You are here:

Mice/Should I give orphan mouse Foster Parents?


I have an orphan fuzzy I have been caring for 24-7 the last few days, I have a young male and female mice who have been watching me take care of the fuzzy and when I introduce the fuzzy to them they right away lick it all over, clean it, and puff up to keep it warm. I still take it back to it's shoe box with socks and hot bottles every night so it doesn't get cold, but I am wondering if it's okay for the fuzzy to live with my older mice? They seem to be taking care of it and when he wonders away they carry him back to their nest. My female never has babies before, so I am not sure if she is able to feed milk to the fuzzy (it would save me a few hours of worry at night).

Dear Stan,

How wonderful! Yes indeed, let them keep the baby warm and happy. It is like the difference between an incubator and your mom's arms.

Mice are perhaps the only mammals that actually can sometimes nurse babies when they have never been pregnant. In the wild, a mother mouse is going to disappear pretty often, so it makes sense for the aunts to be able to take over. So you might get lucky. But don't count on it- there may ba a host of other factors which cause this to happen or not. In any case, if the female starts to show a naked area around her nipples, it will mean she is nursing the pup.  It would mean you could sleep through the night. Whether or not she could fill it's tummy  up would be easy to tell by whether it would let you nurse it too.

My question is, why do you have a male and female living together? They can mate as early as 4-1/2 weeks of age. They can have up to 16 or more babies every three weeks. Mouse babies are a lot harder to adopt out than other animals because much of the time each boy must have his own cage. So it would be a mistake to give someone a pair if they were not able to use two cages if and when necessary. If you are going to breed, the responsible thing to do is to have certain and responsible homes planned for at least 6 of each sex before allowing the mice to mate. Private, amateur breeding is really not recommended for mice. It should be left to experienced private breeders who breed for characteristics such as longevity, health, and personality. There are enough poorly bred mice in the world already :(.

Best of luck with the little one. S/he will turn out to be a very loving and loyal little mouse.

Squeaks n giggles,



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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

©2016 All rights reserved.