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 Post subject: Runty baby
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:49 am 
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Hey guys, I have a question about a baby I have. The pairing was a dove satin doe bred by me (probably 5th or 6th generation since I bought the foundation pairs) outcrossed to a blue buck I bought in. This resulted in 14 babies. I culled down to 8 at birth, then removed another at about a week old as it was struggling. At two weeks old all 7 remainders were doing very well, plump and wriggly and all eyes opened just fine. However since then one of them has gone downhill. She's not really grown since she opened her eyes a few days ago (5g compared to her siblings average of 12g) and she's noticeably skinny. You can see her vertebrae in her tail and her head is the size of the rest of her body! She eats and eats and is somewhat active, although not as active as the rest of the litter. Basically I'm curious as to possible causes. Usually any runty ones are culled off right away but its unusual to me to see one struggle *after* starting to eat solids. I'm wondering if there are genetic factors I should look out for, or did I leave too many, or should I feed something different? Current diet is around 60% hamster mix with the rest made up of complete dry dog food (either wagg kennel mix or whatever my dog has at the time) plus wheat based dog biscuits (bit like bonios but cheaper). I'm also supplementing with milk and bread and a slight sprinkling of vitamin powder whilst they are weaning. Any insights would be appreciated!

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 Post subject: Re: Runty baby
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:50 pm 
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Hamster mix and that amount of dog food doesn't sound the best ratio in terms of food to me, although they do need extra protein the majority of their diet should be grains and hamster food is generally not the best for mice anyway because of low protein to higher fat (hence giving so much dog food i'm guessing) but even if that is the case it wouldn't have caused the difference in the baby, just something to think about possible for the future. Also when you say milk and bred do you mean kitten milk or cows? and whole wheat bread? (again likely not the cause just thing to think about, young mice honestly rarely need that much supplementation)

If she started going downhill at 2 weeks old she would still have been mostly nursing from mum for nutrients, so the likely thing is something genetic with her. With 7 babies all the same size she shouldn't have had an issue getting milk, although likely as they got bigger around her it was harder for her to get her share of nursing which I suppose didn't help. There isn't much of a way to tell if it is anything genetic other than looking for signs like being thin, lagging behind the others in development etc. With mice its very hard to notice an issue until its there and obvious. The only thing you can really do is remove any that show issues like this from your breeding and keep a note in the line so you can watch for anything further

I would consider culling her though, she's obviously not doing well for whatever reason and she should probably never be bred from if she does survive anyway in case it is something genetic


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 Post subject: Re: Runty baby
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:59 pm 
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The ratios stated were guesstimates honestly, I tend to just chuck in a few handfuls of whatever and they eat what they want XD The hamster food is unfortunately the only small rodent food available at my local pet shop, I also buy a bag of bird seed every now and then and give them some of that but haven't had any for a while. Yes, cows milk and what type of bread depends what scraps I have lying round, I eat both so they get both.

This one definitely won't be bred from, I'm probably going to dispatch her tonight. She didn't look too good this morning. I'll also look at giving them more grains in their diet, thanks for the advice :3


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 Post subject: Re: Runty baby
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:40 pm 
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I don't see any major problem with the food mix. It's not perfect but, it's fine. That baby is non viable, for whatever reason. No need to think you did anything wrong, it could have any health issue that has caused it to be non viable. It will not recover and does need to be dispatched. All the best for the remainder mice :)



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 Post subject: Re: Runty baby
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:48 pm 
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Thanks for the reply, she has been moved on now. Anything you would recommend I change about the food? I want my mice to be healthy and happy :3


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 Post subject: Re: Runty baby
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:49 pm 
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Sorry, I was not trying make Silverwings feel bad/responsible, was more meaning just for the future adding a few more grains (like oats) may be more ideal for the mice overall.

I would stop giving cows milk though, that is pretty bad for most animals including mice. If you are to give milk soaked bread then you should use kitten milk replacement (KMR).


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 Post subject: Re: Runty baby
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:03 pm 
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You didn't make me feel bad :p A day you don't learn something is a day wasted lol. All advice is appreciated :3


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