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What could have happened?

1723 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Anubis
Earlier this week I went into the mouse room to do my nightly mouse-keeping activities. One of my cages contains 3 7-week old brothers. When I got to this cage I noticed one of the boys pulled up into a ball all by himself; his brothers were busy running around as normal. This little guy was hard to wake up, very cold to the touch and uncoordinated. I checked him over; he had no signs of injury, no signs of diarrhea or constipation, and his breathing sounded normal. I checked the water bottle in the cage, and it was working fine. I separated the little one into his own cage, gave him some good warm bedding to nest in, and his own pile of food. He started right in on eating. Since he was eating, I figured I'd leave him overnight, but I sort of expected I would need to euthanize him in the morning, he was in such bad shape.
The next day I went in to check on him, and he was completely fine, back to his normal energetic self. Oh, and he gained 9 grams over that night. So I was stumped. But now I'm thinking that perhaps he wasn't getting enough to eat, and with it being so cold right now, his little body couldn't handle things? I've increased everybodies rations just in case. But does that sound reasonable?
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I have seen a young buck mouse go into a corner the same huddled up sleeping but when I have gone in later to check hes been back with the other brothers sleeping in a pile. So sometimes they can go a bit week looking but I have left them alone and they have been fine and I have never lost one.Did you seperate them from mum the right time youngest they could leave is about 3 weeks up to 12 weeks but i seperate before that maybe he got less food off mum to start with.
Your little guy was probably being bullied to stay away from the food bowl. I have a tank with 3 brothers in it also. It's unusual that brothers or males will co-habitat for very long but these boys are strangely docile. I have noticed one of the three has been sleeping on his own in a curled up ball lately. It happened after I put a new mouse house in the cage. I check on him several times a day and he doesn't seem to be loosing condition but I will probably do just as you did and make him his own cage. Maybe I'll give him a girlfriend too, lol.
With males, you could make sure they have more than one food dish and also, two or more drinking bottles, or at least, have the food in different places within the cage/tank set up. That way, they won`t all have to eat in the same area and bicker over it. I`ve heard that american male mice are more aggressive anyway than our males, but I don`t know how true this is. Once you decide to seperate, you won`t be able to put him back or he will be badly injured by the others, so it`s always a good idea to try and resolve these issues before seperating them from their brothers if no actual fighting or bullying is taking place. If fighting and drawing blood does happen, seperate immediately. Altough it`s not always easy to determine who to seperate. The bully or the one being bullied. Sometimes pairing males up is a good idea as one usually becomes subordinate to the other anyway. Not always, but it`s a theory.
I separate my litters at 4 weeks old usually; these guys weren't an exception. I don't normally keep more than one boy out of any litter, but my last two litters were so hard to decide who to keep, I ended up keeping more. I am planning on separating all the boys from eachother, but need more cages. :?

I'm betting that be wasn't getting his fair share of food, for whatever reason. Keeping food in more than one location is a good idea, though I'll have to redesign the cages if I want to put in more than one water bottle. Though that may be the way to go if I decide to co tinue keeping multiple boys out of each litter.
It should help Paziqi. Males can be fiddly where territory is concerned, so managing their `space` helps them to co-habit. Adding another food dish and water bottle gives them the choice. I`ve seen males squabble over things, so making these little adjustments do help.
It's not at all unusual for the males in group cages to select one of them to pick on. It can be fatal, as the harassment doesn't leave any visible signs of injury; in fact, it can cause heart failure from the stress. It's often just one bully trying to be dominant, and I routinely remove boys that do this kind of thing.
Don't use food dishes at all with males in a group... put the food on the substrate, but don't put it in a pile, sprinkle in a line, like its in an imaginary trough.
They will line up to eat and have nothing to fight over.
That`s a good idea WillowDragon. Scatter feeding can also be done.
Scatter feeding helped with mine and so did using hanging food bowls as beds (I think they are the bird feeder/ coop bowls?) - it's rather cute seeing 6 boys squished into one tiny bowl to sleep :lol: I ended up having 3 water bottles for them though at varying parts of the cage.
i have a few cages of male mice living harmoniously except when i do cage cleaning :lol: i suppose its a "new" smell/territory (i also differ the arrangement of the house/toys etc...) they have a bit of a scuffle, nothing too serious and it usually lasts only seconds, most of the time i am lucky and have a couple of litters to wean at the same time, i put all the bucks together and all the does together, i have never had a problem (and the young age to introduce them is best of course)
i can't bring myself to cull yet although i will look at it in the near future, i have too many males and love the appearance of all of them :love1
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