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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so she is a first time breeder, but a very loving mouse overall. She comes right up into my hand when I put it in the cage(before babies), has only gently nibbled me twice because she wanted me to move, and I thought she'd be a good mom. :| Well, she had 11 babies the other day...about a week ago and she has eaten three as of right now. She ate one on the third day, then one disappeared without me knowing(possibly at night sometime the fifth day) and -just- now she ate another one. I am wondering if it's for the better of the group or something...or possibly she doesn't have enough milk for them all? The one she ate just now she dragged out of the nest, left it hurt and bleeding outside and then came back to eat it after I quickly put it out of it's misery.

I grabbed it when she walked away because I couldn't stand that it was still alive, but then I had to give it back to her TO EAT because she went after another in the nest when I took that one away(which looked smaller than the other's). So I am wondering if maybe she is killing off runts or lessening the numbers to ensure survival? She is not freaking out with me by the cage checking on them at least twice a day(waited three after birth) and even takes food from my hand(a little yogurt drop at night)...so I don't think it's -me- causing it and she starts eating them when I am not around(near the cage) anyway. Anyone have some opinions or comments?

She is currently taking care of them though, feeding and warming them all...there is plenty of food and water available so that is something else that should -not- be a problem.
 

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I had 3 first time moms who ate their first litters .... some of the next litters. They now take care of them ... 2 of them had 11 babies combined, all are now running around the cage. Another just gave birth to 4 (maybe 5, haven't got a good count).

They first had them in separate areas but put them together & both nursed them.

Maybe she just needs time to learn what they are & take care of them. I don't know much about this as I've just started but from my short experience I'd say give her at least 3 litters to figure it out.

I may be wrong ... this is just what I've seen in the very few months I've had mice.

It also seems to me that babies that are left with the mother who has another litter seem to take care of their first litters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmm, yea I haven't had mice that long either...probably a few months as well, but this is just kinda weird...I am wondering why she is slowly picking them off instead of just being done with it all at once if she is going to eat them and she IS carrying for them which is weird. Again, I think she is just possibly bringing the numbers down since it's her first time? When she tries to feed them they chirp and squeak the whole time as they fight for food and a few were looking as though they were getting 'left behind' in the growing....soooo I am wondering if they do cull for that reason and if that -might- be what this is??

Does anyone think at least a FEW will live...she has one that is getting some white and black markings which I really already -love-..I would hate for it to die. Btw, since there are now only 8 of 11 they haven't been squeaking as much or fighting for food.
 

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Some first times mums and a few mums that have had litters before do eat their litters, I think from what I have read on here from other breeders it can be a number of things, 1, They dont know what to do and are a bit freaked out by this whole thing 2, there is something wrong with the babies. I havent heard mice killing babies because they have too many. I for one have never had this problem and all the does I have bred from have been first timers. Mice can feed upto 10 babies but often have more. I'm sure some more experienced breeders will be able to shed more light on the matter for you :)
 

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I'll be honest - she doesn't sound like a great mother. Usually (as you guessed) if they are going to kill any they will do it early on and in one go. It is unusual for them to disappear one by one especially when they're a week old (that's old for the mother to kill them unless there's something wrong with them all of a sudden). I would wonder if the babies are healthy? It's usually advised to give does two attempts at motherhood before you decide they are bad mothers though, but that decision is up to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmm, yea ok...would probably try one more time with her at least and then see what happens...but I knew that sounded odd and was weird for her to be just slowly taking one every so often and eating it. though, like I said...they ones she did get were the smallest of the bunch and they all look kinda smaller in general compared to my last bunch from another mom, so it is possible maybe some were unhealthy or going to be runts and end up not making it as it is. I just hate it though, it's so upsetting and disappointing if there is no reason to be killing the poor things.

Thank you for your opinions on the matter, I'll possibly give her another go in the future and that'll be it if this continues.
 

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I haven't bred mice yet (I'm looking forward to my first litter in a month or so) but I used to breed rats and I gave the mothers a lot of chicken and cat food in the first couple of weeks to keep their protein level up and they never ate any kittens, so if she's not getting any meat perhaps that's the problem?

Sarah xxx
 

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I did have one do that as well .... only it wasn't her litter but she was caring for them (nursing them etc.). She'd eat one every night for about 3 days .... I removed her & the rest were fine. Of course, it was easy for me to remove her as she wasn't the birth mother.
 

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Mice are omnivorous, so in the wild they'd eat things like insects. You can give meat although breeders don't as we use things like dry dog food for animal proteins etc. due to volume (imagine removing the leftovers from 50+ cages) and cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oh, wow....yea I guess whatever happens just happens *sigh* and it may be possible they WERE under fed or unwell...I couldn't say for sure, but I knew ONE of them she ate was the runt of the group and looked a lot smaller than the others....currently there are now only 7 of the 11 born. I hope at least a couple make it since I already have a favorite of the group who thankfully is still seeming to be ok!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yea, I am! *crosses them* Also i have done what a few suggested and I've uped her protien intake a little, i think she was maybe not getting enough as well as when she was pregnany(which might be why some babies are unhealthy) :?
 
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