Orphan mouse question.

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Orphan mouse question.

Post by metalmouse on Thu 23 Mar 2017, 8:28 pm

A few weeks ago I introduced Bean, https://www.petmousefanciers.com/t1514-hi#16889. I'm happy to announce she's still active, happy, and (mostly) healthy, but I have some questions.

When we found her, I pinned her age at about 5-6 days. Her eyelids weren't developed yet. Now her eyes are starting to open, but I don't think they're finished opening? She's not interested in solid food either and still expects her milk every two hours. So far I've tested baby food (oat and fruit flavor) and a seed mix that's for hamsters, but it's all I had on hand (I picked a bunch of the peanuts and pellets out--just offered the seeds). Is her disinterest normal? I'm not used to raising baby animals and not sure when they're supposed to eat their solids.

My next question is if her eyes are opening, should I reduce her milk feedings? I'm worried she'll dehydrate if I do it every 4-6 hours instead of every 1-2. I offer her water on a gauze pad and she drinks a LOT, but I don't want to upset her tummy either.

Help. I don't know how babies work.

EDIT: If it matters, we figured out Bean is probably a Desert Pocket Mouse.
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Re: Orphan mouse question.

Post by Peachy on Thu 23 Mar 2017, 9:37 pm

Congrats on getting little Bean this far!!! That means you're doing fantastic. Smile

Here's a quote from the Wild Mouse care page. Until their eyes open all the way, continue as normal. That's usually between days 13-14, but keep in mind that wild mice and mice that are raised on milk substitute might be a little behind average pet shop mice raised by their mother.

If the babies have their eyes open, and are fully furred, they are at least two weeks (14 days) old... much easier. At two-three weeks old, you can feed them their milk-substitute every 4 to 6 hours. At four and five weeks old, feed them every 6 to 8 hours. After 5 weeks, they will be weaned and able to survive on their own. Starting at two weeks, you should also begin to offer real food and water. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons per baby of wild bird seed around their box. If you do not have bird seed to give them, use dog kibble, uncooked oatmeal, rice, scrambled eggs, uncooked pasta, toasted bread, or cereals that are all-natural and healthy, and get them wild bird seed as soon as you can. Use a *very* shallow cap (like the top of a Snapple bottle) as a dish of water. You don't want to use a deeper dish because babies can fall in and will drown. Check their water often to make sure it stays clean.
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Re: Orphan mouse question.

Post by Rodents rock! on Thu 20 Apr 2017, 12:14 am

Hi metalmouse,
How is Bean doing? I hope she is doing fine.
Please update us, would love to know.
Thanks!
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Re: Orphan mouse question.

Post by metalmouse on Thu 20 Apr 2017, 12:11 pm

Hello. Smile

Absolutely. Bean is about six-weeks-old now. I deeply considered letting her go at four weeks; I understand the vast difference between a domestic animal and a wild animal, and Bean will never be a "pet," though she's certainly a lovable little friend right now.

Sadly, Bean has no forepaws. They dissolved and fell off as a result of the burns she received when she fell out of what we presume must have been somewhere near the engine of the vehicle. The tip of her tail and two of her hind toes are also stubs. I think part of her maturing so slowly had to do with all the healing her poor little body had to go through.

She doesn't swallow well (looks like she's choking/gagging or took too big of a bite) and she eats very slowly because it's awkward for her to grab food without any hands. Ends up pushing the food in a bunch of directions first, or, with scary intelligence, she'll figure out how to push it against something just right and eat it that way. Sometimes I have to hold her food for her while she nibbles on it.

Other than her micro stubs, you couldn't tell anything was different. She's extremely healthy. I feed her this organic mouse and rat food along with fresh fruits, vegetables, and live mealworms and crickets (she needs help with those sometimes, too).

Eventually her space will be upgraded to a 40+ gallon tank (I have no idea if they go above 40 gallons; I may end up building something myself) with sand substrate, cholla wood, and reptile rocks to help simulate her natural desert environment. She's a cactus mouse and they are aggressively solitary--like most desert mice--so the social issue isn't as big of a problem as it is for other species of mice. Territories are also pretty small--less than an acre. Besides her "cage" (hate that word), she also likes to take rides on my shoulder or in this bonding pouch.





More photos:

https://i.imgur.com/TLm4ZSV.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/QsDYoUG.jpg
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Re: Orphan mouse question.

Post by AnonONIagent on Thu 20 Apr 2017, 2:50 pm

With a significant disability like having no forepaws, I'd question letting her go. Would she be able to do everything that she would need to be able to do in order to survive in the wild without those paws? I don't know enough about Bean's species to say, but if you suspect the answer is no, then it may very well be that she's better off living in captivity under human care than she is in the wild.


Last edited by AnonONIagent on Fri 21 Apr 2017, 9:27 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Orphan mouse question.

Post by Rodents rock! on Thu 20 Apr 2017, 4:25 pm

@metalmouse wrote:Hello. Smile

Absolutely. Bean is about six-weeks-old now. I deeply considered letting her go at four weeks; I understand the vast difference between a domestic animal and a wild animal, and Bean will never be a "pet," though she's certainly a lovable little friend right now.

Sadly, Bean has no forepaws. They dissolved and fell off as a result of the burns she received when she fell out of what we presume must have been somewhere near the engine of the vehicle. The tip of her tail and two of her hind toes are also stubs. I think part of her maturing so slowly had to do with all the healing her poor little body had to go through.

She doesn't swallow well (looks like she's choking/gagging or took too big of a bite) and she eats very slowly because it's awkward for her to grab food without any hands. Ends up pushing the food in a bunch of directions first, or, with scary intelligence, she'll figure out how to push it against something just right and eat it that way. Sometimes I have to hold her food for her while she nibbles on it.

Other than her micro stubs, you couldn't tell anything was different. She's extremely healthy. I feed her this organic mouse and rat food along with fresh fruits, vegetables, and live mealworms and crickets (she needs help with those sometimes, too).

Eventually her space will be upgraded to a 40+ gallon tank (I have no idea if they go above 40 gallons; I may end up building something myself) with sand substrate, cholla wood, and reptile rocks to help simulate her natural desert environment. She's a cactus mouse and they are aggressively solitary--like most desert mice--so the social issue isn't as big of a problem as it is for other species of mice. Territories are also pretty small--less than an acre. Besides her "cage" (hate that word), she also likes to take rides on my shoulder or in this bonding pouch.





More photos:

https://i.imgur.com/TLm4ZSV.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/QsDYoUG.jpg

Hi Metalmouse -

Thank you so much for the update!!! Bean is absolutely adorable and you've done a wonderful job with her! I'm so happy to hear you are keeping Bean, she is such a lucky little mouse that you found her. A 40 gallon tank sounds wonderful - she will have a great life in there. I hope you will keep us updated and send photos of her and of her new environment (I like that word better than cage Very Happy ) when you have completed it.

Bean is so blessed to have you! Mouse Wave
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Re: Orphan mouse question.

Post by River on Thu 20 Apr 2017, 5:15 pm

What a cutie! She's very lucky to have you. I agree that she will be happiest (and safest!) in captivity. A 40 gallon tank should keep her very comfortable. I hope you'll stick around and share photos of her every now and then!

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Re: Orphan mouse question.

Post by scaredymouse on Fri 21 Apr 2017, 8:10 am

I would have to agree in this case, that she would probably have the best life if she stayed with you. I would be concerned about her ability to escape predators without being able to run or climb like other mice. And it sounds like she has trouble with live food. And she seems happy with you and in her environment. So if you're up for it, you might want to seriously consider keeping her. We usually always recommend release, but when a critter has a disability, it changes things.

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