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Oops, I have mice now?

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Post by Ryusdi Mon 15 Oct 2018, 4:30 am

DISCLAIMER: I'm not here to talk about the ethics of laboratory testing on animals. Animal lives are important. Science is important. I don't know where the perfect balance is, but for these particular mice, maybe they have a better life ahead of them.

So, I work in a laboratory for a university, and sometimes there are studies using mice going on. I was talking to a coworker about her study, and she told me that there were 3 cages of mice who couldn't be used for the study she was doing and she was going to have to euthanize them. Crying or Very sad It turns out that they had some health issues a few weeks ago, so never got the experimental treatments, but at this point they're recovered and completely healthy, just disqualified from the study. I asked if they could become pets, and while she isn't sure, she postponed their euthanasia to ask higher-ups for me. Angel

Should everything go well, I might be coming home with up to 9 mice sometime this week! There's one cage with 2 mice, one with 3 mice and the last has 4 mice. I'm not sure if I can handle 9 female mice as a beginner in the realms of rodent keeping, so I'm doing my best to find them new homes. I'm also trying not to split up the cages so all the girls will have their friend(s). Unfortunately, not many people in my area are interested in pet mice at all, let alone multiple. Even if I do find people to take them, I'll need to care for them for a few weeks or so until they can go to their forever homes.

As a novice, I'd love to learn more about general mouse care. I want to do the best I can by these little ones! I'm reading lots of stuff about mouse care, but there seems to be some conflicting information out there...

Could some more experienced mouse parents help me out? How hard would it be to care for 9 female mice? Is this too many to put together in one cage? How hard is it to bond this many mice? Any food recommendations or links to good mouse nutrition sources? Any advice about finding homes for mice and ensuring the people will take good care of them? General care routine recommendations? Favorite toys of your mice I could try? Taming advice? Links or direct answers are all appreciated! Thanks! Hearts

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Post by AnonymousMouseOwner Tue 16 Oct 2018, 5:36 am

That's sweet of you to rescue them, that is sad they would want to euthanize them just because they didn't "qualify" for the study! Surely they could find a rescue or good home for them. I'm glad you are going to do that for them!

How hard would it be to care for 9 female mice?
Well, I have 10 mice myself, but 2 of them are males in separate cages. It's actually a good thing these mice you are rescuing are female. If they were male, I'd say it would be very difficult to rescue them all, as males have to be house separately, so you would need 9 cages! Being female, however, they can be housed together.

Is this too many to put together in one cage?
Well, that depends on the cage size. I believe a 40 gallon breeder tank can fit 8 mice, so if you want to house that many together, I would go with something around that size for them. However, as a beginner, I would not recommend housing this many together. It will be hard to keep track of them all, they might split into two separate groups because there are so many of them, and the groups would fight, etc.. Introductions are also difficult, mice who haven't seen each other before probably can't just be thrown together in their cage and be expected to get along. They must first meet in neutral territory, such as a carrier or playpen, and stay there probably around 20 mins, they will sniff each other, chase each other, and maybe squeak at each other, all of this is normal. Then you need to try your best to make the cage neutral as well, by washing the cage out well, replacing the bedding, and cleaning the smell off of all the toys. Once you put them in their cage they will live in, you need to watch them closely for 15-20 minutes at least, and check on them frequently throughout the next couple days to ensure they are getting along. If they draw blood, then the bully or bullies should be separated from the group. It can be a difficult process for someone new to keeping mice, so it's probably better to keep them in their already bonded groups if you can. I would recommend you keep each group in either a ten or twenty gallon long tank. A 10 gallon is the minimum for a trio of mice, but if you are going to be housing them for a very short time, I don't think it's terrible to have one extra mouse in a ten gallon for a short period of time, I'm sure it's better than the cage they were in at the lab! If you can get a 20 gallon long for each group however, they would love that and would be very happy mice!

How hard is it to bond this many mice? Answered in above paragraph ^

Any food recommendations or links to good mouse nutrition sources?
Check out our mouse diet thread!

Any advice about finding homes for mice and ensuring the people will take good care of them?
I'm going to paste a quote here from a post I made about Craigslist rehoming on someone else's topic Smile
AnonymousMouseOwner wrote:Craigslist can be a dangerous way to rehome if not done properly, but if you take all precautions needed, you might be able to find them a great home! I rehomed a bunny on there that I had rescued and couldn't keep, I know how hard it can be to find homes for animals with people you trust, I spent months looking for the right home for the bunny and still never found someone with the ideal housing conditions I was hoping for, but I found him a home with a nice lady that said she had a large outdoor pen for him and would keep him inside in the hot weather. So I didn't find him a home where he could be a house rabbit like I'd hoped for, but I found him a home with a nice person that seemed to really care for him. The bunny also seemed to like her, he was very calm with her while he was not very calm around me. If you choose to go the Craigslist route, you need to put an adoption fee large enough to prevent them from going to the wrong person. You can waive the fee if you find the right person, but in the ad be sure to say that there will be a fee to deter people that might not want them for pets. I think $5 or more is a good fee. If you are really worried, maybe even $10. I advertised a $40 fee for the bunny, which is quite a bit for a non-purebred, rescued rabbit, but I wanted to make sure he went somewhere safe. I did waive the fee and charged the lady who took him home nothing. You can also give the adopter a care sheet with a link to a website that promotes good care, I did that as well. You can even ask for a description or pictures of the habitat they have for the animal, I did that and it worked well. If they take the time to describe and/or share pics of their habitat, you know they care. If all else fails, you can also contact the shelter, as it would be better for them to be there than the pet store in my opinion.

General care routine recommendations?
Here is a super helpful organized list of care topics!

Good luck! Smile

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Post by CallaLily Thu 18 Oct 2018, 11:38 am

Just wanted to say welcome to the group! hello2

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