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Post by Emme Sun 09 Oct 2016, 11:01 pm

Hi everyone Smile

I'm new here and a new mouse parent! I'm trying to learn as much as I can because mice completely new to me, as I'm generally a reptile person.

I got my 5 new little girls from a friend after she decided they weren't for her. I named them Fiona, Madison, Addy, Queenie, and Zoe. I got them a 75 gallon tank during the petco tank sale, and things are going pretty well, but I'm having a bit of an issue with Fiona. Just from watching her interactions she seems to be the "alpha" of my little mischief, but I feel like maybe she's taking it too far. She constantly picks on Zoe and makes her squeak, and she does this with Madison to a lesser extent. I've also noticed that anytime any of the other mice come out from under the bedding or hides Fiona chases them back into hiding. Like I said, I've never had mice and know basically nothing about them, so I don't know if I'm overreacting or not. Is there any way I could fix this behavior? It makes me feel bad for the others :/

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Post by Mouseketeers Mon 10 Oct 2016, 12:09 am

Hi! Welcome to the forums Smile

Mice can have pretty intense hierarchy's. A group of five girls can be especially tricky, but not impossible. I would avoid doing anything crazy just yet. Give them plenty of time and space to work things out.

Most people will suggest packing the cage full of stuff to do, lots of hides and room for the bullied mice to escape to. This works well and helps the ones being picked on escape and have somewhere to hide. However eventually they will need to sort their issues out and figure out where they belong in the group. So expect to see them squeaking and chasing for a little while.

The common rule of thumb is if there isn't any blood being spilled then it is just them working out who is boss.

In the past with a super bossy doe I have gone the opposite and pulled everything out of their cage, including hides and wheels. Everything but a water bottle ( or three ) depending on how possessive boss doe is. I don't even have feed bowls to begin with. Really really deep bedding that allows them to tunnel and build nice warm nests to stay hidden in. Their feed gets scattered through the entire cage giving them something to hunt for. Once they start sharing a nest I start giving them their toys back.

However at the end of the day, if it is just some chasing, tousling and squeaking it will generally be ok. Sometimes it takes a week or two. Mice who won't play well with others are far and few between, 99% of the time it is just them working things out amongst each other.
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Post by EverythingAnimal Mon 10 Oct 2016, 10:22 am

Welcome! I agree that it will be best to just let them work it out is it's not progressing into drawn blood. A 75 gallon is huge! We'd love to see pictures.

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Post by AnonONIagent Mon 10 Oct 2016, 11:20 am

I agree with what was stated above, but I also have something to add. 75 gallons is a lot of space for five girls, and it'll make it easier for them to claim their own territory, making the introduction process more difficult. It might be worth it to move them into a small space temporarily so that they have less to fight over.

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Post by Emme Mon 10 Oct 2016, 11:43 am

I initially had them in a 40 gallon tank and saw the same behavior. I don't really have anything smaller than a 40 to put them in.

I did notice that they have all been sleeping in the same nest together. So that's a good sign right? No one has been physically injured so I'm guessing things aren't as bad as they seem to me.
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Post by AnonONIagent Mon 10 Oct 2016, 11:46 am

Moving them back into the 40 gallon might be a good idea for right now.

And yes, them sleeping together in the same pile is a good sign. And it is rarely is bad as we think; the first night Selina stayed in the cage with my two other girls, she was literally screeching the whole night long. But everything ended up fine.

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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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Post by CallaLily Mon 10 Oct 2016, 4:29 pm

Welcome2

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Post by River Mon 10 Oct 2016, 5:06 pm

If they were already in the 40 gallon with the same behavior, I wouldn't move them again. A lot of moving is stressful, especially if it's pointless.

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Post by Peachy Mon 10 Oct 2016, 5:08 pm

Welcome to the forum! Mouse Wave
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Post by Emme Mon 10 Oct 2016, 10:09 pm

There has been a definite improvement in Fiona's behavior tonight.  She still chases the others some, but it's not nearly what it was. It's really nice to see all of my girls out more.

Here's a picture of their 75 for those curious.  Zoe is blur running past the pink frog hide.  And of course I always welcome constructive criticism!

new mouse mom with a question :) 14697322_10157563035765506_85973490_o
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Post by CallaLily Tue 11 Oct 2016, 8:52 am

Looks like a lot of fun! I love your solution for hanging things. Are the rods permantly fixed or can they be moved around?

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Post by Misha_usa Tue 11 Oct 2016, 2:01 pm

Welcome to the forum!

I'm glad Zoe's temper is calming a little bit. Surely they'll all gradually feel more comfortable together, then fit into their own roles as they grow accostumed to eachother.

Love their home, sure they have lots of possibilities to play with Smile
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Post by Emme Wed 12 Oct 2016, 9:34 pm

@CallaLily wrote:Looks like a lot of fun!  I love your solution for hanging things. Are the rods permantly fixed or can they be moved around?

I can move them around.  I just bought like $2 tension rods from walmart and they work perfectly!


So, does anyone have suggestions about what would be the best store bought food to feed my girls?  I have a dwarf hamster that I feed Higgins Sunburst as seed mix, and I've been using that for my mice with the sunflower seeds and peanuts picked out.  is this an ok diet or is there something better?  I generally try to stay away from artificial colors and such if possible, but it's not a requirement.

ETA: I also pick out the raisin pieces.
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Post by MouseLover Thu 13 Oct 2016, 9:01 am

Welcome to the forum Smile I love your tank set up, it looks great! I also love the girl's names (that was my favourite season of AHS).

I'm not familiar with the mix you're referring to, but if it's marketed as a hamster mix, then the protein may be a little too high for mice. I'm in the UK though, so I'll let someone from your side of the pond recommend a food mix Smile

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Post by CallaLily Thu 13 Oct 2016, 9:05 am

The most commonly recommended brands on this forum are Brown's Tropical Carnival Hamster/Gerbil and Vitakraft parakeet food. However these do contain artificial colors, if you prefer to avoid those. They also need things like sunflower seeds and peanuts removed. I'll also note that a couple members here had trouble with bags of Brown's food being moldy, though it doesn't seem to be a widespread problem.

I used to feed my mice Healthy Select Parakeet food because I wanted to avoid picking things out and artificial colors/flavors.

The ingredients in the Higgins food you're using look ok but it is a bit high on crude protein at 15%. For mice with untracked lines, 12-14% crude protein is usually what's recommended.

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