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QUESTION: Hi Natasha, I haven't written in a while but long story short I have 4 mice now :) I just introduced my newest female to my other two tonight and at first they got along fine. They were sitting around smelling and grooming each other and so i assumed it would be alright to finally put them all in the same cage. I had just finished cleaning them too so i didn't think there would be too many territory problems. It seems like I was wrond though because as soon as i put the new girl in fights started breaking out. First it looked like they were just arguing but now the new girl has a cut on her and I've separated them for now. Should I clean the cages more thououghly and try again later? When meeting in a neutral zone they really have no problems. Only when they are in the old girl's cages is there a problem. I tried putting them in them all in the new cage and they were fine too. I was also thinking of having the new girl live with one of the others she does get along with to pick up her scent and then moving them all together again. I know people say you should give up on introducing them if there is any blood drawn but I don't have room for a third cage nor do i have the resources or money to get a third cage. The pet store also doesn't accept returns on live animals so I'm at a loss with what to do if they can't work things out? Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon!

ANSWER: Dear Rachel

Yes, clean the cage bery thoroughly. I don't usually suggest bleach due to sensitive noses, but if you rinse thoroughly and you let it sit for a few hours -- better, outdoors!-- it will be fine. Then, did you try the vanilla trick? Place a dab of REAL vanilla on their necks and rumps. Now take everything out of the cage but the water bottle and scatter the food. They have absolutely nothing to fight over.  And make there be just one place to nest - obviously not a house or hidey, but maybe a couple of pieces of cloth and some kleenex.

I hope this does it :). You can replace items a day or so later.

Squeaks n giggles,

Natasha





---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks so much! Sorry for such a short message last night haha it was way too late and i was practically falling asleep writing it haha. Whisp is the only one being nice to the new girl so i had her in with her for a while just to give her some comfort and calm her down. She's been acting like a little momma mouse haha, she's grooming her and cuddling with her and she's been taking good care of the little cut that Aspen gave her. Aspen's becoming more of a grump towards the other mice in general and less of a grump towards me though. She hasn't bit me in a while but she has picked fights with Whisp too. One time she even gave Whisp a little cut as well (even before I had the new girl) and I was pretty upset with her. She's just a big meanie haha. I call her my "femaledog"mouse (censoring it I case there are some younger eyes reading this haha) because she can be such a big grump sometimes. Whisp still loves to run around and play with my parrot (they are so funny together! If I can ever find them sitting still I will get a pic for you! I feel like I have one of those strange animal friend shows going on in my house!) She also loves to torture my buck by running around his cage (he isn't allowed out at the same time for obvious reasons haha) but when i see her by him i 'll move her elsewhere. I've also been learning a pretty good amount about mice genetics and breeding since I met up with a breeder who lives in my area online. I'm looking to maybe breed in the future once I'm more established and such. I already have homes for any does I might have and a bunch of them lined up for bucks (I was told to plan as though you'll have a whole litter of bucks that each need individual homes) and I'd love to breed variegated because they are just so darn cute. My friend is breeding black and tan Merle which is also pretty beautiful. I'm gonna wait to breed until I have a solid job though because heard it can get expensive.
Thanks for the great answer as always! The girls are getting along fine now :)

Answer
Hi,

Being a breeder is cool as long as you have a mentor and have studied genetics :) so that's a great start. Yes, you do have to plan for a bunch of boys, remembering that they might well end up each needing his own cage. And you have to make sure your adopters know how to take care of mice.

If they aren't going to people you are absolutely sure don't have snakes, you need to ask for an adoption fee higher than feeder mice go for in your area.

Have fun,

Squeaks n giggles,

Natasha

PS my mouse and rat Facebook group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RatsandMiceareAwesome/

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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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