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orphaned baby rats and mice Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for Mice and Rats or other Rodents

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 4.80    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 02/03/2007

Main Category:


Sub Category:

Mice and Rats or other Rodents

 Care Sheet Submitted By:


Years Experience:

10 to 15 Years


Orphaned baby rats and mice

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

orphaned baby rats and mice

Sexing and Characteristics:

Once the babies begin to get fur you may start to see the descending testicles right below the base of the tail in males.

Mostly Active During:


Substrate and Water Needs:

Give no other fluids other than formula unless it is weak and dehydrated in which case you can give it a small amount of sugar water or Gatorade.

Lighting and UVB:

Natural sunlight should be offered but as babies they will feel more comfortable lightly covered.

Temperatures and Humidity:

They should be kept at temps between 95-98 degrees and this needs to be closely monitored as they cannot regulate their body heat.

Heating and Equipment:

You can use a heating pad but be sure to keep the bottom of the box/cage well padded so there is no way they can get close to the heating pad if they do it could result in severe burns or death. two inches of padding from a blanket or cloth is recommended. a heat lamp is less dangerous and easier to control but make sure there is something breathable like a baby wash cloth placed over them so they are not directly subjected to the light and heat. ceramic heat bulbs work best for me they give off no light and last longer but are more expensive.

Caging Provided:

Use a small tank, box, or critter cage. for bedding use fabrics that are smooth such as t-shirts or baby blankets things like towels have small loops that the babies toes can get caught in.



Description of Diet:

If they are between 1 day and two weeks old they should be given kitten replacement formula once an hour throughout the day and every two to three hours at night (the easiest way i have found to feed them is to wrap them securely in a cloth with just their heads exposed this comforts them and keeps them from wiggling). for rats they will take about 3cc-5cc every feeding and mice will take 1cc-3cc. this can be administered with a 30cc syringe or eyedropper. pet feeding bottles are not recommended as they can drown the animal. two to five weeks of age the feedings can be spread to 2 to 3 hours during the day and 4 to 6 hours at night. rats should be given 5cc-8cc and mice 3cc-5cc. you can see their bellies turn white with the milk and this tells you they are full. if by accident the milk comes out their nose they will most likely arch their back in an effort to expel the milk. let them do this and hold them at an angle with their head tilted down and gently rub their backs with one finger. this happens when the swallow to much. once their eyes begin to open and they can crawl around a little you can place a flat dish such as a plastic lid in a clean box with a small piece of bread soaked in formula. set them on the tray and they will begin to lap up the food but watch them closely so they donít choke or over eat. this can be messy so have a warm washcloth near by to clean them off and after they have been stimulated to go to the bathroom place them back in their dry bedding. when they get the hang of feeding themselves begin to offer them little tidbits like bread, rat lab blocks and small amounts of veggies. i sometimes give them a variety of baby foods.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

Everything they need at this age is given through the formula unless the vet says to give them something else.


If they were being raised by their mother she would lick their genitals and anus to stimulate them to go to the bathroom, to do this you use a warm wet cotton ball or wash cloth and gently wipe it back and forth over their genitals until they urinate do the same with there butt. this MUST be done after each feeding because the poisons will build up in their system and kill them.

Some Words on this Species:

If you are left to care for orphaned baby rodents it is a big task so if you can try to find a surrogate mother. (another rodent that has a litter around the same age, donít over whelm her, you may need to split the babies up) but if this isnít possible these instructions should keep them alive and healthy till they are old enough to care for themselves.
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The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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