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My Siamese Breeding Programme

This discussion was created from comments split from: Siamese sealpoint breeding programme.

Comments

  • JonJon Lemming
    Posts: 147
    OK here's the latest...

    Basil has been in with Velcro and Cheeselet for at least two weeks now. It's all been alarmingly quiet, but after an initial introduction in which Basil did the mouse equivalent of trying to rip the two ladies' clothes off, followed by being sternly ordered to sleep in the spare room, they have been peacefully occupying the same space.

    This particular group seems to enjoy hiding and sleeping (or hammocking) in old socks (washed of course!). Yesterday, I went for a look and found all three asleep in a sock I'd given them. That was funny!

    Whether either doe is pregnant yet, I just can't tell but Velcro does look a tiny bit meatier around the waist and all their food is being demolished each day, with no sign of Basil piling any more weight on.

    So... in a few weeks we may well have some pups for sale!
    Ask not what your rodent can do for you...
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,227
    How sweet. It would be nice if you got a wee litter Jon. They sound happy together. I don`t know much about breeding but I`m sure I read (somewhere not sure where) that female mice should only be bred from twice? Possibly for health reasons I suppose but of course, Daddy mouse would have to be a bachelor again!
  • JonJon Lemming
    Posts: 147
    Yes, I'm only going to do this once or twice from these three. If Basil proves to be infertile or no babies materialise, I think I will let them stay together as they are very happy and Basil is no longer scent-marking everything, so the cage smells much less!
    Ask not what your rodent can do for you...
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,227
    Sounds like a plan, although you wouldn`t want older females becoming pregnant at a later age. I`m not sure if female mice (or males for that matter!) have a cut off date when they stop pro-creating! Do mice ever become infertile or too old to be mums and dads? That would be my only concern if they didn`t breed now but may do later on.
  • JonJon Lemming
    Posts: 147
    I have no idea to be honest. I think if they are fertile then yes separate them. However if Basil's firing blanks or they aren't catching then they could well live happily ever after.
    Ask not what your rodent can do for you...
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,227
    I suppose you would likely know early on Jon if the females didn`t `take`. So if they lived together for six months and no babies resulted then that might be the case.
  • JonJon Lemming
    Posts: 147
    God news: at least one of the does (Cheeselet) is pregnant! I don't think Velcro is, but you can't always tell can you? At any rate, her sister is getting more enormous by the day.

    I'll keep you all posted.

    Jon
    Ask not what your rodent can do for you...
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,227
    Champagne corks at the ready! Hope all goes well Jon. x
  • JonJon Lemming
    Posts: 147
    Thank you :-D She is now as fat as a pear, poor sausage. Only days to go, I reckon. A week tops.

    Ask not what your rodent can do for you...
  • JonJon Lemming
    Posts: 147
    *Sorry about the mixed simile/metaphor above. Sausage and pear mmmm.
    Ask not what your rodent can do for you...
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,227
    Yes, they do tend to go pear shaped! Hope you hear the sound of little pip squeaks soon. x
  • JonJon Lemming
    Posts: 147
    Here's a photo of Die Hindenburg. She is looking delightfully lumpy from the sides bless her.

    When I pick up I am extra careful and speak soothingly to her so she knows I know, kind of thing. I have no idea if this helps them, but it can't hurt.

    The last time I bred mice was when I was a kid, so this is very exciting. We're all waiting to see what happens.
    Cheeselet.jpg
    850 x 478 - 416K
    Ask not what your rodent can do for you...
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,227
    She looks happy scoffing from the food dish! Mum`s do need their nutrition! High protein when the babies are born helps. Look at the dry mix protein content. Chopped nuts and dry mealworms are a good source of proteins. x
  • JonJon Lemming
    Posts: 147
    I'll probably draft in something from Rat Rations. I mixed my own for the mice from there last time and they do love it. A lot of these commercial foods have all sorts of crap in there that the animals don't eat. Not Rat Rations though. They are excellent and if I happen to be seeing my friends over at Attleborough they are just around the corner.
    Ask not what your rodent can do for you...
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,227
    I agree Jon. There are some reasonably good commercial mixes and some very bad ones. Most contain the usual alfalfa/grass pellets (never get eaten so I`m not sure why these are added) and the usual corn, extruded biscuits and various grains. Rat rations offer a good variety of things, although I doubt they would be balanced in the same way a bought mix is, but then again, we don`t have balanced diets and we tend to do okay! x
  • JonJon Lemming
    Posts: 147
    Oh Rat Rations do ready-mixed feeds for special purposes, such as elderly rats and nursing mothers. Whilst the body chemistry of rats and mice may differ, I think they're good enough for mice. The mixture I made up was a selection (a very wide one) of things designed to give them what they like and things designed to give them what they need. The pellets and so forth in commercial feeds are just put in as bulk, because they're cheap. So you're better off going to RR or somewhere like them. They actually care.
    Ask not what your rodent can do for you...
  • JonJon Lemming
    Posts: 147
    Update: Last night, Cheeselet was looking a tad thinner, but no squeaks issuing from the nest. And no sign of her sister.

    Is the squeaking of babies there from the off, or are they quiet for the first few hours?

    I'm hoping it wasn't a false alarm or she's killed them or something.
    Ask not what your rodent can do for you...
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,227
    Really hope not, that would be a shame Jon. Her sister is missing? Goodness....I hope she`s just hiding? The babies I`m not sure about. They may start squeaking soon if there are any in the nest but keep a close watch on mum and what her behaviour is. Maybe tomorrow you could have a quick look if she seems okay, but I do hope all is well. x
  • JonJon Lemming
    Posts: 147
    I'm biding my time. I heard one tiny squeak and my wife said she heard another, so something is going on!

    The sister - I don't know that she wasn't also pregnant. She didn't look it, but we all know that means nothing and that it depends on the build/size/habit etc. of the individual doe.

    I'm keeping an eye on them both. Cheeselet appears to have hidden herself away in a plastic igloo which she has made into a bunker. That strikes me as what you'd expect. The sister, Velcro, is hiding in a mass of straw and paper.

    I was going to listen and watch and then maybe investigate properly at the one week mark. Is that safe as far as not spooking the mothers goes? I want to handle the babies so they are tame from the off, but it has to be at the right time.
    Ask not what your rodent can do for you...
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,227
    If I remember rightly Jon, I read that you can handle the babies after a week, some breeders do it after a few days, but I feel that`s a bit premature personally, especially for a new mum as she may turn. I imagine breeders get into a routine and have many litters so get used the behaviours. Fingers crossed the mums will emerge soon and you will see some signs of life. :)
  • JonJon Lemming
    edited September 2015 Posts: 147
    Yes, Velcro appeared after a couple of days' absence and both were running on the wheel. Cheeselet was running a day or two earlier, but you could see she was doing it gingerly; probably still very sore after delivering.

    No squeaks yet, but these mice generally don't make much sound. Even when tussling over food, it's not as loud as a pet shop mouse when it gets peeved!
    Ask not what your rodent can do for you...
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,227
    Let us know when you hear/see anything?
  • JonJon Lemming
    Posts: 147
    We finally bit the bullet and invaded the nest for a look. Oh what a lovely suprise! Two gorgeous, fat little babies of about a week old. All clothed in silvery fur (darker in one case).

    These are going to be huge when they grow up. They're already over an inch and a half! 

    I had worried that Velcro (the mother's sister) had come to some harm as she vanished for two days, but then I read that this was normal behaviour if one mouse was serving as a nanny for the other. And sure enough Cheeselet, the mother, was the one coming out each evening to play, eat and generally chill without the kids.

    I'm so pleased. I will try and upload some photos on my other thread.

    Ask not what your rodent can do for you...
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,227
    Oh how lovely, two large babies! :) So glad mum is doing well too Jon and little Velcro. Will these babies be keepers then? Obviously you don`t know their genders yet! x
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