Wheel pooping and overall cleanliness... Is It Genetic?

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Wheel pooping and overall cleanliness... Is It Genetic?

Post by Soren on Sun 05 Jun 2016, 12:44 am

I'm starting to thing cage/toy hygiene is genetic.
I have Usagi and her (now 12-wk-old) daughters in one tank.. (FYI Usagi is living separate at the moment due to her illness).
And Daisy (mom) and Oero (previous nanny) living with Daisy's (now 6-wk-old) daughters in another tank.

I noticed, when I bought pregnant Usagi, she did not poop/pee on her toys. She ran on the wheel often, but did not poop or pee in it. She did her business in one corner of the tank. Now with her babies all grown up, her and her daughters ALL do not poo/pee in the wheel or on thier other toys. They all poop/pee in one corner of the cage.

Daisy and Oero are not so clean. They poop everywhere around their cage except for their nest (thank goodness). I clean their cage often since spot cleaning one spot is not an option. They also poop/pee on their wheel when they run (Actually i can't really catch which one is the culprit, so i'll assume both), so i have to soak/scrub their wheel every week. Daisy was also preggers when i bought her, and now that they babies are all grown up... i suspect they ALL may be pooping/peeing on the wheel, because it gets dirtier so much faster.

I thought hygiene was something individual to each mouse.... Or is it genetic or a learned behavior?

What are your experiences with this?
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Re: Wheel pooping and overall cleanliness... Is It Genetic?

Post by scaredymouse on Sun 05 Jun 2016, 2:36 am

I find that all my young mice are total slobs! They poop and pee everywhere, including me. I had to clean the wheel several times a week, it was so gross. But when they got older, they got a lot cleaner. And they pee on me a lot less often. I have found this true for all my mice.

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Re: Wheel pooping and overall cleanliness... Is It Genetic?

Post by MouseLover on Sun 05 Jun 2016, 8:38 am

I second what scaredymouse says, I think it's an age thing.

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Re: Wheel pooping and overall cleanliness... Is It Genetic?

Post by MesaMouse on Sun 05 Jun 2016, 11:11 am

Ditto re it being an age thing. In the first year with the quintet of girls, I had to scrub the saucer on a daily basis to clean off all the pee and poop, chip dried poop off the rim of the food bowl and feeding platform, etc. As they aged into "lady" mice, all of that messiness vanished! They were always good about peeing, though: each week, they designated one corner of the tank for urination...and it was never an empty corner! Some weeks it was behind the feeding platform, another week behind one of the ceramic hides and, every once in a while, it would be the corner right below the water bottle -- I guess it was a convenient one-stop: empty then turn around and refill Laugh !

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Re: Wheel pooping and overall cleanliness... Is It Genetic?

Post by CallaLily on Sun 05 Jun 2016, 1:27 pm

Same here, younger mice = bigger mess.

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Re: Wheel pooping and overall cleanliness... Is It Genetic?

Post by peas on Sun 05 Jun 2016, 4:51 pm

Thutty, Thutmouse III,  is clean even at a young age.    

She doesn't run in her wheel as often as her cage mate Nutty, but she does run atleast an hour a day.   And her wheels are pretty dagnabbit clean.    She also sometimes stacks her poos in a little pile.  Not always, but every now and then i'll find a pile of like 15 poos organised in a straight line.     This is the mouse, that also had a water dish for a week and didn't get one bit of anything in it.   She's only 6 months i think. She had her water dish when she was 3 months.    Just naturally a clean freak when it comes to wheels.       She will poo all over her cardboard toys though.  All over them right away, so yeah.


 Nutty is the opposite.  She'll dirty a wheel like you can't believe in half a day.  It's like she only poos in her wheel.  I mean, she poos other places, but her wheels are just covered in poo the moment she gets them.   I don't even know how it's possible.  I have never seen a mouse do that to a wheel, when i had 3 girls sharing a wheel they didn't do that.    It's crazy.   I almost think she must be bringing poos from other places into the wheel. lol


 Wormy, the bad one,  is sort of inbetween the two extremes.   Though now that she can't poo off her cage, which was like where 80% of the poos went, i am not sure what'll happen to the wheels she has.


I imagine it's probably just like people. Some mice learn to be this way, because who knows why, and some are just born to be this way. As far as genes go, it takes some combination of being able to do something (having the gene) and something stimulating its activation.
So like most things, it's really a combination of both.

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Re: Wheel pooping and overall cleanliness... Is It Genetic?

Post by Soren on Mon 06 Jun 2016, 1:27 pm

@peas wrote: I almost think she must be bringing poos from other places into the wheel. lol
Haha, I laughed a lot at this. It's a funny thought. Maybe they are mischievous and want to make more work for you, buy plotting.
I had the same experienced with Usagi's litter. They were all clean from a young age.

But the age thing seems likey as well.... although Daisy is almost fully mature by now (I estimate around 3-4 months. She must of gotten pregnant too early, because the petshop mixes the sexes). I am holding on to the hope it will be the age thing for Daisy litter, because they are driving me nuts. After cleaning them, i'll come back after a few hours and it looks like it rained chocolate chips all over their igloo house and wheel and saucer. ugh.

@peas wrote: Not always, but every now and then i'll find a pile of like 15 poos organised in a straight line.
Wow. impressive. What interesting mice you have.... Smile
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Re: Wheel pooping and overall cleanliness... Is It Genetic?

Post by scaredymouse on Mon 06 Jun 2016, 3:23 pm

My girls don't put them in piles, but they do keep their nest clean by removing poops. Sometimes, I see Gilly tossing them out of the nest one by one.

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Re: Wheel pooping and overall cleanliness... Is It Genetic?

Post by MouseLover on Mon 06 Jun 2016, 5:05 pm

My girls kinda have a designated poop corner, but where it is changes every week.

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Re: Wheel pooping and overall cleanliness... Is It Genetic?

Post by goldfishfanforever on Mon 06 Jun 2016, 5:45 pm

Two of my hamsters pee on their wheels however the other doesn't so it could be genetics maybe or personal preference.
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Re: Wheel pooping and overall cleanliness... Is It Genetic?

Post by Nestmouse on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 2:21 pm

Oh dear, the days when I had to scrub one mouse's wheel daily. When I no longer had to do that it was I think because he had given up running. With some, it seems to stay as long as they use it.

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Re: Wheel pooping and overall cleanliness... Is It Genetic?

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