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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
even though I handled them every other day from a week old, and one was so relaxed last week it fell asleep on my friend's hand. They are now 4 weeks old and just becoming properly independent but really don't want to be caught, so I was passing treats around to the adults in the cage to entice them out and suddenly the little boy shoots out of the nest and nips me and runs off (not a nibble to try if I was edible, a proper nip to the soft pad of my finger) . So I thought perhaps he is going to be like his dad (although early for teenage behaviour, I thought, he is still very small). Five minutes later dad is happily eating from my hand and little sister comes out, sniffs the food, my finger, bites me and runs off. So much for my regular handling from and early age strategy. Why all this nipping? I understand the dominant male defending his territory, I understand a doe wanting me away from her nest with young, but coming up to me specially just to bite me, that's just plain mean! and I had come bearing treats! Anyone else had probs like this before? Perhaps my mice are a mean strain?? They are ever so cute tho....
 

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It happens sometimes, oddly seems to be particular litters. They will grow out of it if you continue to handle them gently. I think there is some genetic effect on the babies temperement so if you get a proper psycho one I wouldn't advise breeding from it. I have bred from a few really grumpy does before and the babies have all been fine, the thing I really watch out for is aggression twoards other mice that seems to have a much stronger basis in genetics.
 

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yeah I find they go through a bit of a stage where they nip you slightly. Grow out of it soon enough though if you persist and are realy gental.

I had one who didn't stop though, didn't breed from him, was a nightmare to feed and he's launch himself at me whenever i tried to! he's passed on now though, he calmed down a lot at the end of his life.

Vi x
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for this! It's good to know it is not an uncommon problem. I have been trying to persevere and it is a lot better now, they do not come for me now, more like trying if I am food but it does not seem aggressive anymore. Old daddy has calmed down as well but I always give him some treat before I start rummaging around the cage, so that his mind will be on other things.
 

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I also have the occassional nippy babies. It seems to come on just near the end or just after the 'popcorn' stage. I've never had one actually draw blood and every one has outgrown it within a week to two weeks with regular handling. Once older you would never guess they have had a 'nippy stage'. Just as friendly and handleable as anyone else. I always attributed it to a defensive thing? Just as the 'popcorning', they just seemed to be nippy at anything that was trying to 'get them' and then outgrew it. I could be way off, but with my guys and it seeming like a stage, I just really thought they were trying to escape predation..... Like I said earlier, there was no evidence of any behavioral or temperamental flaws later on. In fact, after a couple of weeks I don't even remember who the 'nippers' were or not without documenting it as far as color, etc.
 
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