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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:D well today i went to collect my new mice, all went ok until they brought out a tiny tupperware type tub complete with a lid with a few holes punched in it, condensation was running down the inside of the tub and the woodshavings were so wet you could wring them out. inside when they opened it up, 10 little faces peeped out at me, well i wasnt leaving them in there, so i took the lot. they were soaked through and werent putting up much of a struggle when we caught them. there was a minimum donation, so we paid £5. i would have felt so guilty leaving them there. now they also had another cage, proper cage, with the male mice in it, and i asked them time and again are these all female, definately, and the lady kept saying yes they are all 100% does. ok, so i figure, take them home, i have another spare tank, a 2foot x 1 foot instead of 3 foot x 1 foot, and i can split the group when they are a little bigger.

:shock: i am getting used to my new little furry buddies, and ive pulled them all out, they are so much more lively, and are constantly on the go with the wheel and toys instead of just burying themselves in the floor. well im looking, and 1 seems to have a bulge, it looks like there is a mickey in with 9 minnies, i did notice that the females are plump, but they have devoured 2 full bowls of food since they arrived. now im thinking i could have a massive problem on my hands. i cant sex them, they are so wriggly and jumpy as they havent been handled, but ive tried and think ive looked at every single one and all the what i think are females have close together bits with no swelling between, then theres 1 brown and white one, who when it sits on the edge of the food bowl, looks to have something hanging, and im pretty sure its testicles, i watched as a second mouse sat there and it didnt seem so bulgy down there even though they were sat the same on the edge of the bowl. should i split him from the group, and if i do will he be ok on his own?
 

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if you don't want to be overun you must remove him as he will mate the does again as soon as they give birth .If you remove him it will mean a solitary life though.Unless you want to breed .
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
nooooo i definately dont wish to breed them, i have nowhere for the babies to go, i have split mickey from the rest, not taking the chances of more pregnancies. ive been checking and re-checking over and over again and all the others seem to be the same, and have no bulges down below. fingers crossed these are all minnies :lol: at least they are all out of that awful plastic box. even if i do end up with millions of babies, if they are pregnant, can they stay together, and at what age will the bucks be able to impregnate sisters and mums? id better get researching mouse sexing! a few of the does are looking very plump, how will i know if they are definately pregnant, and how long are they pregnant for? this was so not what i had planned :roll: this is going to be interesting! would anyone recommend culling the babies as soon as they are born or am i better off letting them grow up and try to find new homes? if culling is a way to go, how would i go about doing so? what a morbid idea :cry: but if i am unable to rehome i have no idea what i can do.
 

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I have replied to your intro post but will reply here too. I think you said you got these mice from the RSPCA? If so you need to let them know what has happened ASAP. They should take any babies back to rehome as it is their fault that they mis-sexed them after you repeatedly asked. It's not hard to sex mice so they are definitely to blame IMO. They also need to re-sex any others they have left there as they're probably going to have a few more surprises otherwise.

As for the does you have, if all 9 are pregnant that is a LOT to cope with for someone who has never bred before, which I don't think you have? It would not be likely that all would survive healthily if you had 9 litters together, so in answer to your question, no, they can't all stay together if they're all pregnant. I'd go for either three groups of three or three groups of two and one group of three. That would give the babies the best chance if you were going to try and raise them all. On the other hand you have mentioned culling, and I don't think that is such a bad idea. After all, the babies *may* or may not be unhealthy or weak because they have not been selectively bred and it does put a strain on the does to raise them (I think these does were too young to mate anyway really?). If all you want is pets then perhaps culling might be best, or at least only raising a couple of the 9 litters.

In answer to some of your other questions, the bucks need to be separated from mum and sisters between four and four and a half weeks old. Sexing is not too difficult, there are lots of photos on the internet that will help you. All I had when I bred my first litter were diagrams and I haven't gone wrong yet :lol: You'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
right, mickey has gone, my friend offered to take him on as she had a spare wire top mouse cage which she used to have a dwarf hamster in, and she liked the little guy so hes now out of the picture which is a relief :)

on to the babies and mums to be, they are even rounder this morning than last night, i swear it, the mums are of different ages but some are very small and look to be about half grown, about half the size of the chunkier mice. all seem to have very much rounded tums. all these mice are related, mickey was from one of the new litters so im guessing hes impregnanted his mum along with any sisters he had, and possibly aunts too if the original does were related too. this cannot be good for the babies. the does are all eating very well, and are putting away 3 bowls of food a day, and are drinking lots too. all seem much happier than they were when in the soaking wet plastic tub at the place we got them from.

i have a spare tank and will split them into 2 groups which is the best i can do for now, should i separate the more rounded mums into one and less rounded into the other or just go for a 5 in the bigger tank 4 in the smaller? also, to make sure of no pregnancies, as in i am looking to rehome a few of these does, how long should i wait to ensure they arent expecting?

i remember when i was much much younger, maybe 7 years old, and my brother had 2 black and white mice from petsmart and one gave birth, was a bit of shock having a mouse named gilbert popping out 7 pinkies one night :eek: anyway, 6 of the babies survived, even with me and my brother lifting the nest, playing with the babies, playing with mum, 1 baby was pushed from the nest from the hour it was born, she just didnt like it for some reason, it died through the first night. its not the first time ive seen mice have babies, but on this scale, when all i wanted to do was rescue a few in need of a new home ( :roll: my soft side is so annoying) if they had been in a clean dry proper cage with ventilation, i would have easily left some there. now i have the prospect of 9 litters-its terrifying :shock:

on to the really awful bit, how do i do the nasty deed with the pinkies, im thinking its best to do it as soon as possible after the birth? ive heard of putting pinkies in the freezer, but im not up for that i dont think, surely thats an awful way to go.
 

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What a terrible experience I really feel for you, its hard enough having to deal with the surplus babeis from litters which have been planned.

I cull pinkies by putting them in the freezer and I find it is very effective and very quick, especially if your able to remove the babies within the first few days, any pinkie older than 4 days and I wouldnt recommend it. Some other breeders say that freezing takes too long and instead use a more physical method which involves a hard throw onto a concrete floor I believe-but I have to say I cant quite bring myself to do that :oops:

The best thign to do is do loads of practicing sexing and getting a really good feel for it, soon you'll be able to sex the pinkies near enough from birth. You'll be able to remove all of the bucks and decide which females to keep. Females are much easier to rehome.
 

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If you're faced with the prospect of 4-5 litters in one cage then I would suggest you cull. That many babies will not thrive if all left together. A mouse's gestation period is three weeks (21 days) so you need to wait at least that long after you removed the buck before you can say they're not pregnant. However with back-to-back litters they can carry the babies a little longer, so it would be safest to wait four weeks from removal of the bucks before pronouncing them not pregnant and safe to rehome.
 

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Not that I am an expert by any stretch of the imagination but have just been through a similar experience though on a much less scale. Got 2 mice that were pregnant from a pet store. If you are stuck for cages/tanks you could always go along to Wilkinsons/Poundstretcher or the like and get a plastic tub for around £5. You dont really need to go to a lot of trouble with mesh and soldering irons etc etc initially. All I did at the start was get a pair of scissors and hold them in the flame on the gas cooker until they got hot and then melt holes in the plastic tub for ventilation....keep going until you have enough holes and voila you have another mouse home. It's not ideal but it certainly worked for me temporarily. Now all my babies are grown up and been sexed and split but I have kept them all. I then did feel the need to invest in a soldering iron and mesh to make more 'better' mouse houses.

Sexing wasn't all that hard for me as the boys grew these enormous testicles around the 3-4 weeks mark and the girls had easy to see nipples but of course I was checking on a daily basis.

So now I have 6 boxes with various mice in and although they aren't living in a luxury dwelling like my other mice they are certainly happy as they have lots of space and lots of toys. Interestingly I bought little cheap plastic houses from Wilkinsons and then decided to use the boxes that they came in as well as houses so they would have more and the little buggers ignore the real houses and use the boxes......in all tanks. They prefer the boxes. Bit like kids at Christmas.

Mine too ate an enormous amount of food which I was shocked (but happy) at. I also gave mine lots of other foods to 'boost' their intake .... like puppy kibble, mealworm, sunflower hearts and of course their total favourite..... cheerios !

Good luck.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thank you so much for all your help, i will keep hold of all of them for at least a month, pick my 5 or 6 favourites and rehome the others.

i will have to cull the babies, ive talked to hubby and we have decided its for the best as trying to rehome them could result in them going to poor homes, or we may even end up mis-sexing and the problem can just contiune to escalate. i definately wouldnt have the heart to throw the pinkies on the floor, so im guessing the freezer is the way to go.i will cull as soon as i see the babies and i will check at least once a day so they wont be any more than a day old. what about drowning in warm water? or is this a worse way to go? cant believe im asking such awful questions :cry:

i am about to go out and get all the stuff i need to set up the 2nd tank so i can split them, no idea where the tank itself is going to go though :? il find somewhere though. thanks for all your help so far its very much appreciated.
 

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Drowning is inhumane, DON'T do that whatever you do. The freezer is very quick, as is head trauma (throwing them on a hard floor) but there are no other recommended methods for pinkies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
ok definately no drowning, it will be the freezer then i think, i dont think i have it in me to throw them at the floor or hit them, id worry i wouldnt manage it first time and make them suffer even more. ive now split the 9 does into 2 tanks, 4 in the 2 foot tank and 5 in the 3 foot tank. they seem much more relaxed and are easier to catch and handle now they are in smaller numbers, they are all cleaned out and are doing laps around their tanks :D and ive never seen 3 mice in a single wheel before, il be buying another couple of wheels asap so they have more to go on and arent barging each other off them. ive still continued checking and re-checking their bits, im sure these are all does. also, as they have managed to clean themselves up properly from the disgusting tub they were kept in, their fur is looking much better, and some seem to have longer fur than others :) was a nice surprise, seems i have brown and white with short silky fur, black and white with short silky fur, brown and white with longer fur and black and white with scruffier longer fur. they are becoming more sociable with handling already, im not so sure i will be rehoming any after all :cool: looks like all 9 are in their forever home!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
:) well im not sure, but i dont think any of the does are pregnant, they seem to have stopped gaining weight, they were all very skinny when we got them, and its been 15 days since we got them away from the buck, how much longer until i can be 100% sure on if there will be any minimice? i have been very careful and checked and re-checked and all 9 are definately does now, so im hoping for zero pregnancies :D
 

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Gestation is normally 21 days, so you need to wait a bit longer. 2 weeks onwards (i.e. now) is when they'd normally start getting fatter rapidly by the day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
well so far so good, still no pinkies, it will be 3 weeks this weekend that the buck came out, and none of the mice looks particularly fat, i have lined up a fantastic new home for 5 of them with a friend who used to have mice and has decided she would like to own some again. they will be going to her on monday evening. im keeping my favourite 4, well im keeping my favourite 1 and my husband and 2 daughters chose their favourites. they are becoming nicely tame now :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
oh and mousebreeder, what is that gorgeous little mouse with the big ears in your pic? ive never seen one like him before :)
 
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