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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi, im new to this site and in need of a little help
i recently bought 3 fancy mice (all male, and from the same litter)
after a couple of days 1 of them started to attack another, its only happened a couple of times and are fine the rest of the time.
ive been told if it continues then i should seperate the attacker, but i was woundering if i do, will i ever be able to put them back together again once there a little older (they are 8weeks)
its only the 1 mouse that is attacking another, and the 3rd one is fine
any help and advice would be very much appreciated :)
 

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males cant usually be housed togethier as they will fight to the death over domance
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
its the same 1 thats attacking, its getting less as the days go by so maybe he's proved his point
its not like major fights more like little bickers
when it happens the 3rd one always goes to the 1 thats been attacked and grooms him, maybe the other 1 is jelous lol
 

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Hey there. :) I agree with Nibbler. Unfortunately, while female mice live quite happily in a colony together, male mice are extremely territorial against other male mice and this only increases as they get older.

Very rarely, male mice can be kept together for their entire life. The only way I've seen that it works is if the males are siblings from the same litter and raised together their entire lives, and if the mice in question are unusually placid/non-dominant/low testosterone. Often you need an extra large cage with lots of hiding places too.

Normally what will happen is increasing aggression as they get older and more sexually mature until one mouse finally kills off his rivals and he emerges as top mouse.

Once you separate your aggressive mouse, you can't put him back again. Mice have no long term memory for this kind of thing, so after a short while the separated mouse will be considered (and consider himself) an invader and then the aggression level will skyrocket.

While male mice obviously get along with females just fine, you can't keep them with females without having an out of control population explosion. So what mouse keepers do is keep male mice singly in individual cages. They are perfectly happy this way, especially if they get lots of attention from their human and an entertaining habitat.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
oh crumbs :/
mine are from the same litter so maybe i,ll hit lucky and they'll stop, they havent fought for a while now, but i,ll deff keep my eye on them
thanks for the info ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
1 more question please :)
if i do end up seperating them could i still put them together to play (when i get them out)
 

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I'm glad we could give you tips that helped. :D

I've never been in a position to try putting together a play time, but they might not kill each other? Lets look at it from a mouse point of view though.

Keeping in mind how mice psychology works, mice don't really play much with each other so much as interact. Members of the same colony will interact with one another and develop affection for each other. However, they are hard wired to view any strange mouse with suspicion and consider it a threat to the safety of their territory, families, and status.

A strange male mouse for example would be looking to find females to breed with or to steal from an established male mouse. He'd want to kill his rival, and possibly kill the rival's pups so the females would go back into heat and he could breed with them.

So with that in mind, putting your boys together for a play date wouldn't be the enriching or fun experience you'd want it to be for them. They wouldn't be interested in playing with each other. They'd be stressed out over trying to claim the neutral play area for their own before the rival can claim it, worrying about driving off/killing the potential threat, or be worried that they themselves might be killed by the potential threat. Make sense? :)
 

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Yes, I've seen this happen before, and it's a very good idea to not just separate them into different cages, but also to not allow them to play with each other, even under supervision. It doesn't matter if they are brothers or not--they will still kill each other. Don't feel bad about housing them individually, though, because they will be much happier not worrying about dominance and territorial behavior. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ive seperated the attacker, i will get him his own cage tomorrow as he only has a small space at the minute :( i dont think he likes it either
the other 2 are getting on fine together at the minute (touch wood)
 

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Obviously, mice and rats are not the same but you can usually house male rats together can't you? Even introduce them to each other (correctly) later in life for another cage mate.

Have there even been studies done as to why this is different?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
good question
ive kept rats before and to my mistake i thought mice were generally the same but obviously not
i did have words with the petshop owner too for giveing me false info cos she said that houseing male mice together was fine
 
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