We have never had any first time mums eat there litter, we have had some in the litters that have been born deformed or still in sacks that the mum always eats but the healthy babies always get left from our experience.
It's not common for mice to eat their babies, they are generally good mothers. Sometimes they will kill babies if there is something wrong with them, or if they are a first time mum and don't know what to do. With my mice it's very rare that they will kill or eat any of their babies, in fact the only times I can think of that this happened to me in the past couple of years has been when I have bought mice from another breeder.
I haven't had too many babies eaten either. I have had a few abandoned though which is hard. Once I had a doe which had a litter of 12 all of which were huge and she really struggled and was bleeding quite a lot so obviously in some distress. I found two of the babies half eaten.
Although another thing (which has happened twice now) where babies have been eaten is when two does are pregnant at the same time, the first gives birth fine and then if the other doe is more than a few days later she seems to start killing the existing babies during her labour.
Usually ours are great mothers, but we have had occassional problems with this issue. It doesn't really seem to be related to age or experience in our mice. We've had first time mothers raise perfect litters and experienced mothers with perfect track records unexpectedly devour whole litters. This is the only real problem we have with our mice, although it generally isn't a huge issue for us.
I was mistaken only one gave birth, the other is still pregnant. I thought it was both because I saw both killing a baby. I think there were 7-9 of them, all killed .... had to pick up the dead baby bodies. Sucked.
Have to wait and see what the other does when she gives birth, should be soon. She'll probably kill them, too. Hopefully not.
All I can do is try again.
Of all the mice I have only the Dutch tend to eat their first litters, some times I get one that eats all her litters, tried putting two together but then found they ate the first litter born then raised half of the other litter so now they litter on their own and any repeat offender goes by by.
But Dutch are temperamental so and so's anyway it's part of the problem of the way they are bred.
Hmmm, I think one that I didn't think was pregnant had at least 2 babies. She never got big, didn't look pregnant but when I looked in on them today there were baby bits & a live baby. The other one still looks as if she's pregnant. I'll wait & watch & see who's baby it is & whether the other is still pregnant.
Anyway, I have 1 live baby.
Can first time moms get carried away with cleaning the baby on every baby she gives birth to .... in essence accidentally killing all her babies (killing her whole litter)?