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How to train new pet mice when they don't seem to come out of their nest?!

Hello, nice to meet you all. I have two beautiful new pet mice (9 weeks old), and we are keen to train them and ensure that they enjoy being handled. We have had them out a couple of times (one of them is significantly more relaxed than the other). However, they spend almost all of their time asleep in their nest. How do we go about training them and getting them used to us if they're asleep the whole time?! They've been with us for a week now, and we're starting to worry that we'll never get to play with them. Or is this a stage that all young mice go through? Any advice most appreciated! H 

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  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 996

    Hi and welcome to the forum.

    A bit of patience is usually required with new mice and perhaps a good, safe place for them to play (like an empty bath with the plug in). They should learn quite quickly as they're young and you'll soon have them taking treats from your hand and even walking onto your hand. Just go fairly slowly with them for the first few weeks and you'll win them over.

  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 996
    I forgot to say, if you feed them at the time of day you want them to wake up and play, they will soon get used to the routine.
  • HoyleKingdomHoyleKingdom Lemming
    Posts: 31
    Thanks! They're getting a little more confident which is good, however one of them is not well :( we think she has an ear infection as she is wonky and can't really tell where down or up is. Hopefully a trip to the vet will help.
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 996
    Mice can suffer with inner ear infections so I would get her to the vet as soon as possible.
  • HoyleKingdomHoyleKingdom Lemming
    Posts: 31

    Little brown mouse will visit the vet at 3pm today. Claws crossed that antibiotics can sort her out - we've only had her a week and she's breaking our heart!

  • CritteryCrittery Overlord
    Posts: 274
    Welcome to the forum, sorry to hear about your poorly one. Fingers crossed and let us know how you get on!

    As Ann says, the routine really helps with mice. If you make sure that some treats they *only* get from taking from your hand they'll learn soon enough :)
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  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    edited September 2016 Posts: 1,272
    Welcome. Hope the balancing problem clears with antibiotics. She may have an ear infection so handling I would leave until she`s feeling better. I appreciate you want to tame them, but mice are not keen on human hands at the best of times and are better allowed to `come to you` rather than the other way around. They are very young still so they need time to settle in and have a routine that they are comfortable with. So if you can, be patient with them and especially the one who has the balancing problem. She will be best left inside the cage with her cage mate to play and you can interact with them within the cage rather than removing them to what they will feel is a strange place and could stress them. Their cage is their haven, their place of sleep and play, so handling mice is best done, at least to begin with, inside their habitat. x
  • HoyleKingdomHoyleKingdom Lemming
    Posts: 31
    Thanks for all the tips guys. Being patient is certainly helping with the healthy mouse: she's now taking pumpkin seeds out of my hand and even nibbling them from my fingers. The poorly one has antibiotics: it's really tricky to administer them! She's not too interested in the peanut butter, or the honey we tried to tempt her with so we're just kind of squirting it onto her nose and hoping some goes in!
  • NuttySianNuttySian Mouse
    Posts: 214
    Try porridge. Mine take it easily in that, you might have to experiment whether they like it runny or a bit stodgy. Cold is fine.
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 996
    A piece of Rich Tea biscuit usually is enough to bribe my mice but I've also resorted to dropping liquid meds on their backs and they always wash it off.
  • HoyleKingdomHoyleKingdom Lemming
    Posts: 31
    It's so strange; one of them is so motivated by peanut butter and thhe other one really isn't! The poorly one has some balance back - we're so releived. The rich tea biscuit is a good plan! What we now hope is that the handling we're doing now to administer the meds won't make her wary of us :s
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