What to do if you find orphaned coons:
If you happen to find a litter of raccoon kits, DON'T TOUCH THEM! Observe them for several hours to see if the mother will come back, she may be out finding food. If she doesn't return, call your local rehabber or Veterinarian and they will tell you exactly how to handle the situation. In Zoey's case, her eyes and ears were open, but she was still very friendly so, the people that found her just picked her up. This is NOT always a good idea, as raccoons have fourty razor sharp teeth and extremely sharp claws!
What to do with a kit once you get it:
If you do end up with some orphaned coon kits, you can buy a small bottle at a local pet shop or at Wal-Mart. The brand we have is called "A Little Lovin". You also can get an orphaned kitten formula to nurse them with. We got ours at Wal-Mart, it's called "Tiny Tiger". The feeding requirements are on the can. However, if you have several kits, this can get a bit pricey, so I'll post a recipe for home-made coon formula below. Also, realize that they might not necissarily want the bottle at first, simply because they are not used to it. Put a drop or two of the warmed milk on their tongue to allow them to taste it. Gently rubbing their back or neck as they nurse, may encourage them to nurse as well. *Never feed a kit on their back, although it is cute, the formula can run into their lungs*
Coon Formula Recipe:
Two cups whole milk
Two egg yolks
1 can of evaporated milk
2 Tablespoons of Karo syrup (for flavor)
**Please remember** Kits can easily over-eat while nursing and the results can be deadly. Please remember to feel the kits tummy as they eat. If it feels full-it is! Don't let it get too tight, that's the first sign of over-eating!*
When the kits are very young, their digestive system is not yet fully mature. It is because of this that you'll have to stimulate their anal area to encourage defication. The mother licks that area to help them but for the coons safetly, and yours, just use a moist, warm, soft cloth to wipe back to front. You'll know you no longer have to do this when they go by themselves in their cage. Sometimes, they may not feel like going, but generally right after feeding is the best time to attempt this. If you do not do this daunting task regularly, the results can be fatal.
This is Zoey, napping on my pillow.
Although raccoons are nocturnal, when put on a schedule, they are willing to adapt to your lifestyle. However, coons need lots of attention, because their mother generally spends 23 hours a day with them. The younger the kit, the more they sleep.
Housing your new member(s) of the family:
Zoey's cage door is left open and she can come and go as she pleases.
You can keep young kits in a box, with the top left open. Add a soft blanket or towels to the bottom for warmth. If possible, put a heating pad *underneath the box* on LOW! Any higher setting will cook them. Older raccoons can be kept in a cage. They need lots of room. They need a dish for water and a dish for food, if possible a tub of water for them to play in. Line the bottom with blankets or towels and give them lots of toys!!!
Click on the picture above to send us an e-mail. Any comments, suggestions, and criticism are welcome.
Coming soon: A balanced, healthy diet for adult coons.