Have you found an abandoned mouse in need of adopting, or have your pet mice just had offspring? Caring for pups yourself or watching a mother mouse care for their newborns is a fascinating and interesting process.
It can be daunting watching a new born mice and not knowing when they will open their eyes. The answer to this is that they typically open their eyes at around 12-14 days old.
Mice grow up quickly. After their eyes are fully open at around 2 weeks they will start seeking solid food. Becoming more mobile, and you will see their personalities developing.
Let’s take a look at some of the other aspects involved in caring for young mice. Like how to rear orphans, what to feed them, and what the most comfortable housing options are.
When Can a Baby Mouse Eat Solid Food?
If you are raising a newborn orphan mouse yourself you will need to feed it diluted kitten formula as often as every hour or two. This will carry on for at least two week, until the mouse is becoming mobile and their eyes are open.
It can take until 4 weeks of age before some mice come off weaning, they will transition on to solids at this point as well as a water bottle. When it comes to solids, I recommend specially formulated pellets like hamster food. Or tiny pieces of seeds and cooked rice are good options.
Mice are obviously very adept at becoming self-sufficient. You will see them starting to eat and look after themselves in no time at all. It’s wonderful to see and know you were a part of making this possible.
How to Care for an Orphan Mouse
If you have an orphan newborn you will need to be prepared, and quick. Young mice need regular nourishment, and if they can’t get that from their mothers it’s up to you to provide it.
Kitten formula will be a suitable substitute. You can pick this up fairly easily and it’s easy to mix up from a powder form into a solution. You will also need a syringe to feed the formula to the mouse. This is a delicate process, but it’s really not as difficult as it may sound. You will be fine.
Babies younger than 2 weeks still have their eyes closed. You can keep them in any kind of small container with plenty of ventilation. As long as it’s strong like plastic, or glass so they won’t chew a hole in it and escape as they grow.
Shred a little toilet paper or unscented paper towels as some bedding. Keep the container somewhere warm, remember the baby doesn’t have it’s full coat to keep warm yet.
How Often Should I Feed a Baby Mouse?
First you need to figure out how old the baby mouse is. As previously mentioned, you know they are less than two weeks old if their eyes are closed. Newborns need to be fed every 1-2 hours. You will need to do this round the clock for a few days, so be prepared to skip that sleep.
Once the mouse has their eyes open and are past the two week mark you can start feeding them every 3-4 hours. Try and judge how much the mouse is eating and how easily. Don’t overfeed them as it’s potentially very dangerous.
A healthy mouse will steadily gain weight and look more alert as the days progress. Once they have their vision and are looking around their surroundings, you can start to introduce solid foods and a water bottle to their house.