Need help dealing with introduction squabbles!

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Need help dealing with introduction squabbles!

Post by Squidly on Sun 11 Nov 2018, 9:48 am

Hi friends! I've come here because even though I have read aaaalllll the information on this forum about introductions, I am still inexperienced and nervous and am just looking for reassurance.

I had 3 mice, all adopted from a shelter, and one of them died of old age. Another one is also quite old, and she will likely die this year too, so I acquired two female babies to introduce and make a little group in case oldie does go soon, and then the last girl won't be alone.


After quarantining the babies, I decided to do introductions today. I put them all in a playpen with some peanut butter and vanilla extract, and minimal toys. They were all excited and happy and confused and there were no problems. They did a lot of sniffing and shuffling around, but there was absolutely nothing to worry about.

After a while in the playpen, I put them all into the "main" cage (25 or 30 gallons, not sure) and watched carefully. Again no problems, just lots of exploring, until about 30 minutes later. My dominant mouse (from the original group) began seeking out the babies and sniffing them really intently. As far as I can tell there wasn't any attack, but she was quite aggressive. The babies started to object with lots of squeaks and tried to run away. Dominant girl kept pursuing them very frantically and the babies kept squeaking, clearly scared of her, trying to get away and hide. The whole thing just scared me and sounded intense!

I panicked and took the dominant girl out just now in her own cage. All squeaking has stopped and babies are grooming, exploring, while oldie is grooming and minding her own business.


Did I panic too soon? Should I leave the dominant girl alone for a day or two and then try again? I'm just so afraid of someone getting hurt and it's stressing me out. These are my first mice, so I just don't know what's normal, or if I am making things worse with the separation. Any advice is welcome.
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Re: Need help dealing with introduction squabbles!

Post by chiroptera on Sun 11 Nov 2018, 4:28 pm

@Squidly Hello! I understand being nervous about introductions, and it's clear you want the best for your girls. Smile

Everything that you described is actually perfectly normal and nothing to worry about! There will likely be little scuffles and squeaks for a while until they get the dominance hierarchy figured out.

The general rule is, if there's no blood drawn, let them work it out! As long as all the mice are able to get food and water and there aren't any injuries/blood isn't drawn, you can let them sort it out on their own.

I'll admit, it can be hard to hear all the squeaking and not intervene - sometimes when a dominant mouse is picking on a smaller one, I'll take her out for a mini timeout and just let her run around on my shoulder/arms for a bit to let the other mouse get a bit of a break. But since right now you're newly introducing them, it's best to just let them go, and only intervene/separate if there's blood.

Good luck with your introductions!

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Re: Need help dealing with introduction squabbles!

Post by Squidly on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 4:27 am

Okay, thank you sooooo much for the reassurance. I'm going to put her back in now and just let them work it out, and only take action if there is blood. It's so hard to just stand by, haha!
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