New To Mice!

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New To Mice!

Post by IamAllurre on Thu 05 Apr 2018, 1:39 am

Hello All!!!!!

FIRST let me start by saying it's nice to meet everyone and I'm super excited to be apart of this group! Heart Eyes

I am not new to owning rodents however I am new to owning Mice & I have a few concerns I would like to voice and get some feedback on from some of you whom are more experienced.

Let me jump right into it, I have had a  non fancy mouse ( Named Cooper ) for about 4 months now. She is older, as when I got her she was already an adult. Within these 4 months after doing much research it came to my attention that Mice do not prefer to be alone, as they are are a bonding animal and like to be together with others. I FELT HORRIBLE! My little cooper was ripped out of her home of 30+ at PetSmart and thrown into loneliness. That being said I do handle her every day and take her out to play often, she just seemed upset alone in her cage and would really never "play" inside. I bought her a few new toys and a new wheel,  she just didn't seem to be happy enough.

To make a long story short yesterday (4-3-18) I decided to buy two females and expand the family! Group Hug I got a new change, wheel, toys, the entire 9 yards and was advised by the women at PetSmart that it be best to put Cooper into her new cage the two new girls Peanut ( Brown ) and Rogue ( Black ) after a day of being in separate cages. Now I don't need advise about the bonding, I already feel I messed up this process a bit, BUT the family gets along with a few squabbles here and there. Cooper took to the two little girls after a few hours and a day later, and I'll start introducing back Coopers vinegar washed goodies 1 at a time once a day.  It's a slow process I know, and I am ok with that. ANY tips that you Mouse Parents may have for me at this point would be wonderful!  

My biggest concern comes from Baby Peanut ( Brown ) my newest addition. At the pet store they did explain that she was VERY VERY ext shy and timid Rogue ( Black ) not so much. The two were already a bonded pair from separate litters. On her nose after closer examination I noticed a small patch of missing fur, no blood, no foil so I over looked. I figured that the pet store didn't mention it so it must be nothing, she  doesn't seem to notice it much and Cooper and Rogue leave it alone with no trouble. After looking up possible issues I am only a bit worried that this is a Major health issue, BUT I want to be safe. She is very shy, with people a bit more welcoming, BUT with Cooper, it took more time then with Rogue and Cooper.  Shocked

The next issue I am seeing is that Cooper is being a bit aggressive around the water, I have two in the cage and I am scatter feeding ATM to avoid territory issues. I have heard some squeaks and watched as Cooper will harass them when trying to drink out of either... this makes me VERY worried to put a food dish in the cage at all, or to ever be able to remove the extra water. I see that they are enjoying sleeping, cleaning, and cuddles together but Cooper is showing her dominance over something that is very important to the little ones health. Will  this go away in time? Will it happen as I start to introduce more items? Right now the cage is bare minimum, I am excited to watch them play as it grows. I just want to make sure I do it right!!!!!  Undecided

Thank you all for you help & feedback! I can post pictures of the mice so you can all see what I mean once I get more familiar with the site. For now thanks for letting me rant haha I am so excited to be on board!

Take care all!
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Re: New To Mice!

Post by Jadamouse on Thu 05 Apr 2018, 3:55 am

the missing patch of fur on your mouses nose should be nothing to worry about if there is no blood, but still make sure you keep an eye on it and if it gets any worse or doesn't clear up or improve within a week or so make sure you do take her to the vet just to be 100% sure everything is fine. often times when you google things about your pets health it isn't very accurate so your best bet is definitely to see a vet if you are concerned.

As to the water issue do you use bottles or bowls? if you are using only one of the 2 try putting a bottle AND a bowl in their cage?? with the food scatter feeding is a very good idea at this and bowls aren't super necessary anyway. a bit of squabbling and squeaking is completely normal too with newly bonded mice. I have 4 females (a mother and 3 of her babies) and even they still squabble from time to time, its just something mice do (sometimes its just play fighting) just make sure you have a spare cage ready just in case anything goes wrong as it can happen. (if any blood is drawn separate them immediately and take the injured mouse to the vet asap)

one thing that you should take into consideration is that the age difference between the mice can affect bonding as a mouse who has lived on their own for the majority of their life can be territorial when introducing other cage mates. the only other thing i suggest is getting a larger cage (not super necessary if the cage is already a decent size but it can help with territory issues Smile

best of luck with your little ones !!


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Re: New To Mice!

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Thu 05 Apr 2018, 9:39 am

One other thing to consider is Cooper's length of time away from the influence of other mouse-type individuals. For four months YOU have been her cue for learning about the ways of the world, and there almost have to be little idiosyncratic variations in the way she thinks about things and does things as compared to how she would if she had spent the last four months in the company of other mousies.

Now she has two new little strangers who not only want to help themselves to her space and her stuff, but they -- horrors! -- act so much like ... MICE!!

Getting along takes time, and Cooper probably feels that she should be the one setting the rules around her house. Even sisters who are best friends but share a bedroom can squabble ferociously over one's hand-washing dripping on the other's slippers, or one wanting the light out to sleep while the other wants to read for another hour. Just relax yourself and be at peace with the situation while you watch the three girls together, imagine thinking like a mouse, and try to get the feel of what's going on between them. Let them do the work of setting up their new little society, and stay close by to prevent injury and to transfer any injury-causing aggressor to the "time out" tank.

P.S. I had a solo girl, the wonderful Miss April S Sweetmousie, for 22½ months. She was with me almost all day, every day, at the house and at the office, and even on a couple of short road trips. We even went to the theatre to see some Shakespeare one night, and to a memorial service out of town for a co-worker who she had visited with many times at work, and who we lost young and very suddenly.

I never tried to train April, because I wanted her to retain her essential mouse nature, but even very early in our association, I noticed that she was developing little quirky accents to her personality that she almost HAD to be picking up from me. She was always a little mouse at her core, but she was learning about what we do in life by watching me, and thereby becoming a very unique little being.

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Re: New To Mice!

Post by Peachy on Thu 05 Apr 2018, 8:23 pm

Welcome to the forum!!

What size cage are your ladies in? Starting new colonies in a minimum sized cage can be greatly beneficial. Small spaces force them to bond and learn to share, rather than giving them space to claim their own territory and fight with each other.
Cuddling, playing, grooming are all GREAT signs. It can take around two weeks for new colonies to fully work out a hierarchy and begin to settle down. Squeaking, chasing, humping, etc are all normal behaviors during this time.

Is Peanut scratching her nose? I have a girlie that's scratched her face since before she was even weaned. She's about two now, but nothing we've tried has worked in her favor. Don't Know

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Re: New To Mice!

Post by IamAllurre on Sun 08 Apr 2018, 1:27 pm

@Jadamouse  

Thank you so for the reply! I am keeping an eye on her nose and check her at least 2 times a day to be sure. Are their any products I should be using on it? It is not bleeding so I am trying not to over think it. It could just be a birth mark.

The water and food bowl situation is interesting, Cooper is a bit possessive but has come around over the last few days. I use bottles because I fear water getting everywhere in bowls and lack of space. The food scatter feeding is just a bit annoying because I feel like I can't tell if they are out of food so it leaves me open to accidentally over feeding.

The squabbles have died down a LOT, Now it really only seems like there is some small fights that break up quickly and a lot more squeaking from catching the other mouse off guard. It is recommended that if they do start getting aggressive to remove the bully and not the victims so I have been watching all three closely.

I agree with you that the cage was an important step, I am looking into getting a bigger set up as the two little ones age, but for now the one cage is all the room I can spare. I do feel like it is a bit hard to fit everything inside, and I really don't know how to reduce the amount of "things" needed inside the cage, two wheels, 2 chew toys, 2 water bottles and a sleeping space is all the room they have. Expansion will be necessary once they are older.


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@MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop


I complete agree with you, I can see that cooper was a very confused when we first introduced her to the girls that I wasn't handling her enough. She does climb up a bit more on the bars and when the cage door is open to run around she is the first to come out and enjoy some time alone, is that healthy an normal? As I told Jada the squabblkes have died down, BUT the cage is a bit smaller then I would like ( just for now ) Is it better to give each mouse it's own time away from the others?

Miss April Sounds adorable! I love the little personalities that mice have and I wish that more people would see that they are in fact little lovable creatures. Do they really pick up on our behaviors so quickly? I feel like it would be good for me to interact with each mouse to learn about them each, BUT I want that even balance like you had with your little one that they stay mouse at heart / nature.

Thank you for sharing with me, I can't wait to see how my little ones develop and grow, it's such an exciting process to be involved in!!!

--------------------

@Peachy

 YAY thank you! I am so happy to be here! I can't stop reading up about these little ones and learning all I can about how to care for them better. I even got my housemates involved and every seem to love and respect my babies. I am so glad.

Right now the cage is smaller, With place to expand as the little ones grow. I have a CritterTrail cage right now, One with a small sleeping area up a set of tubes and a large enough floor space for their essentials. As I said above it contains 2 wheels, 2 chew toys, 2 water bottles & I scatter feed for now do no food bowls. I am glad this helps with the bonding, that's a relief that I did that right,  BUT I do feel a bit bad they seem to be on top of one another when I watch them. I asked Merci if it's best to give each one some time alone, outside of the cage to let them stretch their legs ( sort to speak ) I feel like this would really help in the long run, but maybe my thinking is off if this would effect the bonding?

I do not see Peanut favoring her nose when she cleans, OR putting extra effort to scratch or push her nose against her toys. It seems more like something that may of happens at birth as it's not ever bleeding ( I am so thankful ) my worry now is that it may be an old injury that that scared or scabbed over that my re surface if she does something the wrong way. I have been keeping an eye on it 2 times a day for now until I see no change or fear in it.  I am sorry to hear about your little one, I hope and pray she is healthy and ok. Do you recommend using any products for fur? Or would that further the issue?

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Re: New To Mice!

Post by IamAllurre on Sun 08 Apr 2018, 2:00 pm



My Three Little Girls







Peanut







Rogue








Cooper


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Re: New To Mice!

Post by Jadamouse on Mon 09 Apr 2018, 2:23 am

its great to hear that the squabbling is dying down, i dont feel like there is any need to put anything on the missing patch of fur, i can see from the photo that it isnt too bad. the only thing i could suggest you do instead of scatter feeding is putting their food on a dish (kind of like a saucer that would go under a tea cup?) rather than a food bowl, however if there isn't much space in the cage this might not work. definitely try to upgrade their cage as having a larger cage could help with some of your issues. bin cages are a really great option as they are budget friendly Smile


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Re: New To Mice!

Post by Fukari on Thu 12 Apr 2018, 4:35 pm

Awh! Your mice are adorable!
I don't think the missing patch of fur is anything. It probably will just grow back. If you start seeing more missing patches - however - you might wanna take the mouse to the vet for a check up.
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