Question: mice eating dead young?

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Question: mice eating dead young?

Post by Martin Rober » Fri, 04 Jun 1999 04:00:00

Hi everyone,

Does anyone know anything about why mice might be eating dead young?

My girlfriend's daughter has been looking after some mice from her school
for several months now, and they've successfully had several litters.

This evening, we noticed that one of the most recent batch of young
(already several weeks old, with fur and eyes open) was dead, and that all
the other mice were eating it, including the other young, the mother and
several other young ***s from a previous litter. We think the mouse had
died and was being eaten as a result, rather than having been killed by
another mouse.

My question is: is this something which mice just do when one of them
dies, or could it be because of overcrowding in the aquarium where we keep
them? Apart from the mother and 6-7 young, there are 3 other young ***s,
but they all seem to have been getting along just fine until now.

Anyway, if anyone can throw any light on this I'd be grateful--I've kept
small mammals before (guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters), but don't have much
experience of mice and was wondering if anyone could help.

Many thanks!



Question: mice eating dead young?

Post by Sat » Sat, 05 Jun 1999 04:00:00

Martin Roberts kirjoitti:

>Does anyone know anything about why mice might be eating dead young?

Eating up a dead cagemate is not very usual, especially if the dead
one is an ***. My mice usually bury the dead one under beddings and
stick to their nests until I remove the deceased mouse to be buried.

However, when the dead on is eaten, it is because a dead mouse in the
nest would start to stink (and, in the wild, attract predators).