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  1. #1
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    Mice eating babies

    Recently, I bought a bunch of mice from someone who was breeding them but no longer wanted to.

    I fed off all the males except two, and I set up two colonies. There were two females which were already pregnant and I put them in a separate box.

    Those two pregnant ones gave birth to litters of 6 each and they are all raised up fine. One of the colonies, none of the mice got pregnant. The other colony, pretty much all the females got pregnant.

    A few days ago, a clutch was laid from that second colony. There were 7 and one died. The other 6 are fine.
    Then, a couple days after that, I notice that there was one extra one (total 7) pinkies, so someone laid a litter. But there were some blood and pinky parts in there so someone ate some pinkies.

    The advice I was given was that the box maybe too small, and I got a box double the size and put them in it. So at first there were 6 pinkies, then there were 7. Today, there were 9??? I don't know how to react?

    Something's not right here, unless someone just laid 2. This time there were two more suddenly, but no blood no parts no sign of eating. I tried watching for a few hours and no one tried to eat the pinkies during that time. I also watched after I changed the substrate once and they were picking up the pinkies and putting them somewhere else but didn't bite them or anything. Funny that they would not put them in the same place, but put them here, one there one elsewhere etc. But in the morning all the pinks are in one corner being nursed.

    I was then told maybe its the diet. I use generic rodent blocks that they sell to labs, mixed with some mazuri mice and rat blocks. The box with the 2 pregnant females that did not eat the babies eat the exact same thing and no one ate the babies?

    I was then told there may be a problem mouse that likes to eat babies, but no one ate any in the first litter, and with hours of observing I didn't see anyone try to eat them? I can't watch them 24 hours a day...

    As for tub size, I already switched them into a bigger tub (HUGE, double the size of before) before the two extra ones appeared... So I wonder what's going on?
    Last edited by hungba; 08-17-2012 at 03:09 PM.

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran satomi325's Avatar
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    It could just be the stress of a new environment if they have food and water.
    Some animals won't breed because of this too.
    It's also natural for rodents to eat dead babies, so is it possible that these pups were already dead?


    So unless there are back to back killings, I wouldn't worry about it yet. If the next couple litters have any killings, I would cull those adults and start over/hold back animals from the "good" colony.

  3. #3
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    I am highly amused at your use of python phrases in regards to mice, like "clutch" and "laid".

    Mice can be tricky and like to play head games with you sometimes. Depending on how soon you moved them after you found the first extra baby, the female that was giving birth may not have been finished, and finished having them after they were moved.

    Since you haven't seen anymore killed, I would just keep an eye on them. The bits you saw may have been from stillborn ones, and/or the blood might have been from the birthing itself if you happened to catch them at the right time.

    I agree with satomi with culling any killers you might find. When I raised rats/mice, if a mother killed her babies, she was automatically a feeder. When I first started out, I had a couple here and there that ended up this way, but after I got rid of those ones, I never had any problems over the next 5 years I raised them.
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  4. #4
    BPnet Veteran Andrew21's Avatar
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    First litter in the new colonies? Mice will eat their first litters. I think that even if they have had litters before, they might still eat them after everything has been changed. How is the protein in you feed? and i'm assuming they have feed and water all the time? I'd give them at least 2 more litters. Then, raise up any survivors for new colonies. I've honestly never heard the tub size thing. Unless your tubs were really small, i don't think that was the cause. What ratio are you using in the colonies?
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  5. #5
    Registered User JaGv's Avatar
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    Re: Mice eating babies

    i had that happen with a couple litters before. i assumed that the female mouse ate the babies that were dying rather than just going on a killing spree.




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  6. #6
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    I fed off all the males except two, and I set up two colonies. There were two females which were already pregnant and I put them in a separate box.
    Those two pregnant ones gave birth to litters of 6 each and they are all raised up fine. One of the colonies, none of the mice got pregnant. The other colony, pretty much all the females got pregnant.

    Seems like you've had these mice for at least 4 weeks, so new environment stress is probably not a factor.
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~ Herm Albright

    The current zoo:
    Pets
    2.1 Felis catus; 1.2 Ringneck Doves; 1.1 Budgies; bunches o' Rats/Mice (pets and feeders);
    2.1 BCI; 1.0 BP; 1.0 Corn; 1.0 Honduran Milksnake; 1.0 Brazilian Rainbow Boa; 0.1 Dumeril's Boa; 1.0 Texas Ratsnake; 1.0 Calico Black Ratsnake; 1.1 Western Hognose; 0.1 Beardie; 0.1 Tawny Plated Lizard; 1.0 Blue-Tongue Skink; 0.1 Crestie; 0.1 Spiny-tailed Iguana; 0.0.1 Chaco Striped Knee Tarantula
    Fosters/Rescues
    2.0 BCI
    0.2.2 BP
    1.0 Corn
    1.0 Red-Foot Tortoise
    1.0 Greek Tortoise
    0.0.10 Leopard Tortoises
    0.0.1 Asian Vine Snake

  7. #7
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    Re: Mice eating babies

    I found the killer!!!!

    This afternoon I heard a pinky screaming non stop and I saw that a big pregnant mother that had NOT given birth yet (by FAR the biggest stomach) chewing it's back off!

    I didnt want to waste whatever is in her stomach so I took her out and put her in another box, even if she just gives pinks I can.

    As I was typing this I thought the problem was solved, but I look back in the box and I think the others are eating them too???

    The food I am using says 22% protein on the package.
    So if that is not enough I thought it was enough. I maybe add some non rodent food then that is higher in protein.
    Last edited by hungba; 08-18-2012 at 12:49 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Mice eating babies

    I think that the ones that were eating the babies after I removed that female, were perhaps just eating the one that was already injured by the original killer. But this has me wondering, was that female the first one to eat the babies? Or was she just eating one that was injured by someone else?

    Man maybe I should just buy my mice each week.

    PS. - That specific female that I removed (which was the first one I caught eating the babies) also happens to be the one which was picking up the babies and putting them all over the place too.
    Last edited by hungba; 08-18-2012 at 01:59 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Mice eating babies

    i've seen all of that with the 1st female mice i bred she was eating their heads and picking them up to drop them all around the tub. i would feed her off most likely it will happen again.




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  10. #10
    BPnet Veteran Andrew21's Avatar
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    I wouldn't feed her off until she's had at least 2 litters in your care.
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