Should I feed a baby opossum I found?

You might find a nest of baby Texas opossums in your attic and you are wondering if you should feed it. The answer to this is no.

There are many factors why Corpus Christi opossums become orphans. The first is when their mother is killed by accident. The second is when the baby accidentally falls from the back of the mother while she is trying to carry it. These cause a separation that the mother opossum will rarely go back to.

Baby Corpus Christi opossums can appear helpless especially if they are injured. It will take about 4-5 weeks before they can fend for themselves. They should always be put in a warm condition since they are mammals. Opossums that are less than 7 inches long (excluding the tail part) need immediate assistance.

What To Do
Call a local wildlife rehabilitator when you find a baby opossum. If the babies do not move, it may just be “playing possum”. Make sure to give them the benefit of a doubt because some of them might be breathing and needed help.

If you want to care for the orphan while waiting for help, you can do the following:

Warm them by gently wrapping them in a soft towel. You can cover their bodies with the soft towel but do not put them in a direct heat source. Hot water bottles and heating pads are dangerous to them if they are exposed directly.

Feeding the Opossum’s Young
Feeding baby opossums is not a good idea no matter how concerned you are with them. This is generally done by professionals who have the proper tools and feeding formula to that can be offered to the mammals.

Cow milk is not allowed for the baby opossums. You can feed them a diluted solution of Pedialyte mixed with lukewarm water. The feeding should be every 3-4 hours. You can also feed Esbilac or a milk substitute for puppies the next day. You can use a dropper or a syringe and insert it in the mouth of the baby. Opossums generally do not do any suckling. What they could do is to lap at the formula until they are able to consume all the milk. You might have a hard time stimulating the infants just what their mothers do after feeding. Stimulation is important because it enables the young to excrete after the feeding is done.

The feeding described is only for people who do not have any choice but to wait for a rehabilitator. Hand feeding can cause a lot of deficiencies to the baby opossum. It is important that they are handed to the right authorities so that they receive the proper care that they need.

If you are in doubt and you are not aware of your state laws, you can contact a professional and ask questions. Baby opossums are generally harmless as long as they don’t feel threatened. Healthy and grown babies do not require human intervention and they can usually hunt for food on their own.

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