Help orphaned babies :( - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 71 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Help orphaned babies :(

Hi, I am new to the site, Just having joined to get as much advice aas possible about these poor baby mice.
Today whilst having my shed moved a sadly disturbed a family of mice, first discovering a mum and one baby, and then a further two babies.
As the mum mouse ran my dog caught and killed it (he is a whippet so i dont blame him)
I could not leave the babies to be got by my cat and so brought them in.
I have done alot of reading and it seems that I am doing the right thing.......feeding them puppy/kitten formula and keeping them warm.
Problem is I have no idea how old they are, and so dont know how much they need. Also they have not been to the toilet, despite me trying to stimulate them to go, so am I doing it wrong?

I have raised baby birds in the past, and hand reared kittens, with varying degrees of success.
I desperately want these little fellas to make it. Any advice gratefully recieved.

To help with working ut the age of them, I can say they have soft downy hair, and long tails, but their eyes are still closed, upon feeding they made some very tiny squeks, they do not move around much.
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post #2 of 71 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 01:46 PM
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Hello and welcome to the site.
It sounds like you are doing a great job so far with trying to keep the babies warm and feeding them kitten formula and I am sure there are a ton of other details that you will get advice on from members of the forum as they start reading your post. I do not have any experience with hand raising baby mice but I still wanted to let you know you came to the right place for some good advice. Also, in the meantime, while you are waiting for replies on this forum, have you tried researching this topic on the internet to see if you can find some good sites on hand raising baby mice? I wish your babies great success and I hope they thrive.

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post #3 of 71 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 03:35 PM
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Not at all! It'll take a while for their bodies to adjust to the formula change - they honestly may not start eliminating until tomorrow. Take a Q-tip with the tip wet with some warm water, and stroke down their belly gently across their genitals a few times(expect wiggling!) - and do a few gentle circular massages at their genitals - mamas have to do this for a while until the baby learns to eliminate by itself. And they won't eliminate each and every time, either. But sometimes you take them out to feed them and have a surprise elimination, It doesn't always happen right then and there, the best you can do is stimulate them after feeding, make sure they're all clean, and put them to bed. Just make sure before you put them back to bed, that you dry them off with the dry end of the Q-tip, and use another wet Q-tip to wipe off the sticky formula from their mouths or it'll dry and you have to gently peel away the residue(which is NOT fun on a squirmy baby).

Also, keep in mind...if they don't make it, it's not your fault. They sound really tiny, about as tiny as the first wild orphan I came across. But, considering they have the advantage of another litter mate, and my orphan did not, that probably increases the chances a bit, It's really hard to nurse an orphaned baby to maturity, especially ones that young.
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post #4 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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Day 2

Morning all and thank you both for the welcome and the advice given.
I am exhausted from 2 hourly night feeds, but am pleased to say that all 3 mouse babies are still alive, they are eating and now going to the toilet with a little help. They do squeak and wiggle which is good as it means they still have some energy.
I have noticed that one is an awful lot smaller than the others and much quieter so do not hold out to much hope for that one.

Have found out that by 20-25 days the mice will be mature enough to breed, which was a little worry, so have managed to secure 2 rat cages from freecycle. Providing they survive I can keep one. and re home the other two with cages ect, gives them a better chance of finding a home, and also stops them getting each other pregnant (heaven forbid!!!!! lol)

Not sure how much hope to put on them have survived one night, and am still not sure that they are actually ingesting much food each feed.
Just keep caring for them as I am and hope for the best.
As before any advice greatly received.

Oh before I go, any ideas how to sex a baby moouse, as obviously if there are two of the same sex it would be nice for them to stay together until they are rehomed.
What would my female chinese dwarf hamster think about a playmate?

update tommorow if not sooner x
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post #5 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 02:42 AM
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You shold put them in a cage that is half way on a heating pad half way out.That way they can move if they are too hot or cold. You shold not use puppy formula only kitten. A cc syring is best and they usually wont eat unless it is warm. I use to keep a hot cup of water on top of a heating source to chage syringes when one cools. You can also use a heater to keep them warm while eating. The few I have had to hand feed wold not eat unless they were warm,. I used a space heater and held them close to it while I fed them. They need to eat every 2-3 hours. It is hard work and the survival rate isn't the strongest altough not impossible.

Before and after they eat take a warm wet q-tip and rub the genitals both front and back. They will go eventually. Are they jujmping alot? Mice can reproduce very quick. I believe I still have a thread up for suprise litters on mice. It tell tell you weaning info and whanot.
When they open their eyes they will be around 10-14 days of age and 24-28 days they can reproduce. After they open their eyes offer stale bread soaked in kitten formula and kitten food.
Boys can suck their boy parts up inside of their bodies. so if you have a small baby food jar let them perch on it and check for the testicles.
Hope it works out but if anything goes wrong its not your fault. I use to breed show mice and emergencies happen and all we can do it try our best.


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post #6 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Hi mousey, Thanks for the advice. Must admit I was amazed to hear that people show mice
think I am off to google show mice, purely out of interest.
Gues its not a surprie really, as people show cats, dogs, and even rabbits. Just wonder what they look for in a show mouse?
Very cool.....Off to google for me x
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post #7 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
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Oh dear, I think they have mites
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post #8 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 10:33 AM
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If they're that young, sexing them will be nearly impossible. My first orphaned baby seemed to be doing really well, and then suddenly his weight started dropping and he died, It happens. Sometimes it's just not in the cards.

They should each be eating about .5cc every feeding.

You won't be able to tell gender at least until they've gained more body and their eyes are almost open and until they're beginning to wean(you'll know they're ready to wean because they'll start nibbling on your fingers and skin).

Also - agreed with above. They won't eat unless they're warm. The only time I ever bothered with a heater was the heater partially under their bed, otherwise I walked around holding them entirely cupped in my hand before and after feedings.

Edit : Why do you think they have mites?

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post #9 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 11:04 AM
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There's pictures on the web of how to sex them. I've sexed pinkies before accurately but if you're not sure it does get easier as they grow. When they start to get fur, you can usually (at least with domestic mice) see nipples on the girls bellies. The boys don't have nipples. You can also sex by looking at the distance between their bums and their privates. Even in young mice, boys will have a comparatively longer distance between the anus and the genitals than the females will. From my experience, in very young mice this distance will be about twice as long in males as it is on females.

Females can usually be kept together. Males should be separated and kept in their own cages because they will fight with other males. I wouldn't let them near your hamster. Since they are wild, you don't know if they could be carrying parasites or some kind of disease that could be passed to other pets.

That's mostly all for domestic mice though, I've never dealt with wild mice. Good luck with them!


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post #10 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all, and thank for the tips and advice,

Sexing: indeed some have nipples i did wonder if this was an indication but as i am more used to sexing kittens (In which its not relevent) I wasnt sure.
I will check them all at next feed.....approximately 10m minutes time lol.

Mites: I have had 2 little specks on me.....bugs def not dust lol.
I have since wiped mice over with a baby wipe, have not seen any one their skin, with their original bedding of wood chippings (used for my hamster) I chucked a few leaves from their nest for comfort, so since then I have changed bedding, cleaned out box and put new chippings in ( minus the leaves) so hopefully they will be ok.

They are so sweet, when they have been fed, they clean their little faces, even tho their eyes are not yet open
I am falling in love.....and soooo hoping they all make it.
Now setting up for another long night of 2 hourly feeds zzzzzzz

Will update tommorow, and thanks again foir all your help, so pleased I have joined site. And hope I can offer experiance and advice on other animals in the future
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post #11 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 12:27 PM
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I am sure you are falling in love with the babies...it is so easy to do, isn't it? I would fall in love too if I was caring for wee little babies. You are now their adopted mother! It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job with them, hang in there!! I hope they all do well and get big and strong.

I noticed you mentioned that you did not know that people show their mice in mice shows and what is interesting is that you live in the UK and the UK is famous for starting the first mouse and rat clubs back in the day and from articles I have read, people in the UK are huge mice enthusiasts and love to show their mice!

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post #12 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Yes so it seems, I did some reading today, they are often called "fancy mice" tho to be perfectly honest I really cant see a huge difference?
Im sure I am missing something vital.
Wonder if they look for things like straight jaws, bone structure, breeding lines ect like cats and dogs, or whether its simply the prettiest one
Somehow I dont think my babies will be winning any beauty contests....lol
I would love to post some pics, but atm have not made enough posts, soon as I have tho I will be putting some up for sure.
thanks for your support
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post #13 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 01:02 PM
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Yes, those shows look for all kinds of small details, like coloring and markings and shape of ears, etc. But I never really had any interest in showing my babies (I had rats and gerbils, and yes, there are shows for them too!) but if you ask anyone on the rat and mouse forum about their furry kids, they will all tell you that their babies are the most beautiful in the world.

I used to say, "I don't need to enter my sweet babies into a contest...I already KNOW they are the best ones in the world!"

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post #14 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 01:14 PM
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Yeah... I love the face-cleaning bit, It's so jerky and lacks in motor skills, but it's adorable. I never even bothered sexing my first orphan, my second orphan when I found him had body, a light layer of velvet fur, his ears were fully developed, as were his eyes but they didn't open until 48 hours after I found him. And at that age it was MUCH easier to tell that he was a little boy,

I've read you *can* put brothers in the same cage together, but..... chances are they'll fight later on anyway, so don't even bother, lol.

Man, this makes me miss my second orphan, He died back in October from unknown causes. If yours make it to maturity, you'll probably have them a lot longer(they can live up to 5 years in captivity), all of my orphans were drop-offs, so mom probably sensed something wrong with them.
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post #15 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-02-2011, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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DAY 3

Morning all, another night of feeding and still have 3 seemingly healthy babies......and a very tired surogate mummy lol

They seem fine, no change, no more sign of mites.
Slightly worried as they dont seem to have done a poo for a while, am going to research things I might give them to get things moving in that region.
Any advice of course very gratefully recieved.



Had a sad situation when I woke up this morning tho, as one of my cats had bought in a dead feild mouse (adult).
Im guessing that when we disturbed the nest there were actually others in the hole, that are now being found easily, with no cover. Fortunately she had left the mouse undamaged on the outside, at least.
My daughter upon seeing it, went "OH so thats what they will look like when they grow up" haha. Bless her, after owning many pets, raising many baby animals, she is very used to death. We said a quick prayer and promised to look after the baby mice. And I then dropped mummy mouse in the bin, Unceremonious I know, but with all this baby feeding I have no time left for burials, plus my cats/dog would only dig it back up!

Will update later. Have a good day x
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