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Mice/Baby mouse feeding schedule?

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QUESTION: Hi, I am taking in a newborn baby mouse because it's mom isn't caring for it like the others. It's not getting fed much at all so I've decided to take on the task of feeding it. I know that a baby mouse should be fed every two hours or so but does that also mean every two hours through the night or would it be different at night? Also, once the baby starts growing how would the feeding schedule change? I've done a lot of research but I just can't seem to find a complete feeding schedule until weaning? If possible could u provide me with a schedule for feeding?

ANSWER: Hi Hanna,

Whatever feeding schedule you use during the day will also need to be matched overnight.  This is the best link I have found for feeding orphaned mice and rats, and explains how to know how much to feed and how often.  You will need a food scale that measures in grams to check weight gain.

http://www.rmca.org/Articles/orphans.htm

The chart that link provides for number of feedings is more targeted toward rats, which take slightly longer to wean.  What I would recommend is following it for the first 3-4 weeks, listening to what the baby asks for (as a newborn, he will likely sleep in between feedings and wake when he is hungry).  The most important thing is to be sure he is consistently gaining weight each day, with the exception of the first day, when the switch to formula can upset his tummy and result in diarrhea.  Ideally he would bounce back from this very quickly.

Also different from the chart, is that I would recommend offering solid foods for him to explore at around 2 weeks of age, once he is fully mobile and eliminating on his own.  Provide a water bottle at this same time, but he will not start hydrating himself reliably until about 4-5 weeks of age (it takes a bit longer when he isn't learning from his siblings) and will continue to need formula until he is drinking fully on his own.  At 4-5 weeks, once he is using the water bottle, he can be reintroduced to his sisters if female, but if he is male, he will need to continue to be kept alone.  Male mice cannot be reintroduced to other males once separated.

If there is anything else you have questions on, please let me know and I would be happy to help!  Best of luck in your efforts!
-Tam

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you! I just got a gram scale to weigh the baby and how much food to give it:) I was also wondering about the chart in the website; it says + 1 night but since you said the feeding schedule for the day she be the same at night  then should I feed it every two hours day and night? Not just once a night right? Because Ive also seen that the number if daily feeding for the first , I think two weeks of life, should be 6-8... So I just thought I should confirm since the sight said one feeding at night ( but I'm guessing it was more towards rats.) thanks again:)

-Hanna

Answer
Hanna,

You're right, it's geared more toward rats.  Chances are, the little dude is going to let you know at least a couple of times over the course of the night that he's hungry and isn't interested in waiting.  :)  When he starts eating more and more solid foods and relying on the KMR for hydration you can probably ease down to 1-2 feedings per night, but the best bet is to listen to what he tries to tell you.  Each pup is different!

-Tam

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Tamarah

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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: http://www.rmca.org/Articles/orphans.htm Orphaned Mice Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/CreekValleyCritters/videos?query=raising Natasha's Your First Mouse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNK4uqNZTbA&feature=share General Mouse Help: http://www.fancymice.info/ Mouse Info and Exotic Breeds: http://www.hiiret.fi/eng/species/

Experience

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!

Organizations
East Coast Mouse Association - expired, American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association - expired

Education/Credentials
Partial University for a B.S. in Microbiology, Partial University for a 2-year degree in Veterinary Technology (RVT cert), C.E. classes in pathogens, aseptic technique, genetics, and applications

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