Color mice are popular pets with their beautiful button eyes that wrap almost everyone around their fingers. But even if mice eat almost everything, you should always ensure a healthy and balanced mouse diet. Because only if you feed your animals varied and healthy, mice stay fit and reach a high age. In addition to the right cage, a balanced diet forms the basis for a long and happy mouse life.
What do mice eat in nature?
Wild house mice are the ancestors of the domesticated color mouse. The nutritional requirements are very similar for both species. When keeping mice, you imitate the natural diet as much as possible. Grains and seeds make up the bulk of the mouse diet. Fresh food, such as fruit and vegetables or new twigs, has different popularity levels among mice.
In comparison to other small animals, the demand is low. In addition, mice need some animal protein to stay healthy and happy. Wild mice meet this need through insects and their larvae.
What do mice eat as pets?
The basis of nutrition consists of:
- Grain feed
- Fresh food
- Protein feed
Make sure you have a balanced mix of grains that is not too high in fat. When feeding mice, it is essential to know that some animals are genetically predisposed to obesity. This applies to animals with red components in their coat color. In these cases, diet is not indicated. It does not lead to weight loss. Instead, symptoms of deficiency occur. You can recognize a fresh mix of grains by the shiny grains. Seed mixtures that appear gray and dusty are too old. Offer your mice about a teaspoon of grain feed per animal. If the food bowl is empty the next day, increase the amount slightly. If the animals leave a lot, you should reduce the ratio.
Fresh food is part of a healthy mouse menu. Offer the animals vegetables and a little fruit every day. Remember to check the mouse cage for food leftovers in the evening. You should remove the bits more often in summer, as spoilage sets in quickly in the heat. Also, check the sleeping quarters and hiding places. Your mice need protein two to three times a week. Give each mouse a mealworm, cricket, or cricket. To prevent the insects from escaping, it makes sense to pass them by hand or with tweezers. Be careful when feeding the mice. A hungry rodent can bite hard. If you don’t like the insects, you can switch to quark or yogurt. About a teaspoon per mouse is adequate. Start with smaller servings to avoid diarrhea. Another alternative is cat food.
What else do mice eat?
In addition to primary feeding, you can feed mice and keep them busy at the same time. The animals use hay as roughage, as a hiding place, and as nesting material. A high-quality dog biscuit grinds the constantly growing teeth and satisfies the need to gnaw. Ears, panicles, and millet naturally occupy the animals. These delicacies and some sunflower seeds or a raisin are also well suited to get the mice used to the hand. Dried herbs provide your animals with valuable minerals. Chamomile, yarrow, dandelion, nettle, daisy, parsley, peppermint, lemon balm, or ribwort are suitable. You offer the animals a combined climbing and nibbling opportunity with fresh branches—unsprayed branches of hazel, poplar, Mountain ash, or pome fruit trees. Hide special delicacies in the mouse home. You can also close the entrances to hiding places with hay or handkerchiefs. So you animals have to work out their food actively. This ensures movement and prevents boredom.
What do mice not eat?
When you keep mice, you quickly find almost nothing that the animals won’t eat. However, it does not make sense to give in to the animals’ preferences. Not suitable are:
- High-fat and high-sugar snacks
- Chocolate (poisonous!)
- Sugared cereals and unsweetened cornflakes are allowed in moderation.
- Fresh legumes such as peas, beans, lentils
- Raw potatoes, eggplant (solanine)
- Many houseplants are poisonous to mice!
- All kinds of cabbage
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