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How to Care for Baby Mice Found in the Wild

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Carozy once cared for three baby mice and likes to share her experiences with animals.

Get advice on what to do if you find baby mice and want to take care of them.

Get advice on what to do if you find baby mice and want to take care of them.

How I Found Myself Taking Care of Three Baby Mice

I once worked for a great company called Novedge that sells computer graphic and CAD software online. One day, my boss took our Italian intern and me to a secluded beach so that the intern could enjoy the Pacific Ocean and so I could have a break from work.

We had a great time frolicking around and investigating the beach. There was a lot to see and do. There were old seashells to scrutinize (they were chiseled into the cliff in a cave), bristling cold water to run into and out of, the squawk of gulls overhead, the salty air and biting sand, and beautiful views of ocean and clouds and sun. The hours whiled away, and eventually we were leaving happy and exhausted.

There were three blind mice sprawled helplessly on the sand.

What Would We Do With the Mice?

The gulls threatened. The cold air was rushing in. There was no nest in sight—no mother, no food. These little guys were helpless on a vast beach, weary and cold, blind and vulnerable. If they did not become bird food, they would simply die from exposure. Where did they come from? The most we could tell was they might've fallen from holes in the cliff.

A soft spot in my heart tugged.

"Let's go," said the others. They wanted to leave and thought getting involved with helping the mice wasn't worthy of much thought.

I made a sudden and decisive decision. "I'm taking these guys home," I said.

That decision having been made, I fit all three little guys into my coat pocket. They were small, and their eyes were sealed shut. They were babies.

My coworker and boss were surprised, to say the least, but they humored me. I had no idea what I was going to do or what I was getting myself into, but I had committed. I wanted these little guys to have a better chance at life than certain destruction.

Researching Mouse Care

As soon as I got home, I did a Google cram session. What should I feed the mice? How should I care for them? Was this safe?

I worried about Hantavirus. I was worried they would die. I did the research, and here is what I found out.

  • Precautions
  • Feeding
  • Housing
  • Toys
  • Changes to Feeding as the Mice Age

Precautions You Should Take

The mice I would now care for were baby mice. They were days old, and their eyes had yet to open. The risk of Hantavirus, a very dangerous virus that could be caught from wild mice, was likely small because of my location, although I did not rule that out and took precautions by washing my hands after handling them and avoiding getting them near my face.

Feeding: What Do Baby Mice Eat?

The best thing to feed them at this early stage, I found out, is human baby soy formula. This formula is closest to the correct balance of protein and other nutrients that their bodies need.

From Eyedropper to Pipette

At first, I fed them using an eyedropper. The drops of formula were too big for their little mouths, and they would sneeze and cough when the liquid went down the wrong pipe. So I would dribble a little pool of formula on my hand, and they would lap it up. This was a little messy, but it worked.

I worried they were not getting enough formula this way. I invested in some pipettes, which are very small plastic tubes with bubbles at the end. You can draw up a little bit of liquid and then dribble it in tiny droplets. This worked a little better for getting the mice more quantity of formula, although I had to be very careful with one of them because even the tiny pipette tube was too big!

Feeding Schedule

That first night I had to wake up every two hours to feed the mice. Being very passionate about saving them, I didn't mind. It encouraged me that soon after they had the formula, they became much more active. At the first feedings, the way they went after the formula made me happy that I had rescued them, instead of leaving their survival to the harsh circumstances of the beach where I'd found them.

For quite a few days I fed them every few hours. They got plumper and more active. They looked like healthy blind mice. Before I knew it, I was able to resume a regular sleep schedule. Overall, the time that the interruption in my sleep cycle lasted was so short, I hardly remember it now.

Three mice in their travel carrier.

Three mice in their travel carrier.

Housing: From Temporary Home to Habitat

When I first got the mice, I simply put them in a shoe box. It was all I could find. I included some tissue paper to keep them warm.

I got all into taking care of them, though. That's my nature. I went to the pet store and invested in a carrying cage for them that was clear plastic with ventilation on top. I soon invested in a 10-gallon mouse aquarium, which included a vented top and a water bottle. I bought soft hamster padding for them and some toys and a wooden bedding which acted as a little nest for them.

Beware of the Wrong Bedding: Dealing With Mice Mites

Later, I would learn not to purchase that type of wooden nest. There could be mice mites in the wood, and that's what happened. Luckily these mites do not transfer to humans, but they cause the mice hell. My mice hid from me and scratched so much their fur was missing in spots. I became very concerned and researched what I could do to help the mice.

I got rid of the wooden nest and instead bought a little plastic home for them. I treated them all every day with a mite killer that was made for dogs and cats until the mice stopped scratching themselves. I couldn't find a mite killer for rats or mice, but the dog/cat mite killer worked. I had to put a bit on my finger and rub it into their fur. I worried because they would start to lick it off, but it was the best I could do to kill those mites.

I also cleaned out their cage bedding regularly and disinfected their cage with a mixture of mostly water and bleach. Soon the mite problem was a thing of the past.

Toys: Wheels and Chew Blocks

Another thing I invested in were mouse wheels. The mice loved them. Wild mice run around 7 miles or so every day so not purchasing a little mouse wheel for them would have been a bit cruel in my mind. Since I had three mice, I bought two mouse wheels for them to share. I also put items for the mice to climb up in their cage and empty toilet paper rolls for the mice to crawl into and through.

Because mice need to chew to keep their teeth in good shape, I included little wood blocks that I purchased at the pet store. These might have been treated with something, I think, and didn't pose the threat of harboring any mice mites breeding in them. As the mice grew and were able to eat real food, I also included carrots in their food bowl so they could nibble on those too.

Changes to Feeding as the Mice Age

Once the mice's eyes opened and they were able to eat regular mouse food, I decided to go the healthy route with them. During the transition period, I made sure the human baby soy formula was also available to them, but I provided what became their regular diet. I fed them vegetables, fruits, seeds, and greens in a little bowl in their mouse aquarium.

I tried to keep their diet varied and included such things as (uncooked) kale, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, chickpeas, apples, corn, (raw uncooked) sweet potato, (cooked) brown rice, sunflower seeds, and a bird seed mix. There is rodent food you can purchase at pet stores, but I didn't bother as I'd read it's better for them to eat fresh real food. Since I am a vegan and eat a lot of fresh veggies, grains, and starches myself, it was easy for me to share my food with the mice.

What Happened as My Mice Grew Bigger

My mice were a pleasure to watch. I delighted in them. Let me tell you, if you haven't seen a baby mouse yawn, you haven't lived. I found them more entertaining than television. I enjoyed caring for them and learned as much as I could during my time with them.

However, even though I loved the mice I cared for, I am not sure I would call them ideal pets. For one thing, they require a lot of care, as I've described above. They are also small, so you must take a lot of precautions, or you may end up with a lost mouse in your house which could end up meaning a mouse problem! One or two mice in a cage are fine, but I'm sure you don't want your home run over with mice. That was the other problem which led to some changes in the little mice arrangement I had going.

The Mice Try to Breed

I had three blind baby mice to start with, and I named them Gray Guy, Thimble, and Minnette. Gray Guy was the "alpha" male—larger than Thimble (the other male) and of a gregarious, spirited nature. Thimble was slender and more of a regular mouse guy. Minnette was her own joyful personality, as feisty and strong-willed as a little female mouse is want to be. Yes, all three little mice had their own separate personalities, and that made caring for them an enjoyable experience.

However, there came the day—I knew it would happen—when the "birds and the bees" came to visit my mice. They were still so young, but I saw it happen—Gray Guy attempted to mount Minnette!

Oh dear. Taking care of three mice was an exhilarating experience, a labor of love. But there was no way I was going to take to care of more than three.

Why I Decided to Release Them Back Into the Wild

No sooner had I gotten used to the mice's nocturnal hours, running on their little wheels and gallivanting about their aquarium, and the endless cleaning regime, than I knew I had to do something quick before I ended up with a little pregnant Minnette mouse. I quickly purchased another whole mouse aquarium for Minnette alone, and separated her from the boy mice. I included all these attractive mice toys and tried to make the habitat as lovely for her as her first home.

But I quickly saw something was wrong. Minnette hated me. She hid in her little plastic home and actually hissed at me! She didn't like being alone. After some quick research, I realized the problem. Mice are social creatures and used to living with other mice. They develop little mice relationships that are just as dear to their little hearts as my friendships and loves are to me. Just as it would be cruel to force another person to live in isolation, it was cruel of me to put an end to Minnette's natural inclinations.

I felt very bad for interrupting Minnette's social life and soon also realized, sadly, that introducing a little "domestic" female friend mouse from the pet store to stay with her would not be the best idea either. Just as cats from different litters can live in the same home but never become friendly, so too with mice.

This, along with all the work required to care for the mice—the regular cage cleanings, the worry about mice mites and Hantavirus, the feeling that these wild mice deserved to explore the wider world—led me to the decision to release them into the wild.

Making a Hard Choice

As they did not have a mouse mother to help them learn the ropes I felt badly about releasing them, but I also felt it would be unfair to them to keep them caged. It was a decision I struggled with but which I finally decided would be the best thing for them and for me. They required so much work to take care of, and I was still worried about Hantavirus. It is too bad there is such a thing as Hantavirus. I am lucky I never got sick because of the mice.

To this day, I cannot be sure that they did not have it because of my location out of the Hantavirus hotspots or if I was just lucky. I think if I lived in an area where Hantavirus is more common in wild mice, I wouldn't risk taking care of them in the way that I did.

The Day of the Release

I took them to the wild section of a park nearby and spread all the birdseed and food around quite an area. I tipped over the cage to release Minnette first. She ran away with a skip in her step! Good riddance to me, I guess. Thimble and Gray Guy were scared. I coaxed them out and eventually, Thimble began exploring.

Gray Guy was in so many ways terrified. I expected him to be the brave one. I had not played much with these mice in my hands out of fear for the Hantavirus. I pet him with a finger and we crouched looking at each other. It really broke my heart to do this to him, but I didn't want him to lead a life alone in a cage and never have the opportunity to mate or explore the world. For a very long time we were frozen and then I stood and went away. I came back to check later and all the mice were gone. It made me cry but I felt I did the best thing.

What I Learned: Life Is Precious

I am glad I saved the mice. I learned a lot. I think the thing that stays with me the most is how much life there was in them, despite their small size. They did so many cute and adorable things that it made me appreciate how precious life is. Even a tiny little creature wants to clean its face, curl up to sleep, or play with others. Taking care of the little mice was a wondrous experience.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2012 carozy

Comments: "How to Care for Baby Mice"

Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on September 03, 2020:

Hello miss Carozy. I like your article. You have beautiful feelings for pets. I like how you safe the little creature. You are nice.

Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on September 03, 2020:

Thank you for your advice. It is very kind from your part. Have a good night.

carozy (author) from San Francisco on August 20, 2020:

Sorry for the slow reply. I believe I found mite treatment in a pet store that was for a different kind of pet. I can't remember now, I wrote this 15+ years ago. See what you can find, if you can find mite treatment for hamsters, I'd use that. If only for pet cats, try that, but only small amounts. I also got rid of All wood in their cage and cleaned out the cage with disinfectant (Pet Scout is safe for pets so that might be a good choice). Good luck!

carozy (author) from San Francisco on August 20, 2020:

I managed with a pipette, a paintbrush sounds like a good idea. I also let them lick drops of formula from my fingers.

carozy (author) from San Francisco on August 20, 2020:

I'm sorry I do not often check Hubpages any more, but I hope you were able to find your answers with the help of Google. When I raised the 3 mice babies, their eyes were closed, but I did not know their age. I fed them every 2-3 hours, letting them eat as much as they wanted of human baby soy formula. The drops were too big for their mouths! I did my best and also let them lick from my fingers. I did not know or worry about rubbing tummies/behinds, but I did pet them a little bit. I kept them warm, out of drafts, a comfortable room temperature. You can Google different mice types and click images to get an idea of what mice you might have. I hope you were able to find your answers, and again, apologize, as I do not check hubpages on the regular.

carozy (author) from San Francisco on August 20, 2020:

Maybe some mouse food from a pet store? I'm not an expert but google might help.

carozy (author) from San Francisco on August 20, 2020:

human baby soy formula is closest for a mouse

chi-mai rodeheaver on August 15, 2020:

Hi. What did you use to treat the mites with? We just discovered we have them Nd are using wood chips. And then I remembered I read about it in your article. Any help is appreciated. Much thanks.

babymouse on August 02, 2020:

a well placed boot stomp?? really??? she did the right thing to take in to take in the mice!!! although, she could have found some friends for minnete, or just released minnete instead of the other two. they would have been happy!!

Claire on May 19, 2020:

I found two 6-7 day old mice. At first i was feeding them with small paint brushes, but because the paint brushes and the mice were so small I had to go back and forth between them and the food and after they finished there first paintbrush full they wouldn't want to eat the second. I haven't tried it yet, but i'm going to start using a syringe to feed them, but I need to know if this is a good idea or if i should continue using a paintbrush. Thanks.

Brooklyn on May 14, 2020:

I just found a baby mouse that looks like it was born yesterday. I waited a bit to see if the mom would show up but it didn’t.

Here are some of my questions:

How old should they be when you start helping them use the washroom?

When helping them pee do you rub their stomach or butt?

What are the chances of the newborn baby living through the first night without its mom?

When it lives through the first night will it most likely live to be an adult if it keeps getting fed well?

How do you know if your newborn mouse is to hot or to cold?

Can you tell if your newborn baby is a deer mouse or a house mouse? If you can tell I would like to know how. If you can’t I would like to know when you can tell.

If I am going on a road trip, could he survive with the lid on with multiple holes or would he be to cold?

Those are all my questions for know, please get back to me ASAP, thank you:)

angiemouse on May 03, 2020:

my wild vole mouse is about 21/2 weeks now and eating solids.right now giving a mouse and hamster mix..sunflower seeds..strawberries and he likes organic oatmeal baby cereal with water..what else should i feed him?is there anythign from outside i should give him like bark or grass?

Pup on April 30, 2020:

I need to know what vitamin milk I need for baby mouses

Evette Mytko on February 21, 2020:

Animals of all kinds have come and gone through these doors. I have learned much...but not all. I appreciate the help.


Sandyjeanie on September 27, 2019:

Years ago, my daughter brought me a very young & tiny brown baby mouse with a broken leg. He could only drag himself in circles..because of his hanging leg. She begged me to save the little mouse. He would not eat or drink on his own; he would only drink & eat from my hand. So, I gave him water, a tiny bit of soy formula and mostly whole grain cereals. I taped his dragging leg..into the position that it should have been in and left the tape on his leg for 3 weeks. When I removed the first he was clumsy and fell over. But then..miracle; he began slowly using the leg. I named the little guy Gimps..because even though he learned to use that leg quite well..he always had a slight but barely noticeable limp. One daughter and I decided that Gimps needed female companionship. We went to the pet store and bought a white female mouse. My daughter wanted to name her Stuart..but when I reminded her that Stuart in the movie was a boy..she opted for the name Stuartessa. Gimps and Stuartessa became the best of friends..and then mates. They lived for 4 or 5 years..and over the years we watched them raise their own babies and help to raise grandbabies. We had two large plastic houses with lots of tubes for them. They all had names and individual personalities. They seemed happy and we were greatly amused by our mouse family..over the years. Oh..and just so you know..mice are really smart little devils; they are truly amazing & resilient little creatures. We just loved them!!

Lily on August 25, 2019:

We have a small mound in our garden filled with rubble and rats. Today we decided to get rid of it and we unfortunately disturbed a nest of baby’s. We found 3 but not sure if there are more. I did a lot of digging but couldn’t find any. I’m keeping them in a small bucket with some hay and I feed them regularly but I don’t know if they are rats or mice. My parents say they are rats but I don’t think they are, anyone know how to tell?

Sofiia on August 22, 2019:

How to take care of baby mice

Sofiia on August 22, 2019:

Haw to take care of mice what is the point of it

tristan on July 09, 2019:

we have baby mice to. we raised and save 3 the are 2 days old they are so cute

Karl on July 07, 2019:

Carozy, I read your article and found some piece of mind regarding my situation. The other day my fiance and did much needed cleaning of our garage. Upon cleaning it we found a mother mouse and her 3 babies. Not wanting to kill them, we attempted to rehome the group not far from the house. A few hours later I went back to the location we had rehomed them at, all 3 babies were still there, one had perished but the two were alive. We thought perhaps the mother might come back, so we left them overnight. I checked on them the next morning and the two babies were still there, same exact spots. I knew the mother wasn't coming back and we couldn't leave these two babies barely 2 weeks old out to die. Currently we have them in a warm cozy spot, feeding them formula on a paint brush every 3-4 hours. My question for you is, how do you know when the right time is to release them into the wild? I fear them not being able to live a natural life being weened off their mother so early.

carozy (author) from San Francisco on December 23, 2018:

Good luck! Getting educated is the first step. Also be careful if you are in a hantavirus hot zone.

Ana on December 22, 2018:

This is so heart warming I’m tryjng to do the same I don’t want these baby stuff to die it’s so overwhelming for me I’ve tried a couple of your steps now I’m gonna try a method I just seen on YouTube

Ruby on November 29, 2018:

This broke my heart. It was so touching.

Alex on October 13, 2018:

I have a litter of 3 girls I'm taking care of right now, and the tiniest one opened her eyes today... Only a day later than her sisters. The tip of her tail is pink, and it's just the cutest. I am so surprised and pleased that they are doing so well, considering that less than a week ago, they were shot out the tailpipe of a motorcycle (now my boyfriend keeps it covered when not in use- he felt SO guilty). I think I may have found a calling. I have two who are ready for release any day now, both of which were snagged by my cat and in severe shock when I found them, but they pulled through, and I have one boy who is way too comfortable and tame to leave me. My co-worker found him outside the store during freezing rain; he was so cold and barely breathing, with all his little legs straight up in the Air. I thought for sure he would die, but I wanted to make sure he was as comfortable as he could be... His eyes opened the very next day. That was last April, and now I have a permanent mouse resident. He loves to spin on his wheel and he comes to see me when I talk to him, though he doesn't like to be picked up.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised- years ago, I had a pet rat, Phoebe, who helped me through some hard times, and changed so many people's opinions on rodents. Everyone who met her loved her, and my only tattoo is of her. I guess I am destined to be a rodent lady.

I hope these little girls can go back to the wild, but if not, they'll be well taken care of. (They're currently curled up in my hand fast asleep after dinnertime).

Anna on October 06, 2018:

Found a baby mouse face down in a puddle at work poor thing was barely moving and coughing up water. Still has it's eyes closed. Warmed it up in the car and brought it home. Feeding it with a paint bush. It looks like it has a bone sticking out but it's not infected or bleeding. It seems to be moving ok. Little mouse is so affectionate. I put my hand in to get to to feed and it can't wait for me to hold it. I love this little mouse so much and it's only been two days but it is doing well.

Haley on September 18, 2018:

Thank you!! Im in the midsts of nurturing a little mouse too :) Im really struggling with the getting up at night to feed him though (because I cant sleep after) but I gratefully live in a marijuana legal state which makes it easier. I found mine in the trunk of a used car at the dealership I worked for - his mom moved all the babies when we found them but left one... Named Gerie :)

Grandma on August 21, 2018:

Im TOO OLD for this! Every two hours...painfully slow feeding KMR with a paintbrush ! They keep looking for a nipple and real mouse milk and expressing displeasure in what I offered! Wiggling making it so hard to keep milk from going in their noses........but Gosh The Magic! All 5 made it and opened their eyes today and looked up at me....MELT! They are strong and vigorous movers...shiny coats but am grooming every few hours with Q tips to clean their fur. They get formula on their feet and walk on each other. Even with eyes closed they began sucking formula from pieces of wheat bread in T light metal holders.....can Blessed sleep thru the night!! They cling to my fingers when I try to put them into the plush tube with heat pad under the plastic box they are in. Yes...I will keep

As a Microbiologist I know Hunta Virus is more complicated to catch than from your hands. Ordered habitrail Ovo Dwarf habitats to give them a Good Life. My Life is Enriched! It has been a Journey but seeing them thrive.....has been a Great Joy! The Ovo is cat proof. All you kind warm my heart!

FrancesAcorn on July 04, 2018:

Hasaheart made a comment saying it was cruel to release them— this is absolutely not the case. Wild animals are wild animals, even if we’ve fostered them since practically birth. They are not pets. Respect them.

Unless animals are in immediate danger (predators like cats, dogs, etc.), please call a wildlife rehabilitation center for advice on what to do before moving it/them. There’s a significant problem of people kidnapping baby rabbits, fawns, fledgling birds, etc. falsely thinking they’ve been abandoned. We can try to raise these animals, but their own parent(s) is always the best.

Three important things to keep in mind if you find an orphaned, sick, or injured animal:

-Warm, dark, and quiet! That means no radio in the car, no blasting the A/C, etc. These are animals that are going to be very stressed and scared. Having to bring a cold animal up to temperature delays care. If you care enough to try to save an animal, give them the best shot at making it.

-No food and no water (unless wildlife rehab staff tell you otherwise). It feels counterintuitive not to immediately try to feed that poor starving thing, but food can kill a dehydrated animal and you probably don’t know/have what they’re supposed to eat anyway. It’s easy for small animals, especially, to drown in dishes of water.

-It is illegal to keep a wild animal. That law is there to protect the animals (and that’s why we’re all here, right?) If you’re interested in caring for wild animals, I’d highly recommend volunteering with your local wildlife rehabilitation center or network of liscenced home rehabbers. It’s hard and often heartbreaking work, but it is also incredibly rewarding and such a privelege to see wild animals up close.


margaret on May 16, 2018:

can the male mice be in the cage with the babys

steve h on May 14, 2018:

We have an old house with a rock foundation with fissures/holes.

We get mice several times a year.

My cat tells me where they are.

I let them go outside, but I find some mutilated and don't know what is killing then? Birds, other mice, rabbits, chip and dale?

Please send help.

steve h

Annelise on April 05, 2018:

I have 1 baby mouse and i'm worried that when i go to sleep it might die i put some evaporated milk in its cage but i'm still worried about the little guy.

Kitten on March 30, 2018:

I was really sad when I realized that at this pet store poor baby mice were there to get feed to snakes!!! My friend got three!!!!! I’m worried

Shelby Snyder on January 14, 2018:

Hi, I was very greatful for this article. I have a snake that was eating frozen mice before I got him and wouldn’t eat for me. My mom was out and got a LIVE baby mouse. Me being the animal lover I am, became attached to the mouse. I knew my snake wouldn’t eat him and as of right now am waiting for the heads up to go up and collected the mouse from the tank, I have a feeling that the mouse will still be there the next time I check so I needed this article so I can hopefully keep the mouse. It’s one thing for the snake to eat it it’s another for the mouse to die from dehydration or starvation. If anyone has any tips email me:

Hasaheart on December 03, 2017:

Once you make a decision to take an animal out of the wild you cannot return it to the wild. It is simply inhumane to do that type of thing. All you did was prolong their death. You said it yourself they were not taught the skills to live in the wild so because out of irrational fear of a virus (do your research it’s irrational) you broke the promise you made to Take care of those mice. I hand raised a wild baby mouse who was abandoned by her mother and kept her for her whole life (2 yrs). She was my pet and I had made a commitment to her no matter what. I did introduce her to a domesticated pet store mouse and they did wonderful together. I think you have to stop following your fears and instead follow your heart. I could only imagine what fate those poor mice met when you let them go.

trust me on November 05, 2017:

human baby formula or water down slightly kitten milk at body temp use a pippet very slowly making sure no milk goes in there wind pipe

Faith on September 09, 2017:


My baby mice are with out there mother and 2 of them are died I don't have the Cash for the formula what do I do I was giving them cows milk but I read I kills them. please HELP

carozy (author) from San Francisco on August 16, 2017:

I'm sorry, I am not familliar with how best to deal with this issue, but I'll offer some thoughts. I know sometimes wild animal mothers will abandon their litter, or kick one/some out if the mom feels she can't support it/them, although I had not heard of killing them. Nine baby mice does sound like a lot for one mouse to deal with. Perhaps helping to feed the babies with human soy baby formula as a supplement might help the mother get that she doesn't have to feed all nine babies herself?

I don't know if it's a protein issue or not. Back when I went through this experience I remember learning that baby human formula was chosen because its components were closest to what mice need, and I know human breast milk is only 5-6% protein, which means the protein needs of both humans and mice are rather small. (Humans grow fastest and biggest during their infancy than at any other time in their life - doubling and tripling their size in a matter of months, and yet only need 5 to 6% protein in their main food to accomplish this. I gotta say, as a vegan, I already know that the need for a lot ton of protein in our diet is perpetuated by the meat/dairy and muscle-building industries, and the exaggeration of how much protein is truly needed is a cultural myth. I can go on about this but have you ever heard of the disease for inadequate protein in one's diet? It's kwashiorkor. A word no western person has heard of, and yet so many believe in the necessity of a very meaty diet for humans.)

Since we can't really ask mouse mother what's up, I would search Google and try other mouse-pet experts. Maybe you'll come accross someone who is experienced in this.

Also, if you fear for the lives of the other baby mice, try rearing them by hand using my tips, away from the mom.

Good luck. I'm sorry you're going through this.

Olivia on August 14, 2017:

One of my female mice just had a litter of nine babies on Saturday morning. It is now 9:45 Monday morning, and she has killed three of them. how do I stop it, or at least help? Me and my mom think it might be a problem with lack of protein. I feed her food called VitaGarden. if you can help, please comment. Thanks!

Britney on May 22, 2017:

I thought this story was so very adorable and being I'm in the exact situation it truly pulled at my heart strings, although I would like to say after raising these mice and them having no experience on how to be a mouse because a human housed, cleaned, protected from prey, and feed them there whole life from babies there survival rate after release is slim to none.... also after having these mice for that long you should have no longer worried about the virus, your mice would have gotten sick.... I still think you did an awesome thing for a few babies that others overlooked!

Richie on May 20, 2017:

you did good deed thank you

Denean Williams on April 17, 2017:

I've found a wild baby mouse and we don't have any vets that take care of mice, we think he has broken ribs and im not killing him cause hes so cute and if theres a way to save him ill do it, i just want to know it you could tell me how to care for him and help heal him some how. he wont eat very well. my cat got ahold of him and thats why hes hurting hes a stray i found in my laundry room. what did you feed your mice? didthey like what youfed them? please help me look things up and help me with the cutey!!!

Jake on February 02, 2017:

That's cool.

carozy (author) from San Francisco on January 03, 2017:

That was sweet of you to take care of them. I'm sorry to hear what happened, that must've been very hard for you. As you've been told, these things happen, but I'm glad you showed them love and caring. You picked cute names for them. Wish you well with your future pets too :) Happy New Year!

tiger-lilly on December 21, 2016:


i just wanted to say i had just about the same thing......

my dad was outside doing a new driveway, i was in the room at the time when my dad came in with a tiny baby with his adorable ayes closed, and thats when i put him in a comfy, bed in a small basket and ran outside....unfortunately the nest had been ruined, and our two dogs misty and rusty were already in the nest, fortunately i scared them off with anger, not meaning to be mad at them, it wasn't their fult it was just a game to them....anyway in the end i managed to rescue 3 gorges baby's, 2 boys and a girl, the first boy was the smallest ( who was the one my dad showed me) i named him tiny, the second boy was the big boy who i named solo and i named the girl Lola. And i quickly went online and did some research... i had them in a small-ish ( well big enough for them at the moment..) tank. through the time i had them, i had learned so much. And you the feeling like your their mum,and you feel so proud of yourself, watching them day by day grow stronger, and watching them play and make the cutest sounds. But it was the end of the holidays and i had to go to school, ( being 13years old) and they had to be fed regularly... i had no choice but to leave the job to my step-mum, and i came home that afternoon with a friend who was so exited to see them, but they went themselves, they looked sickly, i despetly went online to see what i could do, nothing..... i tried to feed them but they refused...i went to my step-mum, and i now understood what had happen..... :( she couldn't find their milk so she gave them watered down cows milk.....they cant digest cows milk and being so small they soon passed away 10mins later..... i cant blame my step-mum she didn't know.......i wish i told her... i was so upset....( my friend was still there, she was staying for a sleepover) for the next few days i was very upset...things were going so well, until now......i went online, and looked at other breeders, rescuers,and they all said that 'sometimes things happen, and the best thing you can do is know that you tried your very best, and did something that others wouldn't of cared about.....' i felt bad as many new they would die as i was inexperienced and only 13.... many people had doubt with me...and said mean things...

that was at the beginning of the year, i now may be getting 3 babies domestic mice for Christmas...

thank you guys!

carozy (author) from San Francisco on September 12, 2016:

10 gallon aquarium with lid (they jump!) and some fun stuff in there for them - stuff to climb, crawl on, hide under, and/or a little mouse wheel). Once their eyes open they can eat real food - domestic mouse food, also fresh vegetables, grains, and seeds. If they get sick I would try to find a vet, but that can be hard to find. The human soy formula about 2 hour intervals with feedings as much as they like to eat in the mean time. Also give them a mouse water bottle dripper (find at a pet store) once they are eating solids. When first weaned I also left a tiny bowl of formula in the cage for them. A pet store employee who knows mice can offer good advice too. Good luck, hope they do well!

Jude on September 09, 2016:

Hi! I know this is an old thread but I'm in the exact same situation right now, I read your whole story and I'm doing everything to the dot with what you did for the baby mice I have but they're starting to look ill. Do you think transferring them to a larger tank helped once they opened their eyes? My guys are still in a shoe box and I'm debating letting them go so they at least have a chance in fresh air and with seeds in the forest, but they're not weaned yet. I don't want them to die from being stuck in a box :( any advice? Thanks!

Marcella0822 on September 06, 2016:

Sadly Mickey didn't make it through the night but I'll be better prepared for next time....if there ever is one ;) Again, thanks for informing us.

Marcy M.

Marcella0822 on September 04, 2016:

I could read you ALL DAY!! Anyways I just found an orphaned (?) baby and having a heart like yours, there's NO WAY I was leaving it on my garage floor to die so guess who's off to the store to buy soy baby formula? Maybe I'll come back and let you know how this goes, say a prayer perhaps? Again I thank you for an awesome article and great step by step advice.



Antioch, IL

Kim on August 29, 2016:

Just found 3 little mice myself Friday. One was already dead, one was weak but I had hopes for the strong one. I had a very tinny dropper which I used to feed them but one passed on Saturday and the strongest just passed on today; Monday morning. I wished I had found your article earlier. I was not feeding them as frequently and I was using Almond milk which seemed to me to be very thick and fatty. I guess it was not the right nutrition for their little bodies. Feeling sad. They were so tinny they hardly had any hair. It was a lot of work for those few days though for sure. The strongest did open his eyes. I just hate telling my son when he comes home from school this afternoon. Thank you for the info and I will try baby formula next time.

carozy (author) from San Francisco on August 22, 2016:

I did not think of that at the time I raised them nor when I wrote this, but I do feel the same. They are a lot of work though, and at the time I released them, I thought they would be OK. But I think you have a good point and if I did it over, I'd just keep them or re-home them.

Justin Green on August 15, 2016:

Please people seeing this story. Do not release them after having them live in a cage where food was simply provided. A mouse can not live in the wild after being raised like that. Would you survive long be dropped in the woods with your skill set?

I am not trying to rain on your taco here man. Just hope to get the word out so others will not release them. If you take them in you need to keep them or find a home!

carozy (author) from San Francisco on July 28, 2016:

Good luck. Make sure you are using a soy based formula with baby mice. I hope she makes it! Kind of you guys to take care of her.

Husom on July 25, 2016:

My brother found a baby mouse and recently gave it to us to care for.It's been great until recently,she was very active lastnight,just opened her eyes yesterday.But,This morning when I found her,she's barely moving,still breathing,and barely eating.Help please,If anyone has any advice to help us keep her going.We all have grown very found of her and willing to do anything for her,so far Ive been tring every hour to work with her.It's almost though she's gone,but she's breathing.Ive been gently blowing in her face,then she sucks a little of milk,but it's been a tough love.I don't wanna loose my baby"(

carozy (author) from San Francisco on June 21, 2016:

Good luck with caring for the little mouse!

Casey on June 20, 2016:

What a wonderful story I Came Upon yours well looking on the internet because I found a baby out in the garage there was a baby now that I found out in the garage no other no nothing looked on the internet what to do I just went through that with the kittens somebody through from the car I witnessed and ended up taking it to the vet that died so I just don't know what to do with this little Mouse my heart is bigger than it should be but I really enjoyed your story

bob on April 17, 2016:


carozy (author) from San Francisco on August 05, 2014:

You should be careful if you are in the hantavirus zone because you can get sick with hantavirus. If you are in a safe zone, just follow my recommendations in the article. Soy formula to feed them. Good luck!

see on August 04, 2014:

Hi peoples I live in whiteriver AZ but was in Cbq AZ an I found two babes mice , eyes are still close an there are veary tiny mice we found out side

Of my boy friend mom's house an we keep them don't know how to take care of them so we need ur help on feeding ... Please help with any way you could .

delete on August 04, 2014:

Hi peoples I live in whiteriver AZ but was in Cbq AZ an I found two babes mice , eyes are still close an there are veary tiny mice we found out side

Of my boy friend mom's house an we keep them don't know how to take care of them so we need ur help on feeding ... Please help with any way you could .

carozy (author) from San Francisco on June 30, 2014:

I would say wait until they're about 6-8 weeks old. Their eyes will open soon and you'll find they grow fast. You'll know when. Watch out they can jump high also. Take care of yourself and get enough sleep -- the early days you might lose some. Also be careful of hantavirus. If you are in one of the hotspots I don't think it's worth it -- it's a fatal disease to humans! Good luck Diane, I wish you and the mice well.

Diane on June 29, 2014:

I'm in the same situation, was digging in some sand to fix a rain pipe extension and came across the babies, at first I thought it was a grub, then looked again and it's two baby mice. If you read this I need some info, I couldn't leave them there to die, I've been feeding them and waiting for their eyes to open. When do I let them go back to the outside world? They have fur but no opening of the eyes yet. Still very small about the size of my thumb. Please if you read this I would love some insight from you. Were the same, couldn't leave them to die. Thanks, Diane

carozy (author) from San Francisco on June 23, 2014:

Thank you, so good to hear this article helped you! Thank you for letting me know and good luck with the mouse!

Sierra on June 21, 2014:

I found a baby mouse about to be eaten by a cat in the middle of the road! This article helped me a lot, and I am planning on releasing it to the wild when it's big enough! You are such a nice person and I lovedddd reading your article! :)

carozy (author) from San Francisco on October 17, 2012:

Awe. I wish you luck Lisa with them. They grow so fast I hope you'll get through this exhaustive beginning phase soon. I hope you have a good time with them and can find a safe place for them to live when you're ready to set them free. I know it hurts but if you can't keep them what else can you do? I love the names, I'm sure they fit their personalities too.

Lisa on October 17, 2012:

I find myself in the same position as you are, while walking through our storage building, a board fell and killed mother mouse, leaving 4 fuzzies orphaned, as much as they grossed me out at the time, I felt it wrong to just leave them to certain death. Scarface, The Dude, Wednesday, and Scratch are the loves of my life now. 6 days in and I learn something new everyday with them, they all have different personalities, grow at different rates, and have different little sounds they make. Some are fussier eaters, some are a dream. None the less, the night feedings are driving me a bit to exhaustion. I never expected to be able to keep all 4 alive, and every time I go to feed, I feel blessed they are all thriving. They are still blind, but becoming more active (the now refuse to stay in their nests, and have cliqued into 2 groups of cuddle buddies), overslept a little bit and missed 1 feeding, woke up to my babies being a little dehydrated, never again. I dread the day I attempt to release them, as my home situation is probably not going to support 4 mice around the house, nor will my cats. But for now, they have completely stolen my heart, and you are so right, you have no lived until you have watched a baby mice yawn.

carozy (author) from San Francisco on September 19, 2012:

Dear me. I happen to love cats also, and here they go and gobble up cute little mice all day long. Lioness, I wish you well.

Lioness on September 19, 2012:

Wow! Good for you :)

Personally, I kill mice without a second thought - except when I found a litter of baby mice. I didn't want to kill them, but my Dad came and did the deed before I could say anything about it.

carozy (author) from San Francisco on August 20, 2012:

Thanks FullOfLoveSites. Glad you feel the same way I do. :)

FullOfLoveSites from United States on August 20, 2012:

Awwwwww... these mice are such darlings. Thanks for sharing! :)

carozy (author) from San Francisco on August 19, 2012:

Definitely, and I hear tame rats make very entertaining and affectionatepets.

carozy (author) from San Francisco on August 19, 2012:

Thank you, that's sweet of you to say.

Pollyannalana from US on August 19, 2012:

Years ago my husband caught a mouse on a trap by its tail with didn't kill it of course and it was so adorable I put it in a cage and by the next morning it was gone. Or else the husband took matters into his own hands I am no sure. Even rats are cute as babies aren't they?

Marilyn on August 19, 2012:

It is wonderful people like you that keep my faith in humanity. With so much media focus on atrosities being done to animals....I know you story will uplift those of us who care! Thanks for being a compassionate human!!!!!!!!

carozy (author) from San Francisco on July 20, 2012:

Awe, thank you DzyMsLizzy! :)

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on July 20, 2012:

Precious story. Thank you for caring for the little darlings. I know what a heart-wrenching decision it must have been to release them, but it was probably for the best, as you pointed out; you don't want a houseful of mice, so that they become a problem instead of pets.

Voted up, beautiful and awesome.

carozy (author) from San Francisco on May 24, 2012:

Good luck! I hope you have success with them. :)

Zoe on May 22, 2012:

I am up at the early hours of the morning finding myself with the same story as you..I also have 3 baby orphan mice, lets hope they all servive..being a mum of 8 lovely children I can't just leave them to die.

carozy (author) from San Francisco on January 26, 2012:

Thank you! I felt I couldn't just leave them, been an animal lover all my life. Thanks for your vote too! Look forward to checking out your hubs (at work right now though!)

bluebird on January 26, 2012:

P.S. Love the names you gave them, they are so cute. I've taken care of many a baby bird fallen out of the nest, that was delightful and had several ducks for pets. They are such fun too!

bluebird on January 26, 2012:

Wow! This is precious, I loved it! A true animal lover if there ever was one! Thank you for sharing and thank you for loving enough to care for even the smallest of God's creatures! What a kind heart you are - I feel connected to you already.

Good job - voted awesome!

carozy (author) from San Francisco on January 17, 2012:

Thank you Pollyannalana! Hope you enjoy the article :)

Pollyannalana from US on January 17, 2012:

Voted up, will be back.