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Discussing Male Mice Living Together

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Re: Discussing Male Mice Living Together

Post by Rodents rock! on Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:40 pm

I don't really want to argue about this, but the mice in pet stores are young, that is why they can be together with no fighting. Personally I wouldn't take a chance of having a fight break out between males as I wouldn't want to risk an animal getting hurt or killed as I would never forgive myself, but that's just me.

Stephlisa's two boys are a totally different story because of the more selective breeding in the United Kingdom. If I had two boys from the UK, then yes, I would keep them together but also, just as Stephlisa does, keep an eye out for any negative signs.

And as someone said, I believe in the other thread, male mice don't live with other males in nature. And once the baby males are old enough, they are chased away from the colony.

Just as male lions don't live together in nature after they are a certain age. Once male lions are old enough, they are chased away from the pride.
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Re: Discussing Male Mice Living Together

Post by Blessed on Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:45 pm

@Rodents rock!, I don't know much about lions, but with horses, that goes for it, too...what you'd mentioned about the lions. =)
But maybe the male I had was bred very nicely, then. Maybe all the mice at the pet stores I go to are bred to get the fighting instinct out of them, and the ones you go to aren't? Smile

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Re: Discussing Male Mice Living Together

Post by CallaLily on Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:54 pm

Most pet stores order their mice from breeding mills where health and behavior are not tracked - it would be impossible since they're sold so young and so many at a timd and the breeder never even knows where or who they go to. They are bred with mainly two things in mind, quantity and profit. Maybe with a little thought to pretty colors too. This is why mice from these places often have health issues and short life spans.

There are some small "mom and pop" stores that breed their own but even fewer that actually do it right and keep track of lines. So unless you're purchasing from someone that can hand you a pedigree and keeps in touch, I doubt they're much better bred than any other pet shop.

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Re: Discussing Male Mice Living Together

Post by Blessed on Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:00 pm

I hear that a lot about pet stores, but I'm not sure that's true of the ones I go to. Smile
But where does that idea come from all the time? And do you think you have any proof of that of the pet stores you go to?

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Re: Discussing Male Mice Living Together

Post by Peachy on Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:29 pm

Next time you go to the pet store, ask them what type of thought they put into breeding their mice. What do they know about mouse genetics? How do they help ensure their mice have good health and temperament?


This truly isn't as "us" thing. This is widely known and accepted as a part of mouse husbandry. The graphic sticky we have isn't an extreme case. The reality is that male mice (that aren't from an actual knowledgeable and experienced breeder) getting along with other males isn't the norm, it's a fluke. In pet stores crowding, stress, and young age will all deter fighting temporarily. I've seen both inured males and males that were doomed to get hurt eventually because one of the others wouldn't leave him alone. There are breeders in the US whose lines can be traced back many, many years. And they still don't generally recommend keeping males together.

I've never housed two boys together, but I've had them in cages near each other. And they bit all the toes and tail they could reach through their bars. How will that end if they get a hold of each other?
I also had five boys in a litter of seven, and they began arguing and sleeping away from each other before they were even weaned. The two boys in the next litter did the same thing. They weren't even old enough to leave the nest and they were already trying to chase each other away!!! If there was any doubt at all that they would need their own space as adults, it was cinched in a second. Boys are territorial, and boys are happiest when they don't have to compete with another boy. This will be even more true if there are female mice around. Testing this because you want to do things your own way is simply irresponsible.

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Re: Discussing Male Mice Living Together

Post by CallaLily on Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:47 pm

@Blessed wrote:I hear that a lot about pet stores, but I'm not sure that's true of the ones I go to. Smile
But where does that idea come from all the time? And do you think you have any proof of that of the pet stores you go to?  

What "idea" do you mean?  The breeding mill thing?  You just have to Google it really. You could ask your pet store if they breed their own or who their supplier is. Top Ten Questions To Ask Your Mouse Breeder may help you some.

As for the stores I go to (Petco mainly). They don't have hardly any info on the mice they're selling.  Most of the time they can't even tell you how long they've been there. They ask zero questions when you purchase one. Sure you have to sign a contract but there's no questions, no follow up. You need to keep track of a line for many generations to know what, if any, health or behavior problems crop up. There's just zero way to track these mice so how could they be anything but poorly bred?  

There is a mom and pop shop near me that breed their own (or at least used to, I haven't been in quite a while).  I KNOW their mice are poorly bred because when I asked if the mice in the ONE cage were male or female she said "Both. We thought we'd just throw them all together and see what we get."  And actually giggled about it. Yeah. Neutral

EDIT: I know it's getting off topic here but I wanted to add that, if you'd like, you could check out the stickies in the Reproductive Care section to help get a better idea on what goes into responsible breeding too.

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Re: Discussing Male Mice Living Together

Post by stephlisa on Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:58 pm

@Blessed wrote:Thanks for posting this, @stephlisa! That was very smart of you. Referring to hijacking other threads because of this topic... I think I hijacked my own, in that case! Razz
So sorry if it sounded like I wanted to argue over it, or came off too strongly. I really did not want to. I actually regret posting all that in my thread 'How Many Mice Have You Had?'. But now we can get back on topic in that thread, as you'd said, and discuss the males in this one. (Again, brilliant idea). Smile I'm also going to ask Peachy if she'll delete all of those posts about the males living together in the aforementioned thread. =) (So I'm not going to respond to the other ones that had been posted after that, as I'm too lazy to, lol).

Anyways, you're probably very knowledgeable about this, but I know what I'm talking about, too. Bouncy But I get you said what's 'generally recommended.' =) Totally caught that, and respect your opinion.
I did happen to see and look at the sticky post you'd mentioned, and that's probably in extreme cases. :/ I've personally never seen any males--at all the pet stores I've gone to--with a single scratch on them.

Oh, and, one more thing: Sorry for appearing? to have made a big deal over your boys living together. I just find that really nice, as I know yours aren't lonely because of it, but I feel bad if you get that a lot.

It seemed good to give it its own space for discussion.
This is the downside of forums, its great for discussions, but very easy to be misinterpreted. I know you mean well, but I feel it is necessary to remind people of the general advice, that way an inexperienced owner won't (hopefully) throw two males together, not watch for warning signs and then wonder why one got beaten up or even killed.

There will always be special circumstances, so its important that because its a public forum we remind people of the best generic advice to avoid injured animals if they've never had mice before.

Just because a male is alone, doesn't mean he's lonely. If you give him enough time to socialise with you then he will be okay. My previous boy, Colin, would never be said to be lonely. He came out every day, enjoyed making new human friends and hated to leave us for his cage. We were everything to him as he was everything to us.

I think its important to add here that even the rescue I got the boys from said that keeping them together may not work out. As they age, they may get more aggressive towards each other and we may have to separate them. So even here in the UK there are still risks to it. While its great now, it may end up not great.

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