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Mice/What to do with 5 orphan mice


Aloha, I found 5 tiny pink mice in a box while cleaning 3 days ago. I am now trying to take care of them the best I can. Feeding them watered down soy baby formula with a paint brush. I must say I am suprised that they are all still alive. Don't know what I'm going to do with 5 of them? Can you give them to a pet store when they get older? Kind of getting attached to them.. Must be the middle of the night feeding. Don't think I can keep all 5. Is it best to keep them in a group? My husband thinks I'm crazy and will be bring some sort of desease into our home. Are wild mice safe? My daughter are helping me take care of them.  Right now they live in a box in the bathroom with a light on to keep them warm. Someone gave me an aquarium to use as their home. How do I set this up? Sorry for so many questions, I just have no idea what I'm doing but I'm an animal person and want to give these little guys a fighting chance at survival .

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you for saving them :) . You are feeding them every two hours, right? The survival rate drops steeply when they are fed less often.

You can keep them. A pet store won't take them. You will have to separate boys from girls. Hopefully it will be almost all girls because even litter mate brothers don't always get along.

If you keep handling them daily they will make awesome pets. If you neglect them, though, they will become unfriendly.

I am assuming they are house mice. They carry no diseases. In some areas deer mice can carry a pretty bad disease called hantavirus, but not babies like that.

Did you watch the videos at the addy in my profile? There are ten videos about raising orphan mice:

They will need a wheel soon after they open their eyes at 14 days. There may also be a day or two around age 16 days where they get jumpy and crazy. It will pass. Just set it up like for any pet mouse: water bottle (which you will have to teach them to use), food dish, wheel, house with nesting material. Use aspen or paper (Carefresh-type) litter; *never* pine or cedar. You need a lid as well.

Each cage should be a minimum of 20 gallons. They need room to run around.

If what you have is a ten gallon tank there is actually a very nice option for you: a tank topper. There are toppers for 20 gallon tanks too. Get the two story high of course:

Are you on Facebook? I run a rat and mouse group and I also have an orphan rodent chat group-- a bunch of people who have raised, mostly wild, mostly mouse, orphans. Everyone can help contribute their own experience.

Friend me:

Tell me who you are and I will set you up. These people have experience that I don't. Also the person who made these videos is on the thread.


Join my group:

Click on 'files' below the banner for a list of documents; choose Common Issues and find the orphan rodent section.

Did I miss anything?

squeaks n giggles,



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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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