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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry for the disgusting topic title, I didn't know what else to put...

I have recently got two groups of 1:3 mice, some of which were pregnant when I got them, a week or so ago. Three have since given birth, two in one group, one in the other.

In the first group, I only ever found one baby, and one half eaten, then the live baby was gone. Now another doe in that group has given birth last night, and I am worried about her babies. I haven't looked, but I could see the babies from the bottom of the tank when I moved the tank to feed them this morning. I was very careful to do so quietly, and didn't disturb the nest at all.

The female from the second group gave birth 2 days ago. Again, I just looked under the tank yesterday, not disturbing the nests, and could see the babies, which had milk bands. This morning I fed them quietly, and noticed one or two half eaten babies just outside the nest.

Is it normal for this to happen, or am I doing something wrong? The mice are temporarily in large, flat faunariums until I can get to a shop to get stuff to convert 50L RUB's for them. (we are miles from civilisation! :roll: ) They have a couple of 'hides' in each tank, both big enough for all four mice to use at once.

Could the fact the tanks are to small cause them to do this, or the fact both groups have males in them that are not the father to their litters? Could he be doing it? Or might it just be the stress of the move so close to birthing?

Any help or advice is appreciated, if I am doing something wrong, I'd prefer to know. Thanks.
 

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Its a difficult question there ould be many causes, I imagine that a move during the final stages of pregnancy may have stressed the females out. You may have a mouse which will kill its own young, some of them just do and always will. Alternatively it could have been a first time mother which didnt know what to do with the babies other than eat them. The babies may have been stillborn or ill in which case the mothers will naturally remove them from the nest and may kill them. Its not abnormal for mice to eat or abandon a few pinkies out of a litter especially first time mothers.

The other problem may be that because the does came to you pregnant theres no way to tell if they received adequate nutriion during the pregnancy for their bodies to cope with reproduction, the females natural response to this is to eat the pinkies in order to regain the nutrients thier body has lost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thankyou. I do know at least one of the groups of females are not first time mothers, but these are the 'second' group, where some babies are eaten, but the rest remain and are being fed, so as you say, it may be the half eaten ones died and were 'cleared' from the nest. I know they were well looked after, as I know the person I got them from, and she takes very good care of her rodents.

I am currently feeding them on the diet my rats get, which is a home-made mix of 35% rabbit food, 35% grains/cereals, 15% dog kibble, 10% wholewheat pasta and then usually a few extras thrown in like dried banana, a few raisins, ryvita crackers, bird seed. Then in addition I feed some fresh fruit or veg most days. My multi-mammates get the same diet, and seem to thrive on it. It is constantly available to them.

Should I adjust this to suit the mie better? I do give my rats eggfood made with lactol and wet dog food, fish, chicken etc, especially if they are pregnant or nursing. Woudl these be beneficial to the mice? The multis seem to prefer just fruit and veg in addition to their dry mix.
 

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I swear by lactol for nursing and pregnant does (although a limited amount during pregnancy as i believe it can make the babies get too large and cause problems birthing).

It sounds like your mice are doing a good job of looking after the young now so there should be no more cause for concern with some luck. Your diet sounds good, and certainly more varied than my mice get. I have a much higher percentage of oats and cereals and bird seed although I leave out rabbit food. I dont know if a commercially mixed rabbit food would be providing much to the mice I would leave it out and increase the amount of wild bird seed. Although saying that everyone has different diets that they make up themselves, all of them have different componants.

There hasnt been much research into mice diets it is generally assumed they have the same dietary requirements as rats. I based my initial diet on the shunamite diet which was intended for rats although as my collection has increased the financial aspect has restricted their diets down and I havent noticed any difference in health, longevity, growth or reproduction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thankyou, I suppose mine is loosely based on Shunamite.

I'll try them with some lactol then, maybe eggfood soaked in it.

I'll let you know how we get on, hopefully all will be well.
 

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I haven't (That I know of) had any of my litters cannabilised yet.

I try to judge by the size of the doe roughly3 or 4 days before she is going to give birth, and feed her everything she could ever want LOL Millet, mealworms, nice brown stale bread to knaw on, and I always sprinkle Lactol on expentant and nursing mommies food.

Willow xx
 

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Yeah.
My friend and I have bred two does.
One ate her babies and the other didn't, but we treated them exactly the same. I think it's something that is often uncontrollable.
That's too bad though. Terrible to clean up. :[
 

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In my 11 years I've seen just about every variation of 'cuisining' of pinkies. The thing that puzzled me the most was does who started with, say, a half a dozen babies, and reduced the number by one per day until they were gone. I try to do multiple litters so I can foster pinkies that I consider at risk of getting munched with does that have litters the same age and who don't have more than six of their own. I really don't think diet makes a great deal of difference. From what I've heard from other breeders, it is a tendency for this runs in the genes. And, on top of that, I guess pinkies must be pretty darn tasty. Cold to put it like that, but they probably just are.

I've sat by a tank with a doe in the midst of littering and plucked the babies out as soon as they were born and cleaned them up myself and transferred them to moms with very young pinkies of their own. I made a little nest with bedding from the nest area of the tank in which I wanted to foster the pinkies. This helped them to smell like their adopting mom's babies. I realy needed the babies from that litter in order to get the good fawns and reds I currently have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thankyou.

I had a little peek through the bottom of the tanks while feeding again today, and it seems the remaining babies are intact and feeding well as from what I could see, there were milk bands. Hopefully it'll continue that way.
 

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it may just be the ones she ate werent "strong enough" to survive so she was taking them out to save feeding them needlessly, therefore giving ur remaining bubs a better chance x
mice are smarter than we think ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just a small update...

the first groups babies were all still fine last night, second groups babies down to one. :cry: (started with eight!) I was cleaning/moving them into converted RUB's anyway, so decided to move the remaining baby from the second group in with the first group, leaving some of the old bedding in with the babies and making the sure the 'new' one smelled of it.

I had a little peek this morning a and all seemed very well, so fingers crossed! (again!)
 

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my first litter are doing great, but got up this morning and instead of a nice fat pregnant doe i have a very thin doe and no babies :-(

someones munched them in the night and i`m really upset, they were going to be my first longhaired babies too.

:evil:
 

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just checked on the older litter, and theres 4instead of 6.

:evil:
 

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I figure they must awfully dang tasty, as it happens to almost everyone who breeds meeces. It's a little sad to have it happen, and it's hard to know just why.
 

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mice are much more inclined to eat litters than rats,especially young mothers.It's a natural response to a threat, real or not .The idea being that she benefits from her own efforts and not some predator.Try not cleaning the nesting area out for at least 7 days before she litters or the whole cage if you don't mind the pong.
 

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What I tend to do when a doe is due to drop is take out soiled bedding, floor covering etc and replace it, but not totally scrub out the cage, so the bedding is clean, but the cage still has a familiar smell to it. i try and do this when it is obviously the doe will litter in only a day or so, because after the kits have been born, I do not touch the nest for at least a week and only clean out the 'toilet' corner.

Willow xx
 
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