Mice come in a wide range of color and coat patterns. You have the basic PEW, or pink eyed white which is the common or albino mouse sold mostly in pet stores as food for other animals. Then you have tans, self colors, broken colors, angora, ect. Then you have the american mice and the english mice. Mice make great pets and their personalities are wonderful. They tend to be awake when we are so they make better pets then hamsters for kids due to the fact that they are awake more in the day and mice rarely bite, unlike hamsters. If you have mice, or currently would like mice, I hope this section helps you to better understand mice as a whole. They are often overlooked as pets because they are rodents. I have been breeding mice for going on several years now and they always seem to amaze me with their great personalities and affection they show me. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me here. Also, feel free to check out my mousery. This section is for basic care of the mouse. I will get my advanced sections on breeding and "type / color" up soon.
Where can I Mice?
You can find mice in just about any petstore, but your selection will be very limited. The mice are usually timid and handled poorly. They are usually of poor health as well. Most mice found at petstores were bred and sold for one purpose - to be food for another animal. They are over bred and overcrowded, thus leading to poor health, shorter life span, are very prone to cancer and tumors, and are usually not friendly. I am not saying mice from petstores are bad pets. They make wounderful pets when properly tamed. Some pet store mice are friendly, but most are not. Some of my best pet mice came from petstores, but I do reccomend getting your pet from a breeder, especially if you plan on breeding your new pets. You can also find a new pet mouse at certain shelters and rescues.
Male or Female?
Mice tend to be territorial, but social animals. females MUST be kept with other female mice in order to maintain good mental and physical health. They do better in small groups and are usually ok if introducing new females into the colony. There will be small fights, but no one will get hurt. It is rare to get a female mouse who is aggressive toward other mice. Females are called Does Males, or bucks, are highly territorial and 99% of the time they need their own cage. Bucks will usually fight to the death if another buck is introduced into their territory. English mice are more social, but I still would not risk it. Some males can inhabit the same cage, but it is rare and be prepared to seperate them if and when the time arises. Both males and females are social and love the interraction with humans. No one sex is better then the other. It all depends on the mouse and how much socialization it had as a baby
What kind of cage should I keep my mice in?
No matter what kind of cage you choose, you must make sure it is escape proof and prevents other animals from getting into the cage with your mice. A glass tank with a tight fitting lid works great. You can fit about 4 females in a 10 gallon and about 8-10 in a 20 long tank (long, not regular size). Males can be kept in a 5.5 gallon tank seperately. If bucks are together (I do not reccomend), place as few in a cage/tank as possible and provide lots of hiddy houses and toys to keep them busy. I use a combination of wire cages and glass tanks for my mice. If you choose a wire cage, make sure your mouse cannot fit most of his head through the bars. I do not like the bars to be any wider then 1/4 of an inch. I make my own cages using 1/4 inch mesh/ cage wire and tiles. Plastic cages are ok to use as long as they are very hard plastic and the mice cannot chew their way out. Most breeders also use Sterileite contaimers modified into cages. For more information on these, please email me. If Critter keepers are used, make sure they are BIG and escape proof. Mice can chew through them, so I do not recomend them as anything more then just travel cages.
What else do I need to add to their cage?
Mice will need a hiddy house to retreat to and sleep. They feel safe in dark, quiet places so It is a must to have a hideout inside their cage. A water bottle is also a must. Water bowls get poluted to easily and mice tend to dehydrate very quickly, so a water bottle is needed. A food dish is a good idea, but not a must. My mice enjoy digging for their food. It provodes them with a task to do. I highly reccomend placing a wheel in your mouse's cage. MIce can get bored and eat too much. You want your mouse to be mentally healthy and at a good weight. Some mice are prone to obesity (recessive yellow and brindles are amond them). Be cautious when choosing a wheel for your mouse. I prefer the covered plastic type wheels. Whichever you choose, make sure your mouse cannot get caught in the bars or on the side of the wheel. Necks and legs can be broken and death can occur on wheels that are not suited for mice. Other things you can place in the cage are paper towel and toliet paper rolls, boxes, popsicle sticks and fluff hamster bedding. Bird toys also make good mouse toys
What kind of bedding should I give my mouse?
Never use Cedar in your mouse cage!! Cedar can and will kill your mouse. Pine is also not good for them. Aspen is fine to use and carefresh, total comfort, and soft sorbant are the best. You can also use shredded newspaper. It is beat to freeze your bedding before you use it in order to kill any mites or mite eggs that may be in the bedding bag. I treat my bedding with bird mite and lice spray as well as permaguard to prevent mites. Bedding must be changed once a week and sometimes more with bucks.
What do I feed my mice?
Mice need a variety of foods to ensure they stay healthy and live a long, happy life. Their main diet should consist of Lab blocks. I prefer Mazuri Lab Blocks. Hamster seed should be added to their diet. Some of the good quality food brands include Browns, Sunseed, and Nutriphase. I add high quality cat and dog hard food into their diet to help with dental care and added protein. I also add in Cerial (bran flakes, cheerios, froot loops) and regular oatmeal. Fresh veggies should be given once a week and may include cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens, apples, carrots, and the ocasional rasins. Treats should be used in moderation but make great additions to their food. My mice love yogert drops. Fresh hays should also be added, but used in moderation. Timothy, alfalfa, and meadow hays are fine. Aalfalfa hay can lead to an overweight mouse, so use in small quanities. Make sure mice have fresh food and water available every day in order to keep them healthy. I also recomend adding vitimains to the water once a week.
How do I handle my mice?
There are a few safe ways to handle your mouse. The first is by the base of his/her tail. Never pick up a mouse from the tip of his tail. You can do serious dammage. Once you grab your mouse from the base of his tail, quickly place him on your hand. If the mouse is young or skiddish, keep a hold on his tail, or handle him over his cage/ tank. Once you have gained the trust from your mouse you will soon be able to pick him up from behind or above. Just remember, mice are prey animals and most predators grab them from above. Be patient when training your mice. Another method is what I call the cup method. Scoop your mouse into a cup or box and carefully dump him onto your hand. You can also let the mouse walk out onto your hand when he feels safe enough.
How do I sex a mouse?
Aadult mice are very easy to tell sex. Bucks have testicles and does do not. Bucks can pull the testicles in, but let them drop once they feel safe again. Looking at their genital area, females have two holds very close to each other while males have two holes that are farther apart. When very young, you can also see that does have nipples.
What is my mouse gets sick?
Mice should be taken to a vet who is familular with mice as soon as you notice your mouse is sick. Mice can get ear infections, eye infections, certain viruses, systemic infections, mites, ect. They get sick just like a dog or cat does and must be taken to a vet. Do not try to treat your mouse at home and do not believe everything that is posted on the internet. If you have any questions on the health of your mouse, please email me and I will help to the best of my ability. Remember, there is no substitute for a visit to the veterniarian.
What about breeding mice?
If you are interrested in breeding your mice, please contact me and I will be more then happy to answer any and all questions and help you get started and become a good breeder.
Well.......I wish you all the luck with your new pet. I hope I helped, if you still have questions just email me.