New with Two rescued mice

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Re: New with Two rescued mice

Post by Donnamae on Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:41 am

Overwhelmed.   I finally caught Mitey Mouse on Tues.
I didnt realize I had responses.  Yes, that would have been a perfect Idea to put the safe house (btw, it IS the one you made also) in the tank.  I bought a 10 gal  so Im not sure it would fit and the 2nd tank is a 5 gal becasue if we are carrying these tanks thru the woods, I dont want to raise suspicion.  Next thing I know, homeland security will be drawing guns. Or at least the state police.
We have to release this afternoon.  Its been awful weather in NJ but today is supposed to go to 64 and stay in the 50s overnight. Tomorrow will be in the high 60s but will drop tomorrow nite to the 40s.  Mon will be cooler but Tues and Wed warm up.

Im so tortured over this.  If I had a good way to get them into the safe house I would be more confident.  Im thinking of looking in my fabric bin to see if I can make little bags or something to catch them in the tank, then put the opening to the safe house.  Or we were thinking of a large funnel

If they dont get in the safe house and run away, will they find it if we leave a trail of food?

Bedding material - is torn paper towel ok or should we get  some packaged stuff from pet smart?

Everybody, please pray to the God that you recognize  that this goes well........
I know being free is the best for them.  I just want them to survive.  They are used to sandwiches left over on peoples desks....

Donnamae

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Re: New with Two rescued mice

Post by scaredymouse on Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:09 am

I would try to get the mouse in a nice glass jar, maybe a mason jar. Then to try to get the mouse into the safe house, you can put fabric with a small hole cut out attached to the jar with rubberbands, Then line up the hole in the fabric to the hole in the safe house. If the mouse somehow sneaks off, most likely he will comeback to that location to check for supplies. So, it would be a good idea to leave a trail of food.

I know it's hard to put so much work into saving them and helping them recover, only to release them into the cold, mean world. Its scary... outside is scary. And there aren't any sandwiches! But they are genetically hardwired to survive outside, in the wild.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

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Re: New with Two rescued mice

Post by Donnamae on Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:12 am

THats a good idea about the mason jar concept. We were also thinking about putting the safehouse inside this very large plastic container and transferring them via a aquarium scooper to the container so that they could familiarize themselves with the house, while in the container til later this afternoon. We would bring container and all to the woods.
One question - there was mention of bedding. We just bought some but there are all kinds of warnings on the package about if your animal consumes too much of it. Would it be better to just put paper towels which is what they have now?
I was going to leave bread, some fritos, and parakeet seed. A container of water might be messy becasue Im sure it would spill immediately. The pantry area isnt too big.
Also, this will be a first with them together. They were on the same glue trap and maybe Im anthropomorphizing here but since Mini was the one almost dead, I think Mitey came to her rescue later when he saw her and got stuck too.
So hopefully they will get along. I think she is female becasue she is always curled up like a cat under a mountain of the paper towels during the day. Like she is nesting. Mitey was harder to catch, is a little bigger and more active.
I love them and said a prayer to St. Francis.
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Re: New with Two rescued mice

Post by CinnamonPearl on Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:19 am

I should say that those behaviors are not a good way to tell the difference between girls and boys at all. My Henry nests all day, and I've had huge, chunky, spunky girls. The only sure way is by looking at their genitalia.

Good luck with the release! I'm sure they'll be just fine.

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Re: New with Two rescued mice

Post by Donnamae on Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:23 am

What about leaves for bedding? Ive got a ton of (no pesticides etc) oaks and maples leaves;. Thats what they will be with soon in the forest.

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Re: New with Two rescued mice

Post by Donnamae on Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:25 am

BTW, the pics of everyone's mice are just so cute. I want to kiss them all.

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Re: New with Two rescued mice

Post by CinnamonPearl on Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:35 am

I'm not really sure! Try reading the article on wild mice. It should specify about bedding.

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Re: New with Two rescued mice

Post by Donnamae on Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:58 am

OK, I put some leaves and some pieces of paper towel.  I think the post about the wild mice mentioned just babies and recommended paper towels.
I used my hands to catch them. I felt I had more control of movement and also would be less likely to crush or hurt them. Surprisingly, I was able to do it. The safe house is in the very large plastic container and they are spending time in it. They seem to like it.  It would be great if they are both in it when we are ready to release, we will just tape the holes til we get to our location.  Its easier to carry th e safe house by itself from the car to the wooded area.
 This is the first time I have had them together so I keep checking them to make sure they are not fighting.  They seem to be getting along ok. They have done some butt and face sniffing.

I want to thank EVERYONE here for the great advice and support. I have learned so much even though it only represents a small portion of what you'all know. Following the instructions for the house and everything else has given me a much more comfortable feeling about their adaptation in the woods. I am going to read up on wild mice predators. Hopefully, the food in the safe house , and if we decide to leave some outside to help them find their way way should they venture , will not attract predators - probably raccoons and possums?

I will report back after everything is completed!! Thank you all so much, again.

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Re: New with Two rescued mice

Post by scaredymouse on Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:09 pm

Just a word of advice, if you are able to get them into the safe house, be careful what you use to block of the holes.  They will likely feel trapped if there is no way out.  If you take the holes, they will try to chew out and if they ingest it can be fatal.  The only thing safe to cover the holes would be wood, cardboard or plexiglass.  If you use cardboard, make it thick, they will chew through easily enough.  

I would use leaves and ripped up paper towels for bedding.  And try not to worry to much about the food you leave them attracting predators, it will but the safe houses are designed for them to hide/escape.  And they are smart enough to patiently wait for the scary monster to move along before going back to the house.

Fyi, pet mice love to eat insects.  There is plenty of food outside for mice.  They absolutely love worms.  All my mice love live insects.  So I imagine your urban mice will have no trouble adjusting.  I can't remember what you said you said you were putting on there with them but if you have any plain/unsalted pecans or walnuts, they would love that.  As for water, you can maybe just leave a shallow bowl.  or you can get creative, and leave a piece of bread saturated in water, it will act like a sponge, next to the safe house.

K, that's all I got.  Good luck Smile

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Other pets: Little Buddy, Kevin (cats) Sherberta, Dustin, Lidiya, Chip, Squiggy, Nina, Harold, Spike, Mia, Mim, Henrietta(hamsters), Chloe and Zoey (chinchillas), Herman/Figaro Whooopers/Burlington (guinea pigs)
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Re: New with Two rescued mice

Post by Donnamae on Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:01 pm

Thanks Scaredymouse. The tape is only from the car to the wood which would be about 1 -5 min max, while we are walking.
I peeked at them a few minutes ago, (we are going to secure the top in the woods) and the two of them were snuggling together.
Ill add unsalted pecans to the mix and maybe a small 3 oz empty plastic cat food thing near the house. Tomorrow night can go down to 44. Hope thats ok. Mon is supposed to be warmer
My BP is up thru t he roof today
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Re: New with Two rescued mice

Post by Donnamae on Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:37 pm

OK, on Saturday, everything went as well as I could have hoped. We drove to the reservation and when we got there, they were both inside the safe house cuddling (I peeked). We secured the top with the screws and the doors with temp tape and walked to our location. It was among some fallen limbs and branches and we put leaves on top to hide the house. Within a few moments after removing the tape, one came cautiously exiting one doorway and scampered a few yards away. then the other came out of the other door, but circled around to where the first had gone! After a few moments, we left.
We returned today to make sure the house was still covered. It was. And the water dish I had left about 6 feet away had two seeds in it. Not sure if they were from the seeds in the safe house or something from the woods.
The only problem was that it started to rain - downpour. There was rain in the forecast but we are so used to having the forecasted rain not appear, I thought we could take the chance. It did stop before nightfall so hopefully they were still in the safe house. The thought that the rain could screw this whole thing up is making me sick. I think the general advice is not to release if there are storms within 3 days. So Im not sure if this is really bad or not. It wasnt really a storm but there was some more drizzling in the evening.
But they have the safe house and food.
So all in all, it wasnt a perfect release. But then, is life ever perfect??
Donna mae (currently mouse-less)

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Re: New with Two rescued mice

Post by Artistwolf on Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:44 pm

Sounds like it went fine! I wouldn't worry yo much about the rain. If it wasn't a huge storm, then the mice really wouldn't have been in much danger, and of course they would have remembered that they have the safe-house to go back to.
I admire how much you clearly care for these little wildies. I hope you'll consider adopting some little domestic fancy mice sometime!

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Re: New with Two rescued mice

Post by Donnamae on Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:44 am

Again, thanks to everyone here.  I would like to leave this thread open a little longer until I recheck the safe house.
I think the instructions said to recheck in a week.  That of course means we have to unscrew the top which would scare them I guess if they are still inside.
How long did others wait until checking?

Also, I caught  - in my humane trap - another one at work so he is home. My husband is going to build another safe house.  If it was a little warmer, I would just release him as close as possible to the existing house - or try to use one of the methods suggested to get him to the opening.
But every day is different highs/lows - one day unseasonable warm, the next day rainy and unseasonable cold.-  and I want this one also to have a secure environment until he gets settled.

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Re: New with Two rescued mice

Post by CinnamonPearl on Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:42 pm

If you know for sure this other mouse is a boy, I actually would try to put a good amount of space in between the two safe houses. Male mice are very territorial with each other. You wouldn't want to release him only to have the other mice you released find and kill him.

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Re: New with Two rescued mice

Post by Donnamae on Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:21 am

Hi,
Im trying to get an understanding of wild mouse territoriality. The document on releasing wild mice talks about releasing them where other mice are present. But then there is another section that says male mice need at least 3 - 7 miles without other males. So this seems to be conflicting, or Im not understanding it correctly.
The first two mice I rescued were kept separate because I was afraid that they would fight. But on the day of release, we put them together and when they went into the safe house (which was in a larger container) and I checked on them, they were actually huddled together. When they ran out of the safe house in the woods, the second one went over to where the first one had gone.
So now, what do I do with this third mouse I just rescued? If he has to be separated from the other two and I release him in another area, there could be other mice there anyway. These were all rescued at my job so they are from the same environment.
Of course, I don't know the gender of any of them.
Donnamae

(I posted this on the Q & A of the 'releasing wild mouse" but im not sure if anyone reads that on a regular basis.)

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