Can you house 2 male mice/separate cages in the same room?

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Can you house 2 male mice/separate cages in the same room?

Post by newchance360 on Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:18 pm

Hi all,

I have looked everywhere online and the only information I find is a battery of "don't house male mice in same cage".
I did find info on laboratories that have breeding harems, so that would mean they have the harems all set up in one room?
Don't the females abort their babies smelling all those other males in the same room?

I'm a little confused by all of this and can't find a consistent answer.
How do you all do it when you have male and female pet mice?

I don't want to stress any of them out, but I'm on limited space now.
I would love to have them all in my mouse room if possible. Is this doable?

I appreciate any and all advice given.
Thank you!
D

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Re: Can you house 2 male mice/separate cages in the same room?

Post by Peachy on Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:46 pm

It's not likely that you'll have any issues keeping males in the same room as other males or females. I know a lot of mouse owners do. Sometimes males that are territorial might have changes in behavior or marking if they can smell other mice, but not many owners seem to have that problem. I've had a boy that I had to keep in the kitchen because he was the smelliest when he was around the other boys, but I've also boys (in separate cages, but next to each other) who seemed to enjoy sort of "playing" with each other.

I think the aborting babies thing might be more if they're in closer contact, like giving the females bedding that smells like another male. No idea, though. I'm sure that's not something that's 100%.

Edit: Found this here: http://www.informatics.jax.org/silver/chapters/4-3.shtml

The fertilized embryo is a free-floating entity in the female reproductive tract for the first 4.5-5 days of development. It is during this pre-implantation period that external events can play a role in determining whether a successful implantation will occur. Obvious disturbances to the mental health of the pregnant female — such as erratic lighting, extremes in temperature or humidity, high noise levels, or insufficient food and water — can cause a failure to implant. In addition, there is one other less obvious disturbance that is highly significant in the eyes of the female — the introduction into her cage of a male other than the one with whom she had mated. If the foreign male is not genetically identical to her partner, he can cause a premature termination of the pregnancy through a mechanism which is almost certainly a hormonally induced block to implantation (Bruce, 1959; Bruce, 1968). This pregnancy block is also known as the Bruce Effect (after its discoverer) and it provides an obvious selective advantage by ensuring that females will use their resources only to raise offspring who carry the genes of the intruding male (who is presumably more fit since he has displaced the original mating male). With the previous pregnancy terminated, the female can quickly become pregnant again with her new partner.

It is interesting that females do not recognize males from the same inbred strain as foreign (Bruce, 1968). On the other hand, a pregnancy block is induced in nearly all other cases. These findings indicate that one or more genetic differences are responsible for the distinction between the original and the intruder male, but in addition, they clearly show that the genetic recognition system is highly polymorphic. Further studies with congenic and coisogenic strains have demonstrated conclusively that a major component of this recognition system is the highly polymorphic class I family of genes in the major histocompatibility complex (Yamazaki et al., 1986).

The Bruce effect has important implications for the management of a breeding mouse colony. Quite simply, if a mating event has occurred and one wants to recover live-born offspring from this mating, for the first 5 days that follow, the pregnant female should not be placed either into a cage with a foreign male or in contact with bedding that has been soiled by a foreign male. After this initial stage, there is no longer any problem. In fact, if one wishes to quickly set up a new mating pair, one should be sure to do it before the litter is born. If a foreign male is in the cage at the time of birth, he will normally accept the newborn pups. (Presumably, he "thinks" these pups are his own.) On the other hand, if a male is placed into a new cage that already has newborn pups, he is likely to kill them ("knowing" that he couldn't possibly have been the father).
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Re: Can you house 2 male mice/separate cages in the same room?

Post by VoidThoughts on Sat Nov 12, 2016 5:24 am

I've worked in a place with a laboratory style breeding rack. The mice in different mice bins couldn't see each other, but all bins were within a foot of at least 2 other bins. I never saw any sign that the mice were stressed out by mice in other bins.

Of course none of the bins shared the same bedding, whenever it was changed whatever bedding was put into a bin was entirely fresh. The mice also always had access to plenty of food and water, and were often given treats after any intrusions to their bins (all bins were cleaned about every 3 to 4 days). My manager claimed that he noticed that having extra food and tasty treats made the mice much less likely to panic and possibly hurt their own babies after being disturbed by us humans.

I'd say with at least 90% certainty that so long as the cages aren't touching each other and you never put the bedding from one tank into another tank that your mice should be fine with the smells and sounds of other mice in the room. Just make sure they have plenty of food to eat and that you have 15 minutes a day per bin to spare to handle all of your mice to keep them well socialized and comfortable with handling.

If you notice any of your mice seem stressed try to put more space between the tanks.

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Re: Can you house 2 male mice/separate cages in the same room?

Post by scaredymouse on Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:11 pm

I have a critter room and keep all my mice in there. At one point I had 2 males (housed separately) and a colony of females. No one seemed bothered by the arrangement. After all, they are used to these smells from the pet shop and smelling other males/females is just part of a normal day in the wild. As a courtesy though, I didn't put the males right next to each other.

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