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Striped mice for mousebreeder

3805 Views 22 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Velvet_Meece
Some info on striped mice, though i haven't really done records when its comes to times and ages so can't say exactly.

I got my trio when they were about half grown, from what i can imagine about 6-7 weeks old, it was a sudden arrangement and i didn't have a lot of time to find out much about them.

I got a small glass tank together, less than 2ft in length for temporary, wood shavings in the bottom, a cave to hide in and a pile of hay up one corner...

...I had read on the net that striped mice will not use hides, they much prefere a pile of hay in which they will build a nest from, which sure enough this is what they did and the cave remained unused.
I provided mine with the same diet as my fancy mice, a meusli, but i also provided millet spray which they love! Striped mice also like their fresh foods, apple, orange, carrot, pear amongst others, i was told previously that the breeder never provided water and just chucked orange in every few days. But to me this wasn't right, so mine have a water bowl which they love to chuck food in and make it one big mushy soup. They don't drink much though and in return don't produce much urine.
I have found once breeding their appetite increases considerably and you soon find each mouse eating up to 15-20grams each per night!

I had an incident at one stage where our gerbils aquired mites, they infested the bag of hay i was using at the time and had to be discarded. After time the striped mice had eaten their hay (aka their bed). During this time they moved into the cave i had provided previously.

After the mites were sorted i bought more hay, i put a big pile in, but the striped mice had decided the cave was their new home! The male likes in particular to stand on top of this new home, almost like a sentry!

As for chewing, i haven't found them to be great chewers, i provided cardboard but they nibbled round the edges at most, they seemed to like destroying their plastic food bowl though!

I had 1 male and 2 females... ...I had read on the net that striped mice aren't incredibly tolerant of oneanother, and its not unusual for scrapping to go on, regardless of sex, just more than one mouse. Personally i've not had a single problem! absolutly no sign of aggression or stress, they all get on great! Although males are less tolerant of eachother, apparently the adult male will chase the younger males off as they reach maturity which makes housing them together very difficult. But i have not housed multiple mature males together as of yet so i couldn't say for sure, but i should imagine with enough space and hides and no contact with females and you shouldn't really have a problem housing a few together...

Its not hard to imagine these mice are very fast and can jump 2ft straight up. So its wise to be on guard when feeding and cleaning. The tank i have mine in i chose because it has a sliding glass panel on the top in the middle, so when i need to go in the tank, when the panel slides out theres still what i can only describe as a mesh boarder still on top, so mice jumping up the sides aren't going anywhere, when i remove young, i tend to just slide the lid off half way, so theres only a small gap for me to reach in, as babies are like ping pong balls, and extremely fast. I've personally not had a prob with my adult, i was very wary to begin with, they are very slender and light, and quite obviously the greyhounds of the mouse world. But as i got to know them i realised they aren't so skittish, they've never ran or jumped when i've gone in the tank or near, and now the male even will sit out when i feed and at times i've had to push him out the bowl when i'm trying to remove it! :)

I had had my stripes for about 5 months when i was giving up on hope of babies, i thought oh well, they are nice animals so it doesn't matter, until i went to do a full clean one day, liften up the hide and found 3 weaned young and 3 pinkies (humbugs)!! was a shock, never knew they were there. The average size for a litter is 3, sometimes 2 and on the odd occasion 4. I'm not sure how long gestation is, with such a small litter the females hide pregnancy extremely well. The babies are born very much like a fancy mouse babies with the addition of pattern, they are born the same colour as the parents, brown with those stunning stripes, very much like a chipmunk. I haven't observed it in depth, but it seems weaning isn't a lengthy period, maybe about 2 weeks, but i don't check mine everyday so i can't know what day babies were born etc...

I tend to remove my young when i see them start to eat solids, its hard to explain but without knowing the age you can just tell by looking at them when they are ready, their all in proportion as opposed to having oversized feet or flat ears etc, sure you know what i mean! You'll know if you've taken them out too early, as when you seperate them from mum they will give of this squeal, almost sounds like a baby bird chirping away, i did this the first time i had babies and i could hear one chirping in the loft from my lounge! very loud so i put them back in with the mother and left them for a further week, then removed again, this time silent and more settled!

During breeding i haven't seen any change in behaviour from the parents, they still get along fine, considering my tank i admit is smaller than it should be (i'm awaiting a similar design in a larger size) only difference is the male tends to spend more time out of the cave in his own made hay nest, but the mothers do not argue if he wants to go into the cave with them and the babies. The females are showing a bit of aggression, i wear gloves when i remove young, one to prevent myself getting bitten, and two to prevent rubbing my own smell on the babies and risking rejection if they're still too young to be seperated, and the females have on occasion attacked my glove, very breifly and then backed away. what they tend to do i have noticed is as soon as you lift the hide up, they bury the young and then flee, almost to fool you theres nothing there and they have no reason to be there either, and its caused me to mis-count babies on occasions!

errmm... is there anything i have missed?

I'm not sure what they're life span is, They're very easy to sex and i haven't provided climbing stuff so not sure if they enjoy that, though i have seen them climb the millet so its possible they do.
They are quite large, females moreso than males it appears unless i have a small boy, my girls are quite a bit bigger than the fancy mice, about 11cm not including the tail and the male about 9cm, though he was bigger when younger.
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MouseBreeder said:
Thanks for writing all that, it's very interesting to find out your experiences with them. So what sort of size tank is about right for a pair and do you leave them together all the time or do you separate them like fancies? Also if you do leave them together how often do they have litters? Finally, when you do have to handle them, for example to move them or sex the babies, can you pick them up by the tail - I think I heard that they can shed their tails like gerbils?
Like i say my tank is too small for the trio really, i think you could keep a trio in a 2ft tank ok, but obviously the more room the better and i'd say 1ft per mouse of space is a good scale.

I leave mine together, i don't think theres chance of them becoming overwhelmed when theres 3 babies to a litter and 2 females to care for them, they certainly don't look any worse for wear and i'm not sure how they'd react if i took the male out and tried to reintroduce him, as i know you can't add adults to a colony once they are established.

When mine first started breeding, one female gave birth and a week later the other one did, when i took the first lot of babies out after i think 3 weeks the first female dropped again straight away, however after the 5th lot of babies theres nothing at all in there now, i will monitor to see if one drops again soon.

I'm not sure if they can shed their tails.
I only handle to remove young from the main tank and at the same time sex them, i have only once picked one up by its tail, or should i say caught it as it tried to scarper, usually i scruff the young ones and with adults if i have to handle i wear gloves and scoop them with both hands or put my hand over them and pick them up being sure i have a good hold but not too tight. They generally freeze, but if you miss your chance at grabbing them sometimes they do 'ping'.
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and if anyone else wants some i still have 4 or 5 mature males and 4 unsexed young (can be sexed on request) available! :love1
I would just leave them in the box Leigh, don't attempt to take the lid off as they really are like ping pong balls, and it wouldn't take much for them to disappear :roll:

I'll put plenty of food in for them, they don't drink an awful lot and have never used a bottle before anyway so they may not drink at all if they don't know how to use it in transit...

I'll put some hay in for them too, so they have something to bury in and also nibble on :)
My female striped mice are quite a bit bigger than my spiny mice, the male is about the same size, but i'd never be able to handle them, they're much to skittish, and because the females have babies i'd likely to get bitten going near them!

the male is tamer than the girls though, sometimes i have to tip him out of the food bowl before i can fill it, but more than not he goes and sits up one corner when i take the lid off the tank :)
I think it all depends on the group they are in, like with most animals, even up to dogs and cats, if other animals are nervous around them, it will make them nervous too.

Multi's can be just as hard to tame, but i have found when i've had a mouse colony raise a multi's baby, that baby is much tamer as mice are so relaxed around humans, the multi can see that they aren't worried about my presence and therefore doesn't feel threatened around me either, shes the most curious, docile multi i own because she sees when i feed or handle my mice that they aren't afraid and take no notice of me...

If it were possible or totally necessary that a striped mouse had to be put with a surrogate family in a similar situation as that multi, it would interesting to see what would become of it, however i've not known in any situation for that needing to happen, so i guess its not known as of yet to what extent a striped mouse can be tamed...

But as said above, i don't think it will ever come to the point where a striped mouse would enjoy being handled or want to be picked up, you could probably tame it enough to stroke it or have it take treats from you though, i can see that being done without any other change as they aren't so nervous they disappear when you enter the room like some wilder individuals would be!
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I am not aware of any yet, i have 4 young that are ready to come out, i'll sex them as i do and let you know :) one of the females was looking rather pregnant last week too and has mysteriously disappeared into her hide so my guess is there may be more young in the nest too!
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