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Did your boys ever get lonely?

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Did your boys ever get lonely? Empty Did your boys ever get lonely?

Post by River Thu 26 Nov 2020, 1:02 pm

I think the hard part about keeping male mice is keeping them alone.

So far, he seems fine, but having had female mice I know how social these animals really are and I can't help but feel a bit bad for him. It just feels unnatural. I seem to mind it more than he does!

I thought I'd ask you guys, though. When you had your boys did you ever notice any signs of depression? Repetitive behaviors, inactivity, pacing, poor nest or coat, anything at all that seemed different from the way your girls acted? I wonder if they're less social than girls and are moreso just interested in reproduction in the wild. I haven't heard many stories about depressed/lonely males, but maybe that's just because they're less popular as pets. Couldn't tell you why, they don't smell too bad and he's the sweetest.

I've thought of getting a pair of young ASF's. This has some risks, though. They haven't been domesticated very long and can sometimes be unpredictable. I'm especially concerned about this since he doesn't have the protection other mice have; fur. If I find a good breeder and get a larger enclosure, I'll consider it. It's not the same, but I think it would fulfill most of his social needs.

I could also neuter him and get some girls, but that comes with its own risks. What are the chances a vet near me has any experience neutering mice, after all?

So right now my plan is to just watch his behavior and see how he's doing. How did you guys feel about keeping boys? Did you ever worry about them getting lonely?

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Post by SarahAdams Thu 26 Nov 2020, 5:51 pm

I got three boys this summer (first mice ever) and each is in his own large bin cage. I do think about them being alone and I feel bad for them.

Their bins are close together and I added a "window" of wire mesh on each so they can see and smell each other. Some say this is a bad idea as it might cause them frustration and make them mark more. Others say it's good for them to have even this much contact with their own kind so I'm not sure?

I've given each everything I can think of - lots of toys and chews and hides and ladders, etc, which I switch around and replace and give them time out in their playgrounds - but still, I feel sorry for them not living their lives the way nature intended. All that to say I really don't know how they feel about this. Sorry not to be more helpful.

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Post by River Thu 26 Nov 2020, 6:09 pm

Thank you! It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who has these concerns. Smile

I have read some more interesting stuff while researching. There are some breeders who believe that in some lines, males became 'less social' after being housed alone for so many generations. Possible I guess, but I still wouldn't say they aren't social. That would explain how well they tend to do alone, though. I have also learned that apparently male ASF's can be better companions for male fancies than females because they are the more mellow of that species...interesting. I've got a lot to think about!

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Post by Peachy Fri 27 Nov 2020, 9:43 am

I’ve housed three males with females- two were neutered and moved in with separate sister colonies, and one was so old and fragile and special and loved that I had doubt he’d be able to get anyone pregnant (and he didn’t) but if he had I would have just cherished the babies. He lived with these two ladies for several months, until his death, and they really took care of him and helped him avoid an OCD relapse.

In both cases, the males not only fit right in but flourished. They did everything a normal colony of females would do, except maybe bicker a little less often.

I’ve had males that lived alone in a cage but had female neighbors in a cage. Both often  hung out near each other. It was kind of cute.

A majority of my males have just lived alone. Most never seemed stressed or depressed with plenty of toys to keep them busy (make great use of foraging toys/puzzles) AND a lot of attention from their humans. Sometimes I’d bring their cage close to a chair and just let them climb all over while I watched a movie or something. They could go home when they wanted and come back if they felt like it. Two took to chronic scratching.

I have zero knowledge or experience of ASF-mouse relations, but if you go this route would be interested to follow! I emailed a VCA vet to ask if they neuter and they referred me to a university (teaching) clinic. Bit of a drive but worth it. Maybe a clinic near you would be able to point you in the direction of a doctor who will do it.
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Post by River Fri 27 Nov 2020, 3:13 pm



Thank you! Lot of things to consider here! From what I've read so far it seems like it is possible for them to thrive alone, but it depends on the mouse? I hope my little man continues to do well. Lord knows I can't handle another chronic scratcher, that was a lot of stress for both of us. I think that the whole experience is why I'm so worried about him getting lonely.

I'll definitely update you all on where I go with this. As of now, I don't think he's quite yet full-sized so I have time. I don't plan to make any choices until I've had him for at least three months. Smile





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Post by riley Fri 27 Nov 2020, 5:03 pm

i had two boys but sadly one passed away. before, they lived together and everything was perfectly fine. they never fought with each other but now that the other male passed away, he's seemed sad. i kinda am dealing with the same thing too-

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