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Help With Ruby

Post by AmyLynn on Fri 10 Aug 2018, 2:05 pm

Hello All!

I have an adorable mouse named Ruby.  We bought Ruby from our local Petco in June with two other mice. As it turned out we actually received a male mouse in the group and Ruby got pregnant and gave birth to 9 healthy babies 6 weeks ago tomorrow. During her pregnancy and after she remained housed with her sister Princess Fluffles who was an excellent Nanny and very helpful and kind to Ruby.  Ruby was a little more jumpy than usual after giving birth but was still easy going. Allowing us to pick her up and play with us.

At this point there had already been some huge change for Ruby...


  • Her partner the male in disguise as a female Pepper and her where very close and she was separated from him.


  • We where forces to move her from her smaller bar cage to a large aquarium for both safety of the babies and due to size.


  • Plus she of course became a mom.



About 3 week after the birth of the babies Fluffles (the usually timid mouse) began to become a little more aggressive. She began to become "nippy" but only when you stuck your hand into tank. Plus she becoming was much more bossy. I felt at the time that this was kind of normal as perhaps she was protecting the little ones and did nothing about the behavior (This will be relevant I swear!) Ruby still acting just a little jumpy but still ok considering all the changes.

At week 4 things took a turn. We separated the boys (7) from our girls (2). The boys where left in the nursery tank as to keep all the smells and stuff the same while we worked out housing for them. (we had a former vet come to the house and sex them) Ruby, Fluffles, and Ruby's daughters Bianca and Dottie where moved to a new aquarium with new stuff in it. Including a two story wooden house with a deck on it, that I thought Ruby was going to love. Upon moving to the new tank the hierarchy changed almost immediately.  Ruby was no longer "in change" Fluffles took the Alpha Female spot. There was no fighting about it. Ruby simply let Fluffles do it. No fighting. Her daughter Dottie became Fluffles right hand mouse and mirrors Fluffles behavior including the nipping at hand that has still not subsided. The two of then sometime vie for power.  Bianca is like her mother and also simply gives into to any action that would "put her in her place" but is still super active and loves to be handles still. She often is at Ruby's side.

Ruby is now turning into a jumpy introvert. She spent most of the time in the house. She does come out and use the wheel from time to time but not near a much. She is eating and drinking and other wise looks healthy. However, every enrichment item that is placed in for them she acts as if the toy or item is going to attack her. If you open the cage she runs and hides. She has taken to burrowing anywhere that she can instead of coming out in the open. She no longer comes to me willingly it takes coxing and yesterday would not even take a treat from my husbands hand. Not like her at all. She LOVES toddler puffs and use to steel them from everyone else.

When I draw her out of the cage (this task has now become almost impossible between Fluffles and Dottie nipping at me and Ruby being slow to come to me) she acts like her old self after a few minutes of being out.  She sits in my arms and runs all over me. She is obviously happy to see me. She seem healthy.

I feel at a loss. Before the babies the 3 mice lived happily in harmony and where very well round...now thing are different and each of them are acting out in their own way with Ruby being the worst off. Any advise on how to help Ruby would be appreciated.   (sorry for the long story...I just did not want to leave any relevant info out.)

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Amy Lynn
(a loving Heart mouse mom)


My Current Mouse Family
         Group Hug
Does:                             Bucks:                    
Ruby                            Pepper
Princess Fluffles            Spot
Bianca                         Chestnut
Dottie                          Tiny
                                   Mogwai
                                   Ninja
                                   Junior
                                   Stuart
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Re: Help With Ruby

Post by CallaLily on Fri 10 Aug 2018, 3:50 pm

I would just continue to get her and the others out for play time in a safe space.  There you can work on getting Ruby back to being comfortable with you (just as you would a new mouse) and getting those two naughty girls to hopefully stop nipping you.  Now I haven’t had a full on biter/nippy mouse yet. But I did have one that was a bit nibbley when I first got him. To make it clear to him that that wasn’t acceptable I just would gently curl my fingers away and say “no bites” calmly every time. It only took him a couple days to get the hint.  Now a more “aggressive” mouse or more timid mouse may take longer or perhaps even a different technique. But this worked well for my friendly yet nibbley boy. I hope it helps for your situation too.  With a lot of time and patience I’m sure you’ll get them to come around. Very Happy


EDIT: I just wanted to quickly add that sometimes set backs in taming happen like this. No matter the cause, with time and patience you can usually win back their trust.

It’s also not uncommon with new tank mates added to the mix (mature babies in this case) or location changes to shake things up in the mousey dynamic. They almost always work through it and find their balance. Sometimes it takes a little time. As long as no blood is drawn and no one is being kept from getting enough food or water, it’s all good.

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Re: Help With Ruby

Post by AmyLynn on Tue 14 Aug 2018, 4:35 pm

Update:

So things have improved greatly. We kept working with the group of them daily with a little improvement. The big change was when I deep cleaned their cage. I had to put some other houses in the tank because the wood was still a little wet....

The change in the set-up (that I was nervous about) was a good thing. The Ruby was reinvigorate with the new set-up. I think the big house and deep bedding created the availability for her to continue the skidish behavior before.

With Ruby back to her old self, her daughter Dottie (our little nipper) saw her mom interacting with us positively and is mimicking her mom's good behavior. Auntie Fluffles wanted the added attention that the "good girls" where getting for not biting and there was no nipping at all yesterday. She was excited and happy that we kept telling her she was a good girl Smile

It was so darn cute, she would get up on her hind legs and look at you. We would put our hand in and she would run over and get into out hands. We would pet her and teller her she was a good girl and put her back down. She wanted to do it over and over again. She started getting ready to be put back down so she could do it again. Bouncy Bouncy

Bianca is still being a a happy little girl (no change)

_________________
Amy Lynn
(a loving Heart mouse mom)


My Current Mouse Family
         Group Hug
Does:                             Bucks:                    
Ruby                            Pepper
Princess Fluffles            Spot
Bianca                         Chestnut
Dottie                          Tiny
                                   Mogwai
                                   Ninja
                                   Junior
                                   Stuart
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Re: Help With Ruby

Post by CallaLily on Tue 14 Aug 2018, 5:32 pm

I’m so glad to hear things are going well! Most of my mice also really enjoyed having short “rides” like I think you’re describing with Fluffles. They’d climb on and I would lift them up and over to another section of the play bin and let them down. Then they’d promptly run back to “start” for another turn. Good mousey fun. Very Happy

_________________
currently without meece but always remembering:
Cheeseburger, Bacon, Twix, Hashbrown, Daryl,
Celyn, Rina, Seren, Hazel, Arsinoe, Tilda, & Eulyn

Gerbils: Oghren, Emrys, & Merin
+6 babies!
Hamster: Daydream
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