Multiple Questions Regarding A Possibly Pregnant Mouse/Caring For Babies?

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Multiple Questions Regarding A Possibly Pregnant Mouse/Caring For Babies?

Post by ChaoSile on Thu 19 May 2016, 3:43 pm

So, a few days ago I got three female mice from the petstore. They keep the females and males together. Anyways, 2 of them are around 3 weeks old (Anri and Vorona), while the other is around 4 or 5 weeks old (Celty). Yesterday I noticed my older mouses stomach. She looks pregnant. So, I separated her from the other 2 and introduced them to my adult mouse (Yuri). I have some questions that I can't find the answers for..

1. What are the chances she's pregnant if she is old enough, and was kept with multiple males?
2. What are some materials I could give her to make a nest? (I put some toilet paper in there for her)
3. She dug a small hole in the bedding, could this also be a sign she's pregnant?
4. Can I still hold her and work on her getting used to me, or would that stress her out and cause her to eat her babies once she has them?
5. Could I temporarly put her with the other mice for a while (Like an hour or so, multiple times a day) Or would that also cause stress?
6. What age can I handle the babies (One website said 3 days, another said 5 days, and another said a week)?
7. I read younger mice generally have a smaller litter, is this true?
8. Once it is time to separate the male and females babies, can I keep all the males together (I'm planning to keep the whole liter)?
9. Does her young age increase the risk of complications?
10. Should I take her to the vet? Can the vet help in any sort of way?
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Re: Multiple Questions Regarding A Possibly Pregnant Mouse/Caring For Babies?

Post by Windmilla on Thu 19 May 2016, 4:12 pm

Okay, first of all - newcomer mice all have to be quarantined from the other mice that you have for at least three weeks. That is in order for you to tame them properly, check for any diseases that they might pass to your other mice, and --- be sure they're not pregnant, and if they are, separate them from the rest.

1. Chances are high. Keep watching her for the next 18 days or so, and see how it goes. A mouse pregnancy usually lasts about 20 days.
2. Toilet paper and shredded paper is good. Lots of it. In the us newspaper is also safe to shred and give to them. In the countries I've lived, the ink is toxic so I keep to tp.
3. No. Digging things, shredding bedding and stuffing in their houses (or "nesting") is common behaviour in all mice - and in both sexes.
4. I'll need someone else to confirm that for me because I'm not 100% sure but I'd keep playing with her and only leave her alone when she's apparently very close to giving birth.
5. No, that's very confusing for them, and will only stress her.
6. On our previous community, TFM, I've seen most people say 3 days. That's how you do it: you wait until she's out of the nest, scoop her up and take her to another tank or another place to play, so she doesn't see you messing with her babies. Take them from the nest and try not to mess much with it. Handle them for a few minutes and put them back just where you found them and only then return the mother. Before taking the babies try to rub your hand on the tank's bedding so theres not much scent on your hand. Just a precaution.
7. That I don't know, but I have never read that before.
8. Nope. Every male must be housed separately. Read this to know why http://petmousefanciers.forumotion.com/t142-males-living-together-warning-graphic-photos?highlight=graphic
9. Yes, it does. :T
10. You can take her to a vet to check on her, but I think there's only so much they can do for her. I'm not sure if they have equipment that can determine if she's really pregnant before she's showing or anything.

You can also post pictures of her here so we can try to help you determine whether or not she's pregs or is just chubby.

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Re: Multiple Questions Regarding A Possibly Pregnant Mouse/Caring For Babies?

Post by ChaoSile on Thu 19 May 2016, 4:20 pm

Thank you so much, that is all very helpful! It's difficult to get a good picture of her, and it's not very noticeable. I was just comparing her stomach to the other 2, and my other adult female. Her stomach reminds me of what my lizards stomach looked like when she was pregnant.

That article confused me a bit. So the brothers fought each other, even though they where together since birth?
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Re: Multiple Questions Regarding A Possibly Pregnant Mouse/Caring For Babies?

Post by Windmilla on Thu 19 May 2016, 4:30 pm

@ChaoSile wrote:Thank you so much, that is all very helpful! It's difficult to get a good picture of her, and it's not very noticeable. I was just comparing her stomach to the other 2, and my other adult female. Her stomach reminds me of what my lizards stomach looked like when she was pregnant.

That article confused me a bit. So the brothers fought each other, even though they where together since birth?

Yes. Them being together since they are little is not guaranteed that they won't fight. Of course if you ask around the internet there will be one or two people that say "oh but MY mice brothers lived together and never fought!!!" but there ARE cases where their hormones will simply kick in and they'll get territorial, being related or not, and might seriously maim or kill each other. And most of the times the owner will not be able to see it coming, as it can be very sudden. One minute cuddly and cute, next minute - blood everywhere.
This is a behaviour that some breeders do try to breed out. I've heard of some people (though I might not be able to tell who exactly) that worked on this in their lines and made their boys less aggressive and all. Which MIGHT give boys a chance of living together. Might. Most still don't risk it and keep to our rule of better safe than sorry.
But untracked lines coming from pet stores? Definitely keep them separate.
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Re: Multiple Questions Regarding A Possibly Pregnant Mouse/Caring For Babies?

Post by ChaoSile on Thu 19 May 2016, 4:32 pm

I see. Thank you. I will for sure keep all the males separate.

I have a few more questions..

I was reading about them having to many babies, and culling them. Is it possible, that if she has to many, to remove some of them and care for them myself(I understand the chances of their survival would be low)?

I'd like to use a nanny, but the mouse I have that would be old enough (Yuri) is about 10 months old, so would that be to old? Plus, she hasn't had any experience. I just think my pregnant mouse (Celty) would benefit more with a nanny, due to her young age?


Last edited by ChaoSile on Fri 20 May 2016, 2:07 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : More questions)
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Re: Multiple Questions Regarding A Possibly Pregnant Mouse/Caring For Babies?

Post by Soren on Sat 21 May 2016, 12:53 am

Chances are that she will cull herself. Mothers have an instinct to how many babies she can take care of and which ones are the weakest and will cull them herself. If she doesn't cull, and you notice more than 12 babies after 3-4 days, you may need to cull for her. But when you cull, look for under developed runts and peanuts. I would not recommend trying to hand raise runts/peanuts, as their chances of survival are very low to begin with. But if you choose to do so, here is the TFM guide:
http://www.thefunmouse.com/info/orphanedmice.cfm

Nannies can be a great help but I do not recommend using Yuri as a nanny. Nanny business is hard on a mouse and the extra stress can make an old mouse ill. Nannies should be breeding age between 12 weeks and 8 months old. And it should be a mouse that has never had a litter of her own before (Mice who has had litters before may have the urge to steal the babies from the mom).
Here the TFM guide for selecting a nanny:
http://www.thefunmouse.com/info/nanny.cfm#nannyselection
Do you have another female mouse within those guidelines? If not, it would be safest to have her rear her young alone.
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Re: Multiple Questions Regarding A Possibly Pregnant Mouse/Caring For Babies?

Post by ChaoSile on Sat 21 May 2016, 7:09 am

I see. I understand the chances of survival of runts, assuming she doesn't cull them, are very low. But I think it's still worth a shot! (I read the article and wrote down the supplies I'd need, in case she doesn't make it but some babies do)

Oh. I didn't know it was hard on the nanny, too. Sadly none of my mice are of the right age.

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Re: Multiple Questions Regarding A Possibly Pregnant Mouse/Caring For Babies?

Post by MouseLover on Sat 21 May 2016, 7:21 am

I can totally understand why you would want to try and raise some babies yourself, instead of culling them. It must be awful to have to make the decision to cull, even if you think it's the right thing to do.

The thing is, the babies would have such a low chance of survival. If you decided to raise them instead of cull them, you might actually be making the decision to give them a slow death, full of suffering, instead of a death that is instant and humane. So, as honorable as your intentions are, I personally don't think it's a good idea.

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Re: Multiple Questions Regarding A Possibly Pregnant Mouse/Caring For Babies?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Sat 21 May 2016, 8:21 am

Do not take away her babies to raise them yourself. All that would be doing is ensuring they will die. Mouse children are such fragile, delicate creatures that we humans can't take care of them as well as their mothers can. The article on orphaned mice is more for wild baby mice who are much more resilient and have a chance to survive. I'm pretty sure our resident mouse expert on here has said than in 30 years, only seven orphaned children she's tried to raise have survived, and none of them were domestic mice. All wild. Of course, she would have to confirm that if she comes back, I'm only somewhat certain that's what she said. But anyways, taking them from their mom would be a very bad idea. If you decide to cull, you can do it humanely. Four weeks old is extremely young to be having kids, so if she has a big litter, I would seriously consider it. You could cull more boys than girls since I know many people struggle trying to house all their boys.

And also, since your pet store houses boys and girls together, I would be shocked if your other two girls aren't pregnant too. Start preparing to have three litters. Unless three week old mice aren't fertile yet, but I'm not too sure about all that.

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Re: Multiple Questions Regarding A Possibly Pregnant Mouse/Caring For Babies?

Post by Brynne on Sat 21 May 2016, 1:39 pm

Nannies are very dangerous unless you have mice from a professional breeder who has bred her mice to be loving nannies.  I know that it sounds counter-intuitive to let the mother raise her babies by herself, but it is safest for everyone.  She will have the freedom and privacy to take care of her brood exactly as she chooses with no stress or interference from other mice.

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Re: Multiple Questions Regarding A Possibly Pregnant Mouse/Caring For Babies?

Post by MouseLover on Sat 21 May 2016, 2:03 pm

CinnamonPearl - mice become fertile after 4 weeks of age Smile so the other two should be okay if they're only 3 weeks.

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Re: Multiple Questions Regarding A Possibly Pregnant Mouse/Caring For Babies?

Post by ChaoSile on Sat 21 May 2016, 5:40 pm

CinnamonPearl, I'm not planning to take the babies away from their mother unless she has to many.

Anyways, I suppose I will look up humane ways to cull, just in case.
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Re: Multiple Questions Regarding A Possibly Pregnant Mouse/Caring For Babies?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Sat 21 May 2016, 5:47 pm

@MouseLover wrote:CinnamonPearl - mice become fertile after 4 weeks of age Smile so the other two should be okay if they're only 3 weeks.

Oh good!

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Re: Multiple Questions Regarding A Possibly Pregnant Mouse/Caring For Babies?

Post by ChaoSile on Sun 22 May 2016, 4:48 pm







Not sure if I'm posting these correctly, but here are some pictures of Celty. I apologize for the bad quality, she doesn't stay still much unless she's burrowed into her bedding. But, does she seem to be pregnant to you guys? Her stomach seems bigger than before, too.
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Re: Multiple Questions Regarding A Possibly Pregnant Mouse/Caring For Babies?

Post by Brynne on Sun 22 May 2016, 4:58 pm

I can't tell one way or the other.  It is very common for mice to pack on a lot of weight in their first few weeks home.

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