urgent - potential orphans - need info
Hi. Yesterday afternoon, my husband uncovered a rats nest under a woodpile next to our house. There were 9 pups in the nest. He wanted to move them because he didn't like having them near the house, so we caught the mother and put her and the pups in a box and moved them to a wooded area on our property. We turned the box on it's side so they could get out and the mom was feeding them when we set the box out. She got up, ran into some brush, then came back and sniffed at the pups in the box and ran back into the brush. We left them alone, thinking she would make a nest and then move the pups. This morning, I checked on them, and the pups were still in the box, but there was no nesting material inside and no sign of the mom. I checked again this afternoon, and there is still no sign of the mother. The pups look to be about two weeks old (they have hair, but their eyes are not opened, they're about 2 1/2 inches long, not counting the tail). When I checked them this evening, they were still alone. A couple of them seemed to be cleaning themselves. My question is, would they still be alive if the mom abandoned them? If she abandoned them after we set them out, it has been 24 hours since they've eaten. If she has abandoned them, I will try to feed them or find someone who can, but if she might be coming and feeding them, I don't want to take them from her. What do you think? Please respond as soon as possible. I haven't been able to find anyplace in my area that has any knowledge or is willing to help with wild rats.