Questions regarding separating babies from mom, reintroducing mom to tank?

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Questions regarding separating babies from mom, reintroducing mom to tank?

Post by doganddisc on Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:56 pm

So this is a really basic couple of questions but this is my first litter (thanks to Pet Smart, not planned) and I've read pretty conflicting information.

1) I know I should separate the boys at four weeks (this Monday) and I plan to do just this. Should I be putting them into separate tanks or can I get away with putting both of the boys into the same tank if they are going to a new home soon? Furthermore, when can those boys go to their new home? I have a very mouse savvy friend who is taking one of the boys, so she would know how to handle him during the popcorning stage (which they all seem to not be experiencing, oddly enough). Can that boy go to his new home after Monday or would it be best to wait? He's welcome to stay longer, but I need to know if an extra cage will be necessary now.

2) I have three girls left with mom after I remove the boys on Monday. Another very mouse savvy friend is taking two of them and I am keeping the third (and mom). When should I separate them to give the two to my friend and when can mom and her baby be introduced to the rest of my girls so they can all live in the five gallon?

I've found a lot of different advice on this but I trust you guys more knowing somewhat about your experience. What do you usually do with your babies?
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Re: Questions regarding separating babies from mom, reintroducing mom to tank?

Post by GypsyTails on Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:02 pm

Woo! Go Petsmart! Laughing I worked at Petsmart for almost 9 months several years back. It was like carrying the Antichrist. Evil all around you but nothing you could do about it unless you wanted to be crucified. Laughing

It's common to see conflicting advice. What works for breeders may not work for the pet store mishap, but it's good to see it from different angles. Here's mine:

1.) Boys should be weaned from 4-5 weeks of age. If you don't know the line, 4 weeks is good as long as they are mature, i.e. testes fully dropped and no longer nursing. I keep my boys together, sometimes even with their sire indefinitely. If you don't know the line though, separating after weaning is best, especially if you have a small number of boys. Squeaking and chasing can turn to death in the blink of an eye. I like to wait before I rehome any babies, bucks or does. It all depends on how they have matured. Keep in mind I like to observe my guys before I send them off to another breeder, so if breeding/showing isn't the issue then whenever they are independent. If you friend is experienced with the popcorn stage, then sending him with her before he has it is fine. If not, wait maybe until 5-6 weeks to see if he even has one. Whatever you or the new owner is comfortable with, because the mouse is gonna follow his own schedule regardless.

2.) I leave my girls with mom indefinitely. I also wait before I introduce mom and baby girls to other adult does. There's a lot less squeaking! Sometimes the other does will pick fights or the mom will defend her baby girls and you can have a little squabble or two. It's usually not much to worry about injury wise, but it is stressful when they are really little. In some cases the baby girls will be kept from food or water by the adult does which isn't good since they are still growing and need extra nutrients. Personally, I usually leave mom and her girls in their own cage until 6-8 weeks when they have gotten bigger and can hold their own. Mice have pecking orders to establish and new baby girls are no exception! I also like to watch my girls to make sure everything is on schedule growth wise before they go to their home. Again, if breeding or showing isn't an issue, then whenever you or the new owner feel comfortable relocating them. It's good that 2 girls will go together! It will really help their transition. The new owner will want to wait a bit before introducing them to any other adults, but a 3 week quarantine time should be sufficient time for them to grow more.




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Re: Questions regarding separating babies from mom, reintroducing mom to tank?

Post by doganddisc on Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:46 am

Perfect response, thank you!
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Re: Questions regarding separating babies from mom, reintroducing mom to tank?

Post by kawmice on Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:59 am

I usually seperate my pups at 4-5 weeks of age. Boys in one cage, girls with mom. The boys will sometimes be left with dad. I do try to keep the boys together as long as they will alow. Sometimes they are fine their whole lives, other times they start fighting and need to be seperated.

I like to rehome my mice between 5-7 weeks of age to be sure all is fine. Depending on the mouse (maturity, age, desposistion) I may rehome at 4 weeks, but try not to.
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Re: Questions regarding separating babies from mom, reintroducing mom to tank?

Post by kawmice on Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:02 am

Oh -
anytime I reintroduce or introduce a mous into a new tank I put everyone in a holding tank, including the new mice - with fresh bedding. I clean their tank thoughly and add fresh bedding, maybe some new toys, and rearrange the toys and hiddy houses. After all the mice are in their "new" cage I will keep an eye on they fro a while to make sure no "real" fighting is taking place.

If course I do use the 3 week quarenteen for any and all new mice.
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