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Momma Mouse Covers water spout

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Post by Micely Tue 28 Dec 2021, 1:49 pm

My momma mouse gave birth on Dec 26. I'm super excited because we've been having issues starting our colony. Congratz to Bella!!

Momma Mouse Covers water spout 26716810

Anyways, Shes been doing something very strange. A behaivour I am not familiar with. She is piling up shavings to block her water bottles spout.
Any advice would be great. I have to remove the cold shavings many times per day because of it.

Micely
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Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop Tue 28 Dec 2021, 7:56 pm

A little case of resource guarding, perhaps?

If that's the case, then there's probably not much you can do about it.  If you try to enclose it, to make it seem safer from external threats, such as by fitting a box or other little shelter around the drinking area, your mousie may just start filling the shelter with bedding.

Just make sure the area stays clean and dry, and that Bella doesn't start stacking her babies in the bedding pile under the water bottle.

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Post by Micely Wed 29 Dec 2021, 3:34 pm

MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop wrote:A little case of resource guarding, perhaps?

Thanks for the reply, I never even though about that actually. Thats incredibly logical. Is there perhaps any reading that you recommend? I've got AFRMA bookmarked since it seems that google loves to redirect there.

As for Bella's Babies, they are all still alive and healthy, I always make sure as I clean out the wet bedding as I notice it throughout the day.

Would a small silicone heatpad underneath which is controlled precisely be worth the little bit of effort? I can get a 3D Printer heat pad and set it up underneath the enclosure.

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Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop Thu 30 Dec 2021, 12:20 pm

I don't know of anything you can do to get a mouse to stop doing something it apparently believes is very important, like covering up its water spigot.  Any attempt to do so could just make her feel more protective of it, and more compelled to hide it.  This all may just be her hormones acting out, and she needs those hormones to tell her how to take care of her litter.

Since Bella thinks it's important to cover up her water spigot, maybe you should just watch to see what she does when she wants a drink.  It could be that she will realize that she's just making a lot of work for herself, to build the pile, then have to dig through it to take a drink, then to rebuild the pile, et cetera, and will also realize that her water supply isn't in any danger of being taken away, and so give up her new little obsession.

Also, if the behavior is hormone-driven, it might just resolve itself as the pups quickly grow up.

The worse things I imagine coming out of this little behavior quirk are:
1) Wet bedding mess (possibly even being moved into the nest)
2) Pups being moved into the wet bedding under the spigot
3) Not drinking from the "protected" water bottle
so I'd just watch for any of that, and then take action if necessary.

As for a heating pad, momma mousies seem to be very good at creating a warm enough nest, provided they have adequate bedding material.  However, if your room is cold, or the mouse enclosure is in contact with a cold surface, the mousies might appreciate a warm corner to retreat to.  Whenever I opine on this subject, I suggest creating an air space between the heat source and the bottom of the mouse enclosure, because whatever material the enclosure is made of will conduct the heat it is in direct contact with, until the enclosure floor, walls, and top are all heated up.  But raising the enclosure slightly to create an air space between the heat source and the enclosure base will prevent that conduction, allowing the warm spot to stay more localized over the source.

You can raise the enclosure slightly by putting equal-thickness books under each end. (Thus the multipurpose usefulness of the encyclopedia sets that used to anchor the bookshelves of one American family home after another in the last century!)

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♥️ Zephyr ♥️ Coco ♥️ Bobby ♥️ Noche ♥️ Paiva ♥️ April ♥️
I loved you so / I still do / I always will / 'Twas Heaven here with you.
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