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They still nip my fingers

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They still nip my fingers Empty They still nip my fingers

Post by SarahAdams Sun 20 Dec 2020, 9:35 am

These 3 boys I've had since the end of August. They each have a large bin cage and two separate playgrounds, each with a wheel, which they seem to enjoy. They are not nervous at all, have zero fear of me and plaster themselves to the cage doors when I enter the room, wanting out. They will come to me when in their playgrounds, climb on my sleeves and run up my arms and don't bite any exposed skin even on the backs of my hands, but if my fingers are accessible for even a second, I get nipped.

They're so cute and soft and I'd love to hold and pet them, but should I just give up trying to handle them and enjoy them for what they are?

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Post by Dee67 Sun 20 Dec 2020, 1:22 pm

Can you try bitter apple on your hands or fingertips? You can make your own with 2 parts apple cider to 1 part white vinegar.They will smell/taste it and not bite but need to make sure it won't make them sick. I see vinegar as an ingredient in some of their foods. Does anyone know if it's perfectly OK?

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Post by Oreoandfriends Sun 20 Dec 2020, 1:50 pm

Some of my males have naturally been nippy too. I always just ended up wearing gloves while handling them but they should get used to your hands eventually. The bitter apple suggestion is a good idea, I know many owners spray that on things they don’t want their rodents to chew so it should be safe. I don’t know if this would work with mice but with rat owners can usually get their rats to stop biting by making a high pitched noise and pulling away, it seems odd but apparently they’ll start to understand that it hurts you (however I know that rats and mice have different intelligence levels).
Sometimes they’ll do test nips when they’re first getting used to you too but those shouldn’t hurt much or draw blood, they’ll stop doing it once they’re comfortable with you.
Hope this helps, good luck!
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Post by SarahAdams Sun 20 Dec 2020, 2:20 pm

Thank you both for the insights/suggestions! I do have some apple cider vinegar in the house, too.

They seem very comfortable with me and never hide. To put them in their playgrounds I use a hamster igloo to hold to the doors of their bins and they hop right in, the little devils.

I made the mistake of giving them some treats (as I did with my rats) though the bars until someone here mentioned not to do that in case they always associate fingers with treats and just take a taste to find out. It's probably my fault. Or maybe it's why they were dumped at the shelter.

I never had a rat - no matter how untame or frightened - try to bite me. I have observed a different intelligence level in mice (although they learn certain things quickly) but not surprising since rats are extremely bright. The nips don't hurt much or draw blood, but they're not pleasant.

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Post by Oreoandfriends Sun 20 Dec 2020, 5:09 pm

@SarahAdams wrote:Thank you both for the insights/suggestions! I do have some apple cider vinegar in the house, too.

They seem very comfortable with me and never hide. To put them in their playgrounds I use a hamster igloo to hold to the doors of their bins and they hop right in, the little devils.

I made the mistake of giving them some treats (as I did with my rats) though the bars until someone here mentioned not to do that in case they always associate fingers with treats and just take a taste to find out. It's probably my fault. Or maybe it's why they were dumped at the shelter.

I never had a rat - no matter how untame or frightened - try to bite me. I have observed a different intelligence level in mice (although they learn certain things quickly) but not surprising since rats are extremely bright. The nips don't hurt much or draw blood, but they're not pleasant.
That’s good, I hope it works! And yeah I’m a new rat owner so I’ve been learning things about them as I go, I currently have 3 and they’ve all been nearly impossible to tame lol! So far they seem to be more intuitive than my mice but the mice are still very intelligent considering their size. I’m glad you’re able to get your mice out of the cage though, that’s very good for them, especially with lone males!
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Post by SarahAdams Sun 20 Dec 2020, 5:34 pm

@Oreoandfriends wrote:
@SarahAdams wrote:
That’s good, I hope it works! And yeah I’m a new rat owner so I’ve been learning things about them as I go, I currently have 3 and they’ve all been nearly impossible to tame lol! So far they seem to be more intuitive than my mice but the mice are still very intelligent considering their size. I’m glad you’re able to get your mice out of the cage though, that’s very good for them, especially with lone males!

I had rats for years. My first one, Daisy, was totally untame. I would set her cage on a little table next to my lazyboy chair and open the cage door. She soon started coming out on her own, running across me to get to the other chair to steal stuff, and then started cuddling up and sleeping in the crook of my arm. Rats catch on to things pretty quickly and they're so much bigger than mice they're not so nervous and fearful.

No problem getting my 3 boys out of their cages. They can't wait to come out! I accidently left a cage door open overnight three times now. Two of them escaped, but didn't leave the room. The third was sitting on his cage door when I went in. He was just looking over the edge like, "I don't think I should!" Good boy! Laughing


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Post by River Sun 20 Dec 2020, 8:06 pm

Is it just curious nibbling/grooming, or is it biting?

I always try to hand feed mice when I first get them. I think it'll be a great way to get them comfortable and associate me with good things, but it always leads to nibbling. Not aggressively at all, they just think I'm food. Caliban was no exception...

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Post by SarahAdams Mon 21 Dec 2020, 2:20 pm

@River wrote:Is it just curious nibbling/grooming, or is it biting?

I always try to hand feed mice when I first get them. I think it'll be a great way to get them comfortable and associate me with good things, but it always leads to nibbling. Not aggressively at all, they just think I'm food. Caliban was no exception...

They're not aggressive or fearful nips, but very quick, like a fairly hard pinch and then release - not nibbles or grooming, something my rats would do so gently it tickled.

I did invite the calmest one out right after getting them, thinking he would associate my hands with good things. He took a bit of the treat, then turned and nipped my finger. Fingers are their targets! Such bad boys, but so cute and funny you gotta love them. Laughing

They still nip my fingers V8iBC9J

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Post by M O U S E Mon 21 Dec 2020, 6:54 pm

@SarahAdams wrote:
@River wrote:Is it just curious nibbling/grooming, or is it biting?

I always try to hand feed mice when I first get them. I think it'll be a great way to get them comfortable and associate me with good things, but it always leads to nibbling. Not aggressively at all, they just think I'm food. Caliban was no exception...

They're not aggressive or fearful nips, but very quick, like a fairly hard pinch and then release - not nibbles or grooming, something my rats would do so gently it tickled.

I did invite the calmest one out right after getting them, thinking he would associate my hands with good things. He took a bit of the treat, then turned and nipped my finger. Fingers are their targets! Such bad boys, but so cute and funny you gotta love them. Laughing
It almost sounds like what my girl Roisin was doing, except it wasn't a fairly hard pinch. Just a little one, but I wouldn't say she was trying to be gentle. Anytime I put my hand in the cage, she'd nip at my with her eyes squinted like she was afraid to look and slam her paws and kick up bedding. Then her little teeth would nip at me, and she's make more biting movements without actually touching me. No squeals or tail shakes at all. And it didn't hurt at all! If anything, it tickled Laughing. Surprisingly, she stopped after a few weeks.

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Post by Dee67 Mon 21 Dec 2020, 7:52 pm

I had my hand in with Figgus last night and he very, very gently was nibbling my nails and fingertips. I say 'no, no little Fig' and he stops. Then later he was on my hand and running around on my arms and no nipping. He is so sweet. You're boy is very beautiful.

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