Keeping pet mice in the best possible way requires a certain amount of know-how. Poor keeping conditions promote the development of behavioral problems in small rodents. Owners should be informed in good time about the needs of pet mice.
Mice Relatives – Mice – Real Mice
usually between 24-36 months
after 3-4 weeks
The ancestor of today’s colored mice was originally the gray house mouse, which was native to the steppes and semi-deserts of Asia. The house mouse also migrated with human migration and is now distributed almost worldwide (exception: tropical Africa). It has also been kept as a pet in Europe since the 19th century. The mouse has a strong sense of smell, hearing (ultrasound), and touch.
The animals live in closed extended families: a male with several females and their offspring. Each extended family has its territory, which is marked with scent marks and defended against other extended families. Mice should be kept in groups, even when cared for by humans. Due to the enormous reproductive joy of the pet mouse (pregnancies up to ten times a year with around four to twelve young are possible), either animanimalthe same sex (preferably female) should be kept together or the male should be castrated before sexual maturity. The socialization works best between the 18th-21st. day of life. The socialization of individual mice in an existing group should only be done cautiously and under supervision (intraspecific aggression).
The original house mouse is active at dusk and night. In the case of domesticated mice, the activity phases depend on the social position, so that the animals can also be active and very active during the day. Running wheels are useful for animal movement, but – as for other animal species – not without controversy, since they can trigger abnormal repetitive behavior (ARV) and aggravate aggression. In general, a running wheel should be adapted to the size of the animal (at least 20 cm in diameter for the mouse), have a closed running surface, and be closed on the axle side.
In nature, the animals live in corridors and caves, which should be taken into account when keeping them. Since mice produce more urine than, for example, rodents living in the desert, the ventilation surfaces in commercially available terrariums are often insufficient. Colored mice are very sensitive to excessive humidity. Ammonia concentration is also increased when there is a lack of ventilation, which is why mouse homes must be cleaned regularly.
Since mice are very active, they need the largest possible housing facility with the minimum dimensions of 80 x 50 x 80 cm (L x W x H) with many activities. The holding device can be structured three-dimensionally. In pet shops, owners will find a variety of furnishings such as sleeping houses, ladders, labyrinths, climbing poles, ropes, swings, etc. But hay, straw, cardboard or cork tubes, wooden shelters, toilet paper rolls, and branches can also be used. Pet mice prefer living room temperatures of 20–24 °C (temperatures of up to 30 °C are reached in the mouse nest). However, direct sunlight should be avoided. Albino mice should even be kept in semi-darkness (this also applies to other albino animals). Excessive light intensity damages the retina, which is particularly painful in the early stages and can later even lead to blindness.
The mouse’s diet is relatively simple since mice are omnivores. High-quality ready-mixes from specialist retailers are possible, combined with green and juice feed (e.g. fruit and vegetables). Mealworms, boiled eggs, or dry dog food as treats serve as a source of protein.
As with all rodents, tooth-to-tooth contact is the sole reason for the abrasion of the constantly growing teeth. Branches from unsprayed fruit trees, small unpeeled nuts, or some hard bread are suitable for natural wear and tear and to satisfy the rodent instinct.
The behavioral disorders of the color mouse are unfortunately very diverse. In addition to intraspecific aggression, there is a large number of abnormal-repetitive behaviors, which are usually caused by poor housing conditions. These include tail chasing, looping, jumping up, wall pawing, corner pawing, constant manipulation, and fur eating. Krone (eating you’re own young) is also possible if there is not enough space or the stocking density is too high.
Frequently Asked Question
Can colored mice become tame?
Tame-colored mice like to play with “their” people. However, it takes a while before the little rodents become trusting and voluntarily seek physical contact. “In the first few days, the animals usually run away when people approach their enclosure.
How do I tame my color mice?
As a first step, owners should talk to their colored mice and get them used to their voices. For example, they can stand still in the enclosure while they are being fed. If the mice signal interest through curious looks, the hand is then regularly held in the enclosure.
How many colored mice should you keep?
Pet mice are born to live in a clan and are in dire need of conspecifics. Keep at least two rodents, preferably more. A small group of two to four female mice is suitable for beginners and they usually get along well.
How do you hold color mice correctly?
Pet mice are curious, active, and sociable animals and therefore need several conspecifics to feel comfortable. Since mice can reproduce quickly, it is best to keep same-sex animals together or to castrate the males beforehand.
What do colored mice need in their cage?
They need plenty of room to romp, climb, run, and dig. They live in groups of four or more in enclosures from(!) 100 cm wide, 50 cm deep, and 60 cm high with at least one intermediate level at 30 cm high. Larger groups of mice require more space.
How do you hold the mouse correctly?
The mouse sits on one hand while the other covers it from above without any intense touch. Closed hands point thumb side up. So you hold both hands together with the palm down. The mouse then sits securely in the cavity of the palms.
Which bedding for colored mice?
Furnishing: The enclosure is filled with suitable bedding (e.g. a mixture of small animal bedding, hay, and straw) to a depth of at least 20 cm, but preferably up to 40 cm so that the pet mice can dig stable tunnels. They are also offered hay or undyed household paper as nesting material.
How often do you have to feed pet mice?
The rule of thumb is one teaspoon of food per mouse, which you make freely available to your animals. Alternately give fruit, vegetables, lettuce, grass, or herbs once or twice a day. Once a week there is an additional protein in the form of quark or dried insect mixture.