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Mice/Mom ate a baby


Our mom a nose ate one I of our two, 2 week old babies. Is it safe to keep the other baby with the mom?

Hi Sam,

If there was a clear reason she ate the pup, such as a deformity, weight loss in the pup, or outside stressors such as a threat being near the cage or other mice besides the mom and pup being close by, then yes, it may be safe.  You would need to remove risk factors, keep the area extremely stress free, and watch the last pup for health problems.

However, if there was no apparent reason, or if mom is still acting erratic, I would separate the pup immediately and begin bottle feeding, just to be safe.  It's a bit concerning that there were only two in the first place - were there more she had already eaten at birth?  Very small litters like that can happen with a mouse's first litter, but it can also signal health problems with the offspring.  Another possibility is that some mommas just don't know what to do with their first litter, or even just never pick up on the maternal instincts at all.  It's just odd that she would wait until two weeks, as by this point, most pups are out of the riskiest time frame.

If you separate the last pup, you can offer soft solid foods to try, such as commercial mouse block feeds (to gnaw on, but it might not get much nutrition yet), and stale bread that has been soaked in water.  Baby foods (fruit jarred food and puff snacks are good choices) and scrambled eggs made with kitten milk replacer (KMR) are good ways to get some extra nutrition in the pup as well.  Remove all moist foods that don't get eaten within a couple of hours to prevent molding.  You'll also need to continue offering KMR regularly until he/she weans (around 4-5 weeks, once they start using the water bottle reliably).  At this age, every 4 or so hours should be fine (but the pup will let you know when he or she is hungry, if it needs to be more often!), and you can use the tip of a paint brush to offer it, or even a kitten bottle with a very tiny nipple or a syringe (with no needle!).  Never force milk into its mouth. Go one drop at a time, and use a food scale to watch for steadily increasing weight.  If they are not pottying on their own yet, you may need to gently dab at their genitals and anus before and after feeds to encourage elimination and stimulate appetite, though at two weeks they very well may be going on their own already.  Watch for diarrhea or gas that can occur with a sudden switch to KMR.  Place a heating pad on its lowest "warm"  setting beneath the pup's enclosure to keep it warm, but not too hot.

To be completely honest, hand raising mice is hard, so I've only included the most basic instructions just in case you separate the pup immediately and need somewhere to start.  PLEASE feel free to write me back with further questions and I can fill in any blanks or answer any questions you might have!

Best of luck, and I'm sorry for your loss of the other pup.


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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!

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

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