I am a newbie to the site, I have kept fancy rats for years, but after I lost the final girl from my last group :( , I decided to have some mice instead, as I have wanted some for years.
I am now the new mummy of four lovely girls, a mum and her three daughters. There names are Blossom, Gertie, Enid and Sylvie and they are gorgeous (and a bit mental).
I desperately need some advice though as a week after I brought the girls home it became obvious that Gertie and Enid were pregnant (they started to look like golf balls).
I'm so annoyed as they were only about 7-8 weeks so far to young really.
They have both had there babies though, and are doing brilliantly. Nanny Blossom and Auntie Sylvie have stayed with them, and they are all helping and looking after the babies together.
I haven't touched the babies or the nest as I am terrified of upsetting the mums and them harming the babies. I have managed to get a good look at them regularly though, there are 14 in total :shock: and they all look lovely and healthy.
The adults haven't been with me long enough to trust me yet, which doesn't help. We have have only got to the hand sniffing and taking treats from me stage as I have been trying to leave them in peace as much as possible because of the babies.
They are still quite skittish but they seem completely happy and relaxed when they are eating and playing etc. They must be nervous though as they relocated the nest recently.
We have decided to keep all of the babies as I have fallen in love with them. I also know that the mums and babies could suffer from health problems etc because of being bred so young, so I will feel happier if they stay with me, and I can make sure they are well cared for. I know I need to separate them at about 4 weeks old so that they don't start multiplying like gremlins.
I plan to set up two lovely new habitats for them so that I can have a girl gang and a boy gang.
This is where I have a problem though. I need to be able to handle the babies and sex them as soon as possible really. I need to know how many boys and girls in total so that I am able to order two appropriate sized tanks, and the extra kit I need, ready for the 4 week mark.
Does anyone have any advice as to how to handle the babies without upsetting the mums too much. I'm really worried that I will do something wrong and the mums will harm the babies. I know I need to remove the adults from the tank, but this is going to be a nightmare I think, because there are 4 of them on guard so the nest is very rarely left unattended.
I am also a bit concerned that they haven't been cleaned out since the day before the babies arrived. I have spot cleaned every day but have had to leave a fair portion of the cage untouched because of the nest.
Is it too risky yet to handle the babies and clean the cage up a bit and should I wait a bit longer?
Gertie's babies are 13 days old today and Enid's are 10 days old today.
Sorry for such a long winded post, thank you for reading it and any advice will be gratefully received :)