Help with wild mice - Mother with 3 babies, she doesn't seem very healthy

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Help with wild mice - Mother with 3 babies, she doesn't seem very healthy

Post by Alan on Sat 17 Mar 2018, 4:05 pm

Hey guys,

Related tweet: twitter.com/AlanGameDev/status/975098883222261761
So these appeared here and I'm in a kinda remote place there's no vet/wl volunteer nearby, the mother doesn't move much, I read how to take care of them and I'm trying to feed them, the babies are certainly healthy they move a lot and are curious to explore the world, I'm not sure if she's breastfeeding but the babies seem to try to, there's no rat poison around but she doesn't have any visible trauma/wound, so if she's poisoned perhaps it was some other animal or food.

I'm not sure what to do, I can't keep them as pets but I'd like to increase their chances of survival in the wild. They seem to be getting used to me and I'm afraid that's going to decrease their survival chances, not to mention they're not learning how to go about in the nature but I guess instincts play a huge part when it comes to these small rodents.

Any help is appreciated although perhaps there's not much I can do besides feeding them and keeping them warm and seeing what happens... how will I know when it's time to release then though?

Thanks in advance

Alan
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Re: Help with wild mice - Mother with 3 babies, she doesn't seem very healthy

Post by Alan on Sat 17 Mar 2018, 4:10 pm

The tweet has pictures, I can't post link as a guest (nor edit)

Alan
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Re: Help with wild mice - Mother with 3 babies, she doesn't seem very healthy

Post by Peachy on Sat 17 Mar 2018, 5:07 pm

First... check out this thread. TONS of info about feeding babies and releasing them. You're correct that wild instincts will do their job and help these babies survive... but you should wait until they're at least 5 weeks. It goes into more detail about when, where, and how in this thread.
https://www.petmousefanciers.com/t4-wild-mouse-mice-care-and-information

Mom really looks too thin. Are her eyes open? Does she move around?

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Re: Help with wild mice - Mother with 3 babies, she doesn't seem very healthy

Post by Alan on Sat 17 Mar 2018, 5:16 pm

Thank you Peachy!

She moves a little bit and her eyes are open, but overall she's very lethargic. I honestly don't have hopes that she'll make it this night, I just realized that she could have some disease perhaps, and I didn't wear gloves to handle them Sad... Anyway, I've tried feeding them fruits (many kinds) and the mom doesn't seem interested but the babies are super curious and excited whenever I drop something in the box, but they didn't eat a lot too, just very small bites (but they keep interested on the fruits, grabbing the pieces and sniffing them), I think they're too young because apparently they're really trying to breastfeed.

I'm going to read that article thoroughly. I'll keep you guys updated. Thank you very much Smile

Alan
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Re: Help with wild mice - Mother with 3 babies, she doesn't seem very healthy

Post by Peachy on Sat 17 Mar 2018, 5:33 pm

It wouldn't be uncommon for her to be thin while nursing, especially if she's been having difficulty finding food. We had a litter of wild mice in my kitchen last winter and I was surprised at how small the mom was!
Being stressed in captivity can affect how much she moves around. She might just need a couple days to chill out and bounce back. I've witnessed this a couple times. Do they have a box to hide in? That might help Mom if she's stressed.

Mice nurse until they're 4 weeks old, and these guys still look pretty young. I'd say between 2-3 weeks. They should be beginning to eat solids now, but keeping them until they're 5-6 weeks is recommended to make sure they're up to par since they're lacking the nutrition from Mom's milk. Kitten milk may be good too, if you can manage it. Directions should be in that link.. For solids I would get wild bird seed, some dog or cat kibble or treats, and a shallow water dish. Smile


Thank you so much for caring!! It always makes me smile when people take the time for stuff like this. My very best to you and these mice. Good vibes

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Re: Help with wild mice - Mother with 3 babies, she doesn't seem very healthy

Post by Alan on Sat 17 Mar 2018, 8:09 pm

Thank you for your kind words Peachy! Very Happy

The cardboard box they're currently in certainly could be a bit bigger I guess (I'll get a bigger one asap), but they do have a place to hide in there, the mom apparently doesn't want to hide though. When I found her she couldn't even move and even when I tried to push and poke her she wouldn't react. I gave her some dog kibble and she did eat a little bit and is a bit more active it seems. Perhaps the problem is that she was nursing on an empty stomach for too long so her energy got depleted. She also took a 'bath' in the water dish, I'm not sure if that was accidental but in any case the dish isn't very suitable because it tilts easily (it's just a saucer), I'll find something better, maybe even some kind of plastic lid would do.

I'll just leave the box in a bathroom tonight in case she replenishes her energies and make a hole in the cardboard in order to escape. She doesn't appear to be afraid of me though, maybe she figured that I mean no harm. I noticed that she's also starting to react to noises too. I hope it's just exhaustion and she'll be fine!

Thanks for your help.

Alan
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Re: Help with wild mice - Mother with 3 babies, she doesn't seem very healthy

Post by Peachy on Sat 17 Mar 2018, 9:57 pm

Mice don't bathe in water, they have a difficult time regulating their body temperature. Eek! Poor lady. Sad

If you intend to help raise the babies before releasing them (most of that info above was aimed at babies, not mom), you'll need something besides a cardboard box to keep them in. Whatever your intentions, we're happy to help! Keep us updated. Smile

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Re: Help with wild mice - Mother with 3 babies, she doesn't seem very healthy

Post by Alan on Sun 18 Mar 2018, 10:21 am

She died Sad

I'm going to take care of the babies until they can live on their own in the wild. I made a kinda homemade formula thing and they did drink it. I'm in a very remote place right now and KMR is probably not going to be available, I heard that goat milk and formula could be acceptable options, but to be honest I don't know if I'm going to find that either. What I have at my disposal at the moment is canned and frozen foods and dog kibble. Eggs are currently their main source of protein, and I've blended other fruits that are in their natural diet (they eat almost everything Smile) and are rich in the other nutrients in kitten formula so I think they'll survive until I find something more suitable. They are getting most (if not all) the nutrients they need, but they seem to eat so little... that page you linked said that's normal though. They stop eating after only a very little (few drops) so I wonder if it tastes too bad... is there a food, maybe a fruit, that they love the most so I can try to liquefy it and give them? I read somewhere that putting some sugar could help a bit and also would be some extra calories, but I'm not sure if that's sound advice.

Thank you in advance.

Alan
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Re: Help with wild mice - Mother with 3 babies, she doesn't seem very healthy

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Sun 18 Mar 2018, 11:43 am

No absolute answers for you, and I don't know what the availability is wherever you are, but my little April's favorite fruit, hands (or paws) down, was banana.

Baby porridge is also an easy thing for mice to eat, is pretty good nutritionally, and will help to keep them hydrated.  Make sure the water you use is not chlorinated, or has been boiled and cooled first.  In the absence of actual baby cereal powder, you can use oatmeal -- mice also like to just nibble on the dry oats.  (Last summer I rehabbed a little male tree cricket that had lost all his legs on one side, been thoroughly doused by automatic sprinklers, and was barely recognizable as a little green discoloration on the wet pavement outside the back door where I work.  The first thing he ate for me was baby porridge off the tip of one of my fingers.)

Some other baby-food purees, such as sweet potatoes or a green vegetable mix, would be nice variety and should be something that appeals to them.  Either of those, or banana, can also be mixed in with the porridge.

Cheerios are also a mouse favorite, as is romaine (or other non-iceberg) lettuce.  But mice are pretty omnivorous, so you can try lots of things, once you make sure they are mouse-safe.

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Re: Help with wild mice - Mother with 3 babies, she doesn't seem very healthy

Post by Alan on Sun 18 Mar 2018, 2:17 pm

Thank you MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop

I tried banana but they didn't seem any more interested in it as opposed to the other foods. I've tried dropping many different foods in their box but they are not eating them, they do eat in my hand and they're pooping normally I think. I always check if they're bloated but apparently they're fine, they are very active. I can't tell if they're peeing though so I'm going to start giving them pedialyte until I'm sure they're not dehydrated.

They are very scared of noisy gloves and the only waterproof gloves I have are noisy, but I'm afraid of hantavirus so I'll have to do something about it asap. I don't have open wounds in my hands and always wash them carefully but you never know.

Alan
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Re: Help with wild mice - Mother with 3 babies, she doesn't seem very healthy

Post by Alan on Mon 19 Mar 2018, 6:33 pm

Hello guys,

Just updating.

They are alive and apparently well, I noticed that one of them is smaller than the others though, I don't know if that's because it's not eating much or if it was smaller to begin with. They stopped eating from my hand but they are eating a lot and are peeing and pooping too, their bellies are soft and they are very active. I haven't seem the smaller one eating so far, but they do eat a LOT overnight and since the small one won't eat from my hand I guess it's eating too.

I was going to sex them but to be honest I don't know if that's necessary and I don't want to grow attached to them.

I think they're going to be fine, one of them even started making some squeaky sounds, I'm not sure about the small one, please let me know if it's normal that one is smaller than the others and if there's something I should be doing. I've tried to give it the milk replacement for solid 15 minutes but I noticed it's very coward, even when I move my hand slightly it will panic.

Thank you

Alan
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Re: Help with wild mice - Mother with 3 babies, she doesn't seem very healthy

Post by Alan on Sun 15 Apr 2018, 8:58 am

Hello guys,

Today I'm going to release them.

It's been 4 weeks so they should be at very least 6 weeks old now according to the estimations, but I've decided to release them not just because it's been 4 weeks but because they really seem ready: they try to escape at any opportunity and when they do escape from the box (often) I have to chase them around the room and make some kind of trap to catch them because I can't simply pick them up anymore, they're fast and strong and can easily jump half a meter now. I'm not there at the moment but I'll take some pictures later on. If they didn't seem 100% ready for the wild I wouldn't release them. Oh... and they bite a lot too Laughing.

I'd like some tips on how to release them though, I know you're supposed to provide a temporary shelter and a "starter pack", I'm going to make a solid wood waterproof house for them and put some food inside: dog kibble, pasta, rice and oats, I'm thinking about making small bags of parchment paper that don't get contaminated with their wastes easily and hopefully they'll open when they're hungry, what do you guys think?

Alan
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Re: Help with wild mice - Mother with 3 babies, she doesn't seem very healthy

Post by Alan on Sun 15 Apr 2018, 5:52 pm

I decided not to release them today because their "country house" took way more time to make than I was expecting and I want to release them in the morning (at least that's what Google told me Laughing).

Here's a picture of "Frodo" in their current provisory home:
imgur.com/a/HdGeC

The other ones are behind him, Frodo is the most active and courageous of them. I don't even know if he's really a male though Laughing.
Tomorrow is the big day, so if there's any input please lemme know! Thanks!

Alan
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