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Temporarily housing a field mouse- any tips?

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Temporarily housing a field mouse- any tips? Empty Temporarily housing a field mouse- any tips?

Post by ControlCoreAngel Thu 25 Nov 2021, 2:20 pm

hi pmf! we recently caught a field mouse loose in our home, and put him into one of our isolation tanks for the time being. we use a seed blend that should be fine for him, but our concern is releasing him.

due to how severely global warming has affected the area i live in, our falls and winters get VERY, VERY cold. several days in the past two months have already been at freezing. even early spring can be at around freezing temperatures. with november about to end, it's going to get colder.
we don't want to release a mouse in temperatures like this and want to wait for it to get warmer. our issue is that we have never kept a wild mouse before, and we're not sure if there is any difference between keeping them and keeping house mice.

if anyone who has housed field mice before has any tips for us, please share! thanks.

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Post by cerial Thu 25 Nov 2021, 8:33 pm

I have caught several wild deer mice in a 2 liter live trap. I catch them in the morning and release them during the afternoon. The thing with wild mice is you want to release them as soon as you can.

I have kept a few overnight  within enclosures and they just freak out for several hours trying to get out.
I have a 10 gallon where the wild mice have chewed along the inside edge trying to get the glass lid up more then the 1/8".

If your going to do this you want to have a bowl of water, bit of food and 3 or 4 hiding spots. Also make sure that you avoid things that they can climb and escape quickly.

Wild mice are wild so you should wear gloves and DO NOT handle them. Try to change the food and water while they are sleeping.

I have had up to 3 wild mice(caught at different times) in two 10 gallon cages (stacked with one of the bottoms 1/2 cut) and kept them for the winter a few years ago. But it is a risky game because your throwing the 3rd mouse in there and hoping nothing happens.

The best thing you can do is release the mouse as soon as you can or place it in with your fancy mice.

I have a mixture of 10 fancy and 18 deer mice with everyone getting along in a very big multi tank enclosure. But, it was unique in that I have had all these deer mice since the mother who I was keeping till the weekend kicked out 10. Yes I have a few males and that led to a few more mice. They were born in the tank and it is all they know. I have trained them while still respecting they they are wild and not only much faster then the fancy mice but also fearless. They know where the lids are and frankly don't dare go above them even when they are off.

Deer mice wont breed with fancy's. It would have happened by now. Mine anyway are fairly submissive to the fancy's and any fighting between the males is a quick chase and tumble followed by one giving up. Then the two are often sleeping in the same pile later. Deer mice tend to sleep with other deer mice but will allow fancy to sleep with them. The fancy are larger and in my case I have two who are more dominant over even the male deer mice. The fancy will have the deer mouse in the defensive pose standing on the back legs with paws up but they always submit if the fancy keeps approaching.  I will catch the fancy stalking the deer mice sometimes to nip at the backside being territorial. The deer mouse is much faster and more agile easily able get away.

As far as cleaning the cage of a deer mouse your going to want to have them inside a cardboard tube within a glass container. This will let you place the lid(with holes) on the glass jar and set the mouse out of the cage. It may freak out a bit so try to clean the cage fast.

If you are going to have them in with your fancy mice then you need a way of catching them using two containers.

I have used the "smoker tube" thing below with great success in moving deer and other mice around.

https://www.amazon.com/WSNM-Pellet-Stainless-Billowing-Smoking/dp/B095W9JP41/ref=asc_df_B095W9JP41/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=532827067176&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2187086961885272440&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1014485&hvtargid=pla-1412097989660&psc=1

You just set it by them and they will eventually go inside out of curiosity. Then you can use a metal lid to hold them inside and transport them into a different tank during cleaning. Or you can leave this inside for them to sleep/make a nest inside then easily cap the end while sleeping and set it into a different tank so you can clean the old one.

But the best thing you can do for a wild deer mouse is to let it go in the woods. They are strong and great diggers easily finding a warm place. If possible release them in a dry area. I release the ones I catch in my live trap 3 miles down the road near a stream midday as soon as I notice they have been caught.

My males absolutely will not let any outside males in. They team up on the one male and it is short. Even outside females are not placed in the tank anymore as they can also be hurt and near impossible to get out once in the tank.  New fancy mice the deer mice get along with. I just introduced 4 new female fancy's and within 12 hours they were inside the cage only being chased by my most dominant mouse. After a few days the most dominant was sleeping with the new mice never drawing blood on any of them. One of the new fancy mice is actually dominant to the deer mice even though she is still smaller.

It took a bit of time but I have trained my deers to come and point or touch a spot having them go to that spot during tank cleanings. Treats help. Mice will do almost anything for sliced almonds. I still won't hold them.  Because if they wanted to they could be up to my shoulder and onto the floor within 3 seconds. I have also accidentally picked them up during a cleaning and caught them after they got to far using the enclosure linked above.

Unless you plan on keeping it the entire winter the best thing you can do with a new deer mouse who knows what it is like outside is to let it back outside away from the house(s).

I had a male mouse I named Tom I caught 3 times. I would release him into a shed around 120 feet from my house with a bit of food. One or two days later Tom would be in the live trap eating popcorn. The 2nd time there was a foot of snow on the ground and Tom made it back into the house. I released Tom into my barn and he stayed in there as far as I know. So know that deer mice can be very resourceful and should be released.

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Post by ControlCoreAngel Thu 25 Nov 2021, 10:59 pm

@cerial wrote:I have caught several wild deer mice in a 2 liter live trap. I catch them in the morning and release them during the afternoon. The thing with wild mice is you want to release them as soon as you can...

I saw your reply after some pretty solid discussion and your input definitely let us settle on releasing him ASAP, even if it's going to get cold very quickly.

Thanks!

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angel / mouse owner for 6+ years / they

current babies: pantalaimon / skittle

rip: svanhild / juniper / lumi / winter / echo / hiroko / fat baby / flick / fox / mayonnaise / macaroni / pipin / poppy
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Post by ControlCoreAngel Fri 26 Nov 2021, 1:21 am

we might have an infestation on our hands.

Temporarily housing a field mouse- any tips? 775d89db9c8ffcd8589f3acdf37d0e323f-25-this-is-fine-lede-new.2x.rsocial.w600

_________________
image

angel / mouse owner for 6+ years / they

current babies: pantalaimon / skittle

rip: svanhild / juniper / lumi / winter / echo / hiroko / fat baby / flick / fox / mayonnaise / macaroni / pipin / poppy
ControlCoreAngel
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Post by ControlCoreAngel Sat 27 Nov 2021, 1:30 pm

success! we have caught both (known) criminals.

we'll release them at the highest temp today and hopefully it was just the two of them.

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angel / mouse owner for 6+ years / they

current babies: pantalaimon / skittle

rip: svanhild / juniper / lumi / winter / echo / hiroko / fat baby / flick / fox / mayonnaise / macaroni / pipin / poppy
ControlCoreAngel
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Post by ControlCoreAngel Sun 28 Nov 2021, 8:36 pm

Resolved and all good in the end. Here's the little criminals.
Temporarily housing a field mouse- any tips? IMG_1147
That wheel we'd only given them so that they wouldn't hurt themselves trying to jump out of the container. They were both boys, but they weren't together long enough to fight or hurt each other.

We found a nice little wooded area next to an open field to let them go in, with plenty of hiding spots and a water source. They leaped right into the leaves and one ran into a hole in a tree to hide! Good to have them off our hands.

_________________
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angel / mouse owner for 6+ years / they

current babies: pantalaimon / skittle

rip: svanhild / juniper / lumi / winter / echo / hiroko / fat baby / flick / fox / mayonnaise / macaroni / pipin / poppy
ControlCoreAngel
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