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Mice/Should I put mother mouse in a breeding tank?

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Question
Hi, I have a very pregnant female named Mabel and she lives in a large tank with 5 other females so i was wondering if i should move Mabel to her own breeding tank, having her alone would help me feel more relaxed but would it stress her out? should i move her but give her 1 female for company?both of my other females have had 3 successful litters between the 2 of them but then they were alone or had each other for company but Mabel has been in a large group since before her eyes were open. if i do move her would a 5 gallon be an ok breeder tank if just she was in it because there would only be a small nest box in one corner a toilet paper tube and a food bowl and water bowl (Mabel gets a bowl because when she was a baby she couldn't reach the water bottle so i started giving water to all my mice in bowls). i understand that when the babies are big enough they'll need to be moved but when there pinkies they should be ok until there off milk at least right and should i keep a wheel in there or should she not run on a wheel so close to giving birth?
thanks
Hadley

Answer
Dear Hadley,

You are right to be concerned about 6 adults in a nest with a litter-- the babies might get squashed. And you are right that she won't want to be alone.

Ten gallons is pretty small, especially with two adults in it. However, you need to move her immediately. Ideally she would be moved at least 4 days before the birth, so as to give her time to make her nest and not be stressed when she gives birth. So you will have to start with that.

However, if you can give them a bigger tank when they are two weeks old, it will give them space to stretch their legs. Then at four weeks you can take mom and the girls out and put them with the other females.

Leave the wheel in or they will be bored to death. If you can't teach them to use a water bottle (a little butter on the tip might do the trick), you are going to have to give them water in something a baby won't drown in: like a bottle cap!

Best of luck to Mabel and the pups. Enjoy them!

Squeaks n giggles,

Natasha

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Natasha

Expertise

I can answer questions about raising mice and caring for them as pets, with knowledge from my 38 years of having fancy mice as pets. I have NO MEDICAL TRAINING and you should take a sick mouse to the vet; but if you simply can't, I will try to help you. I LOVE PHOTOS!!! I ALSO LOVE UPDATES! Let me know how the little tyke is doing later on, for better or worse, especially orphans. It also helps me to help the next person. Please first search first: use 'Natasha Mice Mouse' with whatever else your question includes. Or check out these links: **** YOUR FIRST MOUSE (my video; rough draft): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNK4uqNZTbA&feature=share **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: http://www.youtube.com/user/CreekValleyCritters/videos?query=raising **** SEXING MICE: http://www.thefunmouse.com/info/sexing.cfm **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES: http://thefunmouse.com/info/index.cfm http://www.rmca.org/Resources/mousefaq.htm

Experience

I have had mice for 40 years (since I was 5!). I raised them when I was a child but now I keep all females, and never fewer than three so that if one dies the others are not devastated, because they have each other.

Organizations
I run Rats and Mice are Awesome on Facebook. The official name is Rats are Awesome.

Education/Credentials
B.A., M.A., M.A. in Linguistics: Yale University and University of Connecticut

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