Wow, just realized I haven’t posted since August, so better get caught up, I guess!
I think I left off with a hint of a beaver kit in care. I received a late born (July 26th birth!) beaver kit rescued by a landowner from the south end of Lake of the Woods. There had been 3, but this one was the only survivor. Mom had given birth without the benefit of a safe beaver house to contain the young, so they were fair game for predators and their dog.
When the folks delivered him to me, I was not too optimistic as it hadn’t likely fed from mom to get the necessary colostrum for him to thrive. And because of the remoteness, Barb and her husband were not close to any pet or feed stores that may have a suitable replacement milk. It was days before we made contact and arranged delivery.
He was soooo tiny! But when I picked him out of the Dew Drop Water carton, his angry little cries were strong and demanding. He was determined to live and that was a good thing. And name on the box suited him…Dewy…
First thing was to make sure he was able to pee and poo, so a gentle introduction to the warmed water in the tub proved his plumbing was okay.
Next was to start a slow feeding, little by little, as too much food to a starving animal all at once is often fatal. I had a special Zoologic formula suitable for beaver kits and a special Benebac probiotic for orphans. Now, most of the young beavers I have raised took readily to a human preemie nipple. Not so this one. All he would accept was a two cc syringe and even as he grew and demanded more and more food, it had to be from this small apparatus. Feedings were slow and his Hangry temper would rage if I was slow in getting the syringes filled and into his mouth. He could draw that plunger down with incredible suction, swallow, take a deep breath and start yelling again for more. He was indeed an angry beaver.
Another important addition to a young beavers life in rehab are soft cuddly bedmates. So I shopped around at the local garage sales for suitable friends. He liked this one best at first.
Nights were spent in my rehab room in our basement, but warm sunny days were spent in an outside enclosure. He could hear the beavers in our pond calling on quiet days, and he would respond excitedly. There were some great conversations going on back and force.
He slowly got to sampling aspen, willow and sedges. I hauled some of the algae covered beaver chewed logs from the pond for him too, as these would help build up his gut flora to digest the bark and fiber of his natural foods.
As he grew, he became more determined to rearrange and chew everything in his home. Once he chewed through his pen in the basement one time too many, I figured it was time to move him out to where he would be spending the winter… our garage…
(To be continued)…