You are here:



I have two female mice and I wanted to know how to breed the with a male that I'm buying soon! Thanks

Hi Vanessa,

There is much more to mouse breeding than putting females with a male and getting litters, from how to make sure they feel healthy and comfortable enough to breed, to making sure the pups are safe and socialized, to how to troubleshoot pregnancy problems.  There is a lot out there to learn before you ever put the two together, so I hope you will read through these links and learn as much as you can before you get started!

Do you have any specific questions that I can help with?  The first thing that I want to stress is when to have the male in the cage.  When you get him, it is a good idea to keep him separate from the females for at least 3 weeks.  This is because it is very easy for a mouse to pick up an illness at the pet shop and not show any symptoms until he's been with you for a couple of weeks.  A sick mouse is less likely to breed, and if he does, he risks getting the momma sick, who cannot be given most antibiotics while pregnant OR nursing.

Once you know he is healthy, you can introduce him to one female at a time for up to two weeks.  He should not stay in with the females while they have pups, as not only does that endanger the babies, it also risks the female becoming pregnant again while still nursing.  This is extremely hard on her physically, emotionally, and risks a new litter needing to nurse while the much larger pups are still not yet weaned.  Mommas should have at least two months between birth and being in a cage with a male again, if not longer, for their health and that of the babies.  With this in mind, you will need to be prepared to have a permanent cage for the male to live in when not breeding.  The reason I say he can be in one female's cage for two weeks is because gestation (conception to birth) is about three weeks, so this gives plenty of time for them to mate and then gets him out of the way so she can prepare to have her babies once it is time.  Then, you can expect pups within 1-3 weeks from removing him.  Since momma mice are very sensitive to stress, having her alone to have her pups is the safest way to ensure the babies will survive.

That brings your total cage count to three, and if you are not prepared to adopt them all out as soon as they are weaned, you will need even more cages so that you can remove male pups once they are weaned and drinking water/eating on their own (4-5 weeks).  Males may fight as they grow up and even kill each other, so males from each litter should be kept alone (you cannot combine males from litters born at different times/in different cages), and you should be ready to separate them if fighting begins.  All cages should be appropriately sized and escape-proof - remember that babies are escape artists and much smaller than adults!

The last thing I wanted to cover is picking out a male.  Regardless of why you are breeding them, you will need to pick a male carefully, and there is no way to be sure he will be a good breeder until you try.  In the past I have ended up selecting what I thought would be a great mate, who ended up being too aggressive, too timid, or uninterested in mating.  Please be prepared to keep a male as a pet only, if mating does not go well.  Remember to pick a healthy-looking male who resembles the traits you want to pass on.  Even feeder mice are selected for health, size, and temperament.  So ask yourself - what traits are you hoping to see in the pups?  Look past markings - are you hoping for a docile nature?  Overall health?  Big size?  Big ears?  Long fur, satin, or curly hair?  Genetics play a huge role in breeding.  Please do not breed unless you have a specific reason for doing so - we should all make an effort to improve mice as a species with each pairing.

I hope I helped, and please let me know if you have any other questions I can assist with!



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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: Orphaned Mice Videos: Natasha's Your First Mouse: General Mouse Help: Mouse Info and Exotic Breeds:


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!

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

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

©2016 All rights reserved.