Tame or just wanting food?

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Tame or just wanting food?

Post by Daydream on Sun 20 May 2018, 12:51 pm

Heyo! So I've had my girls Smidge & Daydream for two weeks. They've been nice mice ever since the very first day, never acting scared when I put my hand in and instead sniffing my hand before carrying about their business. They weren't keen on being touched, though. I began feeding them treats from my hand (pieces of apple and/or banana) and at first they would grab the food from my hand and carry it away, but soon they would happily sit on my hand as they ate. Now, as soon as I approach, they crawl on top of their bed house and stand upright in anticipation. When I put my hand in, they are eager to climb all over it and grab my fingertips with their tiny clawed hands.

But there is an issue... I realize giving them treats from my hand was not a good idea, because now I think they just go after my hand because they're expecting food. Case in point, Smidge nibbles all over my hand (sometimes hard) and bites down on my nails really hard. Even if they realize there's no food, they still act super playful with my hand and don't seem cautious. I can barely take my hand out because they hang onto my hand if I try to move it away!

But does this count as being tame? Or are they just seeking food instead of affection? I am unsure on what the next step to take should be. I would like Smidge's biting to stop! Daydream doesn't bite, but she still loves clambering all over my hand and almost climbing up my arm.

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Re: Tame or just wanting food?

Post by CallaLily on Mon 21 May 2018, 9:29 am

It’s a start! Some people do choose to hand treat during taming. I personally choose not to because in my experience it can encourage nipping/biting. Though it may take a tiny bit longer to tame without food, you absolutely can, so why not? It just takes a little more patience.

At this stage, if you’re worried about the process or they are biting, I would just continue on with taming sessions and playtime without treats. Save those for them to find hidden around the cage after. Things should progress just fine from here. No worries.

With biting/nibbling. I just gently curl my fingers away and say “no bites.” I’ve only had one mouse that was very nibbley in the beginning and this worked very quickly for him, though it may have been because he was very very interested in spending time with me. Might not work as quickly for a very territorial or scared mouse. Pardon

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Re: Tame or just wanting food?

Post by Daydream on Tue 22 May 2018, 10:26 am

Yeah, I will definitely stop hand-feeding them... today Daydream ate a piece of skin from my cuticle, and later bit my thumb so hard it bled Twisted I was surprised because it was just Smidge who did the biting before. Razz

I might get them some exercise balls to play around on my desk in.
EDIT: Nevermind, I've concluded exercise balls won't be good to get, I'll just set up a nice big play area for them.

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The joys of my life
Smidge, Daydream, Cybo, & Hubble the mice
Pusheen, Figaro, & Mewsette the cats
Orbit, Flopsy & Mopsy the guinea pigs
Neo & Pring the king quails
and their quail chicks Bit, Byte, & Megabyte
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