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 Post subject: New mice, aggression towards the smallest
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:02 am 
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Hi! I've had rats for years and years, though recently switched to mice after countless vetbills wracked a good few hundred per poor sickly rat.

Mice I've only had for the last two years, but in keeping three adorable, tame males (in separate cages) I've had good luck.
Luck I might have pushed today!

Short version is, pregnant female and possibly-male-but-initially-certain-female are flat bullying the smallest of the bunch.

More detailed version is!
During a trip to the reptile shop, I picked up three feeders (with the intention of keeping them as pets of course). One adult female, likely pregnant (PEW), which I didn't mind! And two younger females. One must be less than three weeks old (agouti patches on a mostly satin white?), the other maybe four weeks on the nose (seemingly long haired agouti).
I wound up with one heck of a mess!

They were all housed in a small plastic enclosure with a good 15 other mice, a bunch of grown males who were at each other's necks. The adult, pregnant female I took in after seeing bite marks on her tail.
When I got them home, the female picked a hide as her own and started biting the youngest and shoving her out of the hide. She had no problem with the older agouti, but I decided to, after a few 'attacks' separate the potential mom into her own enclosure.

Cue the agouti beginning to bully the younger mouse. She squeaks, but no blood is drawn so I assume it's not really serious? But the agouti just walks up to the other and bites at her sides, face, pulls at her fur, ect. At other times, they groom her and seem happy. The little one generally chooses to sleep alone and even when the agouti joined her peacefully, she moved away after about 10 minutes of sleep.

Personality wise, towards me, the pregnant female is pretty fine with handling though I've left her alone for the most part, only holding her when she attempted to climb out of the bin. The agouti can be picked up but will jump from my hand and isn't keen on being touched. The youngest is up for being held, will sleep in my hand and likes to be pet on the cheek.
All look healthy to me.

Checking now, after having checked a good 6 times, I swear I'm seeing little boyparts on the agouti which is driving me insane. I've never seen a mouse so successfully hide their bits for so long and with their fur being longer than typical, it wasn't an easy thing to figure out in the first place. The last male I acquired was smaller than this one and their 'parts' were easily visible. If they are male I'm prepared to move them to another cage (right now the female is too young to be bred anyway and the aggression i'm seeing from the possibly-male isn't a mating attempt) and care for three males in three cages- I work at home and have the time and lifestyle to give everyone attention but I'm a bit overwhelmed with the current situation!

Should I separate the two young ones (even if the agouti is female) before the bullying gets worse? Should the pregnant female be left alone?

;; any advice would be appreciated. sorry if this is all over the place, it's been such a long day!


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 Post subject: Re: New mice, aggression towards the smallest
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:44 pm 
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I'm not sure how to edit my post, I'm sorry! :(

But in the time it took to get it approved, I've figured most of it out haha!

The agouti was indeed a male, and he's still barely showing. It's strange but I wonder if he's younger than I thought and just huge for his age? My other young boy is smaller than him but very clearly male. Either way he's very snuggly and affectionate towards me, so all is well there. (The 'line' these feeders come from are exceptionally tame and affectionate)

The little girl is doing well and I hope she'll be able to move in with the PEW in the future.
And the PEW 'mom' is.. confusing!

She isn't growing in size that much, but she has a very distinct pregnant looking belly. She sleeps a lot and nests, getting spurts of energy at night when she popcorns, rearranges her tank and climbs around. I would say there's some growth, but not as dramatic as I've seen in other mice (though I haven't seen a pregnant mouse in person).
Is it possible she's just having a small litter?


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 Post subject: Re: New mice, aggression towards the smallest
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:25 pm 
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I have a mouse right now who I assumed not to be pregnant and made a post about it, too. In the last four days of the last week in her pregnancy, she's began to round out and gain weight. On the ninth, she was 56 grams and as of today, she's gained almost ten grams. Weighing them daily with a kitchen scale, if you have one, helps in determining if they're pregnant. She's also still active, running on her wheel, nesting everywhere and playing with her sister. It's going to sound a little weird, but if you hold her in your hand and can feel her nipples on your palm, it's another indicator. Or just put her in a see-through container and spot them. When does are carrying, the fur around their nipples grows sparser making them easily visible. As for a small litter, it may or may not be. I had a mouse gain twenty grams and only have three babies. You sure are right about them being confusing!


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 Post subject: Re: New mice, aggression towards the smallest
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:09 pm 
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Thank you Cheshire!
Her nipples are visible- it was one thing I noticed when picking her up. That said, I've never had a female mouse before (I've always kept boys!). So I'm not sure if her nipples are the common range of 'visible' LOL
I should invest in a kitchen scale. :( but at the moment I don't have one


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 Post subject: Re: New mice, aggression towards the smallest
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:28 am 
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If you can see them, they're more prominent than most mouse nipples. :lol: I'd expect some babies! Kitchen scales are pretty cheap, I got mine for ten-fifteen dollars, kind of foggy on the exact amount. They can help identify early signs of an illness by showing their weight loss or gain.


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 Post subject: Re: New mice, aggression towards the smallest
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:53 am 
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That's a good sign then! :lol:

I've also noticed she also seems to regularly be 'constipated'. I use quotes because she's definitely going to the washroom.
She does poop regularly, it just seems to.. sit there below her tail for a while before she does? :oops: I don't suppose that's part of pregnancy?


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 Post subject: Re: New mice, aggression towards the smallest
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:58 am 
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Yeah, no, that's not a part of pregnancy that I've heard of. Another doe of mine had quite large droppings when she was pregnant and I have a big rat who will sit still for a few moments with tail raised while going to the bathroom. Could be something normal or not, I'm not sure about that. :? Maybe add a little more fiber in her diet if you're worried but that's all I can think of to suggest.


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