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  1. #1
    Registered User Lost571's Avatar
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    Annoyed with mice ---> but I need them

    I have bred rats for 3 years and have it perfect! I produce enough rats to feed my 53 snakes and trade the extras for the next months feed supply.

    Now my problem is mice. I cant seem to make them happy. I get decent litters and at about 1-2 weeks old the females kill and eat the babies. I dont handle them. The only thing I do is give fresh water and make sure they have food once a day.

    I have been using pine shavings as bedding but think im going to try pellets as a base layer with shredded paper on that.

    I'm also going to get a fresh group of mice soon. Is 1.5 to much for a 7 gallon mixing tub or a 20 gallon long it possible to have a bigger colony?

    What advice can you give to maybe improve my luck?

    What should my breeding ratio be?
    I want to produce about 50 babies a week.

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  2. #2
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    One male with 1 or 2 compatible females only. Large "breeding groups" actually reduce litter rates & cause way too much chaos to raise babies.

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    Sonny1318 (11-08-2018)

  4. #3
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I've used pine* shavings mostly...never paper (they try to eat it). And never cedar shavings, the oils are irritating & possibly toxic.

    *What I actually prefer are the (pine) "mini-chips" aka "easy-pick", because my small colony only generates 2-3 buckets of used shavings/week, and those chips
    are so tiny that instead of disposing of them in the trash, they disappear into my lawn or garden. I like "the look" I get when I say I use mouse fertilizer on my

  5. #4
    Registered User Roux's Avatar
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    Re: Annoyed with mice ---> but I need them

    I am new to mice breeding and had a hard start as well with cannibalism. I'll share what I've learned.
    What i realized with mine is it came down to one bad female in the group. Once i found and separated her from the other 2 moms, they did awesome.
    I use freedom breeder (fb10) tubs and keep 1.4 or 1.3 in those tubs depending on who makes smaller or larger litters. Most of my research said no bigger than this for a breeding group in general regardless of cage size.
    I take the male out once the ladies are visibly prego. Some females get stressed by the male being there, and cause cannibalism.
    I was able to remediate the baby eating mom by separating her and giving her not only the usual mouse blocks but also a dish of rodent seed mix and nesting material- in my case paper towel rolls. I also added some chewable rice tubes as distraction. She stopped eating babies and had many successful litters afterwards and eventually didn't need the seed and chews to be successful.
    It may not be economical to do all that, so most people feed off the offending parents and start a fresh breeding group.
    One last thought, they might be stressed if you have them in a see thru cage or tank, maybe try an opaque or darker tub?
    Hope this helped, i am sorry i write such lengthy posts... lol

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  6. #5
    Registered User Lord Sorril's Avatar
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    Re: Annoyed with mice ---> but I need them

    If you want 50 mice/week.
    Assuming each female produces n=5 offspring every three weeks (21 day gestation)...Then you should establish 10 females mating every week for three consecutive week (30 females total). Note: Male breed age is 6-8 weeks for most strains of domestic mouse (males take longer than females): so if you set them up earlier than this then you will have to wait until the male matures.

    What works for me:

    1:2 in a shoebox breeding cage (constant breeding - no separation or else you will lose post-partum estrus)
    Aspen Bedding (TSC)
    Mazuri 6F Lab Blocks

    Clean once/week. Discard any water this is visibly dirty.

    Rotate out breeders every 6 months:
    Take the offspring from parents/litters that are the largest N=10+ and save and use those as your next breeders so you add selective pressure on your colony for litter size.

    Feed off any breeders that look sickly in any regard and/or have inherently have small litters. In addition: Feed off any back flippers or food grinders as well (they are annoying).

    Cannibalism in the *first* litter is typical. Cannibalism in subsequent litters is not and would indicate either: stress, illness, dietary deficiency, or possibly a lethal gene combo (Siamese mice especially).

    The number of mice I produce on a yearly basis is quite significant.
    *.* TNTC

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    Godzilla78 (07-27-2019)

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