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Hello one of our mice just had about 10 babies and in the two days since she has eaten about 5 of them we make sure she has food and water she has places to hide and we dont bother her much  .... is there anything else we can do and should we expect this for her next litter as well

Answer
Hi Kerri,

I am so sorry to hear that!  Mommas may cannibalize their young for a variety of reasons, although we of course hope it never happens.  Sometimes new mothers get confused and don't know what the little squeaky things are, in which case it may never happen again once they figure it out.  Moms may also kill their pups if there are too many to nurse, or she feels she cannot take adequately care for them (low milk production, serious health problems in the babies, etc.).  Sometimes she thinks there is a threat, such as if she is very anxious or there is something stressing her frequently.  Lastly, some mice just do not have a very strong maternal instinct.

While this does not mean all of her litters will necessarily be in danger, there is a chance of passing on health or mental problems like some of the ones mentioned above, so responsible breeding would dictate that she not be bred again in the future.  It doesn't do her, her future pups, or you any good to risk investing in and losing future litters.  What I would recommend instead is carefully selecting another doe not related to the first, and retiring the current momma to a regular pet life after she is done weaning the survivors.  This is truly your best method for having future healthy pups and happy mommas.

-Tam

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Tamarah

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding mice as pets, mouse behavior, color and coat genetics, breeding techniques, and general health questions. I can help with caging and setup, nutrition, social issues, and what to do in most mouse emergencies (such as unplanned litters, injuries, fighting, etc.). I can also assist with questions pertaining to orphaned mouse pups, weaning litters, and questions of mating and birthing. I cannot answer questions about exotic or wild varieties of mice such as spiny or pygmy mice. *****FOR EMERGENCIES, anything requiring immediate medical intervention, PLEASE take your mouse to a professional veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator who works with mice as soon as possible! IMPORTANT RESOURCES: Raising Orphaned Mice: http://www.rmca.org/Articles/orphans.htm Orphaned Mice Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/CreekValleyCritters/videos?query=raising Natasha's Your First Mouse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNK4uqNZTbA&feature=share General Mouse Help: http://www.fancymice.info/ Mouse Info and Exotic Breeds: http://www.hiiret.fi/eng/species/

Experience

I have enjoyed the companionship of mice nonstop since 2004, and spent a year caring for them in a lab where I learned a great deal about their breeding, social needs, and health. I spent a few years breeding them, specifically working with albinos, marked mice, angora mice, and satins. My education never stopped - I am learning something new every day from current and well-established research thanks to the wonderful folks at the Jackson Laboratory, as well as from my wonderful mousey friends online. I also love learning from my terrific questioners here on AllExperts - you folks keep my passion for these amazing animals alive and well!

Organizations
East Coast Mouse Association - expired, American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association - expired

Education/Credentials
Partial University for a B.S. in Microbiology, Partial University for a 2-year degree in Veterinary Technology (RVT cert), C.E. classes in pathogens, aseptic technique, genetics, and applications

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