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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm not a breeder but I'm desperate to find out what's wrong with my mice and I have searched the web for an active forum and found this place so hopefully you guys can help me!

I have 5 females. We bought our first two and loved them and went out bought one more and then two more because they were so entertaining and easy to take care of. The last two we got were from a different pet store (I don't know if this will have anything to do with the problem) and are our most docile mice. Until we put them into the cage with the others.

Now our mice live in a very large cage built for an iguana that we mouse-proofed and made sure nothing dangerous was in there. My point is, this is a HUGE cage. Literally. There shouldn't be a fight over room or anything, it can house maybe a couple more and still have plenty of room for them to frolic.

So we have our three mice, one is a star athlete, one is a ball of energy, and the other is the homemaker. Two are very skittish around us and the third one is our "matriarch", she isn't afraid of anything. Two days later we bring the two docile, friendly ones home. We place them in the cage, having read that they will fight for hierarchy for a couple days. So we put up with squeaking and wet rumps until a week had gone by.

We went out the next day and bought a cage for our two friendly mice and put them in there together. Then over a period of three weeks one got REALLY fat. Not sure why, she wasn't fat until we put her in there and then we thought "maybe it's because of the small cage." So yesterday we cleaned out the big cage thoroughly. To get rid of the original mouse scent and to put them all in there in a "fresh" cage. Sure enough, it went well. They chased each other of course and tried to figure out who was boss.

About a half an hour ago... we found blood all over the cage. Just little splatters. Some along the walls like a tail smeared it there and sure enough, one of the docile mice has a wound on her tail and wound down at the corner of her eye closest to the mouth. We're concerned and not sure what to do seeing as we're first timers at this.

Should we let this go and see how it goes for a few more days? Or should we take the two friendly ones out and put them back in the small cage? We did read up on a website that said to use a spray bottle to condition them to not fight and we have been but seeing as it's just the first day for us, there are no results yet.

Please help us! We love our mice too much to let this kind of fighting happen!
 

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I,m no expert but from experience with our own mice i would be enclined to leave them to sort it out.
Once they have been in together for a while the cage and the girls will all start to smell the same and they should settle down.
keep an eye on them and be prepared to seperate them if they really pitch in to each other, but a bit of squeaking, mock mateing and curseing at each other is to be expected, and that encludes a bit of nipping.
Even groups that have been together for ages can fall out from time to time, usually when thier cages have had a deep clean.
Incidently a small nip on a tail will bleed plenty and usually looks worse than it is, take a look at the behaviour section of the forum and i,m sure it will help.
 

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Are the mice babies or adults.Putting youngsters into large cages encourages wildness and mad rushing about and much squeaking.They learn that they can avoid being handled .It's fine when they are already very tame.Is the fat doe still fat,could some of the blood be a litter that has been eaten?If they are all adults ,removing the mice, cleaning the cage and putting all back at the same time should work.It is very unusual for does to fight to the death.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No litters. No youngsters, from what I can tell. We bought these from a Petsmart, so they're small and look like the actual wild mouse.

We will leave them in there for awhile, we're trying to seperate the one's who start it also into the small cage, to see if that will teach them. But it will take time to see if it works. I just placed the two who usually start things back in the cage, my boyfriend got fed up last night and took them out as a punishment then I put them back in.. so far only a little squeaking but we will have to see.

And yes, I will snoop around the behavior forums! :D
Thanks a lot guys, this was really scaring me to death. I love them all too much :p
 

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Are you certain they're all girls, as well? I used to work at a Petsmart that was supposed to be a 'male store', but that certainly did not mean every animal we got was a male. ;)

Good luck! I hope your meece will work it out and get along!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well that might be a possibility >< But I wouldn't know how to tell, haha! I'm hoping for the best. It seems the spray bottle idea is working, but in a bad way, now she's just afraid of us (the one who picks on the "new" mice)! She used to come right up to us and let us pet her and hold her and now she runs away so I'm regretting the spray bottle idea. :( This is a real bummer. I guess we will have to just sit back and watch and make sure things don't get too out of hand. It kills me though when I hear them screaming at each other and running through the cage causing an uproar! But it doesn't last long, just makes me feel bad for the newbies in the cage.

I might snoop around the forums for a handling idea. See if I can coax her back into liking us again. As well as our others who are skittish. I wonder if it's from being mishandled before?

Oh well, thanks again guys! I will update if anything new happens.
 

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Here are a couple of links to Cait's (Mousebreeder) site. She has some good articles w/ pics on sexing mice.

http://www.fancymice.info/sexing.htm

http://www.fancymice.info/sexingcait.htm

If they are all, indeed, does, I would think things should work themselves out. Some squeeking and chasing about are common, particularly until they get their pecking order situated. If you did, by chance, end up with 2 or more bucks in the group, they will most likely only get more violent with each other as they usually do not live together peacefully after maturing. Even if you ended up with 1 buck, often they will chase the does around to breed and there is a lot of squeeking then, as well. Particularly when the does aren't ready to breed yet and the boys are insistant (at least this is the case with my mice).

As far as winning over the mice and coaxing them to be friendly and unafraid with you, there are quite a few articles in the Behavior section, I do believe. I would definitely discontinue the use of the spray bottle. You might try some 'special' treats so that they associate your hand/you with good stuff. Also, just putting your hand in the cage for a bit and not moving so you don't startle them usually works to get them used to you, also. They will usually come over and have a sniff and start climbing on your hand after they discover it's not threatening. Just a couple of ideas. Usually when mice are very skittish it's a result of little or no handling more often than being mishandled. Particularly in a pet store situation, where they were mass produced at a breeding facility and then shipped off to the pet store. Usually, in this case, they are only handled long enough for a quick peek to sex them.

Good luck!
 

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to get them to trust you again stick ur hand in the cage and leave it there and dont move it- not even when they come close. This could take hours or minutes depending on how scared ur mice are. When they come to you for a sniff, still dont move your hand basically dont move your hand at all not even if they bite you otherwise your doing what they want, you are a threat and they want you to leave, and if they bite and you leave theyll do it again because it gets what they want. When it gets to the point where the mice are happy to come up to you, introduce treats and put one on your hand close to the cage door so they can grab and run and whilst your hand is in the cage, try stroking them. Then gradually put treats further up ur hand till they are happy sitting on your palm. They may run back they may not. Be persistent. Then once they are happy being on your palm and climb up themselves, gently lift your hand then put it back down if they freak out. Talk to them constantly throughout every step in a gentle voice, even if your having a bad day, be gentle and try to muffle your mood as they can sense it. If you carry on lifting your hand up eventually they will be happy with being lifted completely but dont be disappointed if they try to jump off you back in the cage- let them. This has to be done on their terms not yours, after all, they know if you chose to you could eat them like any predator and until they trust you, that will stay in their minds. Just dont push them or they will back off and potentially bite. Once they are happy out of the cage go and watch TV or in an empty bath and let them crawl over you, aslong as they cant fall down the back of the couch let them sit on your shoulder- they may even nibble your hair. Let them but when hair nibbling starts,talk to them and bring them away. Mice cant cough up hairballs. Hope everything goes well and dont forget, positive reinforcement always works better then negative. The latter will always induce fear whilst the positive will make them love you lol :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I will try these handling techniques.

I tried to sex them after inspecting those pictures closely and I'm pretty sure none of mine are male. At least the ones that I could get a good look at. My two skittish ones tend to stay in the far back corner of the cage where I can't get them, but I will watch, even though I'm certain they're female.

We are going to give them a few days without seperating them and see how it goes. We removed the mean one last night and returned her just now and she went straight for the "new" mice and chased them around. Oh well, I have to give it time.

Thanks a lot!
 

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was the mean one in the cage first? She may just be territorial if this is the case. Also, you may have two dominant mice in your group, or the case may be that they are all going for the top stop. Id let them be to sort it out, but I'm also thinking of the buck rule where if they draw blood from each other they are separated for life- not sure if this accounts for does though, but it would make sense. She may be bullying some of the mice and if you do separate her off with a couple of them, you'll find out who shes bullying and if shes okay with anyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
She was in the cage first, but like I said we cleaned it out of all the scent. Scrubbed the walls and floor and what not then placed new bedding down, rearranged their toys and yet they fought. Like mad men. And I guess last night while I was sleeping all three ganged up on one of the new ones (the one who has been bleeding the most) and now she has more wounds on her tail and my boyfriend said she had blood on her back, so he took two out. The one who always bullies and then a second one that only does it if she sees the main one bullying.

How about we do this by name, haha.
Frosty is the meanest one. She will pick out Baby, the one with all the wounds, on purpose. Pepper and Cinnamon were her cage mates before that. We bought those three practically together (the same day, same store) then we bought Baby and Rusty (the nice, docile ones) two days later from a different store.

I don't know what it is. If we take Frosty out, Pepper and Cinnamon leave Baby and Rusty alone. Completely. The occasional squeaking but nothing vicious. I feel like Frosty starts it and the other two (Pepper and Cinnamon) follow suit. It worries me and I feel like we need to get rid of Frosty but she's my boyfriends little baby, haha.
I suppose like everyone has been saying, time will tell.
And I know I don't have any bucks. I finally got the chance to sex them all.
 

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can you not put them in two separate cages? the first three mice in one and the new ones in another. Even if you just put them in a tub for the night (as longs as they can breathe) until you put them into a new cage, will be a lot better for them then being constantly beat up. If they haven't sorted themselves out by now, chances are it wont work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sorry I haven't replied in awhile, I have been busy lately. Applying to a college and what nots, haha. Anyways! We have two seperated right now, boyfriends choice, and the third mean one is now getting along with the other two nice, new mice! I'm assuming they just sorted things out so we are going to put the two mean ones back in there tomorrow morning and let them sort out, though I have one more issue. I'm going to post a new thread in the proper forum, because I don't think it fits here and I want it to be fresh so it gets some attention.
 
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