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  1. #1
    Registered User Parsons483's Avatar
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    mice won't stop cannibalizing young

    i have bred my 3 female mice 2 times and both times they go crazy and eat their young.
    i move them to a big bin once i see how big they are and are noticeably pregnant
    the young manage to make it to 2 weeks old
    i put in over a handful of food every single day (my hands are big)
    they always have water
    i don't touch them or the babies at all
    until i notice that there is about 2-4 left out of 30 babies
    they have lots of air flow
    they are not too warm

    anyone got any advise on what i am doing wrong
    its absolutely disgusting finding half eaten baby mice all over the place in the bin

  2. #2
    Telling it like it is! Stewart_Reptiles's Avatar
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    Cannibalism in mice is due to several things

    Bad mice, selective breeding is essential

    Stress

    Improper hydration

    Improper diet (you need at least 18% of protein)

    Over crowding

    Cannot care/feed their young

    Cleaning (they are scavenger and will eat the dead)

    If it keeps re-occurring you will have to start your colony again from scratch.
    Deborah Stewart

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  4. #3
    Registered User Parsons483's Avatar
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    Re: mice won't stop cannibalizing young

    im thinking bad breading. i got the adults all from my local pet store and i don't know how or where they get the mice from so they are likely inbred like crazy. i was trying to start a colony but guess those females are not good for breeding i won't be breeding them again. thank you

  5. #4
    Registered User FollowTheSun's Avatar
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    Re: mice won't stop cannibalizing young

    im thinking bad breading.
    I always bread mine with gourmet bread crumbs, not generic. So I agree-- bad breading.

    Sorry . . . I am not an expert on this but a friend of mine says hers will start doing that when they get too old or if they are too young, if I remember correctly. She'll probably comment on that as soon as she sees this thread (she's a regular).
    Last edited by FollowTheSun; 08-03-2020 at 05:51 PM.
    Lots of pets, all loved and well-cared for: 2 BP's, 1 ratsnake, 1 panther chameleon, 2 ferrets, 2 cats, 1 dog, 2 FFA Chickens, and one baby lovebird.

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  7. #5
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    Don't know your location. But look for local rodent groups on facebook an the like. Find some fancy mice to start with, yes they cost more but it will work out much better. Or buy a proven breeder already bred. Let her start your colony. An a big tub doesn't always work well. Smaller tubs works better for me. An 10 gallon tanks had a 1.4 mix with food hoppers that held 3-5 days worth an a wheel or chews.

    Now, I haven't raised mice in years (10) since I started raising ASF. If a snake/lizard eats mice, young ASF will fill the need.

    If your near OC, MD I'll give you a young colony (1.3) of ASF.

    Good luck!

    https://www.afrma.org/pdfposters/reprofacts.pdf
    Last edited by 303_enfield; 08-03-2020 at 07:15 PM.

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  9. #6
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: mice won't stop cannibalizing young

    Quote Originally Posted by Parsons483 View Post
    i have bred my 3 female mice 2 times and both times they go crazy and eat their young.
    i move them to a big bin once i see how big they are and are noticeably pregnant
    the young manage to make it to 2 weeks old
    i put in over a handful of food every single day (my hands are big)
    they always have water
    i don't touch them or the babies at all
    until i notice that there is about 2-4 left out of 30 babies
    they have lots of air flow
    they are not too warm

    anyone got any advise on what i am doing wrong
    its absolutely disgusting finding half eaten baby mice all over the place in the bin
    I'm that person that "FollowTheSun" mentioned...been breeding (not "breading", lol) mice for decades.

    It doesn't sound like your mice are old, or that they're likely to ever GET old if they keep doing this.

    You shouldn't be moving them to a 'big bin' to have their babies...they're probably freaking out with the whole new cage where they don't feel safe. They do fine in a fairly cozy lab cage...I only move mine to a bigger cage once their pups are crawlers with eyes open...then they need the space.

    Mice breed best as trios: 2 females, one male...no more than this ever, but you can have a 1:1 ratio too if you like. The females often help each other care for babies, but a few will not get along & fight, or kill babies...obviously separate any that do that, but they should be steady room-mates that get along BEFORE they have a litter. I leave them together (male too) even when the babies are born...he will often help care for them too, & keep them warm in the winter.

    If you have 3 females & one male (I assume?) that's too many together...sometimes females will start stealing each other's babies too, then the babies get injured & the blood seems to get the mice worked up into killing & eating the whole litter.

    Since your mice (pups) are making it to 2 weeks, it sounds like you're not feeding a quality balanced mouse chow...a mom mouse that's deficient on protein cannot POSSIBLY breed & raise (feed) her young. I'm using Mazuri* rodent blocks, but I also supplement their diet with peanuts, &/or sunflower or other seeds, at least twice a week. I also give them bits of raw kale for vitamins, & similar things in small quantities now & then (like raw apple or carrot). A "hand-full of feed" daily means little if it's not the right stuff...I do NOT advocate feeding dog food, or rabbit food or guinea pig food, etc...you need quality lab blocks designed FOR rats & mice. Then supplement that with the goodies I mentioned. (*I've used other brands like Purina rodent chow too, depending on what my feed store can get.)

    Your mom mice might also be inbred & just lousy moms... My mice are not inbred at all, & I never have this problem. Only an occasional issue with a new mom that's inexperienced, or with an older breeder that's ready to quit because she's not nursing enough to feed them. If you have multiple moms nursing babies, you can sometimes farm out the underfed babies to another mom IF the babies are similar size and IF she (or they) can feed them all. You need to make the adopted babies smell the same so roll them in dirty litter from the surrogate mom's cage before you put them in...otherwise she (or they) will smell the "other male" on the babies and attack & kill them for that reason. (Male mice have most of the scent & it's used as a territorial marking message.)

    What are the actual temperatures? They do best at 70-77*. Your mice shouldn't care much if you touched the babies, mine never do. In fact sometimes I play "mid-wife" & clean up the newborn mice if a new mom panics and doesn't know what to do with them, like when they come too fast for her & her pals to clean up. (I've actually saved lots of pinkies that were still encased w/ placentas & blue from not breathing- by cleaning off the membrane, snipping off the afterbirth, & doing tiny chest compressions until they gasp & breathe and turn pink, then give them back to the moms to take over, and they do....yeah, really!)

    Water should never be in a bowl...you must use gravity-feed water bottles -the kind with metal bearings in the tube tip so it doesn't drip excessively.

    Your cages should be in a quiet location... I agree that babies killed by mom-mice are disgusting & disturbing, so hope you get to the bottom of this.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 08-03-2020 at 08:24 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  11. #7
    Registered User Parsons483's Avatar
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    Re: mice won't stop cannibalizing young

    the only Facebook rodent groups around me wouldn't take to kindly to me looking for advice on breeding for feeder mice.
    the ones i got are fancy's and every one i have talked to have not had the issue that i have been having and they had mice years and years ago with over 20 mice in a 10 gal not good i know. the food i use is the bag mice and rat food in the stores its a mix of different types of seeds and some kind of mix block in the bag too but they wont eat it. not sure what you mean by ASF?
    my ball python is 3.5 feet long.
    i live in NL canada

  12. #8
    Registered User Parsons483's Avatar
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    Re: mice won't stop cannibalizing young

    well im about to give up on trying to breed them because of this i don't have the stomach for seeing half eaten mice in the cage.... i never thought about that. i moved them to the big bin because last time i left them stay in their regular cage but three babies got out and were on the loose for quite a while. so they should be weaned as soon as the eyes open?
    and they all have their babies in one big stop all together.
    the females were together for a while before the male was introduced
    i always thought the male would kill the babies to breed the mom again.
    i think i will give breeding one more shot and if the same thing happens ill be done with it.
    i was also led to believe that i should not touch the young at all but thats nice to know thanks a lot for the advice
    i never use a bowl in the bin i had part of an old cage put in there so i could attach the water bottle too and wheels and tunnels

  13. #9
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    Your breeding "pets" not feeders. It's not their business. Your looking for quality pets because the stores don't carry them.

    Don't know but this might help:
    http://www.ratspacnw.org/


    Good luck!

    An this:

    https://www.afrma.org/pdfposters/reprofacts.pdf
    Last edited by 303_enfield; 08-04-2020 at 11:52 PM.

  14. #10
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: mice won't stop cannibalizing young

    It takes a while after their eyes are open before they're ready to be weaned...it's when they completely stop nursing, & eating regular food. And I separate the mom when she's about to have another litter too...it will be obvious.

    NO WHEELS in with breeding mice....the moms get "addicted" to it & will run even with babies nursing, they go flying & get injured. Mice have very little "common sense"!

    Mice WILL KILL babies that are in competition with another litter...that's another reason to keep either 1:1 or 1:2 mice together at most. You need to pay attention to PREVENT. Pinkies cannot complete with fuzzies anyway, they'll starve...they aren't strong enough to get fed...that's one reason the moms kill some babies.

    Mom mice get prego again with the next litter while nursing the first one...it's not rare for the male to jump them right after they have their babies, so they'll be breeding one litter after another, but if you try to leave "vacations" between litters, they usually don't do as well or quit altogether.

    ASF = African soft furred rodents...hard to breed as far as I know, BPs usually love them but may not be available where you are.

    Mouse chow- lab blocks (for breeding!) are best fed overhead (lab cages) so they aren't crapped on. Using Mazuri brand currently-
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 08-05-2020 at 12:54 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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