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Mouse nibbling?

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Mouse nibbling? Empty Mouse nibbling?

Post by Kirinsara Mon 01 Nov 2021, 11:43 am

Hi all,

today I attempted to try out if Derek would come to my hand willingly. Unfortunately, he considered the hand as an intruder and started nibbling it.

I know that especially territorial male mice might do that, but how should I interpret it? Does it mean that he doesn't want to be handled (usually Derek seems OK with handling if he's outside the cage)? Or that he just doesn't like foreign "beings" in his territory? Can he learn out of it?
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Post by SarahAdams Tue 02 Nov 2021, 11:07 am

If he's not actually biting, but just nibbling, he might just be checking it out or testing. If you have anything on your hands that smells vaguely of food, try washing them before handling him. Don't use soap that is fruity-smelling. Their world consists mainly of smell. One of my mice refused to get into the little igloo I use to get them out of their bins as it smelled like another male. I had to wash it out and put some of his bedding in first. Then he got in. Laughing

I found that using this igloo to get them out of their bins was much easier than trying to pick them up. They hop right in!


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Post by Kirinsara Tue 02 Nov 2021, 1:38 pm

Oh, that's nice to know - I did have some kind of vegetable chip from his food mix on my hand, so it might be what made him try his teeth on my hands! I just assumed he is trying to warn me that he will bite if I don't move my hand, since he was just gently nipping.

I will try to use toilet paper roll or so to lift him next time, I guess that might be easier!
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Post by tinypatters Sun 07 Nov 2021, 3:16 am

As you've mentioned, you've already narrowed down the reason Derek was nibbling on your fingers when you held out your hand to him. Depending on how long you've had Derek, and how close your bond with him is, he may also be grooming you =D Mice will tend to groom other mice or you if they/you are considered a friend.

Be mindful that if Derek accidentally bites down too hard on you that you don't scold him harshly. You can raise your voice, or put him in 'time out' though, to show that that sort of behavior isn't going to be encouarged.

Source: https://rodentaspet.com/why-your-pet-rat-licks-you/ <-- Yes, I know the link's about rats, but I found it very applicable to pet mice too.

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Post by Kirinsara Thu 11 Nov 2021, 2:37 pm

That's a great link tinypatters! I do hope the nibbling is not Derek being aggressive, but rather curious or even affectionate.
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