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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello! i need a little bit of help...
as mentioned in a previous post, I have 4 female mice (A, B, C, and D), and one male mouse (Z).
A, and B are in one tank, C is in one tank, and D is in another tank. Z is in a wire cage.
About twenty-some days ago A, B, and C mated with Z. last week i cleaned their tanks and noticed them building nest both in their nesting boxes and out in the open.
on 5/19/10 mouse C had 9 pups inside her cardbord nesting box (pics are here viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3500)
yesterday, 5/22/10 i woke up and saw 21 pups in the corner of the tank with mouse A on top of them nursing. mouse B was eating and drinking looking thinner than how she looked before, mouse A however was still chunky.
i noticed throught the day that both mouse A and mouse B would alternate taking care of the pups, licking them, feeding them, keeping them warm. then both would be doing so at the same time. i'm still confused as to whether the pups are combined from both mouse A and mouse B or only from mouse B.
last night i could hear pups sqeaking, it wasn't coming from the tank with mouse C and pups, but it also wasn't the 21 pups in the middle of the tank, it was coming from the other side of that same tank and you could hear cardboard rustling.
this morning i checked up on them and they all seemed fine. mouse A is now skinny (still only see 21 pups) and whithin 30 minutes of me checking them, mouse A moved the pups to the cardboard box where i heard the sqeaking last night.
my thoughts are that perhaps the 21 pups are from mouse B, and mouse A delivered last night and they simply moved the 21 pups from mouse B to the box where mouse A delivered so they can nurse all pups together in private.
That being said, i've been keeping a close eye on them and it's been about 7 hours and the mom(s) have yet to return to the nest. mouse A has burrowed like crazy and sealed off the door to the box where the pups are. both mouse A and mouse B are simply hanging out in the tank eating, sleeping, climbing, running in their tubes as if nothing happened. is it posible that they may have just abandoned their pups? i can still hear them squeaking so it seems they're fine but i'm worried they won't be nursed and may die. i know if they didn't want them, they'd kill/eat them. could i just be worrying to much or is this possible? i want to check in the box but also want to wait 'till day 4 (today is day 2) i also want to clean out both tanks.
would it be okay to take the moms out and place them seperately, then keep the pups in their cardboard box while i clean the tank? i'd then return the cardboard box with the pups inside, add all the basics then put the moms in. is this a good idea? if not what would be the best way to clean their tanks? it's vital to do so, the tank with mouse A and mouse B is a horrible mess! plus tank with mouse C is covered in poop!
any help is greatly appreciated!!!
 

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I wait until the babies have their eyes open before I clean cages. However, I handle my babies from the time they are 24 hours old. I've only had one experience like you are describing, where the mother buries the babies, but she literally buried them under the bedding. Needless to say, they didn't make it out. I gave her a second chance at being a mommy before I left her go, and she is doing great this time. She raised 10 healthy babies. I have noticed though that a lot of my does do block off the entrance to the babies (they get the castle-type plastic houses). I don't think it would hurt to look at the babies and make sure they are being fed and have little bellies full of milk, especially if ypur does are tame enough and trust you enough to handle them.
 

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Lots of mice hide the entrance to their nest, it's an instinct to protect them from predators and even the weather. It doesn't sound like they've been abandoned. If you are desperate to look and can do so without disturbing the nest/bedding then remove the does to a spare cage where they can't see what you're doing and take a brief look. Don't keep the does away for more than a few minutes though, since it's the first time you've done this and all you're doing is checking the babies are being fed. I wouldn't clean the cage at this point since your does are not used to you disturbing them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for the replies!
a few hours after i posted, both moms went into the cardobard box. they stayed in there approx 27 minutes then came out.
as mouse A was exiting the box, the little runt pup, (which she previously forgot out in the open in the where they were born and i had to pick him up and put him in the door opening of the box) was still attached to her nipple. she walked about maybe 6 inches from the box, the runt let go (and it's belly was nice and milky) then she returned him to the box and covered it back up. at least i know she didn't reject the lil runt after i moved him.
since then both moms are still switching back and fourth, they've been eating alot! i've had to refil the mouse bowl twice! it's good tho, right!?
i also took a look at the pups from mouse C and they're gorgeous! (i'll post pics on friday, it'll be day 10 for them)
took a chance to spot clean a bit and replace a bit of soiled bedding in all cages. mice seem pretty happy, except my male Z. he passed away :-( hopefully mouse D was able to get preg from 5/22 when they mated. i've been looking forward to breeding my male with mouse D. i wonder why he died, he was doing great and was healthy.
if she's not preg looks like i'm going to have to wait until the current pups are mature so i can find a good male for her.
again, thanks for the help!
 
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