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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2009, 08:52 PM
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Orphaned baby field mice

Hello

I have just joined this site and on last friday found an abandoned baby field mouse which I think a neighbours cat had taken then dropped. It is about 2 inches long, almost covered in fur, apart from the very end of its back and eyes are closed. It doesnt appear to have been harmed physically but it was shaking alot when I found it poor thing!Initially I put it in a box with some of my dogs fur - a goldie followed by some shredded paper and sought the advice of our local wildlife trust. They suggested feeding it every 2 hours with a little goats milk on the end of a soft brush. This seems to be working although the mouse has been sitting on my hand at the time as it always felt cold. It is eliminating and the trust also suggested giving a sliver of apple for the mouse to chew - which it has done but only with little success. The milk which I warm seems to go down a treat and today the mouse was taking it off the end of the brush quite well. At night we have placed a wrapped hot water bottle inside the cardboard box. Today I bought some wood shavings and he (not sure if it is?) cuddles up in a small hamster wooden house which I fill with soft tissue, then cover the majority of it with the wood shavings.will probably put the warm bottle underneath the cardboard box. I have not been feeing through the night as I start feeds at 6 am and go through until 10pm, but it seems to be doing ok on this routine.

Sorry for all the info but wanted to give as much information so if anyone can advise when I can (and should I) release back into the wild. We are lucky to live in a rural location and back onto fields so there is plenty of hidden areas for it to go, but will it survive in the wild after being hand reared (assuming it survives) and when will it open it's eyes? I saw on a previous message that you can buy mouse cages so we could keep it if it was necessary for its survival but ideally I would like to release back into nature where it belongs. Until it opens its eyes I would continue to look after it but am conscious that as each day passes it is forming an attachment with me and it is such an wondrous little being so the feeling is mutual!I am using the right sort of bedding to help this little fella in the meantime?What other foods can I introduce and when. It also seems to try chewing my hand when it is lapping up the milk!

Thanks for any advice given.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2009, 10:32 PM
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Re: Orphaned baby field mice

Hi and a warm welcome to WAB. I don't have a clue what you should do as I have never been in your situation. I would try to find out if there was a Wildlife Rescue Centre near you - have you looked at the reference section on WAB, there are numerous resources there with phone numbers.
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:10 AM
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Re: Orphaned baby field mice

Hello henryjeffking, and welcome to WAB. If you scroll right down to the bottom of this page you will find a panel labelled `similar threads.` Click on the relevant one/s and it will take you straight to them. Hope this is of some use...Bob
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:24 PM
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Re: Orphaned baby field mice

Hi hernryjeffking .... welcome and apologies that I have only just spotted your post to the forum.

I have direct experience of hand-rearing a wood/field mouse and from your detailed post it sounds like you are doing everything pretty much right so far, thanks to the good advice from the wildlife trust folk.

What the mouse needs from you most just now, are just warmth and sustenance.

Your wrapped hot-water bottle sounds effective enough if you can keep it topped up with warm water ... but also ensure that the mouse can get to a cooler area if he is finding it a little too hot.

He will want mainly milk at this stage, but continue to offer a little bit of apple or other fruit (banana or pear may be preferred as they're slightly sweeter) ... he'll take to those when he's ready ... but maybe needs to grow a bit first.

Goat's milk is OK if that's all you can easily get hold of (and far better than cow's milk), but a puppy or kitten milk substitute would provide a better range of nutrients. You can get these in powder form from your local vet, or from a pet store.

Follow the instructions for making it up and make a fresh batch every day. During the day the mix will keep in the fridge, but must be warmed to body temperature before feeding.

The paint brush is a useful tool for this in mammals so small, but feeding that way is pretty time-consuming, having to reload the brush so many times during a feed. Your vet or per shop will be able to supply a small mammal feeder, which is a small graduated bottle with a range of artificial rubber teats ... you'll need the very smallest one of course, but that will allow the little fella to feed at his own rate, and also allow you to more easily monitor how much is being consumed at successive feeds.

Be prepared to bottle feed for maybe 7-10 days ... every two hours is about right. See how you get on with feeding 6am to 10pm, but to be honest, I always gave 2 hourly night feeds just to be on the safe side, when mine was very small.

I can provide you with further info in later postings, or PM/telephone me if you need to.

Please be aware that there is always a danger in 'catted' small mammals or birds for there to be fatal blood poisoning from the cat's saliva if the skin was penetrated. But in a mammal with such a high metabolism, the effects should be apparent by now.

If the mouse can survive until tomorrow, then that danger can be considered past.

Please keep us posted, and best of luck.
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:30 PM
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Re: Orphaned baby field mice

Sorry ... one other important thing I meant to add.

Don't ever pick a wood mouse up by the tail ... the skin will slough right off, causing a nasty injury that's best avoided.

Pick him up gently by cupping your palm under him, or by gripping him very gently just above the 'shoulders'.
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Old 09-07-2009, 03:11 PM
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Re: Orphaned baby field mice

Thanks valleyforge for your really helpful replies. Looks like he might have suffered from the blood poisioning you suggested, as he seemed to be slowing up on the last day athough perky but very sleepy.

Very grateful to have helped this little fella even thou he didnt make it.

thanks again
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Old 09-07-2009, 03:32 PM
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Re: Orphaned baby field mice

You're very welcome ... only sorry there wasn't a better outcome.

Wood mice are charming little fellows indeed!
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:41 AM
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Re: Orphaned baby field mice

Hi, I also have only just joined this site and have found lots of good advice, thank you very much.

But, was just wondering if the same applies for 5 orphaned field mice. We are having a new driveway done and the builders today dug out a step into our back door, in doing so they uncovered a nest with 5 baby field mice in it. The builder had already picked them up in his hand before he showed us them so the nest was already disturbed and besides, their home was now destroyed. Having looked at several forums and help sites, it seems that the mother would not go back to a disturbed nest so we have decided to keep the little fellas in a plastic cracker box under a halogen lightbulb. There is plenty of ventilation and when we remove the lid there is plenty of warmth in the box and 4 of them are huddled together.

They all have brown fur but their eye's are still closed so I don't know how old they might be. All are doing well and this is the first night away from mum (presumably). They have had some goats milk but being so small it's very hard to get all of them to have milk as once they are away from the light for more than 5-6 mins they try to snuggle up under the cotton wool, tissue and t-shirt that they have to keep them warm.

As much as possible, have been trying to get them to have some milk every 2-3 hours but have had to go to work this afternoon/evening but a few hours ago they actually had a little porridge, they took some oats from me and held it in their paws to their mouths and ate some but there is 1 little fella who insists on going right to the bottom of the box and refuses to take anything from me. I also put a few mealworms in the box but haven't seen them so hopefully the mice have had some sort of a meal?

Does anyone know what else we might be able to do for them? Especially the one that doesn't want to take anything from me. They all seem very healthy and seem to have lots of energy and are very strong. When they're picked up they try their utmost to wriggle from me.

I'm hoping that if they get through tonight they should be fine... If they do make it, should we release them back into their rightful place? If so, when? But there is also a family of foxes living next door which is another reason for us taking them in as they wouldn't have stood a chance tonight. Or as they are so young will they accept us?

Any idea's and suggestions would be gratefully received as we'd hate anything to happen to the little ones. BTW, they're approx 3cm long in body length (excluding tail).

Many thanks
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