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Mice/A couple of questions about hybrid mice


Mouse got out (cat returned her) and she was pregnant.  We live in an old building and my cat has caught his share of mice here so I assume the daddy was one if them.  Now we have ten baby mouse.  Called the vet, and I have started to mark the boys and girls (mice are about 1 1/2 weeks olds).  I will bring them to the vet before 4 weeks for a confirmation check.  So now what do I do with them?  I figure for the girls (6) we can just attach another Habitrail Loft system with add ons.  I figure the boys will go in 20 gallon tank (4 boys).  I have a 10 gallon play tank.  It was my son's science project so it has a few interesting things for them.

I figure they are going to be pretty wild.  We started handling them at 3 days.  Mom has been great.  The only thing that distracts her is an occasionally Cheezits It.  She is the tamest mouse in the world.  This is my first mouse and probably our

Can we release the boys?  Will they die after being handled by humans.  According to studies, the hybrids are far more energetic.  I am really freaking out!


Dear Susan,

This is pretty common. In fact it happened to me. And my doe hadn't even escaped- that crazy tiny wild boy got into the cage. I am lucky only one of five does got pregnant!

You have heard right- the first generation hybrids are pretty crazy. I did not socialize them enough-- I was nursing a rescued kitten 24/7. What happened with mine is that they were always pretty hard to hold, and as they got older it got harder. To hold them, once their eyes open and they get jumpy, firmly take the base of their tail by their rumps with your left hand and place them on your right palm with hand closed. Open when they are calm but do not let go of the tail until you are sure. It is best to do this in the bathtub or just in the bathroom with all holes and under the door stuffed with towels or tape.

You might get yours tamer than mine. As I said, I was unable to hold mine much. It is definitely worth trying.

As for mine.. there were ten. Three escaped but one came back. I gave 6 away to two people-- one of whom lost them in her room, and the last I heard they were making nests in a suitcase under her bed. The other three were not handleable and I believe each had his own cage. As for the two I kept, on about their five week birthday one became wild and wanted to bite me. It was a beautiful spring day and I decided to let her go. At first she came back to me and I felt terrible, but then she turned around and sauntered happily away. The last mouse, on the very same day, walked into my hand and was the sweetest little pet ever. She tamed herself.

So.. it is not impossible. If you hold each baby for five minutes twice a day after their eyes open (a little shorter before), you might get lucky.

If not, it is up to you to decide whether you think they are happy in a cage, or if they are feeling cramped-- always trying to escape-- or it is too hard for you to clean the cage/s. I am not sure where you are or what your weather is like. If you have decided to let them go, they will be OK outdoors. Their lives will be far shorter, but you can judge if that seems to be what they want. Wild mouse lives are short, but better a short happy life than a long, frustrating one.

Best of luck with them! I hope at least some of yours become tame like that one little girl of mine. She was ever so sweet.




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I can answer questions about raising mice and caring for them as pets, with knowledge from my 38 years of having fancy mice as pets. I have NO MEDICAL TRAINING and you should take a sick mouse to the vet; but if you simply can't, I will try to help you. I LOVE PHOTOS!!! I ALSO LOVE UPDATES! Let me know how the little tyke is doing later on, for better or worse, especially orphans. It also helps me to help the next person. Please first search first: use 'Natasha Mice Mouse' with whatever else your question includes. Or check out these links: **** YOUR FIRST MOUSE (my video; rough draft): **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: **** SEXING MICE: **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES:


I have had mice for 40 years (since I was 5!). I raised them when I was a child but now I keep all females, and never fewer than three so that if one dies the others are not devastated, because they have each other.

I run Rats and Mice are Awesome on Facebook. The official name is Rats are Awesome.

B.A., M.A., M.A. in Linguistics: Yale University and University of Connecticut

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