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Wild Mouse Found - Help Needed

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Post by A_Cute_Mouse Mon 02 Jan 2023, 3:34 am

Today my cats brought in a baby wild mouse from outside. We are not sure how old it is or whether it would survive alone in the wild. It looks about 2 weeks old from the research I've done (not a mouse expert).

Should I release it or keep as a pet mouse - worried my cats would recatch if I released it. We are prepared to take good care of the mouse if it needs us.

Could anyone give me advice about the age of this mouse and whether it should be released?

Thanks!

https://i.servimg.com/u/f18/20/47/23/22/mouse210.jpg
https://i.servimg.com/u/f18/20/47/23/22/mouse110.jpg


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Post by Loving.pests Mon 02 Jan 2023, 10:48 am

That mouse is a baby, but I would say closer to 3 weeks old. We ended up hand-raising baby wild mice. This is them at day 21 https://www.instagram.com/reel/CXgwN10JMOH/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
If you live in a cold climate (winter gets below zero celsius consistently I would keep it until spring when temperatures are consistently above zero). I don't think you should keep it indefinitely. If you are in a warmer climate you should release it asap so it doesn't become half tame. It's at a stage were it's still learning, and will have a better chance if it learns in the wild. You can release in a more wild area with undergrowth (not an open field) and give it a little stash of food (oats and sunflower seeds are great). The mice in the video I sent were born in captivity (from a wild mouse we live-trapped) and handled by us since before their eyes opened. Then their mom escaped and we finished their weening. We caught their mom a little later and released her when the weather was warm enough.

I've trapped and released many wild mice before we finally sealed our apartment. The young ones like that become more tame over the winter, but they probably won't become pets unless they are handled before their eyes open. All mice are unique though. If you keep it over the winter, you may find that it bonds with you. We had one mouse about that age that we considered keeping because she was tamer than the others, but ended up releasing her. Her behaviour on release was different than the other mice. She seemed really awestruck by the experience and froze, whereas the other mice skittled away into the undergrowth. She eventually ran away, but it was a little sad to see her go. I hope she had a chance.

If you need to keep them over the winter you can make a bin cage with a regular tupperware bin and wire mesh. It's easy to find instructions on the internet or put them in a 20 gallon tank with a wire mesh lid. The bin should be about the same size as a 20 gallon tank. The tanks are usually easy to find on kijiji. The wire mesh lid you can buy at a pet store because the tanks are usually intended for fish. Make sure the lid matches the dimensions of your tank. Not all 20 gallons are the same. Give them some places to hide and a wheel. In my experience all mice love wheels! - and wild mice are Olympians on them. Generally give them the same care as fancy mice with the understanding that they will try to escape during cage cleaning, so have a secure little bin for them to go into. I used a 2 gallon kimchi container with lots of holes drilled in it.  In terms of feeding, they are still young so they should be able to eat oats (not seeds or lab blocks for about a week), but they may not be fully weened, so you could offer them some puppy formula or baby formula if you can get a tiny amount. If they need it they will drink it themselves out of a little dish (like a jar lid). Once their eyes are opened they can feed themselves but they are usually not fully weened. To keep puppy formula fresh, you can make ice cubes, and heat up an ice cube for each serving.

Note: If the mice were deer mice I would have different advice. These have white bellies, huge eyes, bigger heads and bigger ears. If you had deer mice I would recommend releasing them right away (as long as there were no injuries). Deer mice will come into your house for warmth, but they have adapted to live in a cold climate sometimes extremely cold. House mice have literally adapted to cold climates by living in buildings made by humans. Deer mice are sometimes in urban areas, but mostly in rural areas, so you aren't likely to get deer mice in the city and it's very unlikely to get house mice in the country.

Hope that helps. Good luck.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

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Post by A_Cute_Mouse Mon 02 Jan 2023, 8:45 pm

Thank you so much! We kept the mouse overnight, locked my cats in the house and released it where we thought its nest was.

The mouse skittled away almost instantly. We gave it a store of oats and grains, and we hope it found its nest.

Thanks again. You have been so helpful.

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Post by Loving.pests Tue 03 Jan 2023, 3:54 pm

That's great to hear. Hopefully your cat stays clear or those babies learned an important lesson! Cats are such cute ferocious beasts!


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