Context is always nice to have and this morning, I was given some. Since my last Chippy Chunkear Post, I’ve humanely deported Chippy several more times, including late yesterday afternoon. I then decided to put out my mouse catching device once more to catch any other mice that might be living at the farm, but are either much stealthier than Chip or just slower to be caught. I imagined that since it was cold and rainy, Chippy, if he did trek back, would wait until the weather broke. I wanted to know definitively if I was dealing with just one persistent mouse.
This morning, I checked up on the trap and in a moment, things became a little more clear. Chippy had not waited to trek back….No; in fact, he probably followed along on my heels as I was trekking back.
What I encountered this morning was not only Chippy, but Baby Mama Chunkear, and Baby Chunkear…the Chunkear family (or some of it….God knows.)
I can’t keep up with the mice stories right now. Not only am I dealing with the Chunkears (Yes. I deported all 3 of them back to the mouse
sanctuary perhaps they view it as a ghetto?…Who was it that said something along the lines of… sheer idiocy is doing the same thing and expecting a different result?)
Again – not only am I dealing with the Chunkears, but I also had to resuscitate a totally different very young mouse early yesterday morning who was accidentally caught in the device that I had left behind at the mouse sanctuary and who was near death from lack of food and exposure to the elements…somehow the door shut and became a workable trap (oops.)
Two other teen-agey mice were also caught, but they were dry, plump, and healthy looking, so I imagine they were caught more recently – perhaps trying to save their younger sibling? The poor baby-child mouse was nearly drowned, soaked to the bone and I really thought he was dead. But a bit of a twitch triggered the usual response in me to try and help… and so I did (even though I really thought it was futile at the time.) Three or so hours later, young mouse was dry, fed, and back in the mouse
Here is a general formula for increasing the odds of saving a young mouse near death: Buy dark colored soft microfiber gloves, cup mouse lightly with the two gloved hands… and persistently hold mouse to upper chest area (near heart.) DO NOT put needy mouse in a box or cage for any duration longer than about 10-15 minutes — the less time, the better. If mouse is too young to eat solid food, use a small syringe and feed/drop warm goat milk into mouth about every 15 minutes or so. If mouse can eat food, get some high quality dog kibble, warm it with water so it becomes soft and smooshy, and feed softened dog food morsels every 15 minutes or so. This protocol obviously works best with two people, but one person can do it, if organized and dexterous.
Once the wild mouse is lucid, plump, eating, active, and exhibiting healthy mouse behavior, then it’s probably better to release as early as possible rather than to wait. If you know the mother is dead and the mouse is not yet weaned, then you probably have a pet mouse on your hands — the care for a baby mouse is a bit more complicated and too long for this post.
Wild small mammal issues have taken quite a bit of energy lately and therefore quite a bit of blog space. Not to overlook the chickens completely, they are all thriving and egg production has not really slowed down. Ruby the Rooster has plumped up nicely and is now as large as Helen of/Troy the boy Rooster. The warm weather (relatively speaking – highs 50′sF,) although rainy and damp, has been helpful for me, as I work out how to add some supplemental heating for the coop. I won’t use a heat lamp after all, as one of them recently broke in the sanctuary for absolutely no reason (glass pieces in the sanctuary – OMG.). I’m livid over it. Oh well…
…Back to the Chunkears, who are taking up way too many resources in time, energy, and services.