Your female has just had a litter of babies, and you are all excited but notice that their eyes are shut.
If this is the first litter of mince you have seen, you may be wondering when their eyes open among other baby mice questions. Mice are finally able to open their eyes when they are around two weeks old.
Newborn Baby Mice
When baby mice are born, they are both blind and deaf, so they cannot do much to defend themselves.
They are dependent on their mother to take care of them. They manage to find their mother’s teats to nurse by blindly feeling for her warm body.
When they are born, they are bright pink. By the time they reach two days old, they are starting to show more pigment color.
They have also grown in weight and size.
By the fifth day, they are starting to get some peach fuzz hair. By the time the mice are five weeks old, they need to be separated by sex. A newborn baby mouse is less than one inch when they are born, smaller than your pinky finger.
Until the mice pups finally open their eyes, they will be utterly dependent on the mother mouse. She will have to do everything for them during this time. The mother mouse even must help them pee and poop since they won’t know how to do so.
The World Without Sight
They will be completely blind for the next two weeks, so they can only experience the world around them through their two senses of smell and hearing. If they hear a loud noise that they do not like, you will hear them squeaking as they call out for their mother. Mice have always been prey, so they constantly lookout for danger and noises, which could signal that a predator is stalking them.
During these times, keep the cage and the mother and pups in a secluded corner where they are safe from any other animals in the house and where there is no or low foot traffic. A quiet place will also help the mother as she has to live somewhere calm so she can recover from giving birth.
When do Their Eyes Open?
Their eyes open when they are about 12-14 days old. That is also when they get their hearing. It is at this age where they start to grow their hair and teeth. This is also about the time that they will start to seek out solid food. You will also notice that as the mice pups start to eat more solid food, they will be more energetic.
The solid food will have far more protein in it than their mother’s milk, provide them with the building blocks to grow stronger, develop a shiny coat of fur, and strengthen their bodies.
As they get used to their eyesight, the mice pups will become curious and will start exploring the world around them. When they move around about the cage, this could be an excellent time to add extra toys that they could become accustomed to and play with.
Learning About Mice Babies
Some baby mice may take up to four weeks before their mothers start to wean them and get them to start on solid foods and the water bottle. To start out with, you should use cooked rice or tiny pieces of seed. After the mice are born, make sure that you are watching the mother for any signs of carelessness or aggression.
Some may be careless with their young, abandon them for whatever reason, or even eat them. If the baby mice are being neglected or hurt, then you need to remove them from the mother.
Orphan Baby Mice
If, for some reason, your baby mice are rejected after birth by their mother or she dies, you have these helpless, blind, deaf, babies to take care of. You need to find a foster mama mouse or rat, or hand-feed them yourself. Hand feeding them is hard because they have to be fed around the clock every couple of hours.
If you are going to use a foster mama and she still is nursing a litter, make sure that you rub her natural babies with the orphans so she cannot tell which ones are actually hers. If they mice that you find do not have their eyes open, then you know they are less than two weeks old.
If you are not able to find a mother rat to take in theses abandoned baby rats, then you will have to hand feed them yourself.
If you decide to hand-feed them, you should know that they have large appetites and will need to monitor the time diligently, so you are feeding them every two hours. It will take each baby about five minutes to get their fill of the formula. Even after they get their eyes open, you will have to feed them until they are about four weeks old.
There are many kinds of baby rat formulas online that will provide all of their nutritional needs. If you have the funds, try to buy the formula that does not have an excessive amount of additives and chemicals.
When you are bottle-feeding the rat pups, do not squeeze the bottle to force the milk out faster. Allow the rat pup to suck the formula out at their own pace. Forcing the formula down their throats will drown them cause them to have an air pocket in their stomach.
- It takes around 12 to 14 days for mice pups to open their eyes
- When mice are born, they are unable to see anything because their eyes are closed.
- If you are feeding the baby mice formula, they should be full in about 5 minutes
- It will be around four weeks before the mother mouse weans the pup off of her milk
- When they start to eat solid foods with protein, they will have more energy to explore now that they can see.