"t hibernate, yet remain inactive during severe frosts. Without colonies Opossums space unable to survive.

Sometimes they pick garages and attics as their short-term quarters because they are moved out of their herbal habitat and also forced right into closer proximity to people. In the wild Opossums have numerous predators: dogs, cats, owls, foxes, and other larger wildlife, but mostly Opossums suffer from humans and also cars. In hazard Opossums deserve to feign fatality or drool heavily for a predator come think the Opossum is sick and unappetizing. Or they hiss and growl, mirroring sharp teeth, however it"s only a bluff. These gentle and placid animals prefer to avoid confrontations.


Opossums have several means of picking things up. Their back feet have actually opposable toes prefer the man"s thumb. They have the right to wrap the tail around things or cave on the tail, like chimpanzees do. Lock can also use their front feet because that picking up things although lock don"t have opposable thumbs. Opossums don"t have actually their own territory, however they are always on the relocate in find for food. Females stay in smaller locations while they can treatment for the youth. Opossums make clicking sounds during mating season or hiss and also growl if threatened.

Opossums - Habitat

Opossums inhabit the united States east of the Rocky Mountains, main America, and Pacific coastal North America. The Virginia Opossum is the only marsupial discovered in the phibìc America. In south America and also Australia over there are about 80 species of Opossums. Opossums lived during the era of dinosaurs - fossil remains have actually been uncovered from 70 million years ago.

Opossums - Reproduction

The breeding season for Opossums begins in December and also may continue through October with many of the infants born between February and June. Choose all marsupials, Opossum females have a well-developed pouch. They produce an mean of 7 young, as soon as or twice a year (litters the 17 children have been reported). At birth, the infants are hairless, embryonic-looking, and weigh about 0.1 grams due to the fact that the duration of gestation is 12-13 days and also because they space born at a an extremely early phase in your development.

Young Opossums need to make a long and complicated journey native the bear canal right into the pouch and also latch onto a teat. The mommy helps through licking the hair leading into the pouch. Over there are only 13 teats in the pouch and not all might be functional, for this reason the excess infants will not survive.


The young open the eye at roughly 60-70 days and also are weaned at around 100 job of age. Climate they room often carried as they cling top top the mother"s back. After separation from the mother, littermates might share usual dens for part time.

Very few young Opossums survive to end up being adults.

Opossums are thought about to be furbearers, yet they space not taken in huge numbers due to the fact that their pelt has little value. Opossums are nature"s sanitation engineers; they eat road-kill, carrion, rotting fruits, and also pests. Likewise Opossums space of good interest for scientists since they space the just marsupials in America, while Australian marsupials are moved to extinction by more contemporary mammals.

Weight: 9-13 lbs (4-6 kg). Some species reach only 300 gr.Length: 15-20 inch (38-50 cm). Some species are 10-12 inches.Life Span: 1-2 year in the wild, up to 10 years in captivity.

Opossums - Conservation

In the wild Opossums are carefully linked v the ecology that the forests. Disastrous fires damage nest-sites and cause great declines in Opossums populations. Tall, straight trees favored through wild Opossums are very valued because that the manufacturing of timber. The an approach of tree remove is very detrimental for every animals, including Opossums. The population crash has already begun and extinction that some types of Opossums in the south America and Australia is possible.

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Opossums - Diet

Opossums don"t have any type of methods because that storing food or energy so they need stable food sources and also that"s why your diet is so varied. Opossums feed mostly on carrion. Other food sources for the Opossum include garbage, grass, leaves, insects, frogs, little birds and also rodents, snakes, and also earthworms. Opossums favor to treat themselves with berries, seeds, flowers, and fruits and also their favorites are persimmons, apples, and also corn.