Mice Keeping

Mouse in palm of a hand

Having owned mice for several years, I have learned to love these little creatures and so when Momomarshmelloww made a topic called “Hamster or Mouse?” I had to post my reply: mice of course.

I then received a u2u from Fuzzy who wanted to know a bit more about mice keeping. I was not able to reply immediately but I hope that late is better than never. Fuzzy if you see this it’s for you.

So getting ready to write an extra long u2u like I always do, and multitasking at the same time I came upon a site that not only has a great pet care advice section but it also has everything I wanted to say AND in a condensed format! lol
So I thought I’d share these two links with you all. ^__^

I hope these links will be useful to those interested and that you might learn a few things about mice.
Oh and the bit about the chocolate: it’s true. Our latest mouse was a chocoholic. Poor thing was addicted to the stuff. >_< And here is the very condensed version:

Which gender to choose and how many?

– male + female = babies + babies + even more babies…
– male x1 = stink, are more aggressive, noisy and have huge balls that they sometimes get stuck between the bars of their cage >_< (lol) - male x2 = they will fight and it's not pretty - female x1 = OK but lonely, needs company from it's own kind - female x2 = best combination - young, the younger you handle them the better your relationship will be - careful that you know the difference between a male and female, pet shop keepers don't always know! Mice are most commonly sold in pet shops for snake owners and the like, not as pets. Go prepared with photos printed off the web or a book about mice. - when very young it's difficult to differentiate male from female because the boys haven't completely developed yet - don't hesitate to take your mouse back and exchange it for a female if it turns out to be a boy

Food, toys, habitat…

– chocolate is toxic
– newspaper is too (chemicals used in paper and ink)
– some good toys are: wheels, old toilet rolls, paper tissues, string
– they enjoy: being handled, having a clean bed, clean and fresh water every day, healthy grain, things to chew on, curling up in a ball and sleeping in the palm of your hand, washing
– mice are small and fragile little creatures. Keep away from other animals that risk to give them a heart attack.

Fur colour:

– personal preference, don’t go for the white mice. White isn’t a natural colour for mice in the wild, these were and still are used in laboratories. White mice tend to be bigger, a bit more aggressive and have red eyes. Go for the greys, browns, cream or patched mice. Much cuter, smaller and calmer. C:

Personality:

– If you do have a problem with a mouse, perhaps it’s hyperactive or not interested in you at all, only release in the wild as a last resort. Mice breed fast and in big quantities. C;

Mice and pregnancy:

– one last thing you should know before buying a mouse or set of mice: they breed young too. It has happened in the past that my sister and I have brought back home pregnant mice. When they are so small it’s hard to tell but if the mouse you want to pick seems to have a bit of a bulging tummy, put her down and pick another. It’s really not worth it having pregnant mice and this is why. What I’m about to say can be hard to understand and is not only shocking but disturbing to see in real life. However with all animals there are unpleasant sides. Thankfully this is one you can stay away from if careful.
Female mice will eat their first 2 or so litters.
It’s no joke. But I’ll try to explain why they do this.

You’ve heard of teenage pregnancies? Good. Now imagine a child pregnancy. With humans it’s not possible because, you know, you haven’t had your thingy bobs yet. But with mice it happens very fast and they are just too young to know how to look after 5-8 babies. So they will clean up after themselves if they give birth if can’t take care of them. Being clean animals they tidy up there bedding area, their fur and also the babies. It is very hard to see, even my parents were badly shocked. But, because there is a but, once they have got over those first pregnancies, if they do happen to get pregnant again they can become very caring and loving mummies. We had one mouse that even adopted her cage mate’s litter who was too young to handle them!

This mouse was grey and was expecting at the same time as her black mouse friend.
The black one was too young and ate some of the babies, including the majority of the grey’s litter. As soon as we saw what was happening we separated both mummies and saved what babies were left and put them with the grey mouse. She had one boy, grey like herself, and adopted the other 8 of the black mouse. It was like a miracle, we never imagined she could take care of the litter of the mouse who had only left her with one baby. But she did. She was a marvellous mouse and a good mum to both her son and adopted babies. ^___^

In the case you do end up with a pregnant mouse (who isn’t on her first or second pregnancy):

– check on the babies often so that they get used to you, your smell, your voice
– as soon as you can see their private parts, look to see if you have any males. If so, release them. Flushing down the toilet is something very few parents can bring themselves to do and it’s less traumatising for you.
– your mummy mouse will need a bit more rest than usual after giving birth and while she looks after her newborns
– baby mice are born with their eyes closed and with fur (so tiny so cute ^o^)
– change the cage bedding once the mum has cleaned herself and her babies. Maybe leave her a day or two to rest before moving her out of her cage into another while you clean theirs
– change cage bedding twice a week instead of the usual once a week if necessary. Having that more mice in the cage there will be more wees and poos too.

Above all, I hope you have a good experience with your pet if you decide to take on a mouse or two.
They are smaller than cats, don’t bark like dogs, don’t sleep all the time like hamsters, don’t bounce all over the place, don’t loose hair, don’t make noise. Oh and if your hands are a bit sweaty you may find your mouse licking your fingers! lol It tickles a bit but it’s really cute. ^___^