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Have I gone completely mad?

To fill you in on the background, I have two cages of mice at the moment; a single entire male called Parsnip from Primrose Rescue and another cage containing Squill, my elderly female mouse and two newer additions from Primrose Rescue (Pru, elderly female and Rhubarb, younger neutered male).

Parsnip has started looking very depressed and withdrawn, he has also started the dreaded OCD scratching which I have treated with both a fungal cream and oral medicine and I've also treated all of them for mites but there's been no improvement. So a few days ago I got him out to play with the others, while I could keep a close eye on them all. It all went very well but I didn't want to risk leaving an entire male with females so I popped Rhubarb, the neutered boy in with Parsnip for the last couple of nights. Trouble is, Rhubarb then started to look depressed so this morning I've put them all together in one cage and they all look so happy together. Parsnip hasn't been at all interested in mating with the girls and I'm just hoping that they are too old to get pregnant but part of me wonders whether I've gone completely mad and regret doing this.

What do you all think?

Comments

  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,229
    Ann, it`s called love! When needs must and all that....obviously there might be a risk. Is Parsnip an older gent? Squill and Pru possibly are past breeding but I have absolutely no idea when a mouse goes through the menopause! If it helps with the OCD and you are assured that no rumpy-pumpy is going on, then hopefully they should be fine. Have you gone completely mad? Possibly....but you know them best. See how they go over the next few days. x
  • NickyNicky Mouse
    Posts: 816
    I agree with racingmouse its called love and your doing it for all the right reasons Best of luck.
  • Posts: 529
    Sounds brave but I totally get your reasoning and hopefully the girls are too old to get pregnant or anything :)
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 962
    Well, so far so good. They are all still in together and they're all getting on well. Although Parsnip hasn't yet cuddled up to sleep with any of the others, he does look more lively so it's definitely a good move as far as he's concerned. He's about 15 months old now and the two girls are about 18 months.
  • CritteryCrittery Overlord
    Posts: 272
    I had a quick google and can't find it, iirc your girls are on the 'unable to but small chance' side of potential pregnancy. Either way, as long as you can prepare for that slim chance I can see your reasoning. Hope it all works out :)
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  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,229
    How are they all doing now Ann, any updates? x
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 962
    It's going really well, April. They're all sleeping together now and it's made a huge difference to Parsnip's happiness. I haven't seen any sign of mating behaviour and I hope it stays that way.
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,229
    Great news, I`m so pleased. Sometimes the risks are worth taking when your options are zero. When your instinct tells you it`s the best thing for the mice. x
  • Posts: 529
    I'm glad its all going well for them :)
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
  • zany_toonzany_toon Mouse
    Posts: 631
    Sorry I'm so late in replying Ann - but I think if it's working for them all then it's been a good move :) I think after mice turn a year old that their fertility levels drop quite drastically (my accidental litters last year were to mice 14 months old, but there were only two in each litter, and Kallan commented on their fertility when i spoke to her at that time), so hopefully with the ages of everyone it will mean absolutely no chance of pregnancy :)
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 962

    Oh :-O  if I'd known you had mice get pregnant at 14 months I might have thought twice.

    I just followed my instinct, I felt I had to act quickly as Parsnip was just getting more and more withdrawn so when he didn't make any attempt to chase the girls on that first free range session or fight with Rhubarb, the neutered boy, I felt it was the right thing to do. The initial plan was for him and Rhubarb to live together but Rhubarb looked unhappy with that arrangement so I decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

  • zany_toonzany_toon Mouse
    Posts: 631
    AnnB said:

    Oh :-O  if I'd known you had mice get pregnant at 14 months I might have thought twice.

    I just followed my instinct, I felt I had to act quickly as Parsnip was just getting more and more withdrawn so when he didn't make any attempt to chase the girls on that first free range session or fight with Rhubarb, the neutered boy, I felt it was the right thing to do. The initial plan was for him and Rhubarb to live together but Rhubarb looked unhappy with that arrangement so I decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

    Ann, I honestly wouldn't worry too much. Kallan had my group living together from around 10 months old I think, so it took them over six months to end up with two babies!! You do need to follow your instincts for them, and its not the first time that I have allowed older males to play with my older females for hours at a time during free ranging just to perk them up a bit. I hope they continue to get on well :)
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    edited January 2016 Posts: 1,229
    I agree. At this age there will be a small risk, but it`s a risk that needs to balance the effects of loneliness or possible self harm. As Roz said, even allowing them monitored playtimes if hey can`t actually co-habit could be the next best thing for oldies, but obviously you can`t go for a cup of tea in case Mr mouse decides to have his nuptials when your back is turned!! x
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 962
    Just a quick update to say all is well, no sign of babies and Parsnip is a much happier little boy having some company.
  • NickyNicky Mouse
    Posts: 816
    Really glad all is going well x :)
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,229

    Glad to hear this Ann, so pleased for wee Parsnip. x

  • Posts: 529
    I'm glad its all going well, its great that everyone seems to be happy now :)
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
  • zany_toonzany_toon Mouse
    Posts: 631
    That's fab news Ann :D I'm so pleased that all is going well, that there are no babies, and that Parsnip is enjoying the company still :D
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