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Mice/re: Update on baby mice

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QUESTION: Hi, I'm the girl
who was scared about my pregnant mouse
eating her babies.

Remember me?

Anyway, since you say you like updates,
I have one:

I counted the babies yesterday, (Or tried to,
but they kept squirming all around!) and I think
there are 9 or 10. That's a lot of babies!

Today, some of the little ones opened their eyes!!!

It was so exiting to see! After they opened their eyes,
I held one, and it was just the sweetest thing EVER!


I hope I can find homes for all those babies!

Do you know of anyone near New York State
who might want a mouse?

(They are two weeks old now, so they will be ready for homes in
another two weeks)

ANSWER: Hi Miriam,

Of course I remember you!  That is so exciting!  Be careful holding the little guys - once they start to move around they get called "hoppers" because they tend to pop right up out of your hands!  They can jump quite a distance, so be sure to hold them inside the enclosure and in a way that they can't pop right out.  :)

You're going to have to start thinking of a lot of names!

As I am in Texas, I don't know anyone in the NY area that might be interested in pet mice, but you can start advertising them in your local paper and through friends.  You might even be able to post signs on public billboards, like at a pool, for instance.  Be sure that whoever you pick is willing to keep them - mice are pets just like dogs and cats, and want homes that will love them for their whole lives.  That's a 2-3 year commitment, so be sure in who you choose to adopt them.

Be careful when adopting them out that boys get adopted alone, and females get adopted in groups of 2-3 (or are going to a home that already has female mice).  Be careful that you don't adopt a boy and a girl mouse together!  On that same note, be sure that when they do start drinking from a water bottle on their own and are at least 4 weeks old, that you separate out any boy mice so no surprises happen!  :)

You might also be able to talk to a local pet shop about taking the babies once they are old enough to take care of themselves, because some shops will put mice up at the front of the shop for "adoption" and not mix them in with feeder mice for reptiles.  That might help!

Best of luck, and let me know if you need anything else!  Congratulations again!

-Tam

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

QUESTION: I was able to nipple-sex the babies today,
and I am pretty sure there are 6 females and 4 males,
ten total.

I will ask my mom to put a notice on our local
homeschool list serve (I am homeschooled)
saying that I have baby mice.

I will also make a form for people to fill out,
so I can make sure they are going to
homes where they will be happy.


As for the pet store, I don't trust them to keep
track of the babies so they get sold only as pets,
because they miss-sexed the mice I got before.

Also,
they don't separate the males from females,
so they would probobly get pregnant too young.

I already have 3 five gallon tanks (a ten gallon with a divider,
and a single five gallon with a betta fish in it,
but I can put the fish in a 2 gallon tank I have, so the
mice have more space.

I will have to get another five gallon for the fourth male.

Five gallons is enough, right?


And in terms of the six female babies, plus the two adult females,
how many gallons of space will they need?

Is the ten gallon tank I have them in now enough?


Thank you.

Answer
That's great!  You can find example forms online that can help you think of questions to ask adopters.  If you need help, just let me know!

Good point about the pet store.  Some places are like that, unfortunately.

The boys will be fine together until they reach puberty, after which they may or may not continue to get along.  Since the fighting can turn ugly very fast, that is why I suggest separating them, but alternatively you can keep a close eye on them and see how they do.  It is up to you and how comfortable you feel monitoring them for signs of aggression.  If they begin fighting, they will not be able to be together again.  Five gallons is plenty for a boy mouse - they'll love it!  Is the divider very secure?  You'll want to be careful that they cannot get through or around it if you are going to keep a boy on each side.  I don't want you to think that all boy mice are mean to each other, but they are usually more comfortable when they can't smell any other mature male mice around.

While they are still young, a ten gallon should be enough for all eight girls, but as the young females grow you will likely find you need extra space.  It just depends on how quickly they get adopted.  If you intend to keep all six female babies, you might do better splitting them into groups of four and four, with a ten gallon tank each.  It will be a lot easier to keep from smelling badly, too, and much easier to make sure everyone is getting access to enough food and water.  Eight mice in one space, no matter how big, is a lot!

-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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