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hello! i have a mouse named bizzy (just over six weeks old) that i've hand-raised since he was orphaned at five days old. he is extremely sweet and cuddly, not just with myself but with my boyfriend as well (who was incredibly supportive and helpful, but not directly/physically involved with raising biz). i know it's controversial, and i hope i'm not going to get a lot of flak for it, but yes, he is a deer mouse. i found him laying in the middle of a walmart parking lot as a helpless, slightly fuzzy nubbin, with no sign of where he could have come from. the only things around for a hundred feet or more in any direction were pavement and cars; i'm pretty sure he fell out of a nest in someone's car. regardless, i had no way of getting him back to his family, so i took him home and did a lot of research, and long story short (too late!), after weeks of exhausting dedication he is now a happy healthy zippy little guy. now back on track to the point of this thread, i do not feel comfortable releasing him into the wild; he is incredibly tame and sweet with people, far too friendly in such a way that i am certain he will make his way into someone's home, and unfortunately most people do not use humane catch-and-release traps. as he was raised almost exclusively in captivity (after the first four days or so of life), i am also uncertain of his skill to survive in the wild aside from just being human-friendly, he does not act wild whatsoever. SO, i've decided after much deliberation that his best interest would be to stay here. he has a 40 gallon breeder tank, lots of tunnels below the bedding and lots of toys and climbing structures above. he gets a wide variety of fresh and dried foods daily. he does have the activity habits of a wild mouse, he stays primarily hidden during the day and starts popping up looking for attention as evening rolls in. i give him as much attention as i can in the evening, but unfortunately i cannot stay up all night playing with him. i've done research on the matter, and from what i've read, male deer mice tend to be friendlier than those of the house-mouse variety, even towards other males. i do know however that it would still likely be risky to put him with a male, but have read that house mice (fancy mice) and deer mice are unable to reproduce, being in different families. from what i can tell, a female fancy mouse should be a good companion for him, if introduced properly. as i said, he is a sweet mouse to begin with and i would very much like for him to have constant companionship of his own kind, as they are very social creatures. SO MY QUESTION IN THIS THREAD IS, does anyone know if getting him a companion would be likely to make him less friendly toward me?

i know that's a lot of background for one seemingly-simple question, but i wanted to go ahead and get any potential questions answered right off the bat and give the full story. sorry for the very long, somewhat unrelated backstory. here's a photo to make it up to you.

 

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So if you've looked into it and male deer mice get along well, I'd say it's worth a try? An alternative could be a female African Soft-Furred Rat. They are generally very accepting towards other small rodents, and it's something some people use with regular male house mice/fancy mice who tend to get lonely as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Fantasia Mousery said:
So if you've looked into it and male deer mice get along well, I'd say it's worth a try? An alternative could be a female African Soft-Furred Rat. They are generally very accepting towards other small rodents, and it's something some people use with regular male house mice/fancy mice who tend to get lonely as well.
oh thanks so much, i'll look into that! i never would have thought of any kind of rat, kinda figured the size difference would mean an automatic no
 

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The name is misleading, it's not a rat. :) But it is very true that the rule of thumb with rodents is to not mix species. However in the case of ASFs, it's a bit different. Not saying it shouldn't still be done with caution of course, and as always find a proper breeder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Fantasia Mousery said:
The name is misleading, it's not a rat. :) But it is very true that the rule of thumb with rodents is to not mix species. However in the case of ASFs, it's a bit different. Not saying it shouldn't still be done with caution of course, and as always find a proper breeder.
thanks! i looked them up right after you mentioned them and definitely thought they looked much more like a mouse than a rat haha. however it seems like there are no breeders anywhere even relatively near my area (i'm in western massachusetts), so i may have to get a petstore mouse, which is not my preference.
 

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I'd be very careful with ASF's in the US, the majority you find are very highly aggressive and a lot of people over here would tell you that they should not be put with any other small rodent (even other ASF's) after weaning when you set up their colonies. I assume this is in part a line issue but they are mostly not so nice personality feeder lines right now, with an increasing number of people trying to see if there is potential with them as pets as well but very very early days. You're highly lucky to get a line where you can even pick them up without biting right now.

A female fancy mouse might be ok, although deer mice are tiny from the ones I have seen, even compared to mice, so it might be more stressful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lilly said:
I'd be very careful with ASF's in the US, the majority you find are very highly aggressive and a lot of people over here would tell you that they should not be put with any other small rodent (even other ASF's) after weaning when you set up their colonies. I assume this is in part a line issue but they are mostly not so nice personality feeder lines right now, with an increasing number of people trying to see if there is potential with them as pets as well but very very early days. You're highly lucky to get a line where you can even pick them up without biting right now.

A female fancy mouse might be ok, although deer mice are tiny from the ones I have seen, even compared to mice, so it might be more stressful.
thank you so much! he is quite small. i think i'll stick with a fancy mouse if i can find one suitable, however being that there are literally no breeders that i can locate near me (not less than four or five hours away at least), i'm feeling like my chances are slim. biz is so indescribably sweet and playful, i'm quite sure that the best match for him would be another young mouse that's well-socialized and has been handled daily from a young age. i'm doubtful that a mouse i'll find at a pet store will be what he needs :\
 

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Lilly said:
I'd be very careful with ASF's in the US, the majority you find are very highly aggressive and a lot of people over here would tell you that they should not be put with any other small rodent (even other ASF's) after weaning when you set up their colonies. I assume this is in part a line issue but they are mostly not so nice personality feeder lines right now, with an increasing number of people trying to see if there is potential with them as pets as well but very very early days. You're highly lucky to get a line where you can even pick them up without biting right now.

A female fancy mouse might be ok, although deer mice are tiny from the ones I have seen, even compared to mice, so it might be more stressful.
Tanks, Lilly. I had no idea it was like that in the US. :) It's become much different in Europe, at least Northern Europe including Scandinavia, UK and Germany. But no matter where you get animals from, it's always important to ensure proper health and temper before buying, of course.
 

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Fantasia Mousery said:
Lilly said:
I'd be very careful with ASF's in the US, the majority you find are very highly aggressive and a lot of people over here would tell you that they should not be put with any other small rodent (even other ASF's) after weaning when you set up their colonies. I assume this is in part a line issue but they are mostly not so nice personality feeder lines right now, with an increasing number of people trying to see if there is potential with them as pets as well but very very early days. You're highly lucky to get a line where you can even pick them up without biting right now.

A female fancy mouse might be ok, although deer mice are tiny from the ones I have seen, even compared to mice, so it might be more stressful.
Tanks, Lilly. I had no idea it was like that in the US. :) It's become much different in Europe, at least Northern Europe including Scandinavia, UK and Germany. But no matter where you get animals from, it's always important to ensure proper health and temper before buying, of course.
I have seen a couple of reports of how fun they can be as pets over in Europe, I think seeing that is partly what has prompted the pet shift over here, but its a bit harder too because legally you cannot travel with them over state lines (many still do though) and they are illegal in some states in general.

We also have a MASSIVE ball python population here, so many people have them its crazy so they kind of remained low key in places as just for people wanting to feed the BP. Its hard to actually sell them because of the restrictions openly and if you're in a state where its illegal then you have to keep super low key in general.

There are some lines I know of that will accept being handled, although still seem very flighty, but at least do not bite. One line I know of that is good with mixing around other ASF's and does not get freaked out but because of everything legitimate breeders are also having the issues of getting started when they constantly munch the babies.
 
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