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Just wanted to get everyones appinions on this, Until now we have always had 2 does birth together, but just recently we have had a few does that have had a few days between them and it look as if the younger pups are not being fed as much if any...

Another problem ive noticed with one of our cream litters is some of the smaller pups were also not being fed, as a result i had to cull them as they were horribly skinny. From a litter of 14, thats 7 per mum so far we have lost 6 cause they was just not growing, on the plus side the remaining pups are very fat.

Not sure yet if we will continue to birth does together in the future.
 

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I haven't had any problems with does having litters together. I have also tried keeping three does together to birth and I plan to continue this as it is working very well. I have been told that rumpwhites do well in groups though so it may be different with other varieties. Also I generally reduce down to 3 or 4 babies per doe.

The only think I have noticed is that when a doe gives birth while another litter is present she wil sometimes kill a few of the existing litter, this has happened with different lines of mine a few times (they dont seem to reduce thier own litters at any other time). I think it might be a response to the pain or if they are capable of such thoughts it could be a way of increasing their own babies chances.
 

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If you're leaving 14 together I'd say that's too many - it increases the chances of the weaker getting pushed out regardless of age difference etc, especially since one doe only has 10 nipples. If I have two or three does litter/raise babies together I don't leave more than 8 babies with 2 mums, 10 with 3 mums maximum (and usually 8 or less). There is also the case that they could have had something wrong with them. I doubt the mums would feed them so that they would almost starve but remain alive - they'd either totally abandon them or try to feed. I'd recommend keeping your litter sizes down and feeding well. Other than that, you could try birthing does on their own if you prefer, but tbh I have not noticed that litters on their own do any better than those in a small group.
 

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I dont have 2 does birthing together for fear of pups not getting enough milk and for the fact that the one time I did when I had my first ever litters the doe who birthed 2nd lost a lot of weight due to feeding the other does pups while she was still carrying her own litter and then when she did have her own they were small in comparison to the older litter at that stage, I felt she had been under too much pressure and her poor little body just couldnt cope, as for the doe that birthed 1st she was great no weight loss as she was not feeding pups before she had her litter so no goodness was being taken away and all the goodness was being used on the pups and her. I'm not very good at putting thoughts onto paper :roll: :oops: but hope you catch my drift :) I have had 2 does birth seperatly and both sets of pups have grown big and strong and mums have lost no weight :)
 

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I should have said before that when I have two does together they have usually been mated at the same time to the same buck. I wouldn't advise having them give birth too far apart, which sounds like it could have been the problem in the above example. Common sense dictates that if the litters were going to be more than a few days apart that the does should have their babies separately. I have had hundreds and hundreds of litters born in cages with 2 does and I don't have any problems with it. If I did I wouldn't risk my litters!
 

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I should have said as well that I do the same as Cait, the does only birth together because they have been introduced to the buck together so they generally birth at the same time. In fact most of my female groups are litter siblings so quite aften have the same heat cycle so more often than not they all birth on the same day.
 

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MouseBreeder said:
I should have said before that when I have two does together they have usually been mated at the same time to the same buck. I wouldn't advise having them give birth too far apart, which sounds like it could have been the problem in the above example. Common sense dictates that if the litters were going to be more than a few days apart that the does should have their babies separately. I have had hundreds and hundreds of litters born in cages with 2 does and I don't have any problems with it. If I did I wouldn't risk my litters!
Both my does were with the same buck at the same time but birthed 4-5 days apart.
 

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In that situation I would have given the second doe 3 days and if she still hadn't given birth I'd have moved her to another tank, since she would have been obviously pregnant. However my does usually catch at the same time if they're going to, with the exception of the brindles, where I have done as I said above - separated a second 'group' who got pregnant later into another tank to have their babies.
 

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Oh I see, well as I said before I no longer birth does together, I find this the best solution for me and my mice and it doesnt seem to bother them that they are on their own either if anything they seem to enjoy being with just their babies :D and afterwards they intergrate back into the group well.
 
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