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EnyoFace 04-18-2009 11:29 PM

Pregnant Mouse

I have a pregnant mouse, and am unsure on how to proceed with the final days or even hours of her gestation period. At the moment, she is lying down in the corner of her cage, panting, and I assume that she's having contractions. She often seems to recover from her "contractions" and then goes back to her nest, and continues eating.

Is there anything else I should be prepared for or should know about, and should I remove the mouse wheel from her cage for now? Also, Do mice even have contractions?!

Thanks in advance!

RodentzRule 04-19-2009 04:32 AM

Uhh not so sure about contractions.... but yes, remove the wheel

Scris129 04-19-2009 08:42 AM

im about 98 percent sure they can have contractions. but defently remove the wheel, it will be to much of a distraction when she is nursing her babies, and she may fall off the wheel when shes on it and hurt her babies while shes pregnant

NotaMallard 04-19-2009 02:01 PM

Yes, they do have contractions, how else would they push a baby out? And it is a good idea to remove the wheel, not only so she doesn't hurt unborn babies but also so that she doesn't have them on or under it and then start running, of course hurting the babies.

Also, if you believe she's very near delivery, leave the room! If she sees you looming over her as she delivers she will be more likely to cannibalise.

CapriceCritters 04-21-2009 11:25 AM

I'd provide a hide by cutting a window into the side of a cottage cheese or sour cream plastic container.

I never removed the wheel when I used to provide them. If they would build a nest underneath it, i would simply move the wheel and put a hide over the nest.

Up the protein intake of the mother by giving cat food.

A good bedding to provide her with is small chunks of toilet paper scattered through her cage. She will go about and gather them as she would to build a nest in the wild, and will feel much more at home with fluffy secure bedding. It also helps to keep babies from chilling because she'll cover the babies with it when she leaves them to eat or drink.

Contractions are very different with mice and rats than in people. Their sides will look like they collapse, and after just one push or so a pup should emerge, which is then grabbed by the doe and pulled out. Small amounts of blood on bedding is normal.

Keep her quiet, don't disturb her at all except to stealthily change water and food.

NotaMallard 04-21-2009 05:39 PM

I've heard from a few mouse breeders that leaving the wheel in, until after delivery, just isn't a chance you should take. One of my mice (despite having a nesting box) decided to have them in the food bowl, so I wouldn't be surprised if momma decided the wheel would be a great place to raise a litter. I guess it's a personal choice.

Also, the paper towels/toilet paper is something I forgot to mention! Yes, momma mouse will definitely want that. Just don't use commercial store-bought nesting material, the stuff like what's used in stuffed animals. It can get wrapped around baby feet and even necks, and as you can guess the results are not desirable.

CrWoodyspets 04-22-2009 09:56 PM

I have bred about 3 litters of mice and we always gave a pregnant mama milk and water. Make sure she has a lot of paper or fluff to make her nest out of. It is common for mice to eat a few of the babies, but they usually have around 5-10. Give her lots of food [the normal kind that you give her but also give her some strawberries ,too, if you can. Don't disturb the babies and mama at first, if your mouse really trusts you...about 3 days. Take mom out and make sure shes comfy in her alternate cage. You can hold the babies, but first rub your hands in the bedding to maek it smell more like mom. Be super careful, baby mice jump! Make sure you sex the babies at around 21 days, because if you don't you will have another mouse problem and the mice could come out deformed [because brothers and sisters are mating]. Oh my gosh make sure the male is out of there too. Right after mom gives birth she will be able to get pregnant again. It can be very bad fro a mouse to be "double bred". Good Luck! You'll get the hang of it!

CapriceCritters 04-23-2009 10:06 AM

Might I ask why you give milk? As adults, mice (as well as most animals) Loose the ability to digest milk properly, usually resulting in 'the runs'. Milk is not something animals are supposed to drink after they are weaned. It does much more harm than good.

Supplement with extra protein, be it cat food or lunch meat like turkey or beef. Unless the mouse is stressed or a poor mother, it is not normal for her to cannibalize any of the litter. It's usually do to improper feeding or to remove a stillborn.

Oh, and start advertising NOW for homes for them! They can be extremely difficult to place.

NotaMallard 04-23-2009 05:05 PM

I was about to point that out. Soymilk is alright, if you soak stale bread in it or somesuch, but cow milk is a no-no. I give mine dog biscuits, dog food, or cat food, I choose hard forms because it also helps with their ever-growing teeth. But yes, turkey and beef are good. Fish is also a treat mine ADORE.

And if it hasn't been covered yet, handle the babies at least once every day after day three if you want friendly mice. Otherwise they'll turn out jumpy and scared.

EnyoFace 04-24-2009 04:36 PM

Thank you for the helpful responses, everyone.

Everything went well, and 2-3 days after she had her litter, I counted up to 11 babies but I have yet to handle them. I believe I should begin handling them in a day or so but am unsure how, due to their small size. What would be the best way to go about this?


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