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Mouse & Rat Discussion Twitching whiskers, tiny paws, and all else mouse or rat related.

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 04:28 AM Thread Starter
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This is a follow on from my previous post about my orphaned baby deer mice.

Some of you will know that of the 3 tiny babies, I managed to save one through a few weeks of lots of feeding and worrying. She is now into maturity and the loveliest little pet. Very very tame, and just adorable.

I was slightly concerned that she may be lonely and a little bored, as I read that mice are very sociable, and Also very intelligent.

I decided against buying a domestic mouse for company as was not sure about the 2 different species getting on, and didnt want to risk making a mistake on sex and ending up with strange cross bred mice!!
So my mouse baby was destined to live alone.

Until last night!!!..............Whilst standing by my back door last night my little cat Tinkerbelle came running past into the kitchen with a tail hanging out of her mouth. low and behold it was a fully alive baby deer mouse that she dropped on the floor!!
I quickly rescued baby and put her in a box with a towel around her to see if she was ok.
After a hour went to check and she was very bright and seemed ok, but is alot younger than my fully mature mouse. I didnt really want to just release her to be caught again, and kinda thought........well.....i did want my little mouse to have a friend

So being as she was only very young, decided to see how they got on. I got my mouse out and put them in a box together, and madness commenced, chasing climbing on each other, and what looked a little like fighting. But I kept an eye, and eventually they were pretty much ignoring each other. So I put them both in the cage together and stayed to watch. Alot more chasing aoccured but no fighting and definately no squeaking so thought I would see how they got on through the night.
I checked on them 3 times in the night. The first time the younger mouse was in the corner of the cage, and my mouse was standing like a queen on top of her house, presumed this was territorial behaviour.
The second time my mouse was asleep in the house and the baby was eating.
The third and final time it appeared that both mice were asleep in the house and that how its stayed since. Am going to keep an eye on them both. But hopefully they will become good friends

proud owner of
Sam......3yr old pedigree whippet male
Jasper ande zee......hand reared male feral cats, both black, both brothers, both ENORMOUS 6yrs
Tinkerbelle.....hand reared female tabby cat 2 years, too intelligent for her own good
Cisko.....chinese dwarf hamster app 5 months and very cute

plus 3 baby mice
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 09:48 AM
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So what are you going to do if the new baby is a male?
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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I checked already, definately female.
When I had the original 3 babies I did alot of reading and looking at pics to learn how to determine sex, As I new that they would be sexually mature from 20 days old and didnt obviously want them to breed ( think there are plenty of wild mice around lol)

They seem to now be very happy together, and as they can live up to 5 years in captivity it would have been a shame for mine to have been alone for all that time.
Glad I managed to rescue her from the jaws of my cat

proud owner of
Sam......3yr old pedigree whippet male
Jasper ande zee......hand reared male feral cats, both black, both brothers, both ENORMOUS 6yrs
Tinkerbelle.....hand reared female tabby cat 2 years, too intelligent for her own good
Cisko.....chinese dwarf hamster app 5 months and very cute

plus 3 baby mice
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 04:19 AM
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Bubbles,
That is simply the nicest story I have heard in ages on this forum! I am so happy that your mouse girl has a friend, who also happens to be a wild deer mouse, and is also female! It was definitely fate that brought your new baby to your door (well, fate, in the jaws of your cat eh?)

That is terrific! I am so relieved your little girl now has a friend to keep her company. She will be so much more content and happy with a sister to play and snuggle with. Fantastic!! I am so glad this happened. Now, what about names? Did you name either or both of your girls yet? I would love to see photos soon! Congrats on this terrific turn of events.

I guess you can, sort of, thank your cat for bringing her to you? Heh heh. Glad she was not hurt by the cat either, whew!!

Vlad

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Awww thankyou vladina, what a lovely reply
The orignal mouse is named "mouse baby" still!!!!! lol
I can tell them apart quite easily, have not seen much of the newbie.
I am going to think of pairs names for them......as they cant well stay mouse baby and newbie forever lol.

any name suggestions are very welcome.
And yes a big thank you to Tinkerbelle for her present

One mouse has decided not to sleep in the house but has made a nest in the corner of the cage, but I dont see this as a problem, Im going to clean them out later and try and handle the new one a bit now she is over her shock. Hopefully she is young enough to get tame like my little original baby, I will take some pics when I clean out their cage xx

proud owner of
Sam......3yr old pedigree whippet male
Jasper ande zee......hand reared male feral cats, both black, both brothers, both ENORMOUS 6yrs
Tinkerbelle.....hand reared female tabby cat 2 years, too intelligent for her own good
Cisko.....chinese dwarf hamster app 5 months and very cute

plus 3 baby mice
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 08:25 AM
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This sounds great! I'm really glad they seem to be getting along. I'd continue to keep a close eye on them over the next few days, but it sounds like they should be fine together. Keep handling both of them daily, and you should have no problems!


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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 08:49 AM
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Wild mice can be tame as babies, but as they become adults it usually changes and they are fast, get scared easily and they don't really stay affectionate at all (I am a wildlife rehabilitator) most baby animals are calm with humans and then instinct kicks in as they get older.
Be prepared for it. And if you are the only one touching them also, they will not get accostumed to anybody else.
.
.
Any other wild animal, I would tell you to release them and get a PET and not a wild animal, but mice are a big controversy amongst people and wildlife rehabilitators as to wether it is better to release them or keep them as pets.
There are plenty of pet mice at rescues that need a loving home.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 08:55 AM
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Also, please get the information on all the diseases wild mice can carry.
I do hope the mice you got don't carry LCM or other diseases that are transmittable to humans and are serious.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 11:50 AM
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Dustette - Not trying to undermine you and your knowledge, however I've read of plenty of people having remarkable luck with actually training their deer mouse orphan to chill out with them as they watch tv(never something I'd do though, and that's NOT because we have a house full of cats, lol!). Obviously, no, they haven't been "dummed down" through domestication like pet mice have, but all taming wild mice requires is handling them several times a day, every day, which is what you're supposed to do with all of your pets anyway. Cautiousness is instinct, yes, but Bubbles is their mommy now, and if Bubbles hasn't taught them to be fearful of humans by refusing to handle them, there really is no concern they'll rebound. The younger baby is already learning from the older one, who has Bubbles' scent all over her and the cage not to be frightened of her, and the older one learned from being raised by Bubbles, not to be frightened - imprinting, which is what mammals do - can outrank instinct to flee, if that instinct was never given room to grow and fester. Imprinting is a survival technique just as much as instinct. And because mama mouse was not able to teach her youngins to fear humans, what the orphans have learned through imprinting off of Bubbles as their mom probably far outranks any instinct to flee.

The only disease I'm aware of that Deer mice can carry is the Hantavirus, which, despite what many will try to convince you is extremely rare. If the original baby carried it, Bubbles would've experienced symptoms by now, it doesn't take very long at all for symptoms to show up. In any case, diseases are usually spread by touching the infected item and then bringing your hand to your face; it's common hygienic practice to always wash your hands after handling your pets, and especially after cleaning their cage.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 01:12 PM
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Great post from FlickeringHope, I completely agree. These babies are rapidly learning that Bubbles is their mommy and if your new baby is learning from her sister, then you will have two very loving mice girls that think of you as their Momma. I think you are doing wonderfully with them, and handling them daily is of course the right thing to do, so keep up the good work!

I love the name Mouse Baby, but I guess you probably need to pick a more formal name for your first girl, heh heh. Wow, there are so many names out there to choose from! You might want to see how their personalities develop and choose names that fit them?

Looking forward to pictures!

Vlad

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 06:11 PM
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The new baby may not tame at all...being that her eyes are open now. The other little one got socialized from before then.

Even half-wild rats raised from birth are still very skittish, so a wild-caught young mouse? I hope it works out, but don't be surprised if the taming process doesn't work.

I too, brought up a litter of baby mice and they were so tame until their eyes fully opened and then those wild instincts kicked in.

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Hi all, the original mouse is extremely tame. And is a fully mature adult. But so far the new one is FAR from tame. Whilst cleaning out the cage today and handeling both mice, the youngest one jumped (and goodness can she jump ) from box and done a runner. lol

Was not a problem and in time I am quite sure she will calm, having regular handling. All she needs is to realise no harm is going to come to her and that she is safe and she will relax, I have rehabilitated much bigger animals than her and it all just takes time and careful handeling.
I understand that people see keeping wild animals as a problem. But I didnt choose these pets I simply saved them from the hands of death. I would never even have wanted a mouse as a pet, previous to this I didnt even like them if Im honest.
And in all fairness I am far from ignorant and of course read up on diseases ect that they could carry, I have a daughter and would not do anything to put her at risk of being unwell.


I appreciate all concerns and advice however so thank you.
Please bear in mind though that the other option to keeping these little guys was to more or less throw them to my cats, which as a lover of all animals I was not prepared to do.

I will not be able to add pics at this time as the newbie is too skittish atm, but eventually I will

Oh and when I cleaned out cage I found that the pile in the corner was not a new homes, simply a pile of hay and food, so the little girlies are indeed sharing the sleeping hut together )

proud owner of
Sam......3yr old pedigree whippet male
Jasper ande zee......hand reared male feral cats, both black, both brothers, both ENORMOUS 6yrs
Tinkerbelle.....hand reared female tabby cat 2 years, too intelligent for her own good
Cisko.....chinese dwarf hamster app 5 months and very cute

plus 3 baby mice
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Last edited by bubbles; 03-17-2011 at 12:22 AM.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 12:32 AM
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I would have done exactly the same thing as you.
I am also glad these little babies have a chance and have an adopted mother, so good for you. I would not be able to let my cat have them, no way. I think you are doing a terrific job! I am an animal lover like you, so my maternal instincts kick in regarding topics like this. I am glad both babies are safe with you.

And great, they are sharing the sleeping hut together! Happy girls for sure. Hugs to them from me!

Vlad

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 01:33 AM
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P.S. on my last post...I also agree with you that I would of course never purposely capture or take an animal from the wild to make it into a pet, but if I found an orphaned baby alone, whose mother had been killed, I don't see how anyone could not help it and take it in.

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 01:13 PM
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Agreed as well. Orphans only!

And I also agree on not being into mice AT ALL, Bubbles. I wasn't, nor am I still, interested in mice as pets. But orphaned deer mice, I don't know...there's something different about them.
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