How to handle tiny mice

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How to handle tiny mice

Post by FosterMom on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 11:13 am

So the first litter is four days old now. Yesterday mama came over to investigate my treats and I removed her to a separate box while I peeked in on the babies. Looks like about a dozen. Now I know I'm supposed to handle them twice a day starting at about 72hours old, but How? They are so tiny and look so fragile. How do I even pick one up? Or should I just gently touch/pet them until they get a little older? I'm terrified of hurting one by accident.

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Re: How to handle tiny mice

Post by Peachy on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 12:08 pm

I felt the same way with my first litter! Was too terrified to touch them so left them until 4 days. Just pick them up very gently and pile a group in your hands and softly pet them for a few seconds. Place them in a bowl and move on to the next group, this way you can make sure you don't miss anyone. They'll be all sleepy and snuggle in. It's not as hard or scary as it seems, I promise you won't break the babies!! Smile

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Re: How to handle tiny mice

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 7:45 pm

If you don't trust yourself to pick them up on the first visit, just sort of ease a few fingers gently into the mousiepile -- and see if the wee ones squiggle around against your fingers and treat them as new littermates.  That should start to break through your apprehension about handling them.  Really -- as long as you always pay attention to the fact that you are holding tiny, delicate creatures, you should find it quite easy!

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Re: How to handle tiny mice

Post by CallaLily on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 9:32 am

Good advice above. I don’t have experience with baby mice but I was kind of terrified with the little baby gerbils at first. Even though in the gerbil community most recommend not handling them until they’re a week old, I was still so nervous! Laughing But then after watching how not-so-gentle mama gerbil was, I realized if she wasn’t hurting them then there was no way I would with careful handling. I don’t know if mama mice are quite so rough though. But I would just gently scoop them up and hold them for a short time. All at once at first and then more one-on-one when they got squirmy.

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Re: How to handle tiny mice

Post by FosterMom on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 10:30 am

I think I got it. I removed Mom from the tank with only moderate stress (she didn't like being handled but didn't seem to mind being moved to a box full of treats) and then set down my shirt so there was something warm and body temperature so babies didn't get cold. Then carefully removed them one at a time from the nest so I could count them - twelve! - and after petting them for a few seconds set them down in my shirt-nest so I didn't count anyone twice. They were squirming and adorable and I was still nervous but I think everyone did well. After all the kits were back in the nest box I put mama back in and she seemed pretty calm about the whole experience. Dove headfirst into her dinner.

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Re: How to handle tiny mice

Post by FosterMom on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 10:31 am

I might hold them in groups for a while now that I have a headcount. Or just set my hand in the nest box.

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