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I have naughty bickering boys, really need some advice!

Hi all,

I had two unexpected mousie litters from our four pet shop girls (V bad pet shop :x ) We decided to keep all of the babies, so now have a lovely group of 13 girls and 8 naughty boys.

The boys are in a big metre long terrarium, and seemed fine to start with. However as they have started to mature (they are about 8 weeks old now) they have started bickering.

I have been watching them carefully to see if there are any particularly dominant boys in the group, but they all seem to be just bickering at random (although the 4 white boys seem to be slightly more stroppy than the four coloured boys). One boy can be stroppy and chasing others one day, but is being chased himself the next day.

I removed everything from the tank that gave them different levels, but that doesn't seem to have helped as much as I hoped it would. They now have some floor level toys and mainly just beds in the tank, along with one big wooden sleeping house and 3 wheels. They also have a small cargo net against one wall, which I have left in as that seems to be classed as a safe place so I'm a bit afraid to take it out. If someone is being chased they run up the cargo net and that seems to end the argument.
They never seem to argue over the food or water which is one good thing. The wheels don't seem to be an issue either. They also all sleep cuddled in together every day in the large wooden house.

I'm really worried though as I don't think they look overly happy at the moment, and I think its only a matter of time before a proper fight breaks out. The bickering always just involves one kicking off and chasing the other, a lot of squeaking but no damage done (although one has a couple of little nips on his poor tail).

I have thought about splitting the group, but I really don't know how I would split them as they are all being idiots. I'm worried I am going to put the wrong ones in together, split up friends and make things worse.
Because there is no pattern to the arguments, or obvious dominant boys, it has made it really hard for me to know who should live with each other, and who shouldn't.

Does anybody have any advice about the cage layout that may help?
I was thinking of stripping it back to the bare bones, apart from beds and wheels. I am planning on cleaning them tonight and was going to put some of the dirty bedding back in to help a bit.
Im going to have to take out the wooden sleeping house tonight as they have been peeing everywhere in it, and it stinks. I don't think that's going to go down very well, but it really needs to be washed (or replaced if its too smelly). They have lots of other beds though, so I'm hoping that it won't cause too much of a hoo haa :roll:

Im sorry for such a long post, if you have got this far thank you so much for taking the time to read it all.
If anyone has any advice I will be very grateful

Sarah xxx

Comments

  • _mousehouse_mousehouse Legacy
    Posts: 82
    in my experience of owning mice for 14yrs they will either get on or not. although its more common that boys will always fight and can do a lot of damage.

    I had 3 boys who lived together their whole life 2 brothers and an outsider - yet none of my other bucks got on, even brothers. I had one incident where 2 brothers where living perfectly until one day I woke up to find one had attacked the other and took most of his fur off from his face! not nice, he made a full recovery but bit me everytime i tried to handle him :-(

    if you don't want to separate my opinions would be:
    either remove and house the ones who have bite marks/scuffs on as they are probably the bullied ones, which leaves the dominant ones that you could house separately.

    all the white (albinos) ive owned have been stroppy, i currently have a white female who shakes her tail at me the minute i open the cage and will lunge to bite when i put my hand in!

    as with lay out i was once told to offer many water bottles, food bowls, wheels and nests to prevent arguing. spot cleaning instead of a whole clean is best for bucks even single ones as this just makes them more likely to scent the cage more leading to territory squabbles.

    hope ive helped, some one with better knowledge should come along soon.
  • Posts: 0
    I don't really have any advice, our track record with males is really bad... I just wanted to say good luck really :)
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