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Mice/unhappy wild mouse


Hi about 2 months ago whilst in a pet food cash & carry I found a baby wild mouse. He was on the floor in the middle of one of the isles he was either half asleep or dying. There were staff driving back and fore on folklift trucks and I also noted some traps and poison baits on the way in so it wasnt safe. Anyway I took him home and hand fed him with kitten milk and anything soft he seemed to be weaned and soon became quite independent.  As soon has he was well enough he started getting a  bit jumpy with us even biting so we left him to his own independence just bothering him to provide food and clean out his tank. Trouble is he now looks to escape at every opportunity and I think hes unhappy I have tried to bond with him but he just watches me for a few minutes then hides away in his bed. I would like to release him back into the wild I have a shed where I could do this slowly and still provide food for him however it is now winter so I dont know what to do for the best. I'm not even sure if he would be able to survive in the wild now. I have considered a companion but as Im not 100 per cent sure on his sex I dont want to risk having a tank full of babies. I would be grateful for any advice

Hi Janeen,

How wonderful that you helped the little guy out!  The wild, jumpy nature of wild mice is actually genetic, so it isn't surprising that he's proving a little difficult to tame, even after handfeeding him as a baby.  However, that same genetic wildness means he certainly hasn't forgotten how to survive in the wild!  This actually takes several generations to forget, so don't worry - those instincts are definitely still there.

When to release him is ultimately up to you.  I am not sure what the weather is like where you are - if you are concerned for him and can't find a warm day to let him go get settled in somewhere, you can hang onto him until Spring without worrying about him losing his instincts, but it may continue to be difficult on the both of you as you go about cleaning his cage and such.  You don't have to introduce him slowly - if you provide food in the shed he will likely move right into your home, so unless that's your plan you may want to find some place a bit further away.  Truthfully, he'll likely take off once he gets the chance, which is actually excellent, because it means he can find a place to settle in and live quickly.  If you'd love to have him in your shed, though, that's alright, too!  Just make sure it isn't a place frequented by predators like snakes or birds.

I think you're making a wise choice on not getting him a companion, especially if you are considering releasing him.  However, if you'd like to keep him, a vet or a wildlife rehabilitator who works with small mammals can help you safely determine his gender.  He may not get along with others, though, and if he is a boy, he would likely be much happier alone, as male mice are not particularly social.

Thank you again for rescuing this little guy (or girl!), and let me know if I can help with anything else!


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I can answer questions regarding mice as pets, mouse behavior, color and coat genetics, breeding techniques, and general health questions. I can help with caging and setup, nutrition, social issues, and what to do in most mouse emergencies (such as unplanned litters, injuries, fighting, etc.). I can also assist with questions pertaining to orphaned mouse pups, weaning litters, and questions of mating and birthing. I cannot answer questions about exotic or wild varieties of mice such as spiny or pygmy mice. *****FOR EMERGENCIES, anything requiring immediate medical intervention, PLEASE take your mouse to a professional veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator who works with mice as soon as possible! IMPORTANT RESOURCES: Raising Orphaned Mice: Orphaned Mice Videos: Natasha's Your First Mouse: General Mouse Help: Mouse Info and Exotic Breeds:


I have enjoyed the companionship of mice nonstop since 2004, and spent a year caring for them in a lab where I learned a great deal about their breeding, social needs, and health. I spent a few years breeding them, specifically working with albinos, marked mice, angora mice, and satins. My education never stopped - I am learning something new every day from current and well-established research thanks to the wonderful folks at the Jackson Laboratory, as well as from my wonderful mousey friends online. I also love learning from my terrific questioners here on AllExperts - you folks keep my passion for these amazing animals alive and well!

East Coast Mouse Association - expired, American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association - expired

Partial University for a B.S. in Microbiology, Partial University for a 2-year degree in Veterinary Technology (RVT cert), C.E. classes in pathogens, aseptic technique, genetics, and applications

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