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example hand-rearing Choloepus diet

Important: Best practices prohibit the removal of Choloepus offspring from dams prior to natural separation. The directions below are provided in the event of otherwise orphaned offspring. Sloths should only be raised by experienced rehabilitators or animal care professionals. 


Weeks 1 to 4, feed 12x daily including overnight

  • 5 – 10 ml goat’s milk every 2 – 3 hours including overnight

  • Decrease overnight feeds slowly toward

  • Offer Pedialyte® by syringe

Weeks 4 to 8 feed 6x daily, decrease overnight feeds

  • Feed 8 – 15ml of goat’s milk

Weeks 5 to 6

  • Introduce a new vegetable each week, ideally following fecal output

  • Vegetables may include carrots, squash, zucchini, and sweet potato

  • First solids should be steamed green beans

  • Second week of solid’s introduce goat’s milk-soaked manufactured

leaf-eater pellet such as

  • Mazuri® Leaf-eater pellet

  • Add Enfamil® Poly-vi-sol multi-vitamin, one drop daily

Beyond week 8 feed 5x daily, discontinue overnight feeds

  • Strengthen milk by adding 8 ml (1.5 teaspoon) of additional

powered goat’s milk formula

  • Increase goat’s milk intake to 80ml over 12 hours

  • Discontinue Pedialyte® by syringe

  • Offer water by syringe

Beyond weeks 10 to 12

  • Offer solids prior to feeding milk


Week 20 feed 3x daily, leave overnight bowl

  • May wean to solids only but many facilities offer milk for at

least 10 months


Beyond 30 weeks feed 2x daily, leave overnight bowl

  • Continue to monitor food intake and fecal output


Beyond 38 weeks feed 1 to 2x daily

  • Self feeding

Never feed a sloth dairy with the exception of goat's milk. 
Never feed a sloth rice.
ver feed a sloth dog or cat food.
There are many alternative hand-rearing guidelines, provided here is simply one example that has proven successful. There are other options that fit your scenario better.
Practice baby led
husbandry; feed until satiated
and make changes based on behavior.


example hand-rearing schedules
download by clicking on down arrow

 5 months 

 7 months 

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