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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
why do does eat their young?

i lost a few out of my first litter, the four survivors are ok though, but very nervous and dont like to be handled.

the next doe i left in the group and all the pinkies were gone by day 2

with the next two does i seperated them into theri own tank, and by day 3 i have no pinkies again.

has anyone got any ideas why this could be happening?
the does are from different places, they are well fed, in large cages, are in a room away from my large scary cats, have adequate water and nesting material and i dont poke at them all the time.

never had this happen when i used to breed meesers before :evil:
 

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Possible problems:

1. The mice don't feel safe. This may be a smell, a noise, the fact that they don't feel there is somewhere secure to hide/give birth etc
2. They don't perceive (regardless of the reality) that there is enough food and water
3. There is something wrong with the babies (not likely in your case)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
that was my first thoughts, i have them well away from my cats and snakes,
and they have the little wooden bridge things and cardboard boxes and tubes to hide and nest in too.
am feeding them a mix of bird seeds and alpha herbal deluxe and they all drink froom the bottles.

plus theres hardly any noisein my house, i live alone and hardly have the telly on!!
 

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Mice can hear different noises than we can - I know someone who had a problem until she tried moving the mice away from or turning off (can't remember which) an electrical appliance. The mice could hear it or feel the vibrations but it was beyond human hearing. The same goes for smell I suppose - just because you can't tell that there's cats or snakes nearby doesn't mean the mice can't. It also sounds like there may be the meat content missing from their diet if you are feeding seeds and rabbit food only as stated. Try adding a dry dog food.
 

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I agree with Cait... try adding a good amount of protein to thier diet and see if that helps.

All my meece get kitty kibble in thier mix, and a small amount of dried mealworms, and the breeding does get a good amount of live mealworms too.
I have also started to feed cooked chicken liver to my breeding does (very cheap from large supermarkets) as its an excellent source of protein and folic acid.

Willow xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
they have some dry kitten biccies once a week, is that enough?
Royal canin babycat, posh eh? :lol:
 

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I add it into their everyday food as do most people. Cat food can also be a bit high in protein; dog food is more suitable in this respect.
 

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I've been using jwb puppy kibble for the meece as it's what my rats get. I always use the fishy one, some of the preservatives in the meaty ones are a bit iffy for rats. The nursing does get some orlux eggfood too, (the parrot one) which has things like dried shrimp in :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
they`ve had some of the geckos mealworms for todays tasty treat, they were very impressed!
 

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I think that part of the reason may be from the grooming instinct; a little lick, then the next thing you know there goes the baby; they are probably really tasty before they grow fur. I've also see this happen when does are removing mites from between the toes of babies. Doing it right when they are born may be from eating the placenta and not stopping when she gets to the pinkie proper.

All the other reasons presented are also valid, but the truth is that we will never really know for sure why it happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
it is the does first litters, so a bit of over-enthusiastic cleaning up is possible, i did wonder with my one group wether they could be very very inbred. its very possible with where they are from!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
things are going rapidly from bad to worse.

in one cage the adult mice mave turned on the babies, have killed one and are eating it, have removed the three other babies to a small tank for their own safely.
might explain why they are soooo jumpy?

in the other tank, the females have turned on the lovely big white show bred male and shredded him too.

:evil:
 

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blimey my lovely, ur not having much luck are u...

for the babies i agree with a comment made in an earlier post, i think a lot of bub eating is due to overcleaning and the mum just thinks bugger it ive damaged it so i just as well eat the rest now...

as for them picking on the other bubs and male, this doesnt sound so good...how old are the bubs and is the male in the same tub as the mums and bubs... it may be that the bubs are old enough to be independent and the mothers are getting fed up..or with the male it may be that the mums dont want him near thier babies....

cant think of anything else :/ x
 

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It's very hard to figure why a mousie goes bonkers like this, but it happens. Females are rarely violent towards each other, but I've seen that happen on about 4 or 5 occasions in my 11 years keeping meeces. I've never kept a buck in with more than one female through the birth of a litter as things can get confusing enough with multiple litters being born. And sometimes I separate the does close to birth, becasue does can compete with each other and start taking babies away, and then they get taken back, etc. etc. etc. with the babies getting carried back and forth which is no good for them.

I guess that meeces behave in 'psychotic' manner on occasion with similar causes as other animals and people. It's disturbing and fascinating all at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
it realy is truly horrible to see.

i know they were destined for snake food anyway, but i`m trying to give them a nice life before the visit to the rodent reaper.

i`ve tried both seperating pregnant does and leaving them in the 1.4 colony, but neither is working.

maybe the 6 females i have are just not destined to be breeders?, they are from 2 petshops, neither of which i`d usually buy livestock from, but ijust couldnt get mice anywhere else at the time.

think i`ll give them another chance, and try again with some better bred/reared meeces!
 
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