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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question A Mouse owner to be: Is everything good

Hi,
I'm going to be getting three domestic mice shortly to do a science project for a scholarship. Don't worry this isn't one of those awful laboratory things where the animals are horribly treated. No, I'm a pet lover too so they are going to be treated just as well as my three precious dogs and my moms 22 chickens. Now for this science project, I will be observing the mice for a few months and may have to test their urine and blood, then once I'm done, they will simply be my cute little pet mousies. Now considering the fact that many of you are mouse owners I would like you to tell me if my preparations are good before I actually order everything. I will be getting two females and a male so I will be getting two cages 0ne for the females and one for the male. For the females I was looking at the Super Pet CritterTrail One because its big enough for hamsters but suppossedly also appropriate for mice. Then I was looking at the Super Pet Mini CritterTrail Two for the male because its almost just as big as the females and it is also suppossed to be appropriate for both mice and hamsters (hamsters= relatively large). Then for bedding I was just going to tear up tissue, paper towels, and rags so that they will be able to comfortably nest without having to resort to shavings because I heard it bothers their respiratory system. As for exercise besides their wheel I was going to use a large storage bin to take all three out of their cage for a little while each day, that way I can observe their behavior together, the boy won't get lonely, and I can still prevent him from impregnating one of my females, because to tell the truth three mice are plenty for me, lol. For food I was going to get the Nutriphase rat and mouse food and then supplement it with some cooked vegetables, crackers, and the occasional nibble of peanut butter. Does this all sound good, if not please tell me. I really want my little mice to be happy. Now I will have to test each of their blood and urine for my science project once to back up any observations I've made. As it is I will be asking my science teacher and local veterinarian for help but if any of you have any information on how to do this feel free to give me tips. I'm so excited!!!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 10:21 PM
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i think that sounds okay....for the bedding i use aspen, it's a safe wood and almost as cheap as pine/cedar. for cages...well, you could do for bigger. it's easy to find used fishtanks for cheap. even used cages like as the humane society. but with those tubes and stuff at least they'll stay interested . for food i think your choice is fine. for treats i used to give my mouse my leftover veggies from dinner. dried bread pieces are good too. peanut butter can make them (and other small animals) choke because of its stickyness. maybe just try a little dab on a piece of cracker? but yeah everythign else is good. they like places to hide, cut up kleenex boxes, toilet paper tubes, paper towel tubes, apple sticks, bird perches, wood bird toys, shelves, they love it all!

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 10:47 PM
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as mulder said peanut butter can make them choke, but peanut butter flavored stuff is ok. Also a little bit of fresh or dried veggies and fruits at least twice a week would help them be healthier. I perfer to use mainly dry food and on cage cleaning day baby food. the dry food cant rot in the cage. (most mice will eat it before then but not always) also some fabric can tear out their nails and be very painful for them. Tissue paper and such is great for nesting material For two females a ten gallon aquarium with a reptile lid would be a great cage. That's what I use. Also boys do tend to have an odor if you get bio odor (it's in the ferret and rabbit section in the petstore) and put it in their water it'll help tremendously. Also how old are they
? If they are still growing a bit of extra protein will help them esp. in the growing stage. But other than that looks like you got every down! Good luck (don't use pine or cedar toys and bedding it can give them an illness that can be fatal fast.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 11:14 PM
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If I were you, I would not let the male out to "play" with the females. Mating only takes a few seconds, and trust me, they are much faster than you are. I don't think that you could prevent them from mating through supervision.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you

Thanks, that helps alot. So no peanut butter, look for a bigger cage if possible, don't use the fabric, and keep the male away. Only one problem, my enitre science project is based on how the male reacts to the females. Maybe if I just put a wire divider between them then maybe I could see if he's interested in one over the other without them actually being together. You see it's been proven that female mice can tell an inbred male from an outbred male by counting the proteins in his urine. My science project is to see if the male has any criteria that he favors. So I guess if I let the females run around the storage container and spread their scent around everywhere while he watches from his cage and then I put the divider in with him on one side and the females on the other I could still tell if he's more interested in one female over the other. Do you think that'll work? Oh I hope so, cause this scholarship is BIG and I really need the money for college. So any suggestions?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 01:40 AM
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males will only wish to breed and mice may be able to breed through bars just likke rats. However female mice will breed with a male and if they are pregnant and if they smell and other males urine they can miscary for the better males babies. But what you say about the protein levels may be true you can put the girls in a smaller cage with their scent on one sode of the cage and the other girl on the other side of the cage and see if you get reaction that way but unles you want babies I wouldn't put them out togetherr or with a "divider". I know that males can smell females if the cage is on top of theirs so that may be one way. Also if they breed then you can have any where from 1-31 babies at one time and if they are younger than 3 months it can kill the pregnant mice.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 03:33 AM
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They can breed through little wire netting sometimes and as been mentioned it only takes a few seconds. I dont own mice, but have had one in the past. Maybe if you have a vet specialised in small animals, you could get the male neutered.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 08:24 AM
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if you had two cages, one for girls and one for boys, the boys will still smell the females and love every minute of it. having one cage and a divider is risky. two cages side by side, but not touching, would work great. that way they can see and smell but not touch each other

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 09:53 AM
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Hmm, this is a tough one. Can I just ask, as another scientific mind, how you are planning to evaluate whether he prefers one to the other? Maybe that would help us get some ideas on how to safely keep them separated. On the other hand, considering the nature of your experimental question, I'm not sure it's possible to truly come to any conclusions without putting them together.

Perhaps you could use items saturated with the females' urine (separately) and see if he is consistently more drawn to one over the other.

I know this is a very important experiment, so you're going to have to make a big decision about whether you are going to let your mice breed. I recommend that you decide this before you get them. If so, there are many people here on the forum who could help you to prepare for babies.

OR **** I just had a brilliant idea***** try to get in contact with a mouse breeder in your area. Maybe they would be willing to let you borrow (or at least observe) the mice together. You could use mice that they were already planning on breeding. Then you could really get some legitimate results, and you wouldn't be stuck with babies.

Maureen


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bird toys, cage cleaning, dry food, female mice, humane society, male mice, nesting material


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