Bully female attacked male and drew lots of blood. Need general advice!

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Bully female attacked male and drew lots of blood. Need general advice! Empty Bully female attacked male and drew lots of blood. Need general advice!

Post by redshepherd on Sat 16 Feb 2019, 11:07 pm

I just got a trio of mice today, a 7 month old female, 3 month old male, and 5 week old female.

The female are housed together and male separate. I observed the older female was repeatedly chasing and crowding her body on the young female and making her squeak for a few hours, which I assume is bullying. So I thought I might as well just pair the female and male now for a couple weeks while the young female grows bigger.

I put the female and male together and they were sniffing each other and seemed alright, so I left for dinner. I came back and there was blood absolutely everywhere in the cage, with the male hiding... so I put her back in with the young female and she went right back to running on the wheel.... The male seems very frightened and is still dripping blood from somewhere on his body, 30 minutes later.

Does this mean the female shouldn't be bred? Did I put her with a male too early? She seems extremely bold and is always on the exercise wheel or drinking/eating, and she even comes right up to me for treats without a second thought. I'm completely new to mice so I have no idea what's wrong with her or what to do about breeding her now.


Last edited by redshepherd on Tue 19 Feb 2019, 6:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Roseheart on Sat 16 Feb 2019, 11:14 pm

Do not breed an aggressive female if you really need a female mouse I will be happy to give you one as I have 9 females that I have to get rid of as I have another pregnant mouse and some females are just mean my friends mouse actually castrated the male because she was too aggressive
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Post by MouseLover on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 9:52 am

@redshepherd wrote:I'm completely new to mice so I have no idea what's wrong with her or what to do about breeding her now.

There's your problem. You're completely new to mice, and yet you're trying to breed them. Why? Mice are small, but their lives matter. Things can go badly wrong just keeping mice as PETS if you haven't done enough research. The amount of things that can go wrong with breeding is even more, so it's a bad idea for someone to breed mice when they're not even familiar and confident with keeping the species.

Did you do any kind of introduction process between the female and the male? Did you introduce them on neutral ground, did you thoroughly cleanse every inch of his cage and every item, removing any trace of scent? Or did you just put the female in his territory? Mice can kill each other if introductions aren't done properly. Is your little guy okay, has he stopped bleeding now?

Personally I would not breed from a mouse that has shown aggression, but it may not be her fault if you haven't done introductions properly. I highly recommend NOT breeding at all, until you've been keeping mice as pets for a while, you're confident with how to keep mice, how to do safe introductions etc. Then you would ideally have done a good amount of research and spoken to other breeders for advice. Unfortunately your older female may already be pregnant at this point, though if she attacked your male, perhaps not.

I really hope your male is okay. I'm not trying to make you feel bad, we've all made mistakes as new mouse owners. I'm just trying to help you see how serious this is. Hopefully your male is fine and this just serves as a warning to you that you need more knowledge and experience of mouse-keeping before attempting to breed. I just want your mice to be safe Smile

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Post by redshepherd on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 4:03 pm

I did indeed do research, but every site I've read about "breeding mice" never told me I needed to also introduce the female and male on neutral ground. Even JAX doesn't. The articles I've read simply say to put the doe in the buck's enclosure, if anything at all. A lot of them don't even touch on the topic and simply get right to the breeding portions.

Their breeder (who breeds show mice, pet mice, and rats) also did not think there was any problem with pairing them in particular, just told me to put the doe in the buck's enclosure. So I don't think me being new is the main problem.

And of course I think their "lives matter", otherwise do you think I would be making a three paragraph post in a pet mouse forum asking for answers? I drove 2 hours one way and paid $55 to pick up these three little mice. I could be totally ignoring the incident, not research or ask for advice, and just rolling with it on my own.

The male is okay now, and the breeder told me after I made this post here that they actually heal quickly and it's nothing to worry about. If you couldn't tell from my thread subject title with the whole "drew lots of blood" and "need advice", I obviously intentionally toned my post in a serious manner for you to feel serious about it, so it's funny you want to help me "understand" how serious it is when I am in fact telling you how serious I assumed it was.


Last edited by redshepherd on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 10:30 pm; edited 17 times in total

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Post by Peachy on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 4:58 pm

She’s likely stressed out from moving to your home. She needs a couple weeks to adjust to her new environment and caretaker. Did she know either mice or did you just introduce them when they got home? I’d say she’s probably NOT aggressive, just super freaked from moving around so much and meeting new friends. Keep everyone separate for a while and try again when they’ve all had time to relax.

It’s normal for females to tell off the males for coming too close when they’re not ready to mate. With any new introduction (both female-male and female-female, we NEVER recommend introducing two males to each other) it’s also normal for chasing, squeaking, etc to occur while everyone decides who’s who in the hierarchy. This usually can take up to two weeks. Blood is not normal and if blood is being drawn they need to be separated ASAP.

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Post by redshepherd on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 6:19 pm

@Peachy wrote:She’s likely stressed out from moving to your home. She needs a couple weeks to adjust to her new environment and caretaker. Did she know either mice or did you just introduce them when they got home? I’d say she’s probably NOT aggressive, just super freaked from moving around so much and meeting new friends. Keep everyone separate for a while and try again when they’ve all had time to relax.

It’s normal for females to tell off the males for coming too close when they’re not ready to mate. With any new introduction (both female-male and female-female, we NEVER recommend introducing two males to each other) it’s also normal for chasing, squeaking, etc to occur while everyone decides who’s who in the hierarchy. This usually can take up to two weeks. Blood is not normal and if blood is being drawn they need to be separated ASAP.

Thanks for the answers. That's what the breeder thought too, that she's probably stressed from the move. And I just introduced the females on neutral ground at home and did the "vanilla extract" tip which seemed to have helped them. But then she still started bullying after a few hours of seeming to get along. The other female is only 5 weeks old and much smaller, maybe only half her size.

About the bullying was another question, the young female is always the one who squeaks almost every time they even came in contact. And ended up always hiding 90% of the time while the older roams around the whole cage. Is this normal or do you think they should also be separated for now while the young female grows bigger? No blood shed here, but I feel bad that the smaller female seemed to be often hiding.

I've separated them all for now, maybe for a week or two, so I hope they all acclimate well.


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Post by Peachy on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 6:53 pm

The young one is probably also just flat out scared. Five weeks is still very much a baby, we generally don’t even recommend moving females from their mom until they’re 6-8 weeks old, much less rehome them. This is her first time away from her Mama and siblings, she’s in a new place with new noises and smells and people, and it was likely her first time meeting a strange adult mouse. A couple weeks to acclimate and have some one-on-one bonding time with you will be good for all three of them. Mice that are truly tame and bonded with you will often do better in introductions anyway.

In future introductions, I wouldn’t worry about hiding unless the mouse is being prevented from eating or drinking. The squeaking is probably more from being scared and overwhelmed than from being hurt. What size enclosures have you got these guys in?

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Post by redshepherd on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 10:08 pm

@Peachy wrote:The young one is probably also just flat out scared. Five weeks is still very much a baby, we generally don’t even recommend moving females from their mom until they’re 6-8 weeks old, much less rehome them. This is her first time away from her Mama and siblings, she’s in a new place with new noises and smells and people, and it was likely her first time meeting a strange adult mouse.  A couple weeks to acclimate and have some one-on-one bonding time with you will be good for all three of them. Mice that are truly tame and bonded with you will often do better in introductions anyway.

In future introductions, I wouldn’t worry about hiding unless the mouse is being prevented from eating or drinking. The squeaking is probably more from being scared and overwhelmed than from being hurt. What size enclosures have you got these guys in?

Okay, that's good to know about the young and being scared... That kind of sucks they were rehomed at this age then. I regret not also buying one of her siblings to help with that.

I have them now each in 24x16x13 inch sterilite tubs. They each have 2 hides and exercise wheels. I was just going to keep 2-3 females in one of these tubs, so the two females were originally sharing one.

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