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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, it's becoming apparent that my first 3 litters are on the way. Based on my calendar, I expect they'll arrive around the 15th of the month.

At the moment, I have a buck and 3 does together and up to this point, they've all been getting along just fine, so I haven't seen a need to separate them. I know that I'll need to remove the buck from the home, and I plan to do that in the next couple of days. I've got 2 more does coming in and he's got to *ahem* get to work anyway. ;)

I've noticed that some people let multiple does kindle together, and others separate them, and it seems to be a somewhat divided topic. I'm a bit concerned about my 3 does and not entirely sure which way I should let them go.

The buck and the 3 does came from a high-end pet store. The store is very conscientious about not selling pregnant animals, so the buck was kept alone and the does were quaraintined until the store could assure they weren't pregnant. They're actually a "female only" store, so the buck was slated to go back to their supplier when I asked if I could take him.

The 3 does had been living in the same cage together for almost 4 weeks before I bought them. I don't know if they were living together prior to that, or if they're related in anyway. Based on coloration, I suspect the brown and brown/white are related, but I don't know enough about genetics to know if the orangey-red one could be in that mix or not. Since they've been here with me, they've been living together and whenever they're not eating or playing, I can count on finding them cuddled up sleeping together. They're either a pile in the corner of their house or a pyramid stuffed in a toilet paper tube. They even seem to travel around their house in a little group, like teenagers cruising the mall! :lol:

Based on the information I have, I'm almost positive this will be a first litter for each of these does. With their attachment to each other and the stress of the first litters, I've been wondering if it would be better to move them into a larger home together, with plenty of space for individual nests if they choose but still together, or if I should separate them completely before any of the litters come? I assume their litters will come close together, because I know none of them were pregnant when I bought them and since I introduced the buck to all 3 at the same time, it stands to reason they would have all gotten pregnant at about the same time.

Any input is appreciated, especially the pros and cons of each option.
 

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As long as you don't need to know which babies came from which mother it shouldn't be a problem to leave them together. I've done it before with great success. They help each other. Sometimes you will have a doe that doesn't do well in that situation and she shouldn't be bred from again if that's the case because her daughter will inherit the same issue.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm breeding for feeders, so I don't need to know which babies belong to which Mom's. My primary concern is the health and well-being - physical and psychosocial - of all the mice. Beyond that, it's about volume breeding for me.

I've set up a database to track my breedings, but it's geared more toward breeding to maximize volume over time than about tracking lines. If I can't tell which pups belong to which does in a particular house, I can just average the pups per litter for the information I need.

If it seems that particular doe isn't doing well in the group arrangement, is it safe (or wise) to move her and her nest into their own home?

From my perspective, if the doe is good mother and delivers good size litters, it's no big deal to give her an apartment of her own, and since none of the mice I breed will be leaving here, I can guarantee there's no danger of those kinds of undesirable traits ending up back into the larger gene pool as a result of my breeding.
 
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