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Found a wild mouse

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Found a wild mouse Empty Found a wild mouse

Post by :) Wed 30 Mar 2022, 10:09 am

Hi everyone!

Today my roommates found a tiny mouse in my room and kept it in my mice’s carrier thinking one of them had escaped. Now i have a terrified wild mouse in my carrier and I don’t really know what to do. I don’t even know if it’s female or male cause I prefer leaving it alone to calm down.
If i release it (obviously out of my apartment) I’m afraid I’m sentencing it to death and ends dead in another house or something like that.
If i keep it I wonder if I can put it with the other girls (in case it is female + not sure if a wild mouse can be socialised). I suppose it should be dewormed before, but I don’t know if it wild be other health issues that can put my girls at risk.

What do you think?
Thanks! Smile
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Post by cerial Thu 31 Mar 2022, 3:47 pm

I have almost always kept wild deer mice with my fancy mice (over the winter or during extremely cold temps) and never had a issue. A few of my fancy are agressive and territorial towards the deers stalking and chasing. But the deers are much faster and more agile.

Ok female deers will tolerate each other even with outsiders. But male deers will have fights with a outside male teaming up and killing it quickly. I keep any outside mice in a temporary tank at this point for short terms lasting up to 2 weeks. Once the temp is above 30 degrees during the day you can release them.
Releasing them by a tree is recommended. A pine/Christmas tree with branches touching the ground makes a great new home even in the winter.

Male deers will not mate with a fancy. Been over a year with 3 deer mice males and none of my fancy girls have had babies.

You need to train them to sleep in a glass jar or to go inside a container that you can close off. It is the only way your going to clean the cage without them escaping. Even when I house mice temporary I place a glass jar in the cage with bedding inside that I can easily put a lid on later to easily release or clean the cage.

Know that you should not handle deer mice. They are extremely fast, can climb almost anything, and are fearless.

The best thing you can do is release it by a tree. It will find a spot to go. But right now it is extremely stressed. It will jump trying to escape and will absoultly need a place to hide. It will just sleep all day after 3 days unless you introduce another or fancy.

If you decide to keep it with your fancy know that will outlast them. They also need to run, jump, and chew and even though extremly active they can become overweight. Deer mice are much smarter then fancy and very curious. Once they get use to you they will be curious whats outside the cage. A few of mine have ran on top of my large cage during cleaning (made out of old large windows) and I have had to bat them back in a few times.

I had to catch them each time before I had two connected tanks. I can push the mice from one tank to another then close off the one for much easier cleaning.

If you have a 20 gallon long thats enough for a deer and one or two fancy. A wheel, enough bedding to dig, and plenty of things to chew.

The biggest downside to deer mice is that they are stuck in the cage. You can't hand train them like you can with fancy mice. They have no fear of heights and can easily jump off a desk or go up your arm and off your shoulder.

My deer mice were born in the cage. I have had a few littees from them. But I believe they are done at this point. But the cage is all they know. I have had a few I picked up that were inside things and were able to get them back into the mesh containers I trained them with previously. But a mouse born outside the cage could easily simply run away and be gone.

If you plan on keeping it plan on a 4 year commitment. Your fancy will die in that time and you should always have 2 mice in my opinion.

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Post by j.n379 Tue 05 Apr 2022, 1:42 pm

They will almost certainly be happier if you let them go. As long as they are fully furred, eyes open, you can pretty safely assume they're an adult even though they can be much much smaller than a fancy mouse as an adult so it makes us think they must be babies. They only spend a few days nursing after their eyes open, after that they are feeding themselves. Assuming it has not been bitten or played with by a cat, and is moving around normally (other than of course being frozen with fear sometimes when you are around, that's considered normal!) they are probably perfectly healthy as well.


They can survive the winter, (if they couldn't, they wouldn't be there in the spring) but it is a good idea to scope out a good area to release them in. A local wildlife rehabilitation place could help you with information on that. If you call or email any wildlife rehabilitation place within about 3 hours drive of you, and let them know it was accidentally captured and you intend to release it but want to know more about where it would be appropriate for their best chance, they might send resources, links, or paperwork or even a location they use to release wildlife of that sort.


Keep in mind that in many areas it is illegal to keep wild animals as pets. It is usually illegal for veterinarians to treat wild animals, only wildlife rescues and rehabilitation centres have a waiver that allows them to perform medical care on wild rodents. If you keep this mouse, you will never be able to bring them to the vets if you live in one of those many countries. You will not be able to help them if they get sick. They can come with pests (both external and internal) that could pass to your pets. It would not be a great idea to keep this mouse. If it was injured or an orphaned mouse.... And if you had done several dozen hours of research.. Then it might be ok. But if it's healthy, you don't want to do that. It will ALWAYS want to escape. For the rest of its life, it will want to escape. The longer you wait, the less likely it will be able to actually take care of itself once it gets free. It could even chew through the edges of its home until it makes a hole that all of your mice could escape through. And the pet ones won't stand a chance.


There are rare people who are able to keep a wild mouse happy throughout its lifespan, and they do a great job of it. But it's not for everyone and I really wouldn't recommend it to anyone who hasn't been spending months reading up on their care and preparing their habitat and home for one. And I absolutely wouldn't risk introducing any mouse from the outside to my sheltered-immune-system mice.
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Post by Valmias Thu 07 Apr 2022, 2:29 pm

I'd like to echo what has been said here already. I have a deer mouse that I was unable to release after weaning due to illness, and he has been so much work to keep happy. Since wild mice haven't been bred to be comfortable around people at all, it takes constant effort to get them to stay friendly. For me, this means staying up all night to meet his schedule and sitting for hours with him to get used to me. As a result, he's really cuddly when he's in the mood, but still very skittish.

Even though I hand weaned him, I have to keep up spending nights with him as long as I want him to keep being comfy with me or he will revert to wildness quickly. And he will (I hope!) live longer than the average domestic mouse too. I can get away with this because I freelance from home, but it has definitely killed my sleep schedule and isn't for everyone.

I would probably worry less if I had other mice, like cerial, and I wasn't his only source of socialization (but since he's a male that could still be an issue). Wild mice are great creatures, but they are not really built to be happy as pets.

I know it's a hard choice sometimes to release a wild mouse, even a healthy one, because it feels like you're sending them out to a hostile world. It can be a tough life out there for mice, and you're not wrong for wanting to help out. But a grown mouse has all the instincts it needs to get by, and it would likely be miserable in a small cage, so the best option is to find it a good spot to release and set it up with the resources it needs for a head start.

I know this was a while ago, so I'd love to hear how this turned out!
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