When can babies be separated from their mother?

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When can babies be separated from their mother?

Post by hesitantbullets on Sat 02 Sep 2017, 9:59 pm

Hello! I recently purchased two female mice from the pet store who turned out to be pregnant, so I am currently preparing and doing my research for the babies. One thing I wanted to know was the earliest a mouse can be separated from its mother, so I know when I can start adopting out the mice. I know that the males and females must be separated at 4 weeks old because that is when they can start breeding, but can they be separated before that? Thanks in advance :-)
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Re: When can babies be separated from their mother?

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Sat 02 Sep 2017, 10:16 pm

Breeding Packet wrote:They will be fully weaned by 4 weeks. At this point, you MUST separate the bucks from the does. If the bucks are not removed at 4 weeks of age they may impregnate the mother and their sisters. Do not panic when reading that and separate them too early. There is no reason to panic. Those babies need to be with mom until 4 weeks to be as healthy as possible. Separating even a few days early can prove negative (as outlined in the section above), even deadly in extreme cases. Mice can not reproduce until after the 4 week mark (some older), thus separating them on 4 weeks to the day is the safest time frame possible. On the extremely rare occasion that someone has "claimed" that a 4 week old impregnated the mother or siblings most, if not ALL, cases it has been because the caregiver simply didn't keep track of their age well enough (i.e. the litter was actually over 4 weeks of age). There is a risk to both separating before 4 weeks and waiting until after 4 weeks. 4 weeks, to the day, is the safest possible time to separate the bucks. This isn't to say that separating younger will always result in death. That isn't the case and sadly some individuals pull babies too young, not realizing the harm they are doing. The healthiest and most well-rounded babies remain with mom until 4 weeks of age. It is also beneficial (though not 'necessary') to leave the does with their mother for at least an additional week. Breeders have noted increased health and docile nature when practicing this method of caregiving.

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Re: When can babies be separated from their mother?

Post by hesitantbullets on Sat 02 Sep 2017, 10:18 pm

Thank you very much! Have a nice night
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Re: When can babies be separated from their mother?

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Sat 02 Sep 2017, 10:34 pm

@hesitantbullets wrote:Thank you very much! Have a nice night
You're welcome! Smile

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Re: When can babies be separated from their mother?

Post by CallaLily on Sun 03 Sep 2017, 8:45 am

If you haven't already, check out the Breeding Packet. Good luck with the babies!

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Re: When can babies be separated from their mother?

Post by pattgal on Sun 08 Jul 2018, 12:35 pm

if you have a case where the age is unknown how would you tell if a baby is weaned? is it ok as long as its eating on its own?
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Re: When can babies be separated from their mother?

Post by AppleCheeks on Mon 09 Jul 2018, 4:38 am

@pattgal wrote:if you have a case where the age is unknown how would you tell if a baby is weaned? is it ok as long as its eating on its own?
Its been quite a few years since I bred mice so my age specifications might be a little off but..
Mice start venturing out of the nest at about 2 weeks (sometimes earlier, sometimes later) and they pretty much start trying out food from that point onwards. So keeping that in mind, I would say it wouldn't be ok to separate providing they are eating on their own.
So much of it is guess work in that situation. If you have them before their eyes open, you can have a guess saying you'll clearly see nipples around day.. 9? eyes open around a similar time so with that you can get a rough estimate about when to wean.
If their eyes are open then it really is just guess work.

It's not the end of the world if you don't separate at 4 weeks to the day. Some lines are fast to sexually mature but most lines, you have some leeway.
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