Badgers are very active at night because they are nocturnal animals. Their faces have distinct black and white markings. When fully grown, they can weigh up to 12 kilograms, growing to a meter long. Badgers are diggers with long, strong claws on their front paws.
Badgers are not exactly a typical pet of choice. In fact, not all states allow individuals to own badgers because they are considered wild animals. You may come across a badger when it becomes abandoned, orphaned, or injured. Sending the badger to a wildlife rescue organization should be your first course of action. Before attempting to raise a baby badger, read on so you know what kind of care is required.
A baby badger has to be bottle fed with a milk substitute. But if the baby badger’s mouth is too small for the teat of the regular feeding bottle use the finger of a rubber glove. Fasten this to the top of a small bottle using an elastic band. Puncture a small hole at the end so the milk can be sucked out. Insert the teat into the badger’s mouth and gently massage its throat to encourage feeding. Feeding is done every 2 to 3 hours. For very small badgers, you may need to feed them every hour.
Most young mammals, especially when their fur has not grown out yet, cannot maintain their regular body temperature. As such, they are more prone to either hypothermia or hyperthermia. Provide your badger with a warm place to sleep in free of drafts. Put a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel in the baby’s crate so he can sleep beside something warm. The size of the crate should be large enough for movement. Use disposable bedding material or something that can be easily washed. This allows the baby to be kept dry and his sleeping area clean at all times.
A baby badger needs to relieve itself before every feeding. Just like most baby mammals, the baby badger requires some form of gentle prodding in order to urinate or to defecate. You can stimulate the badger to go potty by using a damp piece of cotton ball or cotton bud. Gently rub it against the ano-genital area. Do this during each feeding until the baby badger eliminates voluntarily.
You can start to wean the baby badger when its permanent incisors come out. At this point, you can feed it blended meats as well as wet, canned or dry dog food. At 8 weeks old, soft baby food as well as scrambled eggs can be introduced. Start giving chopped meat and puppy dog food with milk at 10 – 12 weeks. By the time the baby badger is between 12 – 13 weeks, milk feeding should be down to two times a day until it can be stopped totally. Depending on the weaning progress, shifting from milk and soft foods to minced meat, dead mice and chicks will happen between the 10th to 14th weeks.
Not all veterinarians take care of exotic animals. Ask your local wildlife center for possible vets. Like other animals, they need check-ups and vaccinations for their protection.
Badgers are wild animals and should not really be treated as pets. If you have to raise a baby badger, it should have limited human contact. Raise the badger only with the intention of releasing it in the future. It is important that you consult your local wildlife organization when you come across a baby badger.