Author Topic: Pregnant Mouse  (Read 2352 times)

Offline Jourdaine

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Pregnant Mouse
« on: March 19, 2012, 12:18:23 AM »
My sister has three pet mice. Since she isn't sure what she's doing at the moment and I'm a rat owner with little mouse knowledge, I figured I would post here and relay any important information to her.

Her one mouse is definitely pregnant. I did some research on my own with photo references to confirm this. She's very large and lumpy as most pictures depict online. I can take a picture of her tomorrow and post here if requested. Would it be better to put the father away in his own tank, or separate the mommy and keep her on her own? If one of the remaining two is female, would it be okay to pair up the mommy with the female? My sister isn't sure of the genders so I can try to sex them myself the best I can because I want to avoid this from happening again. I can post pictures of the other two to sex them here, also. Any picture posting will have to be tomorrow evening because I work full-time until 5 p.m. (EST)

Besides that, I figured it's just best to let the mommy run the course of her pregnancy on her own -- or are there any special things that she'll need from us during this? How long is a mouse pregnancy? She's very big now. Any responses will be greatly appreciated. I want to make sure the mommy-to-be and her upcoming litter will be happy and healthy.
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Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Pregnant Mouse
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2012, 03:13:54 PM »
IMMEDIATELY remove the male to his own tank. If she's showing, he needs to go now. If you're not sure which is the male, separate all three into different tanks until you can be sure. Mice often have larger litters than rats and can also get pregnant as soon as they give birth.

If the females have been living together fine until now, they can stay together to raise the babies. Lots of breeders do use a "nanny" mouse to keep the mother mouse company. They're not quite the same as rats where they have to be separated. If the mother seems at all nervous because of the other mouse, you can remove her, though. But often, they prefer her to be in there.

The male will be fine on his own, since male mice can't be housed together. Gestation for mice is around 21 days, give or take a day or two.

Put her cage somewhere quiet and calm. When you hear the peeping of baby mice, you can check to see if there are any stillborn, but do not handle them. They're not like rats, and most mouse people advise you to wait 72 hours before handling the babies or cleaning the cage. Just keep it quiet and calm, replacing food and water, and leaving them alone for the first three days.

Provide a nest box and nesting material (Not fluff, but torn tissue paper or toilet paper works just fine.). You can add a couple pieces of cat food, some scrambled egg or boiled chicken, etc. as treats for the nursing momma to help keep her strong while nursing.

Offline Jourdaine

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Re: Pregnant Mouse
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2012, 04:03:04 PM »
Thank you!! I did some more research on my own when things were slow at work and I promptly forwarded my findings to my sister because I believe she stayed home today. I'm sure she read a little bit but she'll need me to be there to teach her through hands-on approach, though. I'll make sure we figure out which is the male and move him immediately. I read that mommy mice can become pregnant again within 24 hrs after having the litter. Yikes. >.> We do have many spare tanks at the house, so I'll make sure it all gets set up when I come home from work.

This is all such a mess. She bought her mice at a friend's independent pet store and apparently they don't separate by genders...!! I don't blame my sister for this because I know she wouldn't have thought about this at the time, though I firmly believe in doing as much research as you can before getting a pet. My only experience with mice was when I taught my brother how to nurse an orphaned mouse into adulthood and continuing to aid through the process. There were very helpful Youtube videos that we used as a primary reference. That was a one time thing and it managed to be an incredible success, though the mouse has since passed of old age.

I read in an article to not handle the babies until they're 3-4 weeks? Though I fear of the "flea" stage that we experienced with my brother's orphan mouse because we could hardly touch her at the time. I may have to research the best way of handling newborns after 72 hours if that's the case, since we obviously want a clean environment for the new family.

Thank you again for this information. I also copied and pasted your response and e-mailed it to my sister.
RIP Magenta 07/30/12
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Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Pregnant Mouse
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2012, 04:55:27 PM »
Was the orphan a wild mouse? Domestic mice are different. Definitely do NOT wait until 3-4 weeks, or you'll have wild, unhandleable, unadoptable adult mice. You want to handle them a lot when they're young so they get used to people and attention.

Starting after 72 hours, you can pick them up, check for milk bellies and make sure they're growing. Since they can't regulate body heat, only do this for a very, very short time. But do it daily to let them get used to it. After they start to get fur, handle them more, let them crawl on your hands, or have them out and talk to them. When their eyes open, you can play with them, and you'll see their personalities start to come through more. Socialized mice are MUCH easier to adopt out.

Offline Jourdaine

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Re: Pregnant Mouse
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2012, 05:45:08 PM »
The orphan was, yes. A field mouse. In present time now, this mommy is domesticated and a pretty black and white, so the babies will be pretty, I'm sure!

Thanks for clearing all of that up. We'll be getting to work tonight.
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Offline Jourdaine

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Re: Pregnant Mouse
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2012, 07:15:13 PM »
It looks like the other two are both boys. There's a little one that has very obvious testicles. I think he's at the age of mating now. It looks like his ears have just started to stick out a little, though. The other one is an adult and much larger. It was a little more difficult to sex him but it looks like he has testicles also. My sister is at the pet store getting another tank and other accessories for mommy. Originally she was going to take the babies back to the friend's pet store but I convinced her to privately adopt out. She doesn't want to think about any of the little ones becoming reptile food anyway. We'll be keeping a couple and I plan to pick out one male for myself. We'll be working on socializing them and making them people friendly and I'll be taking pictures and setting up a thread in the adoption section here. :)
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Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Pregnant Mouse
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2012, 11:45:54 PM »
Probably better that there's two males and one female and not two pregnant females to deal with. Make sure both males are in their own, separate tanks, because they will eventually fight. Glad to hear they're not going back to the store, and keeping some of the female babies is a good way to ensure that mommy isn't alone.

Good luck!

Offline Jourdaine

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Re: Pregnant Mouse
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2012, 12:52:19 AM »
Later this evening we checked the other adult again and he is definitely 100% male, so that is all cleared up once and for all. Definitely better than having another pregnant female. :doh: We have some extra tanks now for when the babies are a little older and we've sexed them. I'll probably be buying my own home when I choose my mousey boy. Everyone is separated and Mom has a spacy tank. We cut out the bottom part of a tissue box and made a little "tray" for her as a nesting box, and I cut a door opening for it so she doesn't need to strain to get it. We also left a huge heap of tissues for her to go wild on. Everything is looking good on our end, so now we wait. She's very large at this point, so I figure it won't be much longer. At least we're now not nervous about this entire thing and feel prepared.

Judging by how long ago my sister got these mice and how old they are, we've tentatively guessed that the older boy is the father. Both Mom and Dad are beautiful Angora. Mom looks like she may have some Rex genes in her. Both parents are extremely people friendly and very easy to handle. They don't try to run, jump or bite, so I hope we wind up with a very handsome and easily tamable litter!

Thanks again for all of the help. We've definitely utilized all of the information you provided for us and now it doesn't seem so chaotic as we wait for these babies to arrive.
RIP Magenta 07/30/12
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Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Pregnant Mouse
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2012, 01:27:40 AM »
No problem! Happy to help. I've got a soft spot for mice, just as much as rats. Sounds like you've got everything in order! Hopefully they come out angored or rex. Unfortunately, mice are even harder to adopt out than rats sometimes, I think. And the prettier they are, the more likely people will be drawn to them.  :doh:

Oh, and pictures are aaaalways appreciated!  :cheeky:

Offline Jourdaine

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Re: Pregnant Mouse
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2012, 07:13:30 AM »
Same. I've had a soft spot for mice ever since I was little. I lived in a really old house with a mouse infestation and at 7 I was trying to catch them to make them pets. xD For some reason I just never got around to getting fancy mice as pets. I got into rats and it all went downhill from there. ;)

I'd imagine mice are difficult to adopt out as pets, but we'll see how it all turns out. Either they'll pick up these traits from Mom or Dad, or pick up some weird recessive genes from a distant relative.

Pictures will definitely be in order. ^^ I'll make a thread in the tails & mugshots section and my sister's a photographer, so she'll probably conjure up some nice photos.
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Offline Jourdaine

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Re: Pregnant Mouse
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2012, 06:49:30 PM »
The babies were born today! Mom looks healthy and happy. Unsure of how many babies there are at the moment. From looking at them we think between 6-8 but won't know for sure until this weekend when we can touch them. They're simply adorable, though. <3
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Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Pregnant Mouse
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2012, 03:52:22 PM »
That's a nice, small litter! Here's hoping for mostly girls.  :yelcutelaugh:

Offline Jourdaine

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Re: Pregnant Mouse
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2012, 04:03:35 PM »
Haha I do want a boy for myself at least, but right now I hope our estimation of 6-8 is right. We have plenty of tanks if there are more, but I'd like a manageable number. :P I sent my sister a great article on sexing and I won't be home until Sunday, so a new thread on the litter will be posted early next week with pics and updates. ^^
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Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Pregnant Mouse
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2012, 04:09:55 PM »
I hear a lot of cursing from people who end up with 10+ mice and mostly males.  :yelcutelaugh: Since the absolute smallest cage size for a male I'd recommend is a ten gallon, that's a lot of space! Though, I do personally prefer males. They're like tiny rats if they're friendly. :] Can't wait to see pics!

Offline Jourdaine

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Re: Pregnant Mouse
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2012, 04:17:33 PM »
Haha! Yeah, that would be a nightmare. xD I definitely have a bigger tank laying around, so he's going to be spoiled lol! I know it's early, but I'll be working on his hammocks soon so everything is ready and furnished when he's old enough. I already love my sister's two males. They're both friendly and like to be handled and they really do remind me of tiny rats, too. <3 I can't wait to pick one out and see him grow.
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Offline Jourdaine

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Re: Pregnant Mouse
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2012, 09:52:36 AM »
Here's the link to the baby thread. ^^ We have six girls and four boys. Could be worse. :P

http://www.goosemoose.com/rfc/index.php?topic=4095452.0
RIP Magenta 07/30/12
RIP Gypsy 06/28/12 <3