Mice are 'biting'

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Mice are 'biting'

Post by Kconfused on Fri 16 Sep 2016, 12:04 pm

Hello, got 3 female fancy mice 2 weeks ago and when I have my hand in the cage, they come over to my fingers and nip them (sort of a placing teeth around my finger) and I don't know why. After some reading here, I've found out I should have never fed them by hand, is it too late to rectify this? If I can rectify it, how should I? Also, how should I react when they nip?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Mice are 'biting'

Post by AnonONIagent on Fri 16 Sep 2016, 12:29 pm

This is a fairly easy problem to solve. First, start off by retracting your fingers slightly and softly but firmly saying "no" when they nip or try to nip. Don't ever retract your hand fully from the cage; if they're nipping out of fear this tells them that nipping makes the scary hands go away, reinforcing the behavior. If retracting your finger and saying no doesn't seem to be working, you can try blowing on the mouse when it tries to nip. Mice hate this, but it doesn't hurt them, so it's a great way to discourage unwanted behaviors.

If they are simply nibbling you (placing their teeth around you but not applying enough pressure to hurt you), then this usually means they are simply curious about you and are trying to investigate. However, nibbling can turn to full-on nipping, so it is best to discourage nibbling as well, which can be done using the same methods as you would for nipping.

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Re: Mice are 'biting'

Post by Kconfused on Fri 16 Sep 2016, 6:19 pm

Thanks! Should I stop putting food on my hand to entice them to sit on it as well?

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Re: Mice are 'biting'

Post by AnonONIagent on Fri 16 Sep 2016, 6:40 pm

For now you should avoid it, yes. Once they stop nipping you, you can start hand-feeding them again. But make sure that if they accidentally bite you while trying to eat, you still retract your finger and tell them no, so they know the difference between fingers and food.

Additionally, while many places on the web advocate using food to attract your mice into your hands, we do not recommend that here. It is best for your mice to want to seek out you for your love and attention, rather than for simply being a source of food. However, there is nothing wrong with hand-feeding them after you've earned their trust.

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"Heralds of the coming doom, by cry of raven, we are drawn. This oath of war and vengeance, on blade of exalted iron sworn. With blood-anointed swords aloft, advance we into dread's dark shade. Punishment divine unleashed with hate, a wrathful storm of bolt and blade. Purge with plasma, fist, and shell; bring cleansing fire's righteous breath. For the Emperor, knights of Caliban! The Lion's anointed Angels of Death! No forgiveness. No retreat."

My current mice: Sally (PEW), Selina (Broken Black), and Olivia (Broken Tricolor)

Rainbow bridge: Molly (PEW), Lucy (Brindle), and Sarah (PEW)
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Re: Mice are 'biting'

Post by Kconfused on Sat 17 Sep 2016, 7:29 am

thankyou so much Smile it's tough to know exactly what to do with mice as loads of websites say different things but this has been so much help!

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Re: Mice are 'biting'

Post by AnonONIagent on Sat 17 Sep 2016, 11:14 am

No problem! I hope you stick around; we'd love to see some pictures of your little girls!

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My current mice: Sally (PEW), Selina (Broken Black), and Olivia (Broken Tricolor)

Rainbow bridge: Molly (PEW), Lucy (Brindle), and Sarah (PEW)
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Re: Mice are 'biting'

Post by Kconfused on Sun 18 Sep 2016, 1:53 pm

Now they're just biting any part of my hand they can grab on to Sad it's making me scared of them. Should I move my hand away when they do?

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Re: Mice are 'biting'

Post by stephlisa on Sun 18 Sep 2016, 2:10 pm

You could try wearing a thick glove so that they learn that biting you doesn't do anything.
I've used clean gardening gloves (the kind used for dealing with thorny plants) when dealing with a bitey hamster.

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Re: Mice are 'biting'

Post by DVirginiana on Sun 18 Sep 2016, 4:14 pm

So are they only biting when your hand is in the cage? Also, does it look like they are all doing it, or more like one is starting the behavior and the others are following her lead?

They can pick up on body language far better than we can. If you're going in kind of high-strung and preparing to pull your hand away, I imagine they can tell. idk, but I could see that making them nervous (not scared, but nervous in the way that they think you're acting silly and they need to correct that behavior). The gardening glove might be a good idea, since you wouldn't be nervous and preparing to be bitten.
lol I call that the 'glove of power' for the dwarf hamsters at my job. I usually just use it for the Russians since they're almost always insane and too fast and tiny for me to scruff them.
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Re: Mice are 'biting'

Post by AnonONIagent on Sun 18 Sep 2016, 4:20 pm

@Kconfused wrote:Now they're just biting any part of my hand they can grab on to Sad it's making me scared of them. Should I move my hand away when they do?
No, do not remove your hand, even though it might hurt. Gently shake your hand or wiggle your fingers when they try to bite, enough to make them back off, but not enough to potentially hurt them. Escalate to blowing on them if needed.

Try to work with one mouse at a time; that will probably be easier for both you and the mouse. Herd one of them into a paper towel roll and bring them into the bathtub (with a towel laid down), a plastic bin, or a cardboard box (just be sure not to leave them unsupervised in the box as mice can easily chew through cardboard). This way you can focus your attention on the behavior of just one mouse at a time.

And as DVirginiana mentioned, do your best to keep yourself as relaxed as possible. If you're tense, you'll make them tense too.

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"Heralds of the coming doom, by cry of raven, we are drawn. This oath of war and vengeance, on blade of exalted iron sworn. With blood-anointed swords aloft, advance we into dread's dark shade. Punishment divine unleashed with hate, a wrathful storm of bolt and blade. Purge with plasma, fist, and shell; bring cleansing fire's righteous breath. For the Emperor, knights of Caliban! The Lion's anointed Angels of Death! No forgiveness. No retreat."

My current mice: Sally (PEW), Selina (Broken Black), and Olivia (Broken Tricolor)

Rainbow bridge: Molly (PEW), Lucy (Brindle), and Sarah (PEW)
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Re: Mice are 'biting'

Post by Kconfused on Sun 18 Sep 2016, 4:43 pm

I don't think it's a group thing since they are separately sniffing and then biting. I'm
Probably not helping because I now get really nervous and are ready for them to bite. If I use a glove when I then remove it will they still trust me? I guess I'll have to keep trying and try to stay cool. Thanks everyone I really appreciate the support

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Re: Mice are 'biting'

Post by Kconfused on Mon 26 Sep 2016, 3:17 pm

||UPDATE||
One mouse is happily picked up now and the other two will crawl over my hands once put in cardboard tube and then encouraged!
Thanks for the support everyone Smile

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Re: Mice are 'biting'

Post by Peachy on Mon 26 Sep 2016, 4:41 pm

Yay! I know I didn't post anything, but I was following this thread. lol That's awesome news!! Applause
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Re: Mice are 'biting'

Post by CallaLily on Mon 26 Sep 2016, 6:05 pm

I've been following too. Glad things are coming around. Yay

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