Mice aren’t just animals that many women fear or end up as cat prey. With their cute button eyes, they also evoke pure enthusiasm, so it’s no wonder that many animal lovers keep these dainty little rodents as pets. However, mice do not only need conspecifics around them. Furthermore, the terrarium must offer a lot of space and some employment opportunities. In addition, the care of the mice should not be underestimated. As a pet owner, you have to ensure that your mice have everything they need. This also includes optimal nutrition. In this article, you will learn what is important when it comes to the correct and species-appropriate diet for mice, because only then is it possible for the small animals to enjoy a long and healthy life.
Dry food for mice
Like many other rodents, mice feed mainly on seeds and grains. So only little fruit and animal food elements are ingested. For this reason, it is advisable to offer the animals a healthy and optimally balanced mixture of grains as their main food. Experts recommend giving a daily ration of one teaspoon per mouse. If all the food is completely used up the next day, the dosage can be increased a little. If there is any food left over, you should give a little less the next day.
When choosing dry food for mice, always pay attention to the quality. The most visually appealing feed is not always the best. It is therefore urgently necessary to pay attention to a few things in order to offer the sweet ones optimal nutrition. So it is very important that the food smells nice and fresh. You should definitely refrain from dusty feed or a product with a gray color. Furthermore, it should be, at least in part, germinable feed. As the owner, you can easily check this by taking some food and placing it on a damp piece of kitchen paper, which can then be easily placed on the windowsill. The kitchen paper must be kept permanently moist. You can then observe whether seedlings develop in the coming days. By the way, you can please feed them, because they contain a lot of vitamins, which are particularly important for the mice in winter.
It is important never to store dry food for longer than four months. If stored for too long, it can quickly happen that the components contained quickly become rancid. In addition, the vitamins are lost after such a long time. Larger tin cans, such as cookie jars, are best for storing food. Various plastic containers with the typical lockable lids or plastic bags and the bags in which the food is bought are not particularly suitable. This is mainly because the residual moisture, which is often found in the feed, cannot escape from the plastic containers and bags. This in turn would lead to mold growth which, if left undetected, can be very dangerous for the mice. The bags, on the other hand, would not offer the parasites enough resistance, which means that mites and moth larvae could get to the food.
You can find out below which components a good dry food should contain:
Grains are very important in a good mouse diet. Depending on the type of feed, these are, for example, oat flakes, barley, rye, different types of millet (red millet, silver millet, millet foxtail), buckwheat as well as amaranth and types of wheat.
A good mouse chow will contain many different grass seeds, including cocksfoot, ryegrass, crested grass, and more. These should make up the bulk of the feed. Herb seeds, such as fennel or dandelion, are also added to the feed. Special oilseeds, such as negro seed, flaxseed or chia, and hemp seeds, should only be included in the feed in small doses, as they have a high-fat content and can quickly lead to obesity.
Dried vegetables and dried fruits
So that the mineral balance can be supported, it is important that the feed for the mice is expanded or expanded with dried vegetables and fruit. You can also order these online or buy them in special pet shops, although you can often get a larger selection online. These include, for example, beetroot or carrots as well as celery and fennel. Cucumber and broccoli are also very well accepted by the animals and contain lots of minerals and vitamins. However, dry fruits should only be fed a little, as they have a high sugar content. Apples, pears, raisins or rose hips may be fed. However, mango, banana, papaya and other exotic fruits should not be fed, as these can quickly lead to gastrointestinal problems.
Nuts and kernels contain a lot of fat and should therefore only be fed very rarely. You can feed your mice sunflower seeds, pine nuts, walnuts, peanuts, pumpkin seeds or pecans, but preferably not every day and only one nut or seed at a time.
Dried herbs are already included in most feed mixtures and should not be missing from the daily diet. They are very rich and provide lots of vitamins and minerals for the animals. It contains, for example, nettles, blackberry leaves or daisies, and chamomile. Lemon balm and parsley as well as chickweed, green oats, marigold blossoms, and many other herbs in the feed ensure that your mice do not lack for anything and that they receive many vitamins.
Fresh food for mice
Fresh food is always very well received by almost all rodents, only a few mice are often not interested in this food. Nevertheless, you should always try and offer it, as it contains many vitamins. However, it is important to give only enough fresh food that it can be eaten quickly. A small portion a day is sufficient. In addition, you should slowly start giving the fresh food, because some animals can react quickly with diarrhea if they are not used to this special food. You should also make sure that the mice do not bunker the fresh food. It is important to always wash the food thoroughly beforehand.
You can find out which fresh food you can give your mice below:
Vegetables are healthy and offer an excellent alternative to normal dry food. Many valuable vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are essential for mice are crucial. For example, you can feed your mice carrots, fennel, peppers, fresh corn, cucumbers, or celery, broccoli, beetroot, and cauliflower. You can also feed different types of lettuce, although you must remember that they should only be fed in very small amounts, otherwise they can quickly lead to diarrhea. When it comes to vegetables, you should pay attention to good quality and ideally use organic products. Tomatoes are often very well received, but they should only be fed without the green part, as this is very poisonous for the mice.
Fruit is usually particularly popular with rodents, but it should also only be given in very small quantities, as it contains a lot of sugar. Too much fruit can also lead to diarrhea. Any fruit can actually be served, although stone fruit is not recommended. In combination with water, these can lead to flatulence or diarrhea very quickly. If you want to do something good for your mice with fruit, you should only offer small pieces, for example. Apples, and grapes, but without seeds, as well as pears, melons, or bananas, can be served. Oranges and tangerines can also be given in small amounts. Furthermore, it is possible to please the small rodents with berries. However, you should never give more than one berry per mouse. With strawberries, it is even recommended to use only a quarter of a strawberry. Blueberries, gooseberries, blackberries, and delicious currants also contain many vitamins and can be given in small quantities.
Herbs, leaves, flowers – what is tolerated and what is not?
In addition to the normal food for mice, you can also feed them various herbs, flowers, and different leaves. You don’t need to buy it in the shops, you can easily pick it in the open air in summer or spring. However, you should make sure that you only collect this food in areas that have little traffic. Of course, it is also possible to grow the individual herbs yourself and harvest them if necessary. However, you should be particularly careful with herbs, leaves, and various flowers. There are some plants here that your mice can tolerate or even be very poisonous so that in the worst case they can lead to the death of the animals. Because of this, it is important to only feed the plants that you know 100% are specifically non-toxic to mice. Because even plants that appear very harmless to us and can also be used for other animals can have serious consequences for mice.
St. John’s wort leaves
Dandelion roots including herb
Grain types (please only grow them yourself, as fields may have been sprayed)
lily of the valley
tree of life
Animal food for mice
Mice are not strictly herbivores. From time to time some animal food should be given. This is not only particularly tasty for your darlings. Animal food also contains a lot of animal protein and prevents deficiency symptoms. Mealworms, for example, are often fed, of which you can offer your mice two to three worms a week. It is important to only feed the mealworms by hand so that they cannot escape and possibly survive in the mice’s terrarium. But be careful, when mice are very hungry, they can bite pretty hard. Low-fat quark and skimmed milk yoghurt are also suitable and can be fed in small amounts per day. However, a level teaspoon is sufficient. Every now and then it makes sense to give the mice a hard-boiled egg to make them happy. Different types of low-fat cheese, but without mold, are also excellent and contain many important vitamins. Mice also find cat treats and dog biscuits particularly tasty, although care must be taken to ensure that they are sugar-free and do not contain taurine. Products with a raw protein value of 22% and a raw fat value of 4-5% are best suited here.
Food for dental care in mice
Mice’s teeth grow continuously, so it’s important to allow for natural abrasion. Twigs that are freshly removed from the trees and then placed in the terrarium are best suited for this. These are ideally suited to ensure that your darlings can wear their incisors optimally. Maple, birch, branches from apple trees, pear trees, beech branches, alder branches, ash branches, quince, currant branches and poplar can be used. However, please do not use softwood.
What else you should know about nutrition in mice
In addition to the foods for mice mentioned above, there are also other important points in mouse nutrition. Always give the animals enough fresh water that is not stale. You can serve the water either in a free-standing water bowl or in a special drinking bottle for mice. The advantage of a hanging bottle is that the litter does not get inside. You should make sure that the water is soft.
Of course, many owners also want to give their darlings treats. No wonder, because the small rodents are usually very happy about this change. They are also available in many different versions in almost every trade. Unfortunately, these delicious snacks, such as yoghurt drops, rollies and candy sticks or similar delicacies are anything but species-appropriate for your mice. They contain far too much sugar and are therefore well suited for the bond between humans and animals, but they quickly make you fat. In contrast to the unhealthy treats for in between, you can use healthy alternatives. These include, for example, sunflower seeds, peanuts, maybe a raisin for in-between or pumpkin seeds. Since this also contains a lot of fattening foods, it is important to give the little mice only one seed or one raisin at a time. It is also possible to prepare snacks for the mice yourself. There are lots of great recipes online for this.
Anyone who keeps mice as pets should be aware of how important it is to feed the animals appropriately and healthily. The small rodents can only enjoy a healthy and long life to the full if the food is really tailored to the needs of the mice. Ensure variety and always use high-quality products to ensure that your mouse has everything you need.