Mice are friendly, affectionate and can make great pets.
They are cheap, easy to look after and don't take up much room. They're also very sociable creatures, so you might want to get more than one mouse. Make sure they're the same sex though – otherwise you could end up with a large family of mice very, very quickly!
Caring for mice
- A baby mouse is called a pinky, or a kitten
- A female is called a doe
- A male is called a buck
- It’s very important to keep males and females separate
- Mice live for one to two years. They can start having babies at 6-8 weeks old and have 5-10 in each litter (pregnancy lasts 3 weeks). Babies are born hairless with their eyes closed. One mother mouse can produce over 100 babies a year.
- NEVER pick up a mouse by its tail
- Mice are quite intelligent, so they need other mice or toys to play with. They also need regular exercise to stay healthy.
- Boys tend to fight. If you’re planning on having a couple of boys make sure they are the same age and preferably from the same litter.
- Mice are constant eaters, so food and water should always be available
- Commercial mouse pellets (from pet shops) are the best way to ensure your pets are getting all their nutrients.
- The RSPCA reckon that pellets should make up around 90% of the diet and be supplemented with fresh vegetables (not lettuce or celery), a small amount of fruit (like apples), oats or wholemeal bread. They like to chew carrots too.
- Mice love to gnaw things, so the hard pellets are good for their teeth.
- Dandelions, nasturtium, clover, comfrey and herbs like basil, mint and sage are also good for mice.
- Mice will eat everything, whether it’s good for them or not. So you can feed them all sorts of foods as treats. They’ll eat cheese, bread & butter, jam sandwiches, eggs, popcorn, banana chips. Seeds and nuts are ok as treats sometimes but they’re high in fat. Special mouse seed mix is available at some pet shops. Dairy products can cause stomach upset in some mice.
- No raw onion, peanut butter, human chocolate
- It’s important to keep food & water bowls clean. Do not use plastic bowls - they will get chewed and small pieces could be swallowed. Lots of people use a special inverted water bottle – they’re cleaner and don’t spill.
- If you’re keeping your mice in an aquarium make sure you have a wire top for ventilation. Mice need a lot more air than fish!
- If you let your mouse out of its cage for a run around, be very careful that it can’t chew telephone or electrical cables. Not only could the mouse be killed, it could cause a major electrical fire.
- Kitty litter can be used to cover the bottom of the cage to absorb the smell of wee (the recycled newspaper type is recommended)
- Mice like to have a nesting box – this can just be an shoe box – and should have some paper towel or cloth in
From = http://www.abc.net.au/creaturefeatures/facts/mice.htm
Posted at 07:51 pm by VetPractice