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Mice/Keep Field Mouse Baby?

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Question
Natasha,

A baby field mouse wandered into my living room a week ago. I scooped him up and have been caring for him since. His eyes were open but he is very small and didn't seem to see very well at all at first. I am calling him Timmy but I'm unsure of the sex (I don't see any nipples but the genitals seem quite close to the anus). Anyway, he is very sweet and seems to like me. He climbs into my hand and lets me pet him. I've got him two identical 10 gallon aquariums with wheels and playgyms, one at work (I'm a teacher) and one at home.  My husband wasn't so keen on keeping Timmy, so I said he would be a classroom pet but I took him home over the weekend and will continue to do so. Timmy has learned to use a water bottle and eats solid food.

My questions are: Am I doing the right thing? Will he grow up and want to be set free, but then be unable to fend for himself? Should I get him a playmate? He's so small I'm afraid another mouse would hurt him. Can he be with female fancy mice? I'm reasonably sure that he's a field mouse and not a house mouse.

Thanks for your help!

Answer
Dear Megan,

I am always of the opinion-- ask the mouse. The cage should be a little larger and he should have a wheel; when these things are true, then if he doesn't spend a lot of time trying to escape (even fancy mice try sometimes), he is happy.

Timmy does sound more likely female than male... can you get a photo? It will also help determine what species he is. She. :)

You can't get a friend till you know his sex *or* that he is a field mouse and not a house mouse. Fancy mice and house mice are the same things: mus musculus. They do not breed with field mice.

Only if he is a male house mouse should he be alone, so it is crucial to identify him.

A field mouse can be with female fancies.

Mice are best kept in 3+. They are devastated when their friends die and need to still have someone when it happens.

Field mice can  be  the most loyal, loving, pets, and they can live up to five years. You do have to keep handling him daily though.

Send a pic if you can. It has to be a followup because I am going to put this site on hold again.

Best of luck!

Squeaks,

Natasha

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Natasha

Expertise

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): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNK4uqNZTbA&feature=share **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: http://www.youtube.com/user/CreekValleyCritters/videos?query=raising **** SEXING MICE: http://www.thefunmouse.com/info/sexing.cfm **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES: http://thefunmouse.com/info/index.cfm http://www.rmca.org/Resources/mousefaq.htm

Experience

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.

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

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

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