What the frick is wrong with my female mice!? They go through boys like cotton candy! every time no matter ratio or method of introduction they kill and eat the males. I bought 2 more males at the pet store the other day and while one is still holding up ok (I think he's been kicking the females butts) but the other is knocking on deaths door. His butt end is all beat up. what they hack is wrong with these female mice? Should I just feed them off and start all over assuming these females have had their cheese slide off their crackers? I'm not kidding, they seem to be a few fries short of a happy meal. ;D
Are the males very young in comparison? Have you tried changing the bedding and adding new things before adding the males? (mice are territorial) I use paper towel tubes and clean the housing thoroughly before adding new members to the colony. Sometimes you have one aggressor that can be removed (or fed) Changing housing and adding large numbers of new arrivals minimizes this problem. My pet store sells males too young to breed so I grow them up more.
OK to answer some of the questions....I do clean the cage out and clean/remove/change the stuffs that's in the cage. I don't think the problem is not enough protein because I make my own food blend and that includes dog food. And besides, the females don't eat each other, they eat only the males. Of the two males I got the one who is now dead did have smaller boy bits while the other one that seems to still be doing fine has bigger boy bits. But, while I think that MAY be an issue, I have added a fully grown male (HUGE bits and all) and they killed him too within a day. perhaps I should go ahead and get a few more males (like 4-5) and grow them out some and try that. IDK though it just seems SO odd.
one of the females was pregnant when I got her. She did eat a couple of the babies but the others she took care of well enough that they are grown now. a couple of her babies DID get prego and had babies and they were doing well with them. That is until a male I had that escaped, broke into one of the cages and killed all the babies. I wondered if a stuck up male who didn't want the mommas with someone else babies made the females not care for males. But as far as I see it they are not THAT emotional. or maybe they are considering they are killing males and ONLY males. Yes I'm sure they are females. I owned rodents (rats and mice) as pets for many years (well mostly rats who BTW I NEVER had problems like this from) and I know how to tell the dif between the males and females. Younger ones are harder but can still be sexed pretty easy. Besides, even if I were wrong, they would have had babies by now. I typically wait a month before trying any more males just to make sure they are not prego and thus have the babies killed due to the babies not belonging to the new male. It just doesn't make any sense to me when I follow protocol when introducing them. It seems the males need to be just as aggressive if not more so to stay alive with any of them. This one male that seems to still be doing well has fought back with the females just as hard. He doesn't run he attacks back if they attack him. They then leave him alone for a while and everything is fine for a few hours until a female gets a hair up her butt.
Last Edit: May 31, 2011 14:58:34 GMT -5 by Deleted
OH I should add too, I don't have this problem if I introduce a new female. They duke it out for dominance, but after they establish the chain of command everything is fine. They don't have a desire to kill and eat females. Just the males.
Post by goingpostal on May 31, 2011 17:27:38 GMT -5
Kind of a hassle to check them all the time but maybe wait until they are in heat and then clean the cage and add a male? Throw some treats in to distract? I've never had more than minor chasing and slapping when I add a male and I usually just drop them in as needed. Is there a lot of hiding places?
See its been awhile, did your female(s) settle down or get a dinner invitation?
I'd be inclined to think that if you've tried putting them all in the cleaned tank with fresh bedding and cleaned wheel, water bottle, and fresh tubes that part of the problem IS diet.
When you mentioned you are including dog food in their diet - would that be kibbled food?
Like your ferrets, breeding mice will do better if offered natural foods in natural forms.
I offer my breeding mice the leftover bones and uneaten meaty pieces the ferrets don't finish. The mice also get fresh veggies ( green beans, carrots, tomatoes etc: fruits(apples, cherries, grapes etc). Sunflower seeds offer good fats and oatmeal rounds out their diet.
I stay away from the processed b locks and NEVER feed them dog or cat chow. I do give them the leftovers of the kibble crunchies from DaVinci's dish these are of course Evo and grain free Wellness core kibbles.
Breeding mice NEED protein from meaty sources and will happily devour bones.
Two to three females per male is what usually works for me. If you have a particularly grouchy female - send her a dinner invitation. You don't want to perpetuate that gene pool.
I used to have mice and rats and I always kept my boys and girls seperate for obvious reasons- curiously enough so did the breeder I got them from (i took babies at random so they wouldnt be eatten by her snakes and lizards. It was always when they were old enough to leave their mommy and she always okayed it.. to this day, although i understand it now, I still cant feed mice and rats) anywhooo she kept them seperate too, unless it was breeding time.. I am 23 now and I was 15 then, but if I remember correctly, it was to prevent the fighting/killing issue. I could be totally wrong, like I said, its been a long time