Male on Male Mating? Please help!

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Post by pokemonsz on Mon 05 Feb 2018, 7:13 am

Hello, I got my two Fancy Mice from Petsmart about a month ago and they were advertised as male. The white and gray one, Benji, is larger and the "alpha" and occasionally starts fights. They seemed to have gotten a lot better, but yesterday I witnessed an agressive attack by Benji onto Dedenne (golden) and it appeared that he mounted Dedenne, and then suddenly there was a lot of blood. Benji is contantly smelling Dedenne's genitals and now seems to try to mount Dedenne every time I put him back in the cage. I was very sure that Dedenne was male but I'm unsure now because there has always been a size difference (I thought Dedenne was just smaller)

Please help me confirm they are both male? And if so, can I stop Benji from trying to mate with Dedenne?   Crying or Very sad

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I am certain Benji is male because his testicles are very obvious.
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I've separated them for now, but I don't have permanent accommodations for the two apart.
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Post by CallaLily on Mon 05 Feb 2018, 9:38 am

They are both male and should not be housed together.  Very, very rarely can even sibling male mice live together once mature. They will fight and since they can't get away from each other, this very often leads to serious injury and even death. Please keep them separate.  Try looking on second hand sites for good prices on used aquariums or cages. Or if you're in the U.S., Petco or Petsmart occasionally have dollar per gallon sales on aquariums.  Usually limited to 10, 20, 29, and sometimes 40 gallon tanks.

Males Living Together *Warning Graphic Photos*

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Post by stephlisa on Mon 05 Feb 2018, 10:21 am

Hiya,
I agree, both males! As you've got this aggressive behaviour please don't keep them together! Only in very exceptional circumstances can you keep males together. In the wild they will naturally fight and defend their own terrority and group of females.
They will both be very happy in their own 10 gallon tanks.

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Post by pokemonsz on Mon 05 Feb 2018, 10:27 am

@CallaLily and @stephlisa

Thanks for the very quick response. I'm very saddened to hear this, as this is the first violent fight in the whole month since I got them and the rest of the time they seem to get along well (Cleaning eachother, sleeping together, etc.) And strangely, Benji has never bitten or scratched Dedenne, rather just this time seemingly hurting him by ways of attempted copulation.

I really wish Petsmart would warn people about housing males together, as I believed that having two mice was better for them than having one alone but didn't realize they'd need to be female (If I'd known, I would have only gotten one due to my living situation).

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Post by Blessed on Mon 05 Feb 2018, 10:44 am

Hello, Pokemonsz. Welcome to PMF! Cheer Sorry to hear that your boys aren't getting along, but I wanted to say...they're beautiful lil' guys! Heart

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Post by stephlisa on Mon 05 Feb 2018, 11:10 am

@pokemonsz Unfortunately although males will get along for some of the time and appear to be very cute and loving, they can very suddenly turn aggressive, sometimes to the point of death. You go to bed one night and say good night to them as they snuggle together then next morning you've woken up and one has killed the other. I'm sorry that you cannot keep them together, but you did the right thing separating them.
I have kept two males together BUT they were siblings from the same litter and in the UK our pet mice have been bred to reduce the aggression and in a large cage (they bickered a lot in a cage that was a similar size to a 10 gallon tank, but were perfect angels in a much bigger cage). However, I had to be constantly on the look out for problematic behaviours that could be leading up to a fight - if you've not kept mice before it could be that you missed some of these.

Unfortunately, pet stores don't always have the best knowledge of the pets they sell, particularly mice in the US as they are often sold to be used to feed a predator. Fortunately for me, we have more stringent rules on this here in the UK, but it still saddens me. As far as I know, pet store mice (feeders especially) aren't bred with temperament in mind, just numbers and profit.

Have you kept mice before?
How big is the cage or tank do you have them in?
It may be possible that if you have a large enough cage/tank you could split it into two sections so they can't get to each other (a very solid wall would be good) although it would likely still make them territorial as they would be able to smell each other. Each section would have to be at least the size of a 10 gallon tank though.

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Post by Rodents rock! on Mon 05 Feb 2018, 7:27 pm

Unfortunately, pet shops give out incorrect information often. It's very sad really. You would think there would be some basic training for their employees. But that just doesn't seem to be the case. I hope you will be able to keep them both in separate tanks. You could also make a bin cage as they are a lot less expensive than tanks. Wishing you the best, keep us posted on what you decide to do.
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Post by CallaLily on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 6:26 am

Pet shops almost always get care advice wrong with many pets they sell.  I'm sure it doesn't help that there are some cases where it might work out, so people take that and think it applies to all.  Well-bred male mice in the UK for example, that have been selectively bred for less aggression over many many generations (and it's my understanding that even with that there are still times it doesn't work out once the boys mature!)  But that doesn't seem to be the case with lines bred here in the U.S. and especially not poorly bred pet shop stock that are only bred for profit and maybe pretty colors - not for health or behavior.  Also I find people often make the mistake of viewing mice as tiny rats -which they are not- and therefore think even males will enjoy a same sex friend.  Neutering doesn't even allow for most males to live together without bloodshed. It could allow for one boy to live with a group of girls, but since the surgery is not without risk, it's often only done in special cases.

I'm sorry you're finding this out the hard way. I hope you're able to get another tank or perhaps securely divide the one you have of its large enough. Smile EDIT or yes a bin cage like Rodents Rock suggests! They are very cheap, lightweight, and easy to make. I think there is a thread around here somewhere with instructions....

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Post by pokemonsz on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 8:30 am

Thanks for all the help, everyone Ear wiggle I think I'm going to make a bin cage and move one into that.

Question though, I have a larger bin with furniture and mouse-stuff in it I let them play in everyday, can I let them play together with monitoring? Or will separation make them hate eachother whenever they come together?

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Post by stephlisa on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 8:56 am

I would avoid letting them play together in the play-bin. It will confuse them more and could cause even more problems.
A bin cage sounds like a great idea - good luck making it, if you look around in the Housing section on the forum you should be able to find an instruction page!
I'm glad you're able to work out a solution that works for you and I'm sorry you had to find out about this the hard way!

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Post by CinnamonPearl on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 9:53 am

Definitely do not give them playdates together. Don't worry, so long as you give them both attention, your boys won't get lonely. In the wild, male mice either live with a harem of females, or they live alone. So just give them plenty of playtime and they'll both be emotionally sound.

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Post by CallaLily on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 2:31 pm

I agree with Stephlisa and Cinnamon on skipping the play dates. BTW, your signature is really cute!

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Celyn, Rina, Seren, Hazel, Arsinoe, Tilda, & Eulyn

Gerbils: Oghren & Merin / Jeffrey, Geoffrey, & Jeffri /
Hamlet & Horatio / Emrys, Cream, & Hershey / 
Bill & Frances   Hearts  Hamster: Daydream
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