Need help with tiny wild house mouse

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Need help with tiny wild house mouse

Post by jcmaedl on Tue May 09, 2017 11:09 pm

So I came across a wild house mouse in my pantry three days ago.  She (a guess) was munching on some bread cubes (stuffing mix) and had gotten into my flour and also some barley tea.  She was quite stunned when I opened the door and just froze for a second, before deciding to jump out.  Bad idea, since two of my cats were right there. We have 7 (yes 7) rescues and over the past two months they have caught and killed two adults and also two very small ones Sad .  I managed to shoo them away and she hopped into a toy bin and thankfully could not get out.

I scooped her into a small aquarium that I use as a holding tank during cleaning of our pet fancy mouse, Whiskers.  She did not seem particularly afraid of us. I put a nesting castle (never used) with some CareFresh and paper towels, a cardboard tube, a saucer wheel, and some chew sticks in there. I put one tiny ramekin of the food we give Whiskers, which is a blend of seeds and grains and little fortified pieces, I also put a few pumpkin seeds in there, and a tiny ramekin of water.  She immediately went to the bowl and started eating.  She ate a ton!  She explored the cage for a while and then she made a nest inside the castle and stayed there, only coming out at night to grab something to eat. I think she is drinking, or at least she is exploring the water dish.  I know she's eating and she's definitely pooping. I don't smell any pee but I think I can see some yellow shavings.  She has become generally more shy now.  She will let me pet her on occasion but other times when I go to change the food she buries herself and shakes her tail all over the place.

She is super tiny, about the size of my thumb. However her tail is very long.  I want to release her but I want to make sure she has a fighting chance before I do.The aquarium she is in is too small and I would have to get another one if I can't release her for a while.
I have read the sticky here on caring for and releasing and caring for wild mice.  I would definitely have considered keeping her but now it seems like the right thing to do is release. I also looked at the 45 day time lapse at http://www.thefunmouse.com/info/daybydaybabies.cfm , but I just don't know that I have a good grasp of how old she is.  Before I read the sticky I hadn't considered that she might still need milk, since she was on her own in the pantry and looked fully developed except for her size.

My daughter has named her "Koala," but she understands she probably has to go back home outside. Here are some pictures of her.  She is scrunched up in the one near the quarter so she looks smaller than she is.  I tried to get her stretched out, but I couldn't get a good shot, and I didn't get it near the quarter.

Any advice would be appreciated!


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Re: Need help with tiny wild house mouse

Post by PastelMouse on Tue May 09, 2017 11:41 pm

If she is physically fine I would release her in a safe spot (you can look up ideas) away from your cats. Good luck with whatever you choose.

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Re: Need help with tiny wild house mouse

Post by Rodents rock! on Tue May 09, 2017 11:43 pm

She sure is cute! I would say, since she is eating on her own that she would be ok to release. But I know more people here on the forum have a lot more knowledge on this subject than I do. So hopefully someone else can give some advice too.

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Re: Need help with tiny wild house mouse

Post by jcmaedl on Tue May 09, 2017 11:49 pm

OK thank you!

Being so small isn't a concern at all? She seems so defenseless, but maybe that is just me not knowing about wildlife. Is it bad to wait until she gets bigger? Will she go crazy?

I did see the release ideas. All my cats are indoor so unless she makes it all the way back to the house from the woods she should be OK.
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Re: Need help with tiny wild house mouse

Post by Peachy on Tue May 09, 2017 11:53 pm

She's a cutie! She also looks like an adult. My cats have brought me a few wild mice, from inside and outside, and they're always teensy tiny! Wild mice seem to be much smaller than their domesticated counterparts.

If she's eating on her own, doesn't seem ill or injured, and is behaving normal, I'd say it's safe to let her go. Smile

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Re: Need help with tiny wild house mouse

Post by PastelMouse on Wed May 10, 2017 9:05 am

@jcmaedl wrote:OK thank you!

Being so small isn't a concern at all? She seems so defenseless, but maybe that is just me not knowing about wildlife. Is it bad to wait until she gets bigger? Will she go crazy?

I did see the release ideas. All my cats are indoor so unless she makes it all the way back to the house from the woods she should be OK.

Wild mice do tend to be very small, it's an advantage for them. I'd recommend release, if you can.

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Re: Need help with tiny wild house mouse

Post by jcmaedl on Sat May 13, 2017 1:01 am

Thanks for the replies. It has been wet weather around here so I did not want to send her on her way in that, plus I was going to try some sort of release box as described in here.

In the meantime I put some new hiding spots in her cage and she seems to appreciate that. I swear she is getting bigger. She seems to be eating well. A few times she has filled her water bowl with bedding, which I found strange.

I took her out to clean her cage and she actually let me pet her for a little bit with no tail rattle (which I have definitely seen her do). I kind of think I am growing attached to her so I have to release her soon! We are supposed to have decent weather this weekend.

Out of curiosity, do wild females have the same need for companionship as domesticated?
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Re: Need help with tiny wild house mouse

Post by scaredymouse on Sat May 13, 2017 1:29 am

Yes, they do! When released, she will find a colony to be a part of, when she'll also meet a nice gentleman mouse and have babies ❤

Also, it's common for mice to toss bedding into water bowls. That's why we use water bottles for pet mice. Mice also toss bedding in their food bowls. What they are doing is trying to hide it...except that doesn't work too well for water!

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Re: Need help with tiny wild house mouse

Post by jcmaedl on Sat May 13, 2017 10:26 am

Cool, thanks! Very Happy
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