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Mice/Helping with baby mice when mom is negligent


hi again
Mabel just had her babies this morning
i separated her but she is basically ignoring her babies, when i hold them up to her or they wander out of the nest she carries them back but i haven't seen her feed them at all. Do i need to hand rear the babies or should i leave them with her. if i need to raise them what should i feed them if i can't get KMR for them and how often should i feed them?
please help

Dear Hadley,

She is probably stressed out from moving. Hopefully her maternal instincts will take over. You should leave the babies alone for now. She doesn't want you messing with them. However, you should peek in the nest tomorrow and look at the babies. If they are being fed, you will actually be able to see the milk in their tummies. We call those milk bands. If you do not see milk bands, you may need to help out.

There is an Internet address in my profile- not a link; you have to cut and paste the address. It leads to a series of videos about raising baby mice. There are ten of them 1/10 to 10/10. They are in backwards order at the link.

If you can't get kitten formula, which should be available at a pet store, the next best thing is soy baby formula.

You must realize, however, that this is a huge task. Mother mice nurse their pups every half hour. You need to nurse them every two hours. This means nighttime too. You won't get a lot of sleep for 2-1/2 weeks. Are you really prepared to do that?

You might get lucky and after you start nursing them, the mom figures it out-- or, believe it or not, the other female, even if she has never had a litter. Mice are the only animals that can do that. However it does not happen every time. So if you open the nest and they already have their milk bands, your job is over.

If you have to nurse them, you must be careful how you go about taking them out. You should take the mother out- see if you can leave the other in, but take her out if she gets possessive-and then take some of the litter from the corners of the cage and rub it on your hands. Then you can take each baby out one by one; feed it; and put it back in:  thank gosh you don't have to set up a heater.

Hopefully you will peek in tomorrow and see milk bands on lots of fat little tummies.




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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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