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I just thought I'd list some ideas for making your own mix, as there have been a few questions regarding this recently. All information is gathered from my own experience keeping mice. Commercial rat and mouse mixes will contain a protein level of 10 to 15%, which is perfectly fine for pets, but a mouse stud contains mice that need a lot more protein for breeding, nursing, growing, and keeping condition on the show bench. You want to be feeding 15% protein at the minimum but preferably it should make up 18 to 20% of the nutritional intake.

You can use a multitude of feeds as your base. The base of the diet would need to consist of at least 70% grains (such as oats, barley, wheat, etc) or herbivore feed (such as rabbit or goat food). You can mix these to make the base; for example 40% rabbit feed, 20% oats and 10% barley, which adds a lot of variety for the mice to pick through. There is information on each of these options further down the page.

The remaining 30% can be made of bird seeds, dog kibble, cat kibble; basically any suitable dry food that is higher in protein than the grains. The ratio of grains to protein foods can be varied to suit your mice. If your mice are looking greasy and itchy change the mix so it contains more grain. If you mice are lacking condition and their coats are looking drab, up the protein.

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Making Your Own Mix from Straights
If you have a lot of mice, you'll find it cheaper to mix your own food than buy rat or mouse food. Large bags of straights (pure grain) for horses can be bought cheaply and easily at under £10 per 20kg bag, and you should mix these grains with bird seeds and/or dog food to complete the nutritional spectrum.

Grains you can use in a mouse food mix include oats, barley, rye, wheat, maize, buckwheat and spelt. Some people add dried pasta and cereal to their mixes, but I personally wouldn't add processed food intended for humans to an animals' diet. If you do, make sure the foods you use are as low as possible in salt and sugar.

Examples of mixes made from straights:

1) 40% rolled oats, 30% flaked barley, and 30% parakeet mix.

2) 40% mixed poultry corn (wheat, barley and maize), 30% flaked barley or oats, and 30% wild bird seed.

3) 40% rolled oats, 30% mixed flakes (peas, maize and barley), 30% small dog kibble

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Mixing a Diet from Other Complete Livestock Foods
There are many other animals who share similar nutritional needs to mice, and their feeds contain many similar ingredients to rat/mouse food. These include pigeons, pigs, horses, hens, rabbits and goats. Big bags of food can be bought fairly cheaply and are easily modified into a good mouse diet.

Pigeon Feeds:

VERSELE-LAGA DEPURATIVE PIGEON MIX:
Ingredients: extra wheat 19%, extra barley 35%, dari 15%, milocorn 6%, rice 5%, paddy rice 8.5%, safflower 5%, peeled oats 4%, buckwheat 1%, linseed 1.5%

WILLSBRIDGE DEPURATIVE PIGEON MIX:
Ingredients: Barley, Wheat, Red Dari, White Dari, Linseed, Buckwheat, Safflower, Groats

Chicken Feeds:

DODSON & HORRELL LAYERS PELLETS:
Typical Analysis: Crude protein 16.0%, Crude oils & fats 3.5%, Crude fibre 4.0%, Crude ash 12.5%, Calcium 3.75%, Phosporus 0.7%, Sodium 0.15%, Lysine: 0.71%, Methionine: 0.36%.
Ingredients: Wheat, Extracted Sunflower, Limestone Flour, Wheatfeed, Dehulled Soya Bean Meal, Distiller's Wheat Grains, Vegetable Oil, Vitamin/Trace Mineral Premix, Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, L-Lysine, Sodium Bicarbonate, Pumpkin,Squash, Broccoli, Spinach, Tomato.

Goat Feeds:

FANCY FEED DRY GOAT MIX
Typical Analysis: Protein 14%, Oil 3,25%, Fibre 7.5%, Ash 7.5%
Ingredients: Bruised Oats, Micronised Barley, Hipro Soya, Micronised Maize, Wheatfeed, Micronised Peas, Linseed Lozenges, Locust Beans, Grassmeal, Soya Hulls, Beet Pulp, Oatfeed, Limestone, Dicalcium Phosphate, Vitamins and Minerals, Salt, Soya Oil, Sel-Plex, Molasses

SPILLERS GOAT MIX
Ingredients: 40-25% flaked barley, 25-10% grass nuts, wheat feed, flaked maize, sunflower ext, 10-0% molasses, flaked peas, rice bran, calcium carbonate, ammonium chloride, salt, hipro soya, oatfeed, vitamin/minerals, premix, dicalcium phosohate.

For mice, all that goat feed mixes are lacking is a meat based protein, so dog or cat food should be added.

Pig Foods:

DODSON & HORRELL SOW & WEANER PENCILS
Nutrient Analysis: Protein 16.0%, Oil 3.0%, Fibre 4.0%, Ash 5.6%.
Ingredients: Wheat, Wheatfeed, Distiller's Wheat Grains, Dehulled Soya Bean Meal, Extracted Sunflower, Limestone Flour, Vitamin/Trace Mineral Premix, Vegetable Oil, Salt.

DODSON & HORRELL PIG GROWER
Nutrient Analysis: Protein 18.0%, Oil 3.0%, Fibre 3.5%, Ash 5.0%.
Ingredients: Wheat, Wheatfeed, Dehulled Soya Bean Meal, Oatfeed, Barley, Distiller's Wheat Grains, Limestone Flour, Vegetable Oil, Vitamin/Trace Mineral Premix, Salt.

Rabbit Feeds:

TITMUSS RABBIT MIX SUPREME (1)
Nutritional Analysis: Protein 12.5%, Oil 2.5%, Ash 4.3%, Fibre 6.6%, Vitamins A, D3, E and Copper
Ingredients: Flaked peas, grass pellets, whole oats, flaked maize, extruded biscuits, extruded locust beans, flaked wheat, whole wheat, herbs.

BURGESS SUPA FRUITI
Nutritional Analysis: Protein 13.5%, Oil 3.0%, Ash 4.0%, Fibre 7.0%, Vitamin A, D3, E and Copper
Ingredients: Flaked peas, oats, extruded biscuits, grass pellets, flaked maize, flaked wheat, whole wheat, carrot flakes, banana flakes, minerals and vitamins. Sprayed with an apple/peach flavour.

PETS AT HOME MUESLI RABBIT FOOD
Typical Analysis: Moisture 11%, Protein 13.5%, Oils and Fats 4%, Fibre 10%, Ash 4.5%
Ingredients: Wheat, Toasted Pea Flakes, Oats, Wheatfeed, Toasted Maize Flakes, Oatfeed, Grass, Sunflower Extract, Whole Maize, Apple (min. 4% in extruded nugget), Vegetable Oil, Lucerne, Vitamins and Minerals, Syrup, Carob Meal, Linseed. with Anitoxidant: EC Additive.

Again, a meat based protein is lacking, so dog or cat food should be added. Bear in mind that mice won't eat the grass/alfalfa pellets so there will be waste.

Horse Feeds:

BAILEY'S NO.10 RACEHORSE MIX
Nutritional Analysis: Protein 13%, Oil 8.5%, Ash 6.0%, Fibre 87.0%, Calcium 1%
Ingredients: Bruised Oats, Micronised Wheat, Molasses, Micronised Maize,Soya Bean Meal, Micronised Soya,Extracted Sunflower Meal, Micronised Peas, Soya Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Dicalium Sulphate, Distillers' Grains, Linseed, Vitamins and Minerals, Calcium Carbonate,Soya Hulls, Whey, Grass Meal, Calcined Magnesite, Sodium Chloride, Digest Plus prebiotic (ScFOS), Yea-Sacc1026.

JOLLYE'S HORSE AND PONY CUBES
Typical Analysis: Protein 8.5%, Oil 2.4%, Fibre 20%, Ash 9%
Ingredients: Wheatfeed, Chopped Cereal Straw, Oatfeed, Wheat, Cane Mollasses, Limestone, Full Fat Linseed, Salt, Minerals

MASHAM MICRONISED MIXED FLAKES
Analysis: Protein 12.5 Oil 2.9 Fibre 4.3 Ash 2.0
Ingredients: 50% Barley, 25% Peas, 25% Maize

Again, a meat based protein is lacking, so dog or cat food should be added.

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Feed Suitable for Adding to Any of the Above:
Any of the above feeds should make up 70 to 80% of the overall diet. The remaining 20 to 30% should consist of seeds and/or meat based proteins. Seeds which can be added to anything listed above include (but are not limited to) sunflower, linseed, white millet, red dari, peanuts, pumpkin and black rape seeds. These can be changed for variety without upsetting the bulk of the diet. You can buy a variety of these seeds premixed in the form of parakeet mix, parrot mix and wild bird seed. Other feeds which can be added in addition to or instead of seeds include dry dog food and dry cat food. These don't have to be high quality. The expensive dog and cat feeds contain meat as their main ingredient whereas cheap ones have a lot more grain in them - which is not so good for cats and dogs, but better for mice.

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Dog Feeds:
There are a few dog feeds which are suitable for feeding as a complete mouse diet. Bear in mind that the cheaper the dog food the more grain it contains; so what would be a very cheap, poor diet for dogs makes an excellent mouse diet for breeding and growing mice. The two examples I've given below (Vitalin Original and Chudley's Original) contain 18% protein and the major ingredients are grains, which makes these suitable to feed on their own (for active breeding mice or growing weaners) or in a 50/50 mix with grains:

VITALIN ORIGINAL WORKING DOG MUESLI
Analysis: Protein 18%, Oil 3.2%, Ash 6.8%, Fibre 2.8%, Moisture 12%
Ingredients: Cooked Wheat, Cooked Sweetcorn, Meat & Marrowbone, Soya, Cooked Barley, Vitamins & Minerals.

CHUDLEY'S ORIGINAL WORKING DOG MUESLI
Analysis: Protein % 18.5, Oil % 8.5, Fibre % 3.0, Ash % 5.5
Ingredients: Wheat, chicken meat meal, maize, glucose syrup, chicken fat, wheat feed, peas, unmolassed beet pulp, chicken liver meal, dicalcium phosphate, soya oil, salmon oil, de-hulled soya bean, prairie meal, salt, yeast, potassium chloride, carrots, blackcurrant extract, charcoal, fructose oligosaccharides, with EC permitted antioxidants; mixed tocopherols, vitamin C and rosemary extract. With EC permitted colours, sunset yellow and ponceau 4R red.

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Photographs of Mixes:


Mix made of 40% layers pellets, 30% rolled oats, 30% flaked barley.


Mix made of 40% mixed poultry corn (wheat, barley and maize), 40% flaked barley, and 20% parrot mix.


Mix made of 40% rolled oats, 40% flaked barley, and 20% parakeet mix.


Mix made of 50% pigeon mix and 50% wild bird seed.


Mix made of 80% Vitalin Original working dog museli and 20% wild bird seed.

Hope this helps someone!

If you'd like to post your own recipe or comments, please go ahead :D
 

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hey sarah, this is an amazing thread. :D iv had a few probs recently. i used to feed 40% oats 40% barley and 20% parakeet mix. but the parakeet mix now has loads of sunflower seeds in it and some mice were getting a bit porky so to speak lol. so i now have them on a hald budgie half parakeet mix that only consists of the tiny round seeds. this seems to be going down much better. they also get mealworms a couple of times a week and small bit mixer is also added into my mix. i am however wanting to completely re-think my mix. i am now useing whole oats ( as they keep the mices teeth down and keep the nutrients in compared to rolled or crushed. ) the only barley i could get was rolled and it was dusty and genrally pants so to speak so i am no longer using that.

so basically i need to make a new different mix and this will help tremendously. thankyou very much ur a star :D
 

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a good thread Sarah.My preference would be to feed groats/naked oats.I'm very allergic to them though so I've had to give them up.After that I used wild bird but I'm fed up of paying a high price for a product that largely contains wheat.The only actual pet food I use now is the working dog food.Everything else I feed is from the basics range at supermarkets.Basics muesli is around 60 p per kilo,no salt or sugar and of course no dirt or waste.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
so basically i need to make a new different mix and this will help tremendously. thankyou very much ur a star
Aw, thank you :oops: :cool:

Everything else I feed is from the basics range at supermarkets.Basics muesli is around 60 p per kilo,no salt or sugar and of course no dirt or waste.
Wow - 60p a kilo?! That's only £12 for 20kg! If you don't mind me asking, what else do you get from the supermarket?
 

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Wagg working dog food £10 at Tescos for 17.5 k(79 p off) ,digestive biscuits which I scoff ,a bit of a drawback,30p a packet.I feed mine the wet food as well so brown bread,milk,eggs,.Thats pretty much it these days.Supermarkets have quite a few options that can be cheaply adapted to mouse feeding and tailored to suit what you think is good for them.I know a lot of people are conscious of fat and protein.I used to spend a fortune at the petshop.Now it's just beddings ,dog and parrot food.I'm not happy with the quality of the parrot food either for the premium price.Lot of flat peas,nasty biscuits etc which they yack out instantly.I'm going to check out a health food shop,not an upmarket one and see what's available for making my own.
 

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this is really interesting. I have been paying a fortune for mouse mix from the local pet shop. It is £2.95 per kilo, and I going through bags and bags. I also notice that the mice look a little porky, though I do feed ad lib at the moment. Do I need to restrict food.

The mouse mix I buy contains Guniea pig museli, budgie seed, puppy meal and millet. The mice look good on it, but like I said I is expensive.

I have a horse, so buying horse feed is very easy for me...I could easily get a sack of each oats, barley and bird seed, but then as I only have a few mice I dont think I would get though it!

The supermarket idea sounds great...just the quantities I need too. Are porridge oats ok? With a basics museli (no salt and sugar) and parakeet mix/budgie mix, I could a puppy meal too.

Just trying to find something cheaper than £2.95 per kilo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The supermarket idea sounds great...just the quantities I need too. Are porridge oats ok? With a basics museli (no salt and sugar) and parakeet mix/budgie mix, I could a puppy meal too.

Just trying to find something cheaper than £2.95 per kilo.
You won't find it hard to make up food cheaper than £2.95 a kilo! Porridge oats, muesli, parakeet seed and puppy meal will make a perfectly suitable diet for your mice and will probably cost closer to £1 a kilo ;)
 

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SarahY said:
The supermarket idea sounds great...just the quantities I need too. Are porridge oats ok? With a basics museli (no salt and sugar) and parakeet mix/budgie mix, I could a puppy meal too.

Just trying to find something cheaper than £2.95 per kilo.
You won't find it hard to make up food cheaper than £2.95 a kilo! Porridge oats, muesli, parakeet seed and puppy meal will make a perfectly suitable diet for your mice and will probably cost closer to £1 a kilo ;)
That sounds great. Off to check out the basics brands.
 

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Just realized that I'm finally running out of the mix I put together from the bulk bins at our local organic food co-op. It's a mixture of oats, wheat, millet, barley, and safflower that I think moustress suggested, but now that I know how long that batch lasted, I know it costs me approximately 56 cents per mouse per month to feed (or 1.66/lb), and the mice are looking so much better than they did on the blocks. Plus, I get the satisfaction of knowing I feed my mice organic human-quality grains and supporting my co-op (which comes back as profits at the end of the year)! For pregnant, nursing, or injured mice, I supplement the mix with whatever brand of puppy food has sent us a sample pack recently.
 

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Can I just say what a good thread this is, it is so reassuring to know that there are people out there that you can talk to about mice. I'm so fed up with picking through shop bought feed (which costs stupid amounts of money when you don't use half the stuff in it!) and although I know many people make up their own food, it's knowing what to put in and the percentages and quantities. A big big thank you to all, I'm off to make up my own (quite excited) however should I mix it gradually in with what I have been feeding my mice so that it's not too big a shock to their systems. Also I feed my mice mealworms as treats about twice a week should I be counting these in with the protein? Vicki
 

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I pay £5.95 for 12.5 kg of wild bird seed. I use supermarket basic oats at around 50p a kilo.

porridge oats are rolled oats, they are fine.
 

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I love making my own mouse food mixtures, and my mice love their new diet and seem healthier and more active now. It also helped my mouse perk up after her first pregnancy. I give them lab blocks as well, but here are the ingredients in my mixture

• Rolled Oats Large Flaked
• Rye Flakes
• Brown Flax Seeds
• Hulled Millet
• Bran Buds
• Wheat Squares
• Pumpkin Seeds
• Wagon Wheel Wheat Pasta
• Buckwheat
• Red River Cereal
• Sunflower Seeds
• Niger Seeds
• Bulgur Wheat
• Spelt Flakes
• Black Wild Rice
• Quinoa
• Split Green and Yellow Peas
• Green Lentils
• Pearled Barley
 

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Whoa, I am spending an absolute fortune on rubbish they don't need. Bugger that! I'm re thinking my diet from the ground up. Thanks for the write out :D. *hug*

If I use this mix;

3) 40% rolled oats, 30% mixed flakes (peas, maize and barley), 30% small dog kibble

What can I add without unbalancing it? I would find it very strange to feed a mix with no seeds, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Try it like this: 40% rolled oats, 30% mixed flakes (peas, maize and barley), 20% small dog kibble and 10% seeds and see how your mice go. If you think their condition could be better try 30% rolled oats, 30% mixed flakes (peas, maize and barley), 20% small dog kibble and 20% seeds. Making your own mix can be a bit trial and error :D
 
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