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    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 4th, 2015 4:40pm (Jan 4th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    So Hattie has passed away, which I am gutted about...she was only young (not even fully grown yet) and a total, adorable runt. She was also very friendly and loved to be handled, whereas Lorri is very skittish and nervous.

    Oddly enough Timber passed yesterday, and Noah today...I don't think they're connected, as they're in completely different parts of the house, and hands are washed between contact etc. I think the gerbils died from chewing (therefore possibly eating) plastic in the Ovo cages, but we didn't have anything else to keep them in as they chewed their way out of the Kios and Perfecto!! :001_rolleyes:

    Puj, who was in the same room as the gerbils, seems fine.

    To keep it short, we have no idea why Hattie's died. She was active and seemed healthy...then she was dead. We've disinfected the entire cage and all contents.

    Normally we'd leave a few weeks to see how Lorri got on (health wise, to make sure Hattie didn't die of something contagious), then rescue / buy some more mice, quarantine them and add them to Lorri. The issue is that Lorri had eaten parts of Hattie. I know rodents do this; Okto for example nibbled at Banjo when he passed, and our previous gerbils did it too. There was no sign of a fight; no blood splattered around the cage, Lorri is clean etc.

    Would you try and add mice with Lorri? Or would you leave her alone?

    She's only young, and female mice are very sociable creatures. She's also really too skittish to be handled, so doesn't get that social contact either.

    Any ideas??
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJan 4th, 2015 8:29pm (Jan 4th 2015)
     
    So sorry about your losses Red - heartbreaking I know.

    I would leave it a week or so to make sure she's OK and not going to follow the others over the bridge. I don't think she's killed Hattie or there would be evidence of a fight - eating the cagemate isn't unusual and is self-preservation in the wild as a decomposing body will attract prey. If they like company it would be a very long and lonely life on her own.
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeJan 4th, 2015 9:47pm (Jan 4th 2015)
     
    Wow, Red..loosing so many so fast..that's heartbreaking. I'd wait a few days, but I'd get a new mouse friend for Lorri.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 4th, 2015 11:26pm (Jan 4th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Thanks both. Ugh, it's been really crappy...I can't believe Noah went, he was my favourite gerbil (I *know* you're not supposed to have favourites, but...) and I saw him a couple hours before he was gone, he was just as happy and lively as ever!

    I figured, Kate. Might try and fit in picking some mice up tomorrow, but keep Lorri downstairs and any newbies upstairs in our bedroom. That's if I can find any at either of the two pet shops I like (I know one deffo doesn't have any as our friend bought all four - damn! - but the other, further away, shop might have some females in)...that way we can begin quarantine for 3 weeks whilst keeping an eye on Lorri. 3 weeks seems like an awful long time for Lorri to be on her own, and that's counting on the pet shop having mice in stock...

    If neither pet shop are due any mice in stock within the next month I'm going to have to rescue some, which I wouldn't mind if they were going to live with themselves only, but the last rescue mice we picked up all had RI's and were severely underweight and two of them never became healthy enough to integrate with 'normal' mice...plus NOWHERE around here has mice for rehoming, the nearest we could get to are in Leeds...ugh, train fare would be £45!
    :gasp:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJan 5th, 2015 4:16pm (Jan 5th 2015)
     
    I agree that a social animal shouldn't be alone...let's hope the pet shop gets some in soon. Can you keep a barrier between them at first Red, until they get used to eachother?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 5th, 2015 8:52pm (Jan 5th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Posted By: chief chickenI agree that a social animal shouldn't be alone...let's hope the pet shop gets some in soon. Can you keep a barrier between them at first Red, until they get used to eachother?


    From what I've read CC it's not a good idea to use a barrier, as they'll try fight through the barrier to protect their territory. It seems it's crucial to intro the mice in a totally neutral place, although there are a lot of varying opinions on whether it should be a very small carrier case (which forces them to interact) or a larger space with lots of toys to keep them busy.

    We've never had any trouble introducing mice to each other, and I think we've done it at least four times. We've always introduced them in the tub, with neutral smelling toys, and we've never had a single squabble. I'm really crossing my fingers that we can pull off another successful intro! :smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 5th, 2015 8:53pm (Jan 5th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Well after walking all the dogs today we traveled on the train to a pet shop that said it had female mice in stock. As it was quite a way away we'd never been there before (tried once but it was a Sunday so closed) so I wasn't sure how good it would be, although it had good reviews on the internet...

    It was really good! It had such a wide variety of animals in stock (ranging from corn snakes to mice - which are really hard to come by - , rats, dwarf hamsters, rabbits, budgies and parrots!) and most the cages were a really good size. The cage that housed the rats was larger than a Jenny, very impressive for a shop :smile:

    They were keeping the mice on wood shavings, which is always a bad idea, but 99% of pet shops do. The mice were older (about 4 months) as nobody had been interested in them...I don't know why because they were BEAUTIFUL!!
    :heartsabove:

    Seriously, they are gorgeous! She had 8 in a very large mouse-friendly cage, but someone had been in that same day and bought four, so there were four left when we arrived. They were all very curious, bright and alert with no wheezing or sniffles. And although you could tell they came from the same litter, they all looked so unique and adorable.

    So without further ado I introduce Lissy (she has more white on her and a perfect patch over one eye!) and Lexus (mainly light grey / brown, with a ginger belly!). Pics go Lissy, Lexus, Lissy, Lexus, Lissy! :bigsmile:

    They're home settling in their small quarantine cage at the moment, tomorrow I'll try some handling!
      snug8.jpg
      snug9.jpg
      snug12.jpg
      snug10.jpg
      snug11.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 5th, 2015 8:56pm (Jan 5th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    You can't really tell, but Lissy reminds me of my mouse Patch that I had when I was about 17. Patch was one of the babies that were born in my mouse cage, so she was handled from birth. She was a really special mouse, and when she had to go to the vets as she was older and became sick, she rode the whole way there and back sat on my arm and was ever so good!

    Patch:

    Patch photo DSCF3704.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 5th, 2015 8:59pm (Jan 5th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Also, I spoke with a vet today about quarantining rodents. They said that if we quarantined them for a week, then took them to our vets for a check up, they would be able to tell if there was anything up, and if there wasn't we could intro them to Lorri two weeks earlier.

    But is one week after Hattie's death long enough to see if Lorri is ill too? Would you trust this vet? Would you just wait the full three weeks...?
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJan 6th, 2015 3:52pm (Jan 6th 2015)
     
    I'm afraid I'm a bit cynical about some vets because of the charges. How much would they want to MOT the mice?
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJan 6th, 2015 8:48pm (Jan 6th 2015)
     
    I don't see how, after a one week quarantine, the vet would be able to 'tell' if there was anything wrong with them anymore than you would know yourself! I think you should do what you think is best - you've had them before and are a very sensible owner so go with your gut feeling and whatever the 'expert' (i.e. owner) internet advice says!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 6th, 2015 11:28pm (Jan 6th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I'm not sure CC, it wasn't 'our' vet we spoke to, the pet shop assistant mentioned that her vet had given her instructions on quarantining her pet rodents (quarantine for a week then vet visit) so she gave us their number so we could ask about it. Vet sounded pretty confident but everywhere I've read has said 3 - 4 weeks quarantine...

    Thanks Kate :smile: We'll go for 3 weeks minimum then and see how it goes from there...
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeJan 7th, 2015 5:54am (Jan 7th 2015)
     
    Lissy surely does look like you old mouse Patch, Red..what a cutie. I think I'd wait at least 3 weeks to see if there is anything wrong with the new kids or Lorri before introducing them.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 7th, 2015 5:01pm (Jan 7th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Thanks Lynn! It's the patch over the same eye on both of them, gets me every time! Yes I think we will leave it 3 weeks and see how everyone is doing then; shame it has to be so long, but better safe than sorry!
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeJan 8th, 2015 5:33pm (Jan 8th 2015)
     
    I think it's always best to be safe than sorry, Red..especially when it comes to critters. I've made some bad mistakes in the past. :face-sad:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 8th, 2015 6:52pm (Jan 8th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I think we've all made mistakes, you're not alone! When we bought Donut, because it was from the same pet shop as the other mice we had, we didn't quarantine her...as a result all our mice got RI's :(
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 26th, 2015 5:57pm (Jan 26th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Begun introducing the mice yesterday!

    Started with them all in a bath tub, and all was fine. Lorri, bless her, was so happy to see other mice! She raced over and began grooming them, mainly Lissy, who luckily didn't mind at all!

    Had them in the tub for three hours and there wasn't a single scuffle, so we moved them into the Loft and pink orb...and Lexus turned into a demented mouse and began chasing Lorri all around the place!! There was no blood, so we didn't separate them, but we did rush over and break them up any time we heard prolonged squealing...yes this did involve jumping out of bed at 3am! :blush:

    Eventually I decided to take off the pink orb and see what they were like in just the Loft. Straight away 95% of the fighting stopped, and they have all been eating and sleeping together with no problems. Early days, but touch wood! :smile:

    Pics to follow...
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 26th, 2015 6:02pm (Jan 26th 2015) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Lorri is the b&w with tan belly, Lexus is mainly grey with a tan belly, and Lissy has more white on her ;)
      mice.jpg
      mice1.jpg
      mice2.jpg
      mice3.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 26th, 2015 6:04pm (Jan 26th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Any ideas when we can think about adding the orb on again? We thought maybe leave it until there's been a week squabble-free, and try then?

    We want it to look like this:
      mice4.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJan 27th, 2015 11:09pm (Jan 27th 2015)
     
    Love the pic of Lorri on the shiny white surface.

    Glad the intros are going well, I think I'd probably give it a week too, though you may find you feel confident to try it sooner if it's peaceful. I hope they're going to be very happy together!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 28th, 2015 4:31pm (Jan 28th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Thanks, I haven't heard a single squabble in ages now :smile: Lorri has stopped frantically grooming everybody, but seems very smitten with Lissy, who luckily doesn't care at all!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJan 29th, 2015 5:15pm (Jan 29th 2015)
     
    Good - sounds as though it's all calm!
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeJan 30th, 2015 6:44am (Jan 30th 2015)
     
    Calm is a good thing.:face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 30th, 2015 6:22pm (Jan 30th 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Still no squabbles, I think we can officially call it a successful intro! They had me concerned for a while haha, now if only we can add the orb back on with no problems...
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd, 2015 5:52pm (Feb 2nd 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Cleaned the mice out today and added the orb on afterwards - no squabbles, hurray! :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd, 2015 3:54am (Feb 3rd 2015)
     
    Hoping they will stay calm and quiet for you, Red. :face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd, 2015 6:28pm (Feb 3rd 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    They're getting on really well Lynn, thanks :) They're all sleeping together, grooming each other, eating food together, and STILL no fights!
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd, 2015 7:43pm (Feb 3rd 2015)
     
    Proper happy little family! Well done Red.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd, 2015 8:06pm (Feb 3rd 2015)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Thanks! I do think mice intros tend to go a lot smoother than a lot of other animals', but I'm sooo glad it worked out...I was tearing my hair out when Lexus was being a pain!