3 female mice and sudden aggression problem

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Re: 3 female mice and sudden aggression problem

Post by Peachy on Thu 04 Jan 2018, 4:36 pm

Removing them from the tub would work well for taming.

I'm actually not sure what I would do at this point. You've got a wacky group of mice, and it sounds like you've only got a few, less than ideal options if the reintroduction doesn't go well tomorrow. I would hope that the third girl will settle things down between the two that are currently together, but if not... did the two bullies get along ok? You may have to consider letting them stay together and separating the bullied one. Let us know how it goes tomorrow!

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Re: 3 female mice and sudden aggression problem

Post by CinnamonPearl on Thu 04 Jan 2018, 5:22 pm

If blood is being drawn, separate the mice being hurt from the mice doing the harming. That means they are no longer just asserting dominance and are actually trying to hurt each other. For her safety, separate her.

As Peachy asked, do the two bullying mice get along? If so, what I would honestly do is let those two live together, and get a new friend or two for the bullied mouse. Introduce the new mice to her, and let them have their own colony. This is ultimately what I had to do with my six mice. Some of them were bullying the others, so I separated the aggressors into their own colony and gave the three nice girls their own tank. Things are going great now! No problems whatsoever.

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Re: 3 female mice and sudden aggression problem

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Thu 04 Jan 2018, 5:32 pm

Those video clips made ME feel stress on top of stress.  It just felt like there was nowhere to go to get some peace.  So ... just thinking outside the box -- er, BIN:

Maybe each little girl needs a room of her own for a while, with basic accommodations and daily "play nice together" sessions in the bathtub.  Help them build their little nests by handing them torn pieces of tissues or paper towels that you have rubbed between your hands to put your scent on.  Let them know that you are a member of their little group too.

To get them used to each other in absentia, try rotating food dishes, sleepie huts, toys, or clumps of bedding from one girl's "flat" to the next to the next once or twice a day.  You can also try rubbing these things in your hands, or putting them under the covers on your bed for a while, to impart YOUR scent to them.  Then maybe they stop raising their hackles so much once they realize that the "presence" of another member of their group does not have to mean fight or flight -- sometimes it just means somebody else ate out of the same dish, but there is still food for you.

Then if you see calmer behavior, you can test housing them by pairs, with the third joining them for tub time.  See which ones work with others.  And your friendly, helpful scent is always present to calm things down if they get uppity.

Does anybody out there think any of those ideas might be worth a go?

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Re: 3 female mice and sudden aggression problem

Post by CinnamonPearl on Thu 04 Jan 2018, 5:37 pm

From my knowledge alone, I don't believe that separating and reintroducing girls repeatedly garners any success? That's at least what I've heard! I never had to try it myself, but I remember hearing on TFM that continuously separating and reintroducing just confuses girls more than anything. But I could be wrong.

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Re: 3 female mice and sudden aggression problem

Post by Quisp_ on Sat 06 Jan 2018, 10:34 am

Thank you for your replies guys.
This honestly just worries me. Especially what CinnamonPearl says. Unfortunately there is no option for me to get more mice, already getting those was difficult as I had to travel to another city to get them. There aren't many breeders around me that deal with mice. Secondly I am in no position financialy or space-wise to get more mice and seperate tanks. I will do my best with what I have. I can't really understand though how did this start all of a sudden although they were getting along just fine before.
MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop I was also thinking of separating them all for a short while, like a week to see how things go. I will do the reintorduction of the individual gril today (I didn't have time earlier in the week) and I will hope for the best. Will probably post tomorrow to let you guys know how the situation developed.

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Re: 3 female mice and sudden aggression problem

Post by Peachy on Sat 06 Jan 2018, 2:24 pm

I typically wouldn't advise separating and reintroducing either. In the majority of cases it does more harm than good, BUT... The technique I described in my previous reply was recommended to me by an owner with decades of experience, and it worked like a charm. Gradual introductions until everyone is displaying the behavior you would hope to see in a friendly colony, and then move them in together. It won't be the best option for every group of mice, but I think it's definitely worth a try for the extra fussy ones.

Then again,  I was counting on at least two of your girls getting along.

If nothing else is working, it might be worth a try. What Merci suggested about swapping scents is also a very good idea.

If it doesn't work out after any of the ideas suggested here, and the two bullies get along, I would just leave the bullied one by herself. Being by herself isn't ideal, but there's no way it's not better than continually being so stressed out. Sometimes mice chill out with age too, so you could try reintroducing in a few months.

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Re: 3 female mice and sudden aggression problem

Post by Quisp_ on Sat 06 Jan 2018, 3:55 pm

Okay guys, so here is an update.

I did the reintroduction in the tub for 30 minutes, there was no running, squeeking or biting. They had one moment where all three sat next to each other and they all groomed each other in turns. So since the tub reintroduction was a success the girls are now in a neutral bin with an egg carton box as cover, two water bottles, scattered food and a tp roll. They have been in there so about 30 minutes so far. There was some grooming, they were eating and walking around. The two bullies had a couple of stand offs with tail ratling and squeeking but then would just ran opposite directions. They groomed each other afterwards, too (good sign?). And the usually bullied mouse was getting along with both perfectly.
The bullied mouse seems to be a bit roughed up and sadly, before I put her into the neutral bin I noticed that her anus seems to be a bit red and swollen. Hard to say but since she didn't have any symptoms before I would assume it was a result of one of the squabbles with the other one. I will wipe it with some camomile brew later on tonight. Her tail was also bit bruised again so again it must have all happened at night. I no longer know who is the dominant one or the bully. Once the bully was separated, the othen one become one too! 

Either way, so far they are behaving calmly and rather friendly with each other. I am expecting some squeeks (I am oversensitive now) but hopefully notjing major. In about an hour I will add them a toy but just that for tonight, and tomorrow will add the running wheels.
Thanks a lot for all your replies, will keep you posted. 

Here's the grooming video (sorry about my bf comment at the end, although it was accurate):
https://vimeo.com/249955816

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Re: 3 female mice and sudden aggression problem

Post by Peachy on Sat 06 Jan 2018, 6:30 pm

So cute. I'm so happy that things are going well. Grooming is a very good sign!!!

If you notice the wheels causing any problems at all, take them right back out and leave them out for a couple more days.

Fingers crossed that they keep behaving!

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Re: 3 female mice and sudden aggression problem

Post by Quisp_ on Sun 07 Jan 2018, 5:03 am

What I can add is that the two dominant bullies have been sqeeking a lot and have quite a few stand offs but they would just chase and not really lock themselves into those thight balls so I didn't intervene at all. I assumed they need to reestablish who is the boss. I checked on them at night and in the morning. They knocked down one of the water bottles twice but again, no signs of blood. They were awake this morning so I could check them all, no nips or fresh bites. Even the usually bullied mouse looked like either her or someone else groomed her well because she looked less rough than last night. I will add some hanging toys today and a running wheel (at intervals to catch any bad behaviour). Let's hope it all goes well!

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Re: 3 female mice and sudden aggression problem

Post by Quisp_ on Fri 12 Jan 2018, 3:44 am

Hey guys, that's me again. I am sorry to be back again. I think I just need the last piece of advice.
The girls have been getting along fine after the last bloody fight. I decided that they need to settle things and so it happened. They drew some blood but I decided not to separate. Instead I removed the running wheel and left them with other toys. Since then a MIRACLE happened and they get along as best buddies. No squeeking, no chasing, everything is fine. I kept them without the running wheels (I have two for them) for two nights. Due to boredom they destroyed some toys and build a nest etc. I tried last night to give them the wheels but after about an hour the fight happened and I had to intervene because both got nipped to blood (very small). I let them cool down for 15 minutes, put the bully back in, WITHOUT wheels and again, peace and quite, best buds forever. It is the two dominant girls always fighting now, the ususally bullied mouse is not bothered by anyone and seems to be fine with both of them.

Do you guys have any suggestions on how to solve this problem? I don't want them to be bored at nights, it is well known that mice love running so I would like them to be able to enjoy it and share it.

Also they started acting a bit weird with their litter, clearing some floor areas clean of it and making little hills in other places, perhaps due to boredom? Funny.

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Re: 3 female mice and sudden aggression problem

Post by stephlisa on Fri 12 Jan 2018, 4:07 am

Have you thoroughly cleaned the wheels so that they don't smell of any of the mice?

(As an aside, the shelter I got my mice from did say it was okay not to give mice a wheel all the time so long as there are plenty of other toys).

My boys move their litter around. In the deeper sections they like to make little tunnels to run in. Its get to watch them play. Basil particularly likes digging!

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Re: 3 female mice and sudden aggression problem

Post by Peachy on Fri 12 Jan 2018, 4:13 am

You might also try a different kind of wheel. It wouldn't be a reach to assume that one thinks the wheel is hers because she just really loves it, and defends it. A different type of wheel could solve it. For example, if you have mesh, try a flying saucer. Otherwise, only offering a wheel during play time would be ok.

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Re: 3 female mice and sudden aggression problem

Post by Quisp_ on Fri 12 Jan 2018, 9:43 am

The silent spinner I have can also work as a flying saucer once you put it flat ( I had to improvise when I had to separate them so one was using it like that) so I might try that tonight to see. And yes, I have cleaned them with dilution of vinegar and that removes odours really well. I will give it a try and see. Thank you so much for all the info and support guys! 


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