Feeding and care of Baby Capybaras
Our babies are taken from their mothers at the age of 7 to 14 days of age. Special care
must be taken to assure their survival.
Life begins in a confined area. They spend the first few days in a heated cage with
plastic over the wire and covered with dry towels. They have a pan of warm water on
one end of the cage. From day one they are given warm milk with sugar added to the
milk with Puppy Chow sprinkled over the milk. We use the calf milk replacer from the
feed store. Food is placed in the pen, it consist of fruit and vegetables chopped. Corn
on the cob is by far their favorite food.
As soon as they are eating and drinking which is usually a few days they are then
placed in the yard. As babies they need a source of heat and a heat lamp will be fine.
Any type of housing will work. We place hay in their house as they do like to nibble
that too. Water is a must and any type of watering pan will do. A wading pool, wash
tub, or even old bath tubs work well.
PLEASE make sure your pen area is secure. Any weak area will be found from day
one. They are not climbers, but they really do like to crawl under or push out on any
fence. They will run and hit the fence. They will run the fence too. It will take them a
day or two to get used to their new home. Whistles and talking to them will help to
calm them if they are nervous. The more you react to them the sooner they will bond
They love grass and the fruit and vegetables and need them as their mother teaches
them to eat well. They need lots of fiber. Their stools may get runny but that is okay,
it is what they are eating.
Milk is given to them until they decide they do not want it, usually 5 to 6 months of
age. This is their growing time. We supplement cattle creeper feed to the babies as
well as the adults. They will learn to eat from a dog feeder.
Good nutrient and clean water will result happy, healthy young capybaras.
Heat in the winter, shade in the summer is their favorite luxury in life. They need
enough room to room and play.
If you want you can give them a bottle, it takes a little work but they will suck one. A
regular baby bottle is great.
Capybaras are very family oriented creatures. They do not do as well alone, but with a
friend or¦ other animal to bond with it will be content. In the wild they travel in groups
as a family, usually 15 to 20.
Since my babies are taken from the mom at the age of 7 to 14 days it is very important
for their well being that one needs for have a simple guideline for success in raising
All babies must have milk- warmed up to 6 to 8 months of age. They will gradually
wean themselves from the milk.
Put a tablespoon of sugar in the warm milk in a gallon. (As soon as they are
Drinking really well you can start decreasing the amount of sugar)
I have started using Gerber cereal in the milk.
Capys will suck a bottle. Only a little at first and will increase as they are used to the
It is very important to wash the milk from their mouths and skin after they suck the
The babies are taken from their group, placed in a pet carrier and they are scared to
death, very nervous and confused. Be careful if you decide to reach in the carrier to
get them out¦. They will bite.
Do not let the capys out unless it is within a pen. They will run ...they are very fast. It is
best to put the carrier in the pen and open the door. You may have to dump it out
because it will hide as far back in the carrier as it can get.
Remember....¦ this wild animal will go in all directions to get away. It will hit the fence
several times, settle and start walking the fence to find a way out. If they have a
source of water that will be the first place it will go. If there is a sign of danger in the
wild capys escape to the water. They will hide under and around objects.
Do not concern yourself if they do not eat for a day. Give them a corn on the cob and
they will start eating.
Any fruits/veggies are fine for them to eat. They need to be fed twice a day with treats
around for them to snack on if they get hungry
They rest a lot during the day and are more active in the evenings.
They often have runny stools do not worry as it is what they eat.
Do not grab them by the hind legs as you might dislocate a leg. Hold them with your
hand and arm under their belly and hand under their neck. Cuddle them and they will
Mary Lee Stropes
Shad EE Shack Farm
Booneville, Arkansas 72927