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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone tell me roughly the right time to take babies away from mum? i thought about 5 weeks would be good but everything i read gives different times,some say as young as 3 weeks is fine but others say not till 8 weeks!
 

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Can anyone tell me roughly the right time to take babies away from mum? i thought about 5 weeks would be good but everything i read gives different times,some say as young as 3 weeks is fine but others say not till 8 weeks!
I think most mice are about 4 weeks-ish, well very tiny ones anyway, Id say maybe 4-5 weeks tho spiny mice r 6 weeks
 

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4-6 weeks in general for zebra mice, though apparently females of the litter usually hang around for as long as 2 months in the wild.
 

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You'll know if it's too early because when you separate them the babies will call constantly for their mum, its a very loud call that can be heard through several rooms and kinda sounds like a distress baby bird calling for its mum and they will pace constantly along the side of the tank trying to jump out too : victory:

Wouldn't leave them more than 6 weeks though, especially if theres males in the litter as adults become very intolerant of the young'uns as they get bigger and fighting can start to break out amongst them.
I also found that the one time i left the babies in over 8 weeks in 2 different striped colonies, total of 7 babies, i came back in to get them out one day and there was 1 baby left...
I always take them out between 4 and 6 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You'll know if it's too early because when you separate them the babies will call constantly for their mum, its a very loud call that can be heard through several rooms and kinda sounds like a distress baby bird calling for its mum and they will pace constantly along the side of the tank trying to jump out too : victory:

Wouldn't leave them more than 6 weeks though, especially if theres males in the litter as adults become very intolerant of the young'uns as they get bigger and fighting can start to break out amongst them.
I also found that the one time i left the babies in over 8 weeks in 2 different striped colonies, total of 7 babies, i came back in to get them out one day and there was 1 baby left...
I always take them out between 4 and 6 weeks.
I already let 2 go at just over 6 weeks.
But calling for mum? i have only ever heard them doing that very quietly and when they were only very young,all the care sheets and info says they have no vocal sounds so i thought they could only do it when very young.So do they have vocals?
 

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I have disturbed zebra mouse pups at 3 weeks, temporarily but essentially separating from mum, and they made no sound at all. I did however smell of the nest so they may have been more content.

Adults make sounds at such a low frequency to each other that most of their sounds are inaudible to us. When in extreme distress they apparently can screech/squeak quite loud though but I've never heard that.

I'm guessing they naturally stay quiet to avoid drawing the attention of predators. Taking in mind basically everything in Africa eats them, it pays to be quiet along with their camouflage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have disturbed zebra mouse pups at 3 weeks, temporarily but essentially separating from mum, and they made no sound at all. I did however smell of the nest so they may have been more content.

Adults make sounds at such a low frequency to each other that most of their sounds are inaudible to us. When in extreme distress they apparently can screech/squeak quite loud though but I've never heard that.

I'm guessing they naturally stay quiet to avoid drawing the attention of predators. Taking in mind basically everything in Africa eats them, it pays to be quiet along with their camouflage.
But if the adults can make a noise then surely when they are seriously fighting then they would squeak?
And i have separated babies at 20 days old from mum,keeping them out all day and returning them at night and none of them have made any noise
 

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I already let 2 go at just over 6 weeks.
But calling for mum? i have only ever heard them doing that very quietly and when they were only very young,all the care sheets and info says they have no vocal sounds so i thought they could only do it when very young.So do they have vocals?
Well from my experience alone so far i would not trust what care sheets say!

These animals are still untame and rather new to the hobby, there is a lot to learn!

When i moved my first ever litter from mum, because i did not know when they were born, i just looked in the nest area one day and there was 3 older pups and 3 pinkies, so i removed the older pups and put them into their own tank. But for the next 4 hours or so they just called non stop and i made the decision it was too early and put them back with mum, left for a further week and removed again to which they made no sound at all and were very calm and settled straight away in their own tank.

It was also thought due to care sheets and internet sites that zebra mice stop breeding after 7 months, however i can now confirm this is NOT the case, I got my trio in February 2009, they were approximately 3 months old then, and i have a 2 week old litter in the tank right now with the same trio! : victory:
 

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There is a lot to learn. I only found out last week that they often make runways (as well as nests) out of grass/hay/straw, so it's essential for them but not often provided in captivity. The tanks people keep them in are often much too small for them to do this too. They also love being high up to keep a lot look out for predators, but people don't often give them climbing opportunities.

As the breeding thing my female is 2 years old and still producing young.
 
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