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Mice/field mice orphans


I have 2 field mice orphans that I have been trying to save. They seem to be doing ok with what I am feeding them. My question is when do you think it is safe to set them free outside on there own ? I am guessing they are around 2+ weeks old, eyes are open, and they are muching on food, but still taking kitten milk via syringe, yet I have seen one drink a little water off a tuperware lid. I have no intentions of keeping them and do not want them to get to dependent on me. Any advice will be helpful.
Thank you

Hi Diane,

The water is the key - once they are regularly hydrating themselves, they should be fine to set free.   By that point they will be active, totally mobile, and eating regularly.  This is usually between 3 and 4 weeks old, but all pups are a little different!  I would wait a day or two to be sure they are consistently drinking, and when you are sure, you can let them go somewhere far from your house and with a little cover, like bushes, to protect from bird predators.  Then they can take it from there!

Thank you for rescuing the little guys, and please let me know if you have any other questions,



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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!

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