Seperating male mice: How should I go about this?
Back in Febuary, my two female mice gave birth and gave me a total of 15 pups. I gave two away, and after the sad death of Ruben, who had Murphey's law thrown upon him, I now have 14 mice in total.
So far things have been fine. The seven girls all get along perfectly fine, and so did the boys- up till about a week ago. (Perhaps when Ruben died it broke some sort of balance? There were 8 of them, now 7)
Most of the males do still get along. My hypothesis is that one of them, Edgar, is being a cruel dictator. Not only has he always seemed to be a more dominant mouse, but he's the only one without a single scratch on his bottom or tail.
Some only have one or two really tiny scabs on their bottoms, while others have their whole back end covered... Yes, it is high time I now seperate them. My question though is, how should I go about doing this?
I thought about pairing them off into twos and have the ones who are most agreeable with one another be together (as far as I can see)... But then I question, since most of them are getting along, if I should do that? Once one of the pair dies off, then the other would be alone- would groups of 3 do better then? If I took Edgar out of the equasion, my guess is that there would once again be a pretty good balance in there without much violence at all. But then I question whether or not that would be a great idea- yes Edgar is a bully, but should I isolate him from the others? Or should I look for the one least scrapped up to put with him?
Personality wise, this is what I've got:
Burton: very friendly towards humans and his brothers/and/cousin. He hasn't tried escaping his cage until as of late. I keep finding him in the box I had their 3 story cage in- seeing that he is the most beat up, I believe he does it just to get away from Edgar or anyone else who is bullying him.
Archibald: He's more reserved/shy. He's the second most beat up mouse. He really doesn't seem like a dominant mouse, so I'm thinking of placing him with Burton.
Albus: He's got some scabs, but not many. He's a little more on the shy side.
Eugene: Well known escape artist. He looks pretty much unscathed.
Hamlin: The cousin mouse. He and one of his sisters strangely ended up having red eyes and grey and white fur instead of black and white fur and black eyes like his mother and sister. He is Eugene's partner in crime, and doesn't seem to have any notable marks either.
Oswald: Had fun escaping and running up on the pipes on my basement ceiling. Wouldn't be surprised if he got a housemouse girlfriend. He also seems pretty much untouched.
Edgar: the bully- friendly to people, loves riding on my shoulder, but just doesn't like his brothers touching the things he wants I suppose. He's perfectly fine- no marks what so ever.
Any ideas of how I should arrange them?