Mice Breeding

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repaphin
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Mice Breeding

Post by repaphin » August 22nd, 2013, 2:01 pm

I just started breeding mice a few weeks ago and have gotten 6 litters. The moms always seem to eat their babies. Is there anyway to prevent this from happening?

Jimi
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Re: Mice Breeding

Post by Jimi » August 22nd, 2013, 2:23 pm

An eternal topic. Lots of discussion of it on KS.com forums, "general" section, specifically, "feeder food discussion". Mostly old, old discussion so you have to search. But it's there.

Everyone has dealt with it. It's a common (dare I suggest universal?) thing in start-up colonies. Once you're up and running though, good husbandry (good food, clean water, clean bedding, good groups, not too hot or otherwise stressed-out, etc etc) should keep it quite uncommon. Any mother that is a repeat offender - cull. You don't want her colony mates seeing a lot of that, and she's obviously not worth much to you. One freebie, then whack.

Finally - you might get more specific feedback with a little description of how you're going about it - housing style & location, group size, food & water situation, bedding used, your husbandry routine, etc.

Have fun!

Jimi

repaphin
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Location: Southern California

Re: Mice Breeding

Post by repaphin » August 22nd, 2013, 4:34 pm

Alright thanks. I am using pine shavings as bedding. I have a pair in a 10 gallon. I also have 3 females in a 20 gallon. i feed them more of homemade stuff, like vegetables,fruits, and the occasional "junk" food. I clean their cages once a week. they have a water bottle thing, i don't know what its called haha. I have a trio of rats as well with the same set up. They have places to hide as well. I will check KS.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Mice Breeding

Post by Kelly Mc » August 22nd, 2013, 6:34 pm

Try using a standard lab block as your primary staple.

Veggies,fruits and other foods as enrichment treats. A dry composite feed thats always available to everyone reduces competition. Mouse politics are harsh.

Kent Vansooy has a great plan on here. I think its on the thread So I Started A Mouse Colony. It was published in Vivarium Magazine and covers everything.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Mice Breeding

Post by Kelly Mc » August 22nd, 2013, 7:17 pm

Jimi wrote:An eternal topic. Lots of discussion of it on KS.com forums, "general" section, specifically, "feeder food discussion". Mostly old, old discussion so you have to search. But it's there.

Everyone has dealt with it. It's a common (dare I suggest universal?) thing in start-up colonies. Once you're up and running though, good husbandry (good food, clean water, clean bedding, good groups, not too hot or otherwise stressed-out, etc etc) should keep it quite uncommon. Any mother that is a repeat offender - cull. You don't want her colony mates seeing a lot of that, and she's obviously not worth much to you. One freebie, then whack.

Finally - you might get more specific feedback with a little description of how you're going about it - housing style & location, group size, food & water situation, bedding used, your husbandry routine, etc.

Have fun!

Jimi

Jimi wrote: You don't want her colony mates seeing a lot of that,

Jimi
Tucked in Jimi's great information is this tidbit - often overlooked is the mental demeanor of a colony. In research settings and other professional formats it is actually against protocol to manually euthanize rodents in visual proxy of the other subjects. Moms that are serial offenders in this as well as overly swagged out alphas that love to fight infuse a tone of anxiety and depression in the colonies - who's members cannot leave to other places.

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Nshepard
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Re: Mice Breeding

Post by Nshepard » August 22nd, 2013, 7:29 pm

Keep them hydrated and well fed. The #1 issue with cannibalism within lab rodents had to do with how well hydrated they are. That does alone mean water. I often (2x a month) feed all my rodents (when I had them) cut up veggies (carrots, romaine lettuce, squash, etc).

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justinm
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Re: Mice Breeding

Post by justinm » August 23rd, 2013, 6:20 am

I raise a lot of mice and rats. I give them all the veggie scraps from our meals. If you're cutting potatoes, lettuce, carrots, squash etc. I then give all these scraps to them along with dog food which is my primary feed for both colonies.

I keep them on pine pellets, that have a layer of pine chips on top of that. I also have a small fan that blows on my colonies to keep them cool.

craigb
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Post by craigb » August 23rd, 2013, 9:09 am

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VICtort
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Re: Mice Breeding

Post by VICtort » August 23rd, 2013, 11:19 pm

I concur with most, but I have best success feeding a uniform high fat lab block diet. I also make sure I have Swiss Webster or other strains that produce large litters (10-14 avg.) and attentive mothers, you will find some strains do not. I have occasionally had to dispose of a colony and replace them, and that improved results. Cannibal mothers are unacceptable. Make sure your diet is adequate to support them, and cull those bad mothers without mercy. Cannibalism may result if diet is lacking... so make sure you use a lab chow suited for high production lactating females. Also, if too many males , they will be fighting and stressing the colony, I do best with 1 male to 3 females in lab type cages. I have given cannibal mothers a 2nd chance at times, with mixed results.

Good luck, Vic

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Nshepard
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Re: Mice Breeding

Post by Nshepard » August 24th, 2013, 11:50 am

VICtort wrote:and cull those bad mothers without mercy.
Truth!

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Mice Breeding

Post by Kelly Mc » August 24th, 2013, 5:25 pm

Hormonal anomalies in mice caused by pre natal stress (bad husbandry & coarse heavy handednness) can masculinize female mice that express in adulthood in infanticide - often of another mom's brood. These females are capable of becoming pregnant but are aggressive and non communal in nursing babies like the other nice moms.

If they do it once - they will again. And again.

You cant know by looking if they have this problem - because they do become pregnant. So dont assume mom is the killer unless you see it - and check the other mice for blood stains around the mouth. Moms sometimes carry the mangled remains around in anxiety when they actually arent the guilty party.

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Kent VanSooy
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Re: Mice Breeding

Post by Kent VanSooy » August 25th, 2013, 4:59 pm

Repa, here's that article you may find helpful. Along with the good comments posted above, I can tell you a couple other things that in my experience seem to encourage the females to cannabilize their young. Right after a female has her babies, that's when they're most sensitive to being disturbed. If you're going to clean the cage at that time, try picking up the whole pile of babies, and keep some of the old litter around the pile while moving the babies to the clean cage. Another thing is to NOT put another female mouse in with a mother who has just had babies. Typically you can house two pregnant females together, and they "get to know each other", and won't eat each other's babies, but if you suddenly throw a new mouse in with brand new babies (even another pregnant female), problems may results. Once babies are about a week old, the chances for cannibilism go way down, and you can put females with their litters together (I do it all the time, especially if one female has a large litter, and another only a few).

As the others said, make sure they ALWAYS have water, and cull any females that eat their young. It'll all work out - I haven't lost any babies for a long time (several years) now.

Kel and Craig, thanks for remembering this old article!

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Mice Breeding

Post by Kelly Mc » August 25th, 2013, 8:14 pm

Remembering? Kent i had Renee print your article out to give to our feeder rodent people to follow and absorb.


Treat those mice nice.

And do the dispatching away from the colony living quarters, like gentlemen.

repaphin
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Location: Southern California

Re: Mice Breeding

Post by repaphin » August 25th, 2013, 8:37 pm

Thank you guys so much! My female has stopped eating her young and there is 6 left. they're starting to get a little color on them now. I just had to start breeding mice because it was getting way to expensive! $50 a month!

Jimi
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Re: Mice Breeding

Post by Jimi » August 26th, 2013, 9:55 am

Good, good.

The financial aspect (e.g., your undesirable $50/mo "mouse habit"), plus the conveniences of having all prey item sizes at all times & always having live prey for those picky feeders, and then finally, absolute quality control of our snakes' diets - are the main forces driving nearly all of us, at one time or another, to culturing our own rodents.

A nice thing about culturing rodents is, it's almost impossible for us to not improve rapidly. They give a lot of feedback, and fast: all we have to do is pay attention. In a year you'll be an old hand (not to say we can't all keep improving).

Cheers,
Jimi

condyle
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Re: Mice Breedinga

Post by condyle » September 6th, 2013, 4:27 pm

I NEVER cull the mother because over her first litter. Often the subsequent generations are left alone by the mother. If they are not by the second , then its off to the snakes for her and everyone in her bloodline!

repaphin
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Location: Southern California

Re: Mice Breeding

Post by repaphin » September 6th, 2013, 8:25 pm

Well this is the mothers first litter and there is 3 left. they're big and they're eyes are open. I recently got a fuzzie for a whitewater hypo king i have. and she wouldn't eat so i put in the mothers cage and shes started nursing it. I normally wouldn't do that but i had no other snakes that would eat it.

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