Yep, that's right. I'm a mom now. Not to a human baby, but to a baby deer mouse. Let me tell you how it started.
Two days ago, I was helping my Mom harvest the last dahlias of the season. My brother was playing nearby. After we'd been harvesting for about an hour and a half, my brother came up to me and said, "Look what I found." He opened his palm, and inside there was a tiny baby mouse. He said that it had been in the middle of the path and that there were no others around. I knew from experience that at this point the mother mouse was very unlikely to come back for her baby, so I decided to raise the mouse myself. I did some research and discovered that this baby was already 7-9 days old. I watched a few videos on raising wild mice, and I discovered that I could feed him plain old goat milk. We went on a quick shopping trip and picked up the things I would need, and I begun caring for him. Every two hours, I warm up a little bit of goat milk and dip an artist's paintbrush in it. I gently hold the mouse while he eats, and then I dip the brush again. I do this until his belly is nice and plump. After that, I wet a Q-tip with warm water and wash him. The whole process takes about 20 minutes, from warming the milk to placing "Mouse" back in his cage. It might not seem like much, but I have to continue doing this all through the night. It's quite tiring, but worth it. I swear that this mouse grows more every hour. If all goes well, I will begin to wean him in less than two weeks! Wish me luck. :)
|Here he is in comparison to a quarter (picture taken yesterday). He's already grown!|
|And here's his "care station" -- the area where I feed and bathe him. Q-tips for bathing, paintbrush and baby food jar for the goat milk, bowl for warming the milk, and canning jar for warm water used to wet Q-tips for bathing.|