Introducing Mice

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Introducing Mice Empty Introducing Mice

Post by Sparrow on Thu 15 Nov 2018, 3:39 am

I'm really sorry for posing so much, I would just like to make sure that I am doing everything right, especially with my girls starting to show dominance behavior and yesterday I noticed Foxy overgrooming Stella!

After I found out that Foxy culled her entire litter, I contacted a person who I know breeds mice to buy another girl or two to add to my females. My fiance bought the mice on the 24th of October and they have been staying at my mothers in law house to quarantine them, and my fiance have been visiting them every day to tame them and make sure that they are all okay. They have been to the vet to get checked over to make sure that they are healthy and have no mites. Today I found out that instead of getting two mice, he got three. He misheard me and I had no idea since I have been too busy with work, my four year old daughter and all the other animals, to travel to my mothers in law house to see them for myself.

I am eager to introduce them to my girls even today as I do not want Foxy to hurt Stella with the dominance behavior, but I am worried about any possible fights breaking out and how to introduce three mice to my original two. I bought a new 20 gallon tank, I don't know if it would be enough to house five mice? I got new toys and a new saucer, I build some toys too, so there would be no scent in the cage whatsoever from any mouse. I got the bathtub ready, lined with a blanket and placed some of the new toys in there.

I am planning on leaving the mice in the bathtub for an hour or two and than place them in the new tank, I'm not going to work today so I can keep an eye on them. Is there anything in particular I should look out for when introducing the girls and is there anything in particular that I need to do?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Post by Squidly on Thu 15 Nov 2018, 6:09 am

It sounds like you are doing things right, and according to the cage calculator on the forums 20 gallons should be okay for 5 mice, but probably not more.

I recently introduced 2 to 2 for the first time and I freaked out a bit. The people here reassured me that fights are NORMAL and they NEED to happen so that the mice can work out their hierarchy. Mine were doing a lot of squealing and squabbling the first two days, and it sounded terrible but there was never blood. I had to just let them use their words and chase each other and let them work it out. Now, 5 days later, they are all sleeping together in a little nest.

For the the first 3-4 days I made sure there were plenty of spaces for the mice to find some breathing room when they needed a break. The new girls started sleeping in a covered hammock at the top of the cage. Once I realized the fighting and squabbles were much less, I did another cage cleaning and took away the hammocks and all nesting materials, and left only 2 nesting hides side by side. Now all 4 are snuggled up together in the same nest, so I would call that a success! They had to work things out first, though, and it was noisy and scary but necessary.
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Post by Sparrow on Thu 15 Nov 2018, 9:29 am

Two hours in the bathtub have passed and about 20 minutes in the tank. There was only a little bit of squeaking for the first half an hour and then all started to play together and seemed to have no issues. Foxy was very open to playing with two of the new girls, Juno and Ruby, and Stella was too shy to properly interact with the new girls. Iris, the third new girl was just doing her own thing half the time.

One thing that did worry me was that Juno started mounting Foxy at the start and than tried to mount Stella. Foxy was squeaking very loudly and Juno stopped. I checked for myself if all the newcomers are girls and surely enough, they all are, and that was also confirmed by the vet the very first time they were brought for a general checkup.

So why was Juno humping my girls?
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Post by Squidly on Thu 15 Nov 2018, 9:35 am

It's most likely dominant behavior. And just something some animals do. Even though there are no mates they still have natural instincts that can't be fulfilled.
Sounds like things are going well!
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Post by chiroptera on Mon 19 Nov 2018, 12:09 pm

@Sparrow Everything you're doing checks out! Very Happy It seems your girls are all doing well together, which is great! If you do hear squabbling, it happens (even with girls that have been together for months, still happens!); so long as there's no blood drawn and everyone is able to get food and water, let them do their thing.

Mounting is a natural dominance behavior, and doesn't mean that the mouse is a male. It's nothing to worry about, especially if a vet has assured that the mouse is female!

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