just separated my mice after fight

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just separated my mice after fight

Post by bittybuddies on Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:39 am

I had to separate my 2 female mice last night. One became a bully and has been pestering the other. Last night the bully attacked the smaller mouse so badly she was bloodied very badly. (I have never seen an attack, just the results.) Now I have 2 females who are both alone. The smaller one is very people friendly and I can keep her company a bit. The bully is skittish and has always been a bit odd. I don't know how old they are because I got them as adults about 4 months ago.

So now I have 2 females, both alone for one night. One bloodied (mostly around the ears) and scared but otherwise OK. (Eating nesting, coming to me.) I'm not sure what to do. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Re: just separated my mice after fight

Post by scaredymouse on Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:07 pm

A fight that severe after months of getting along is unusual! I have to ask the obvious question... Are you sure they are both females? Other than that, the biggest reason mice fight is due incomplete hierarchy. Mice do best in groups of 3, due to the way their social structure works. They need an alpha, a beta and a peacekeeper. By only having 2 mice, you're missing a peacekeeper. Sometimes 2 mice work, but other times you get a real aggressive alpha who bullies the beta.

I know it sounds crazy to bring in another mouse into a bad situation but that is your best bet. We have a post about proper introductions but I'm on my phone so I can't link it right now.

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Re: just separated my mice after fight

Post by bittybuddies on Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:59 pm

I guess that's what I have. I super-shy and a super-aggressive. I'm sure they're females. We've kept mice and rats in the past, so I'm sure they're females. I've seen squabbles before but nothing like this. Our bullying rat just obsessively mounted her cage-mates, didn't bite them.

I left the victim in the original cage and put the bully in a smaller cage. The victim has been in her hut today and only peeks her nose out. Last night when she was very bloodied, she seemed truly terrified and scrambled up my arm and tried to hide in my hair. I couldn't get a good look at her wounds because she wouldn't hold still but she was bloodied around the head and her fur was mussed. Today she is in her hut and only peeks her nose out when I speak to her. Usually she'll come out.

Should I keep the victim and bully apart for a few days and let them settle down and then try re-introduce them along with the 3rd mouse? Or should I try to re-introduce the original pair as quickly as possible? I worry that the victim is too traumatized to see another mouse and needs some rest, but I also worry that is she is left alone she may never want to see another mouse. She kind of always liked people more than you would think for a pet store mouse, so I wonder if she was being bullied at the store, too.

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Re: just separated my mice after fight

Post by scaredymouse on Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:36 pm

Yep, definitely keep them apart.  I usually keep my jerks separated for about a week.  Or more, depending on the circumstance.  I wouldn't worry about keeping her alone too long.  Females can get lonely if left alone, but a few weeks is fine.  I'm not sure what your housing situation is but new mice should be quarantined for 3 weeks to make sure they aren't sick, aren't pregnant, and to tame them up so that introductions go better.  It also gives you time to work with your other mice to tame them up as much as possible before they meet their new friend.

Here is the protocol for introducing new mice.  Let me know if you have any questions.

https://www.petmousefanciers.com/t19-keeping-mice-together-introducing-them

Females can be tricky.  Honestly, if it were me... I would keep them separate for three weeks while your new girl is in quarantine, then introduce everyone at the same time in neutral territory.  I think that would offer the best outcome give the severity of the fight between your two girls.

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thanks

Post by bittybuddies on Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:48 pm

That's good to know. I'm glad we don't need to do this in a hurry.

At first the victim wouldn't come out of her hut this evening, which is unusual because she is more of an explorer and likes people. I finally lifted the hut and now she is snuggling with my daughter.

It is very odd that the "bully" turned aggressive after months of peaceful friendship. It makes me wonder if there is something wrong with her. She has been getting plump, but she can't be pregnant. We have no males and we've had them both for months.

I will look at the link as we think about how to proceed with re-creating our mouse family.

Thank you!

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Re: just separated my mice after fight

Post by CinnamonPearl on Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:01 am

It sounds to me like the alpha went crazy due to an incomplete colony. When you only have two mice, the balance in the relationship between alpha and beta is very wobbly and tense. Getting a group of three should help.

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Re: just separated my mice after fight

Post by bittybuddies on Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:46 am

CinnamonPearl wrote:It sounds to me like the alpha went crazy due to an incomplete colony. When you only have two mice, the balance in the relationship between alpha and beta is very wobbly and tense. Getting a group of three should help.

Yes, we are considering three. Interesting about the alpha-beta thing.

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