I've had a strange case of cannibalism with one of my rat girls. I haven't been updating my breeding thread for quite some time so I'll give a short update. Koko has had a litter of 10. Cora is heavily pregnant, due any day. Niabi is a chubby monkey. I bred Romeo with a black female rat. She had 10 babies, all are my first pet only breeding trial. Her cagemate also had a litter and now for some recent sad news.
She has killed 3 pups from her B's litter. the pups are zt weaning age. This girl in particular abandoned her own litter after about a week... and is a little nippy. I should have removed her or put her in her own tub, but decided to monitor her. I was hoping she would go back to nursing them with the other nursing rat. Boy was that the worst decision on my part.
Its strange because it doesn't seem to be due to nutrient issues since she's super well fed. I thought about her for a bit and decided I would not breed her again. For her unfortunately, that meant that I would have to cull her.
Good news however for the ferrets, but I'm saddened that things didn't work out for her or her litter. I felt that it was unfair to keep her litter alive since B, who was alright with nursing them, had a large litter of her own to deal with. Throwing 10 pups on her would mean that some would starve or would suffer in some way. So I culled the litter.
B, her cage mate, who she had destroyed 3 from her litter, is doing fine. The other pups are doing well, are starting to wean and have been stealing their mums egg and veg meal. I'm happy they are healthy and unharmed. ^^
Post by Corvidophile on Jun 5, 2016 10:17:26 GMT -5
@machan You seem to have frequent cannabalism issues, here's some tips from somebody who lived on mouse and rat forums for a few years: it might seem inefficient at first, but always cull litters to the number of nipple pairs. For Norway rats and Mus mice, that's 6 bubs. For multimammate mice/African soft furs, that's 10 bubs. If you don't, as you can see, mom will frequently do it for you. You'll get less adults, but you also won't have issues of adult overstock that cause you to cull a whole litter as pinkies, which can hurt the mom a lot because her body is in milk production mode but now there aren't any mouths/enough mouths to relieve the pressure.
Back-to-back litters are also very stressful on the longevity of rodents. In the wild, it's a numbers game- mom is just as likely to be eaten by a cat one day as the next in the prime of her life, so as many mice as she can produce before she dies keeps the population going, because there's no way she'd live to seniority naturally. Most fancy breeders I knew don't breed a female more than three times a year, and that's rare- when they do, it's because they're after a recessive gene and waiting for a couple to produce the right bub to continue the line. Typically she is bred once and her young carry on the line.
You seem to want to have a situation where you have mothers producing multiple litters so that you can become attached to the mothers and not the young. While I can see this is emotionally easier and allows you to take more animals at the start, it's not actually as efficient in the long run.
Repeatedly raising batches from immaturity also means that rodents currently breeding won't succumb to the scent of lots of sexually mature rodents nearby. If a mom nursing a litter smells a sexier, manlier dad in the same room, sometimes she'll cull her litter in anticipation just so that she's ready to raise his when they meet up.
Edit: meant nipple pairs, not individual nipples. Apparently multimammates/ASF's can range between 8-12 pairs, I didn't know this, interesting though!
machan You seem to have frequent cannabalism issues
I don't recall reading she had "frequent canabalism"- very few with the mice, which she no longer breeds, and I believe this is the first time with her rats. Please locate where on this thread this is. As for the back to back litters, I have no idea about the "pet" quality ones- but when being bred solely for food the more the better TBH. At least until you have enough in the freezer. Bad genetics really doesn't come into it as the vast majority are culled at adulthood.
Ferrets: Contessa Kitties: Watson, Oskar DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie, Lucrezia, Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Suki, Cody, Aristotle, Butterscotch, Frankenfurter. RIP Herne, Ligeia, and Mr. Stubbs
Post by Corvidophile on Jun 7, 2016 16:57:52 GMT -5
@sherry I'm really not sure why you're on my case here, but I don't have time to comb through the entire thread,, and it recurring several times throughout a few months means it's enough of a problem that it should be addressed: for the health of the rodents, AND for the bottom-line production amount. I don't understand the objection, I proposed a different timing of culling to make things run smoother and reduce the number of rodents lost from the breeding program. A pinky vs an adult is more profitable than nothing at all vs. an adult, and the adults you get by reducing competition will be faster growing, bigger animals on top of that. Having litters culled fully as adults and fully as pinkies instead of taking some pinkies and some adults from each litter is not efficient from a cold business point of view, and not easy on the rodents bodies or emotions from a humane point of view.
I won't argue with you about "the more the better" standpoint because I find that line of reasoning disgusting. These are living feeling animals, too. Obviously the mice and now the rats too are feeling differently about "the more the better" or they wouldn't be refusing by eating them.
You might want to check your water delivery. I've found that mothers cannibalise more often with water issues than food issues. Even a few hours of no water can make mothers panic (I think it's because their milk is so dependent on their water intake).
bitbyter I never thought of that! That's interesting, I've noticed that the girls do go through a lot more water when they are pregnant or nursing so maybe that is a possible cause. I'm considering in getting larger bottles for them soon since the ones I have at the moment are a little on the small side.
I appreciate everyones input when it comes to my thread. The health and wellbeing of my animals are my top priority, so I do take all the information I can and use it if I see fit. I take extremely good care of all my animals and do all I can to ensure that "unnecessary death or suffering" does not happen. With any animal, regardless, it is a try and see thing. Each animal is different. One rodent may be fine with 10+ pups, whereas another may not. Some rodents are simply not fit for breeding either. The only way to know, is to experience and decide what is the best option for them.
Here is a run down on my incident list, and yes, I keep an incident list. I like to keep track of what goes down with breeding so I can try and figure out what happened, and how I can improve or avoid it in the future.
<<< Incident List >>>
2 Jan 2016 1 (4 Week) Male Mouse found dead. (Note: Male (killed) Male.)
13 Jan 2016 Mouse (D) - (Almost Entire Litter Dead) 9/10 Almost 2 week old Pups. (Note: One missing and One was half eaten, One Alive. The rest were intact but dead. Cleaning day, forgot to place hide back in - possible environmental stress.)
1 Feb 2016 Mouse (B) Killed 3 Pups. (Notes: One pup was a runt. Litter's of Mouse (B) and Mouse (A) were combined. All other pups were healthy, and growing out fine. Mouse (B) by what I've seen, was simply removing the "sickly" animals from the litter, this is completely natural.)
21 Feb 2016 Adult Mouse (Non-Breeder) Found Dead. (Notes: Tub-Mate mouse had a first litter, she probably felt threatened by the other mouse, which would explain why I found it dead.)
22 Feb 2016 Male Adult Breeder Mouse was attacked by a female. He was in a tub with Mouse (A) and (F), both who have had litters (11 + 11). All 22 pups were fine. Females did not seem stressed and were doing fantastic with their pups. Mouse (F) was the suspect for this incident. The only explanation was that the male tried breeding, but the female was not ready since she just had her first litter. Male was removed and retired.
25 Mar 2016 I Culled 13 mice. Majority young males.
5 Apr 2016 Stopped Breeding Mice.
5 Jun 2016 Rat (C) killed 3 of Rat (B)'s Litter. Pups were about 3 weeks old, weaning age. (Note: Rat (C) had her own litter a week prior to the incident, but had scattered them, failed to care or feed them. I culled her litter after finding a few dead from exposure. Rat (C) did not kill or eat any from her own litter.)
As you can see, Throughout my breeding, I've had a majority of issues with Female Mice. In general, a majority of the issues I've had happen with first time mothers. The mouse who killed almost her entire first litter, went on and had a successful second litter. She turned out to be a very good breeder for me.
I've actually had very few cannibalisms, I may have used the word when referring to finding dead rodents, however I've only had a few cases of rodent EATING (all/partial) rodent. A majority of the time I find the animal dead and in tact in the tub. Other times it would be when there is a sickly or frail pup also, such as the runts. Females, will kill and consume (or abandon/scatter) any sickly/frail born animals. I know and am aware this is nature. I've had a few cases of this, especially the runt. Sometimes 1-3 pups will be killed/+consumed. If the females do this because of sick young, I'm fine with it. Thats their decision and it benefits her, benefits the litter. Haven't had alot of these cases, so no big deal.
I've housed male mice with male mice and had no issues of them killing each other, apart from this once of incident. That incident if I recall, was a complete accident, in fact it was entirely my fault because I misidentified the sex of the "Male" mouse, and placed it in with another male and a few females.
That to me, was simply a once of incident because I've grown males out together and had no issues. They were also in the same room of other tubs, which contained other females and other males (even male with females). But when there were females in the tub, that is definitely what causes the issues. (no wonder..) In my experience, The mice were very finicky. I had a few issues from the first few litters. Whereas, with the rats, I've had a few litters, no problems, until this one incident.
I do cull a few from each litter, sometimes. Sometimes I prefer to avoid unnecessary early culling, unless for certain reasons, such as I know X Female cannot handle X amount of pups. Or running out of space, food, etc.
Pinkies are treats, So I prefer to grow the animals out as adults. Adults are meals, that is the sole purpose of my breeding, so I will avoid culling too many young and as much as I love to cull them early at that age, For me, I find it that it is much harder to do so since I do CD. With mice, I did cull at early ages, especially with males. But those early ages were almost always ever as fuzzies or weaner ages. I felt more confident when doing CD at those ages. I've successfully grown out male mice together a few times, however they stank so I culled them as weaners most of the time.
I've never had issues with competition among any of my rodents. I also do not think of "the more the better." I appreciate more animals, but when it comes down to it, it's all about, can my females handle X amount of babies? Can I afford to grow out X amount of rodents? (Feed and blocks are not cheap. I also feed fresh produce to them on a weekly basis.) I only ever breed what I can handle, what my rodents can handle, and the best amount that leaves everyone stress free as much as possible.
This is Button. I was waiting for her to mature during my breeding hiatus. (Note: Koko and Niabi have retired and have been rehomed. Cora is now retired but will stay as a nanny rat with Button.) Button, will now be my main female breeder at this current moment. She has had her first litter as of today. Dec 11, 2016. 12 pups, 1 was found already dead from malnutrition. I have culled 3 more so now she is left with 8 pups. I will try her with a larger litter next time if she handles well.
She will soon be breeding with Toucan in future. Toucan is my little black boy who is currently maturing. He was suppose to be a female but later found out he was a male haha.
I will also be getting some new rats in soon. Two new females.