Please Help- handfeeding baby mice - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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Hi I'm new here and I have an urgent question about mice babies. I was at the pet store getting a water cup for my lovebird, and I saw an employee walking to the back with some fuzzie mice. I asked what he was doing, and he said he was getting ready to freeze them for the mice =(

I asked if I could buy them (for my snake I said, which isn't true) and asked if their mother was still alive. Guess not =( What an icky place.

Anyway, one of them is about the size of a quarter and the other one is a bit smaller. They both have their ears and eyes closed. I was hoping you could help me with some questions! I already have thier formula and tank set up.

1. Any tips on feeding them? I'm sort of having a hard time getting them to take the forumla...do they just need to adjust to it and me?

2. At about a week old...how often and how much should they be fed?

3. The older one seems to fuss and move around a lot. Is he having trouble getting comfortable or is he just trying to explore??

4. I have a syringe intended for giving parrots medications. For some reason when I use the formula in it, it goes cold very fast. ANy idea why??

5. What age should I start introducing solid foods??

Any general tips you can give me would really help! I would love for these little ones to survive!!
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 04:07 AM
 
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WOW, the mother's not dead BTW, they freeze baby mice for food. What kind of formula are you using? I don't remember if its cat or dog formula you should use, but I'd check. Also, I'd water it down and mix it with a bit of natural yogurt for their digestion. You might be well over your head. Baby mice need to be fed every few hours or so. At this stage, you can check and make sure they've eaten enough by checking their stomoache. You should be able to see the milk thorugh their skin, right below their belly button or so. I'd suggest going to a petstore and getting a bottle kit with a long, thin nipple. attach THAT to the syringe maybe? That's what I used for the baby hamsters I hand-fed. You have to rub their genital areas very gently to relive them, just like their mother would do...I'll look up more info and re-post. good luck though!!!
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 04:21 AM
 
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Ok, um other things to possibly try: Vanilla icecream, but warmed to room temp. Kepp it WARM at all times...CANNOT believe I forgot that part.... take a water bottle and pour hot water into it, place a facecloth towel around it and palce the baby mice next to it. OR if you have one, put a heating pad under 1/2 of whatever you're keeping them in. A hot water bottle would work too, btu i don't know ANYONE who owns one nowadays.... taking care of orphans is hard work, and there's a very good chance of them dying despite all your help. They're probably unhealthy as it is. Best of luck. I tried looking it up, but I can't find any ddirect pages to send...
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so far. They are doing okay right now, the big guy took his meal better than the little 'un. I know they culled the mom, they were gonna cull the babies too, which is why I took them.

I know I gotta feed them a lot (I plan on getting up at least 2x tonight), I'm just not sure how to tell if they are hungry...or if they are full. The biggun is too fat and furry now to see his stomach, but I can tell if the little guy is full, thanks for that.

WOW it seems like they eat a lot. I modified my syringe but it still won't fit all the way in their mouthes, they gotta lick at the formula (which is cat by the way). Tomorrow I will try to find a bottle kit at the stores, thanks.

Cross you fingers these guys make it! The bigger one seems to be eating better.

Any idea when I should start offering solids?
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 12:19 PM
 
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I wouldn't be worried about it not going into their mouths all the way. If anything, I'd say that it's better this way because you can regulate how fast the liquid's coming out. Otherwise, it might come out too fast and choke them. I am however, just going by hamster and squirrel experience, mice are probably different. Also, forgot to mention...you could try and check to see if they're dehydrrated or not by gently pinching their skin/fur at their neck, where their mother would pick them up. If it stays in the pinched shape for more than a few seconds, I'd suggest getting some electrolytes into them. There's a children's drin that helps...something called pediasure or pedialyle, not sure which. Or you could look on the internet for a home-made solution. If worst comes to worst, you cna use gatorade, but as a last resort (had to for my baby squirel when I first got him). As for solids- I'd probably put a few blocks of nutrablocks and maybe some cut up apple, just for them to nibble on, even now. As soon as their eyes are open, they should be wanting to try solid foods, but they might nibble on it here or there even with their eyes closed. Here's a chart I found on their development;

0-3 days the babies are blind, deaf, and completely hairless
3 days the pigment of the skin is visible on darker colored mice
5-7 days fur begins to grow and ears perk up
10 - 14 days eyes open and the babies will become increasingly mobile and begin experimenting
with solid foods
12-24 days the babies will enter what's called the "flea stage." They are extremely quick and jumpy,
which makes them very difficult to handle
21-28 the flea stage comes to an end, and the babies should begin weaning from their mother's milk
28-35 days males and females should be separated, and the mice are ready to go to new homes

ok so it didn't paste like a chart, but the info's still there.

Also here's a site that might be useful. i think it's for rats mostly, but it does mention mice...

http://www.rmca.org/Articles/orphans.htm
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 12:52 PM
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i have been raising mice for years and this situation isnt very new to me..personally its good that they are fuzzies and not pinkies..seeiing that they are still alive chances get better...dont expect them to take the formula force it by putting a small eye dropper near their mouths..let the droplet touch their mouths...also do lactose free formulas...personally i use Alimentum...and also feed only the formula (mix it to the directions)...do not give them water to drink...formula is fine alone. Also, after each feeding gently get a warm wet cue tip and rub their bellies to aid in them expelling wastes...also feed every 2 hrs but at the most every 4 hrs..it is crucial for them to be warm at all times...i used a heater blanket set on the lowest level and a blanket on top of that- MAKE sure that they cant directly get under the blanket and strangle to death...check every 30min at first to see if they are too hot or not...if their temp is slightly warm they are fine...but keep checking on a regular basis...they should open their eyes any day..
let us know how the progress is going

since they are fuzzies they should be relatively easy to take care off....personally i continue to use formula on my baby mice until they are 6wks of age...but at around 3 to 3.5 weeks i give them some solid mouse food...along with the formula...once the baby mice open their eyes they will generally be able to take the formula without your help and all you have to do is put the formula in a jar cap and they will sip out of it on their own free will

good luck

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Last edited by Skratikans; 11-08-2006 at 12:57 PM.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much guys! They are doing okay, Im worried they arent eating enough, though. So Im trying to feed the more frequently. Ive been helping them go potty, about what age do they learn to by themselves?

Thanks so much for all of your help I really appreciate it! I will try to get some pictures soon!
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 10:27 PM
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Good luck...raising orphaned animals,especially rodents is hard work and in many cases the babies don't survive.

I agree with the above posters!

Also when they open their eyes and start to try solids,offer them bread soaked in milk or infant oatmeal cereal.These are things I offer my babies when weaning them and it works greyt!





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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure if the little guy will make it. They are so hard to feed, so fussy. They always pull away from the syringe or fuss too much. The bigger one feeds easier, but not much.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 03:08 PM
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im not sure that its a good idea to feed milk to mice..bc i think they are lactose intolerant..i would stay away from the ice cream...are their eyes open? bc if so they will be able to take the formula by themselves


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i will hold you forever
i will stand beside you forever
keep fighting
keep breathing
hold onto me and dont let go
NEVER let go
you are my world
make it through
i pray for you

VIXEY- March 25, 1994- October 11, 2006 at 10pm
SKRAT- October 21, 2005- January 15, 2007 at 5am
BAXTER- January 30, 2007
I will love you forever, always

Next time we meet again, it will be FOREVER

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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 03:16 PM
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ok, i have looked up to see if mice are lactose intolerant and they are "results indicate that gerbils and mice, like rats, have a low preference for lactose and consume very little of this disaccharide, and confirm that golden hamsters are exceptional in demonstrating both a preference for lactose solutions and an apparent tolerance to the effects of ingestion of substantial amounts of lactose"

for now your best bet with keeping the lil guys is constant formula feeding thats it...dont get fancy until they are stronger, their eyes open and they are putting on the weight..i have done this for years..and it works


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i will hold you forever
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keep fighting
keep breathing
hold onto me and dont let go
NEVER let go
you are my world
make it through
i pray for you

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SKRAT- October 21, 2005- January 15, 2007 at 5am
BAXTER- January 30, 2007
I will love you forever, always

Next time we meet again, it will be FOREVER

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 03:25 PM
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heya! not even kidding you i raised 6 on my own (my sister accidentally baked them under my heat lamp while i was at work so they died ) but they were totally fine while i had them. i had 6 i found in the wall at work in the crappy tire garden center. go to the drugstore and get the SMALLEST tipped eyedropper you can find. i fed them every 2 hours, even during the night, i was so loving them. i bought human infant formula and would mix it with homo milk and warm it up, then feed them, they really only need a little bit. baby mice also CANNOT poo or pee by themselves. momma mice lick their you know what's to induce going to the bathroom. you need a damp warm cloth or warm wet qtips to (very very gently) rub their bellies and privates. it's not as nasty as it sounds, they're so tiny and all. i kept them in a showbox with a towel on the bottom and they loved it. they were walking, had ears and fuzz, and i swear their eyes were almost open when i came home and they'd died. i was so so sad. it just takes a lot of dedication and you'll do just fine
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Skratikanss- I'm feeding them powdered kitten formula, not milk =)

Their eyes are still closed so they can't take it alone. But the big tyke is starting to get the hang of lapping it out of the syringe. He is so fat it seems! I think his eyes will open in a few days....hopefully they will come around okay.

I want to name them...but I don't think I will yet, it will just make losing them harder if they die.
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 07:47 PM
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You CAN give them a little bit of milk.Many breeders give pregnant/lactating mice and rats abit of milk,because they crave it and it gives them the extra nutrients they need.So it would be okay to give them a little bit,soaked in bread when you are weaning them.




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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 10:52 PM
 
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ugh, I really need to invest in the powderedkitten and puppy formulas. So much cheaper in the long run. Plus, freezing's a pain because then you've got to unthaw it....sorry off track.....what I wanted to ask was if they were err..... relieving properly. They should relieve their bladder with every feeding. I usually would try to get my hams to go before they ate....less pressure on their bladder, and it would get them to eat more. Then I'd try again once they were done eating. Also, if they don't relieve themselves of solids every time, not a big deal...but they shouldn't go more than 2-3 feeding, or you'll have to put yogurt in the formula to help them digest it (PLAIN though)

Last edited by bumble_b18; 11-09-2006 at 10:54 PM.
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