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75 Posts
This is the home mix I generally feed, can someone give me some feedback as to the ingredients are ok?

- molasses mix as base (seeds and grains rolled in molasses, commercially sold as a horse food)
-dog kibble or dried anchovies (unsalted and unflavoured)
- rolled oats
- porridge mix of rolled barley, rolled triticale, rolled rice and rolled spelt
- pepitas
- black sunflower seeds (very small amount)
- puffed rice
- small pasta shells
- pearled barley
- wheat biscuit cereal (Weet Bix)
- linseed

2 Posts
This is just what I've been looking for! Thank you so much for this info. There's been a lot of waste with the mix I've been using and I've found pet stores to be generally unhelpful or vague about mice. Time to go shopping! :D

60 Posts
I'm trying to put together my own food mix, but I'm struggling to get it anywhere near 20% protein (so I'm either doing something wrong or completely misunderstanding lol!)

70% rolled oats (13% protein) and 30% vitalin kibble (18%) leaves me at about 14.5% protein, which seems really low - so should I be using more like 60% rolled oats/other grains and 40% kibble (and/or seeds - seeds seem to be lower in protein though)?

63 Posts
Mine get anything i get my hands one.

parakeet seed mix (or budgie etc.)
unsugared cornflakes
dry pasta
dry bread
dry gammarus/and shrimp/fish
dry insekts
dry dog & cat food

life mealworms

fresh apple/salat in winter and fresh green from outside in summer (dedelion)

Fresh twigs and so from hazelnut, birch etc.

74 Posts
Teenybits said:
Does this mean one could feed just 80% vitalin dog mix and 20% seeds on a Long term basis? Just to confirm?
Theoretically you could (although if you were only using oily seeds that could be quite fattening). But in practice an awful lot of the Vitalin mix is miniscule powdery bits which very easily get lost in the substrate, and so is better fed wet. If you want to use a Vitalin product longterm you'd be better off buying Vitalin kibble as MouseMaid listed. However you'd need to adjust the ratios as the kibble is higher in both protein and fat than the museli/ mix.

The mix most people use (as VAT free, while other products made by the brand are not) is called "Vitalin Original" see here:
The kibble (also VAT free) is called "Vitalin Active" see here:

9 Posts
Hi everyone.

Been doing some research into the best food for my nans mice. There's very little literature that I can find, particularly relating to uk brands. However I came across home made mixes, and I think I've come up with a fairly good recipe and feeding regime. If I could have your input that would be great.

40% muesli (saw this suggested and after looking at ingredients it looks quite a good base - it's whole grain oats, barley, whole grain wheat, hazelnut and some sultanas. No added sugar or salt. No peanuts)

20% bird seed mix (containing some wheat, millet, sunflower seeds, red dari, kibbled maize.

20% dog food, which is mostly grains with a small % of meat protein.

Overall protein level: 11%

A few times a week they would have some fresh fruit or veg, and maybe once a week some dried mealworms/pieces of meat/boiled egg.

From what I can make from my research, I think this is a pretty well balanced feeding plan, but I'd be open to any comments anyone may have on it.

Also, one question - should I mix the ingredients together by volume or weight? As I think the two different methods would produce different quantities per ingredient.
Thank you.

142 Posts
Hi Jessica, I might be wrong but ideal protein for non-breeders are 12-14%, breeders are typically at 18-20%? I do so by weight as it's easier.

9 Posts
Hi, thanks so much for the reply, there's lots of conflicting info around and I had read that they should have between 10 and 13%.
However, I added it all up a little wrong as the above mix only makes 80%!!
So it would be 50% muesli, 20% birdseed and 30% dog food, bringing protein to around 13.5%. Is that better?

I was thinking by weight would be better too

74 Posts
A lot of the conflicting info protein requirements non-breeding mice is related to the set-up they live in. Mice who have a big cage with lots of activity-promoting enrichment like ropes, ledges, ladders and wheels, will need more protein (for muscle development) than non-breeding or ex-breeding mice in a breeding box setup with limited ability to build muscle. Similar to how athletes, people who do sports, or just those who have manual jobs require more protein than people who do limited sport or have a desk job.

Your 2nd mix recipe with the 13.5% protein level sounds much better to me. I also mix food by weight as this allows me to work out protein % etc. of the resulting end mix, while doing it by volume won't.

2 Posts
I see many people adding rolled oats to their mouse food mix. Stupid question: are these just the plain, uncooked oats straight from the box? They don't have to be cooked? I am concerned about how oats expand when combined with moisture. I don't want to bloat them.

Also, same sort of question with raw foods such as broccoli and cabbage. Do they produce gas in mice? Are they okay in small quantities? If so, what is a "small quantity" for a mouse?

And lentils? Hard and dry, uncooked okay?

Any other beans a good food for them? Garbanzos? Pintos? Black beans?

And what about raw tomatoes and potatoes?

Sorry for so many questions.


445 Posts
What I personally found most beneficial with mouse diet is consistency. I do not recommend mixing everything all at once. Provide a stable diet such as lab blocks, dog food, or cat food. Then add seeds, then cereals and grains. If you introduce vegetables or non-dry food too quickly or too much, it can cause diarrhea and other digestive issues. In addition, wet food can get moldy quickly- vegetables, fruits, etc.

Over time, you can increase the diversity but you should always keep the same base and staple diet.

I personally feed my mice the following as a staple diet- 2 types of dry dog foods, 1 type of dry cat food, Non-sugared cheerios and sunflower seeds. About once a week, I will feed dinner scrapes. I avoid most fruits and only feed peas, corn, lettuce as vegetables.

3 Posts
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.


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


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:

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%

Ingredients: Barley, Wheat, Red Dari, White Dari, Linseed, Buckwheat, Safflower, Groats

Chicken Feeds:

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:

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

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:

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.

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:

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.

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.

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:

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.

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

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.


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.


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:

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.

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.


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
Hi, thanks so much for this thread!
61 - 75 of 75 Posts