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There comes a time when mice will have babies. That can happen if you breed them intentionally, or it can happen spontaneously. Of course, if you have male and female mice together, it is possible that they breed on their own. That’s when you will have to consider what will happen to babies.
Do Mice Care for Their Babies?
Usually, female mice will take care of their babies. However, on rare occasions, the mother mouse can get hostile towards their young and abandon them. This only happens with young or stressed female mice, and it is not very common behavior.
If the mother dies or is careless about their pups, you will have to step up and provide some care for the babies, if you want them to survive.
The baby mice won’t be able to survive on their own for long. They need tender care, food, and something to drink, or else they’ll die in a matter of days, if not hours.
But many owners don’t know how to care properly for babies, and that’s what we’re here for.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how to care for a baby pet mouse to enable it to survive. If the mother passes away or abandons their babies, you’ll have no other choice.
How to Care for Baby Pet Mice?
If you want to take care of baby mice, the first thing you should do is to provide them with the right temperature. A pinkie baby mouse (without fur) with no mother, will get cold pretty fast and will die due to hypothermia.
The second step is to start feeding them every couple of hours, even at night. You can feed them milk, but the best is to give them diluted kitten formula until they get about 21-28 days old.
You’ll need a couple of things to care for the baby mice:
- A small syringe
- Some old rags or t-shirts, blankets
- A water bottle
- A heating pad (preferred)
- Puppy milk replacement or an equivalent (can be found at most pet stores)
If the mother of the babies has died, or left them to fend for themselves, this is what you’ll need to do to care for the baby mice.
– Keep the Mice Baby Warm
Keeping the baby mice warm is essential for keeping them alive. One of the first things you’ll need to do is to make sure they are warm enough to survive. Babies can be especially vulnerable in this respect.
You’ll need some tools that’ll help you keep the baby mice warm. Of course, a nice, warm blanket can be helpful, as could various rags and old clothes that you can gather. If you can’t maintain the warmth just with that, consider getting a heating pad.
If you opt for the heating pad, you’ll need to be careful. Placing the pad right under the baby mice might be too much and too warm. This can dehydrate the baby mice, which is equally as bad as if they were cold. Make sure the temperature is just right.
– Feed Them Often
For the first few weeks, feeding the baby mice will be crucial for their survival. The baby mice will need manual feeding every two or three hours. As they don’t have the natural source of food coming from their mother, you’ll have to do the feeding here.
In the first three or four weeks, feed the mice babies a special, liquid formula. You’ll need a syringe to feed them, too.
At first, they won’t be able to eat solids, and you should look into liquid foods such as milk replacement or an equivalent (you can ask at your pet store). You can use the evaporated milk, although puppy milk replacement is better.
Get a small syringe that will fit their mouths (a small 1 cubic centimeter syringe will do). Then, dilute the milk with some water at first, and don’t be too aggressive with the feeding.
Feed them slowly, and don’t press too hard on the syringe. After a few weeks, you should include solid foods. Watch for diarrhea as well; the baby mice shouldn’t have it. Instead, the stool should be yellow.
– Always Keep Them Clean
The baby mice won’t be able to take care of themselves just yet. This also includes their hygiene, so it’s crucial that you keep them as clean as possible.
You’ll have to clean any dirt from the baby mice, and keep them as clean as possible. Gently scrub them with rags or clothes that were dipped into hot water. You can also wrap them in a blanket afterward to keep them as cozy as possible.
Hygiene is also important in this time. Keep their nest clean and keep them away from danger, especially from the male mouse or male specimens of other species that you might have. Keeping them separate might be for the best.
What do Baby Mice Eat?
In their early stage of life, baby mice will eat milk from their mother until they get about 2-3 weeks old. After that baby mice can start eating solid food such as cooked rice and beans, cooked carrots, soft vegetables, and fruits.
If they remain orphans, you can feed them kitten milk formula with a pipet or a syringe. Remember to feed them every two or three hours. This might mean waking up at night, but that’s just what you have to do if you want to keep them alive.
At the very start, the mice won’t have developed their teeth yet, and thus won’t be able to chew on the food.
Later on, after three or four weeks, you should think about including some solid foods. One of the indicators of when you should do this is when the mice start opening their eyes, and you see them grow. You should also note when their teeth start to grow.
At this point, I recommend that you feed them high-quality, healthy foods to help them grow. These foods include:
- Vegetables (kale, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and others)
- Fruits (apples, pears, bananas)
- Seeds, greens
- You can consider rodent foods from the pet store.
Remember that the mice still won’t have the same capacity to chew just yet. Keep the pieces of food very small, or even mix them up into a smooth, liquid mixture.
At What Age Can Baby Mice Start Eating Solids?
Once the baby mice start to grow up, you can start feeding them solids. For me, I started feeding solids at about 4 weeks of age. But during this time, you should still consider keeping liquid foods as a part of their diet.
It’s a pleasure to watch your baby mice grow, especially when you put so much effort in. You should notice big changes after just a few weeks; after about three or four weeks, you should start to notice a big growth, and they will also start to develop their sight and their teeth. That’s when you can start to switch things up a bit.
The human baby formula or the puppy milk replacement can still work. But, you should start to include solid foods that have more nutrients readily available.
This way, the mice will grow faster, and will become healthier. Their teeth will also develop better when you feed them solid foods.
As we already discussed, there’s huge variety when it comes to solids. Vegetables (especially root vegetables) and fruits are great at this point, but you can also include various seeds and greens.
Slowly, you can start to incorporate rodent foods, although that food will come handy later on. For now, focus on the quality of the diet.
Can Baby Mice Eat Cow Milk?
Cow milk can be considered for their diets later on, but it’s not the best food right at the start for the baby mice. That’s because it just doesn’t have the necessary nutrients to grow the mice. Plus, you’ll risk having diarrhea with the baby mice.
So look for other options instead. Puppy milk replacement, evaporated milk, goat milk, or human baby formulas will work better.
Can You Hold Baby Mice in Your Hands?
The little baby mice will be fragile little creatures. You can hold them in your hands, but you’ll have to be very careful with it. They won’t like to be held at the very start, but you can start holding them in your hand after a few weeks to feed them.
Be careful they don’t slip out of your hand, and wash your hands before you hold them. That way, you get rid of the potentially harmful bacteria that can harm the baby mice.
Seeing your baby mice grow up is a joy to behold. It does take some hard work and effort, but in the end, it will be worth it.
You’ll be surprised at just how attached you can become with the baby mice. After a few weeks, you’ll be in love, and that’s why you should take extra care when caring for the mice.Pet Mice, Rodents