My mice are NOT getting along. Please reply ASAP

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My mice are NOT getting along. Please reply ASAP

Post by mousymom191 on Tue 08 Jan 2019, 5:44 am

Hi, I have 3 female mice and two of them are smaller compared to the other one. The bigger one has been chasing the other two and I just witnessed the big one vibrate her tail before attacking a small one. Should I remove the big one from the cage? Keep in mind I just got them so I dont't really know how to do that so honestly, I don't know what to do. PLEASE HELP.

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Re: My mice are NOT getting along. Please reply ASAP

Post by Peachy on Tue 08 Jan 2019, 10:35 am

Size can sometimes be a factor in how mice get along with each other. The tail rattling is a warning that she’s feeling threatened or irritated. It’s normal and we don’t usually recommended separating unless blood is drawn or someone is being kept away from food and water and the nest.
If you notice blood or any more extreme bullying, pluck the bully out and put her in a time out tank for a few days. This will make her more appreciative of friends, give everyone an opportunity to calm down, and give you some time to get everyone as tame as possible. Tame mice often do much better in introductions.

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Re: My mice are NOT getting along. Please reply ASAP

Post by mousymom191 on Tue 08 Jan 2019, 9:13 pm

@Peachy wrote:Size can sometimes be a factor in how mice get along with each other. The tail rattling is a warning that she’s feeling threatened or irritated. It’s normal and we don’t usually recommended separating unless blood is drawn or someone is being kept away from food and water and the nest.
If you notice blood or any more extreme bullying, pluck the bully out and put her in a time out tank for a few days. This will make her more appreciative of friends, give everyone an opportunity to calm down, and give you some time to get everyone as tame as possible. Tame mice often do much better in introductions.
Sorry about the constant worrying and questions... I'm very new to this. One of my mice have been sitting/resting on their rope bridge that hangs over the cage for about 20 minutes now and she's never really done this. Do you think it's to get away from the aggressive mouse? Also, is there a reason for why my one mouse may be so ruthless on the others? The "bullying" just doesn't seem to be getting better... lots of wrestling, loud squeaks... etc. The only positive now is that they still sleep together.
So... basically here are my questions:
1) Why is my smaller mouse perching/resting on the bridge for a long amount of time?
2) Why is my bigger mouse bullying so much?
3) What is usual for female mouse disagreements?
4) When should I expect this is stop?
5) I heard taking out the bully for a few days will actually make it worse... does this have any merit?

It's just hard to see my mice being picked on constantly (just happened while I'm typing this) and I just want to know as much info about this as possible to make me feel better about it. Worry

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Re: My mice are NOT getting along. Please reply ASAP

Post by Peachy on Wed 09 Jan 2019, 1:56 pm

How long have you had these mice and how long has the bully been bullying? It can take a couple weeks for everything to settle down after you've brought them home. How big is your enclosure? If it's too large it can make the alpha feel more out of control OR cause your mice to split, which would contribute to the fighting. It’s impossible to say why the mouse is sitting in her bridge, just keep an eye on her to see if she returns to the nest and gets food and water.

You don’t want to constantly be removing and reintroducing, this CAN cause more problems than it solves. But giving her a time out can help her learn that she actually enjoys having friends. This might take more than a few days and you may have to push it to a couple weeks. This has solved problems for many colonies!

Arguing is normal, some mice do it more than others. Mounting, chasing, squeaking, slapping is all normal behaviors and basically just the mouse’s way of telling her friends that their doing something she doesn’t like. Mice live in hierarchies and it’s necessary for them to sort out who’s who. When mice lock into a little rolling, fighting ball it’s more than a disagreement and is what usually causes injuries. If you see this it’s ok to separate. If you’re having trouble working out if you should interfere or not, feel free to post a video and we can help.

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Re: My mice are NOT getting along. Please reply ASAP

Post by mousymom191 on Wed 09 Jan 2019, 2:12 pm

@Peachy wrote:How long have you had these mice and how long has the bully been bullying? It can take a couple weeks for everything to settle down after you've brought them home. How big is your enclosure? If it's too large it can make the alpha feel more out of control OR cause your mice to split, which would contribute to the fighting. It’s impossible to say why the mouse is sitting in her bridge, just keep an eye on her to see if she returns to the nest and gets food and water.

You don’t want to constantly be removing and reintroducing, this CAN cause more problems than it solves. But giving her a time out can help her learn that she actually enjoys having friends. This might take more than a few days and you may have to push it to a couple weeks. This has solved problems for many colonies!

Arguing is normal, some mice do it more than others. Mounting, chasing, squeaking, slapping is all normal behaviors and basically just the mouse’s way of telling her friends that their doing something she doesn’t like. Mice live in hierarchies and it’s necessary for them to sort out who’s who. When mice lock into a little rolling, fighting ball it’s more than a disagreement and is what usually causes injuries. If you see this it’s ok to separate. If you’re having trouble working out if you should interfere or not, feel free to post a video and we can help.
I've had the mice for almost 2 weeks now and I'm pretty sure I first time I heard bullying was 1/4 (friday). After hearing that it'll take a little while definitely makes me feel better. My enclosure is 525 sq inches I believe ( it's a 116 gal bin cage). I'm going to try to get a video of them tonight. Thanks so much!

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Re: My mice are NOT getting along. Please reply ASAP

Post by mousymom191 on Wed 09 Jan 2019, 9:19 pm

@Peachy wrote:How long have you had these mice and how long has the bully been bullying? It can take a couple weeks for everything to settle down after you've brought them home. How big is your enclosure? If it's too large it can make the alpha feel more out of control OR cause your mice to split, which would contribute to the fighting. It’s impossible to say why the mouse is sitting in her bridge, just keep an eye on her to see if she returns to the nest and gets food and water.

You don’t want to constantly be removing and reintroducing, this CAN cause more problems than it solves. But giving her a time out can help her learn that she actually enjoys having friends. This might take more than a few days and you may have to push it to a couple weeks. This has solved problems for many colonies!

Arguing is normal, some mice do it more than others. Mounting, chasing, squeaking, slapping is all normal behaviors and basically just the mouse’s way of telling her friends that their doing something she doesn’t like. Mice live in hierarchies and it’s necessary for them to sort out who’s who. When mice lock into a little rolling, fighting ball it’s more than a disagreement and is what usually causes injuries. If you see this it’s ok to separate. If you’re having trouble working out if you should interfere or not, feel free to post a video and we can help.
Hi again just an update: today I noticed that there was a piece of one of my mouse's ear missing. I've decided to remove the bully and place her in a cage same size with bedding from the original cage. How long do you think she should stay in time out? I really think that this will be good for them Smile

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Re: My mice are NOT getting along. Please reply ASAP

Post by Peachy on Wed 09 Jan 2019, 10:17 pm

I like to do 2-3 weeks. Others only separate for a few days. This is up to you, but I’d give it a longer time so you can really work on bonding with the bully yourself. How’s her temperament when your around? What about the others?

This also gives everyone time to relax and heal. It’s a thing to give dogs “cortisol vacations” after a stressful event, and it’s beneficial to do the same for mice in these situations. When they’re reintroduced, ideally everyone will go in with a calmer state of mind after a couple weeks of recuperating.

When you reintroduce I would recommend starting them in something smaller than their bin. A 10 gallon tank is a good size for bonding, quarantine, taming, etc. When they’re all doing well and getting along you can upgrade them again.

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Re: My mice are NOT getting along. Please reply ASAP

Post by mousymom191 on Wed 09 Jan 2019, 10:59 pm

@Peachy wrote:I like to do 2-3 weeks. Others only separate for a few days. This is up to you, but I’d give it a longer time so you can really work on bonding with the bully yourself. How’s her temperament when your around? What about the others?

This also gives everyone time to relax and heal. It’s a thing to give dogs “cortisol vacations” after a stressful event, and it’s beneficial to do the same for mice in these situations. When they’re reintroduced, ideally everyone will go in with a calmer state of mind after a couple weeks of recuperating.

When you reintroduce I would recommend starting them in something smaller than their bin. A 10 gallon tank is a good size for bonding, quarantine, taming, etc. When they’re all doing well and getting along you can upgrade them again.
She's pretty calm and not agressive when she's around me... Although she's still skittish. And pretty much same with my other two. Thanks so much for the advice, I'll wait 3 weeks and do the 10 gallon reintroduction. Really hoping it helps the fighting... I'll let you know if I have any other questions Smile

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Post by mousymom191 on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 11:03 pm

@Peachy wrote:I like to do 2-3 weeks. Others only separate for a few days. This is up to you, but I’d give it a longer time so you can really work on bonding with the bully yourself. How’s her temperament when your around? What about the others?

This also gives everyone time to relax and heal. It’s a thing to give dogs “cortisol vacations” after a stressful event, and it’s beneficial to do the same for mice in these situations. When they’re reintroduced, ideally everyone will go in with a calmer state of mind after a couple weeks of recuperating.

When you reintroduce I would recommend starting them in something smaller than their bin. A 10-gallon tank is a good size for bonding, quarantine, taming, etc. When they’re all doing well and getting along you can upgrade them again.

Hi! Just an update on how everyone's doing and a few questions and concerns. First of all, after separating the bully mouse the other two mice haven't even had one argument (not one squeak!). The bully seems to be good as well:). So, just a few questions:
1) I'm coming up on the date that I'm going to reintroduce, 1/23, which will be 3 weeks on the dot, and I don't think I have a 10 gallon, so is 20 okay?
2) Do I use clean bedding/toys in the "bonding" cage?
3) I'm still pretty concerned about the size difference... the two mice are so small and the other is A LOT bigger. Ever heard of this being a serious issue in colonies? I just really want everyone to be happy together.
4) What should I do if there's still the same chasing/fighting once I put her back? B/c I know it's stressful to move mice around a lot.

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Re: My mice are NOT getting along. Please reply ASAP

Post by admin on Sat 26 Jan 2019, 12:41 am

Hi mousy! This is Peachy, for some reason I can’t login as Peachy. Scratch

I would introduce in a neutral space like a bathtub. A bathtub is a nice size because the mice can come to each other on their own terms. Keep them in this space and observe for 30 minutes. If they’re doing ok it’s time to move them to a clean, neutral tank. We typically recommend the smallest that’s appropriate for the size of your colony so no one can split off and claim corners, but a 20 gallon should be fine.. Start them in the 20 gallon with NOTHING besides bedding. After a few minutes scatter some food, add a water bottle, toss in a box for a nest. If they’re doing well you can add the wheel, but sometimes this causes troubles. If it does, you can pull it back out for the night. Save the wheel and exciting toys until they’re sharing the essentials without a problem, and then add them over a few days.

I did have some problems with larger mice in a colony with smaller mice, but this will be entirely dependent on the personalities you have. Some larger mice are basically marshmallows, others can be bossy and bullies.

If things don’t go well in the tub- by the end of their time in the tub they haven’t started calmly sniffing each other, grooming each other, playing together, snuggling up together and they’re still chasing and squeaking and fighting- separate them and try again the next day. My first introduction took a few days in a neutral tub before the problem girl finally quit drawing blood on the spot, and then they were BFFs and spent their first night in their tank in silent bliss. It turned out she liked only having one friend, she caused frequent issues when in a group and was an angel with just one other mouse.

If you’re not seeing any improvement between these three, you might look for another mouse that’s appropriate for her, whether this is size or personality. I hope this intro works out for you, though!

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Post by MouseLover on Sat 26 Jan 2019, 6:50 am

It's funny because all my big mice have been complete squishy marshmallows. I once kept a teeny tiny little 20g mouse with a 70g mouse (not fat, just huge) and the big mouse was a complete push over. That said, she was from show-lines (hence the size) and very docile.

My opinion here might be controversial, and obviously if anyone thinks I'm wrong feel free to disagree and explain why I'm wrong lol. But as a neutral territory gives the mice an equal playing field for introductions, in certain circumstances (i.e. a very very dominant alpha mouse) I wonder if doing the introduction in the weaker/less dominant mice's territory gives them a bit of an advantage. The alpha might not feel as confident if they feel that they're entering another mouses territory, and the other mice may feel more confident, thus evening the playing field out a bit. I did do this once with a particularly bossy alpha, and it worked out for me. But obviously that was a decision I made based on the individual mice I had, and knowing their personalities and social dynamic well. I don't know your mice, so I can't really say if it'd work for you.

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Re: My mice are NOT getting along. Please reply ASAP

Post by Peachy on Sat 26 Jan 2019, 9:25 am

I’ve done that a few times, but only when it was minor squabbles and after shorter timeouts... I’ve had it (and I think a member who tried it a few months ago had it) backfire. Dominant mouse starts bullying even harder. My brindle sisters loved each other completely but every time I plopped one back in after a time out they were after each other relentlessly. I ended up splitting that whole cage — sisters and their friends, others — so everyone was happy, and they calmed down and became more marshmallow-like and accepting with age. Laughing

After three weeks it might be like tossing a complete stranger in. If you do it this way I’d watch super carefully for a few days.

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Post by mousymom191 on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 12:46 pm

@Peachy wrote:I’ve done that a few times, but only when it was minor squabbles and after shorter timeouts... I’ve had it (and I think a member who tried it a few months ago had it) backfire. Dominant mouse starts bullying even harder. My brindle sisters loved each other completely but every time I plopped one back in after a time out they were after each other relentlessly. I ended up splitting that whole cage — sisters and their friends, others — so everyone was happy, and they calmed down and became more marshmallow-like and accepting with age. Laughing

After three weeks it might be like tossing a complete stranger in. If you do it this way I’d watch super carefully for a few days.
Hi Peachy! Now that they're in the 10 gallon, how long should they stay in there? They've been in there for 2 nights now and things seem to be going okay... I just feel bad b/c all that fits in there is a wheel, a bridge, and one toy.

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Post by Peachy on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 2:38 pm

I'd give them around two weeks in the 10 gallon so they have ample time to bond and work out their hierarchy. Chasing, squeaking, humping is all normal stuff for the next couple weeks. Even established colonies argue sometimes! You don't want any injuries or separating themselves. Simple setup is perfect at first, ideally they'll all be bonding and sleeping in the same nest before you move them into a bigger environment with more toys so that no problems arise.

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Post by mousymom191 on Fri 01 Feb 2019, 2:58 pm

@Peachy wrote:I'd give them around two weeks in the 10 gallon so they have ample time to bond and work out their hierarchy. Chasing, squeaking, humping is all normal stuff for the next couple weeks. Even established colonies argue sometimes! You don't want any injuries or separating themselves. Simple setup is perfect at first, ideally they'll all be bonding and sleeping in the same nest before you move them into a bigger environment with more toys so that no problems arise.
They're all sleeping together so that's good... there hasn't been too much chasing, but it's good to know that it'll be normal. Smile Thank you so much.

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