How to Breed Mice

There are several reasons one would breed mice ranging from a desire to raise them as pets to breeding them as snake food. Whatever the reason for the breeding, there is a specific process for the most humane, safe and effective mouse breeding. Read the following article to learn how to breed mice successfully in your own home.


  1. Image titled Breed Mice Step 1
    Set up mouse cages in a well-ventilated area.
    • Male mice excrete a musky smell to mark territory, and multiple male mice in the same cage can create a smell that's unpleasant.
  2. Image titled Breed Mice Step 2
    Place the cages in an area that remains a constant 71 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (22 to 30 degrees Celsius).
    • Keeping the animals in the improper temperature can inhibit mice breeding or cause the mice to become ill.
  3. Image titled Breed Mice Step 3
    Place wood shavings on the bottom of your cages.
    • If you want to save money over time, buy these wood shavings in bulk rather than in frequent small quantities from pet stores.
    • Having clean cages that are tailored to the preferences of mice will increase the likelihood of breeding.
  4. Image titled Breed Mice Step 4
    Purchase mouse food or rodent pellets and a water bottle for each cage. Fresh water should also be supplied every day. In addition to the regular pellets, mice need a well balanced diet that consists of fruit, vegetables, grains and legumes.
    • The right food and plenty of water will help ensure healthy mice, which also increases the likelihood of breeding.
  5. Image titled Breed Mice Step 5
    Begin to breed mice at a relatively early age.
    • Females can breed from approximately 6 weeks old. Males can breed from approximately 8 weeks old. If time is not an issue, however, it is best to wait until the females are 12 weeks old, as this generally produces stronger litters.
    • Males will generally stop breeding around 1 year old. Stop breeding female mice around 8 months. After that, the likelihood of death in child rearing increases.
  6. Image titled Breed Mice Step 6
    Determine the sex of each mouse.
    • After approximately 2 weeks, the nipples of female mice should be visible. These will not be visible on male mice. Also, the external genitalia is further from the anus in males.
  7. Image titled Breed Mice Step 7
    Place 1 male mouse in a cage with several female mice.
    • Generally 2 to 4 females to 1 male works well.
    • Do not place multiple male mice in a cage with the females. The males will fight, often killing each other. The males can also harm the females in the process or the produced offspring.
  8. Image titled Breed Mice Step 8
    Introduce males and females into a cleaned "neutral" cage at the same time to prevent any issues of territory.
    • While it's uncommon, some males and females will fight if one is introduced into another's territory.
  9. Image titled Breed Mice Step 9
    Remove the male from the female cage no later than 16 days after introduction into the cage.
  10. Image titled Breed Mice Step 10
    Wait a minimum of 3 to 4 weeks after weaning a litter before breeding a female mouse again.


  • When you breed mice at home, make sure you have multiple cages. This way, you can separate males, females, adults and young as necessary.
  • Over-breeding can result in small litters, unhealthy litters, shortened lifespan of the mother, and/or shortened lifespan of the litter.
  • If a mother is looking a little thin, try feeding some fresh fruits etc. To help her gain healthy weight.
  • If you're purchasing cages from a pet store, make sure your cages are specifically designed for mice and not other rodents such as gerbils or rats. Bars on mice cages are very close together and this will prevent even baby mice from escaping.
  • Never touch the newborns until they can walk on their own, or the mother may instinctively kill them.
  • Don't buy rat cages! Mice can escape these.
  • Put newspaper in cage so she can make a nest.


  • A female mouse shouldn't give birth to more than 3 litters over a lifetime. Any more breeding events, and the likelihood of serious complications or death is greatly increased.

Things You'll Need

  • Mice (male and female)
  • Mouse cages
  • Wood chips
  • Mouse food or rodent pellets
  • Fresh water

Article Info

Categories: Mice and Rats