Calories In 2 1 2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats Care of Wild Baby Mice

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Care of Wild Baby Mice

If for some reason wild baby mice have been placed in your care, I’ve included a few tips on care and feeding to help you give them a chance at life. Be aware that even in the wild, mice have a 50% chance of surviving beyond 5 months of age, given a normal upbringing. The mice that do can live up to about 5 years if they are healthy. A pair will have a better chance of survival than a single mouse.

As soon as you have your baby mice, it is important to keep them safe and warm. You can use a small pet carrier, large plastic tub, or any other suitable box to put them in. Layer the bottom with a towel and place the mice on top. Then use another soft material to lightly cover the mice like fleece. Place the box in a warm place and make sure it is not hot; otherwise the mice will become dehydrated. A heater on the lowest setting may be all that is needed. Test the towel the mice lie on so that it feels cozy and warm to your hand.

If the baby mice are less than 14 days old, they should be fed a milk replacer until they are weaned. They usually open their eyes when they are just weaning and can feed themselves. You have to feed them every two hours, so be prepared to get up at night. Set your alarm. When I was looking after wild mice, I got up every two hours to check on them. I have since read that during the night the mother mouse would be away looking for food and maybe only return to the nest once to feed her babies. Use your common sense if you can manage a few night feeds, all the best for the babies chance of survival, especially in the early days.

Kitten milk can be bought in pet stores. I used raw coconut mixed up and sieved. It should be 1 cup of coconut to about 2 and ½ cups of water. You can also use soaked almonds to make an almond milk with the same proportions. Make sure the nuts are natural and plain. After making the milk, store it in a sterilized glass jar and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use. When you need to feed the mice, take a quarter cup of the milk and warm it up by pouring it into a small jug and standing it in hot water. Use a dropper or baby syringe (you can get them from the pharmacy) to feed 1 or 2 drops of the milk at a time into the baby mouse’s mouth. When the mice are really young, they may not open their mouths. Be careful not to get the milk up your nose, they will sputter/cough if you do. It could be dangerous to their health if you do. The way I fed the mice was to lay a face cloth down on a table and put one mouse at a time on it. Then you can gently hold the baby’s head while you administer the milk with the dropper. You’ll get the hang of it with a little practice. The baby may not seem to be taking much milk, don’t worry. Very young babies may only need a drop or 2 on their mouth/tongue until they can take more. The main goal here is to keep them hydrated with a small drop at a time every few hours.

After the baby has been fed, you must stimulate a bowel movement. To do this, put some warm water in a small bowl and dip a cotton swab into it. Then place the cotton swab between the child’s back legs and gently twist the knob. You should see a little browning, that’s their faeces. Dip the other end of the bud into the water and gently stroke the baby’s body, this mimics the mother licking them. After all that, put baby up in its soft bedding and place in a warm place. This is the basic routine that needs to be repeated every few hours during the day and at least 2-3 times during the night, especially around 1 and 5.

As you can see, taking care of wild baby mice is quite a commitment. But there is also great reward in caring for them and the bond you will feel as a carer.

When the babies start to open their eyes or at least take a peak, they may take in a lot more milk and start moving around a bit. This is where you need to be extra careful; one fall is enough to be fatal. You can create a small safe roaming area in the lower part of a pet cage or shoebox/sink. Line it with newspaper and leaves to simulate a natural environment. The youngsters will enjoy stretching their legs and taking their first steps. This is important as it will build their muscles and strength.

Once babies start biting your fingers quite firmly when you feed them, they may be ready for some solid food. They will also start to open their eyes (12-14 days old) Start very slowly with this. Try some baby fruit puree to start or natural rice porridge. The food must not be refrigerated. Let them lick it off your finger. Avoid putting the purees on a dish that the mice can feed from, as they can get messy and end up with matted fur, which should be avoided. Some other foods to upgrade to are porridge, banana, tomato, dried oat flakes, strawberries. Just go really easy with the food and keep it simple and easy to digest to start with. Congratulations! You have actually reached the weaning stage, which is something with wild baby mice.

Continue to provide the mice with a safe place to sleep and once they are weaned they will be able to come out at night to eat. Give them a small dish near their bed so they can eat during the night. At least you can get some sleep now! Continue to offer the milk throughout the day and give them some water. Normally, wild mice will still have some mother’s milk up to about 4 weeks of age.

Now you have to decide whether you want to keep them or release them into the wild. I don’t know how many mice have been successfully hand-raised and released into the wild. I would think it unlikely that they could survive. You’ve done your bit though, and if they seem strong and healthy and quite active, it may be possible to release them. Or you can keep them as pets.

Finally, if you did your best and the mice died, don’t feel bad. The chances of survival under the best conditions, i.e. with their natural mother, are still low. Just enjoy the experience you’ve had with them and the opportunity to get a glimpse into their little lives. They are little bundles of love and it is wonderful to have at least given them some love when they might otherwise have perished.

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