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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We don't have our mice yet, but will be getting them in about 4 weeks. Right now I'm trying to figure out where we should get our food and what kind. We have petco, petsmart, walmart, target, fleet farm and tractor supply company all within close range in our area. I've heard that hamster food is a good choice. Is that true?

We're also trying to figure out what kind of bedding. We found our tank used at a garage sale and it came with a full bag of unopened bedding. It's called Carefresh and it's blue. Is that okay? What other kinds do you like?

Please be specific about the brand and the type. And where you find it. Thanks. :)
 

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Carefresh should be just fine. Personally I use Aspen, you can get a big bag from Trackor Supply for under $10 that should last you a really long time with just a few mice. I like being able to clean the cages often. Mice tend to "go" in one particular corner which make in between cleanings easy. All natural food is the best. I buy fresh peanuts (un salted), sunflower seeds, and quaker oats (old fashioned only), I mix this with a fruit and veggie mix from the local pet store...some people just use lab blocks which are also fine but boring in my opinion. I also add vitamins to the water bottle once a week.
 

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Oh, forgot to mention that there is a great list of "Food Mice Like" on this forum if you search for it you'll find it. The only type of bedding that you absolutely should not use is cedar or pine.
 

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If you don't mind the cost, Carefresh (either white or colors(the blue is perfect!), the gray/brown is said to be dusty and smell awful) is an excellent bedding. Honestly if you have just a few mice the cost isn't that bad, but it keeps the odor down a lot and it's soft on their little feet and they like to make nests out of it. A lot of people also mix Carefresh and aspen just to cut down on the cost of Carefresh alone. They also LOVE ink free shredded paper or newspaper for their nests, or shredded Kleenex or paper towel.

If you are getting pet shop mice, or mice directly descended from pet store mice, it is recommended they have lower protein to help keep from developing hot spots. I like Brown's Tropical Carnival food personally for just a seed mix, and you can use either the rat/mouse or hamster variety. My breeder mice get lab blocks (Mazuri hamster blocks) as a base diet and then some Brown's sprinkled on top for fun. If you look in the "Food Mice Like" section there are all sorts of other fun mix ins. My oldest 2 mice are turning 2 this weekend and they've always been fed hamster food, and they are healthy and still going strong even though they are old gentlemen mice.

I get all my supplies from Petsmart currently, but I am thinking of checking out Tractor Supply for bedding. I go though aspen like crazy. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My mice are coming from a breeder, so I can't be sure. Should I still try to stay with lower protein?
 

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I would use the blocks as a basic diet, then add seed treat to it so they have a mix. They will probably eat all the nummy seeds in one day and kick out all the blocks, but don't be fooled! Leave the food for a couple days so they HAVE to eat some of the blocks. That's where the best nutrients are. I think to a certain point people are alarmists about the amount of protein a pet store mouse can consume. I would try the blocks/seeds and then if a problem developed remove the higher protein food.

My favorite mouse in the entire world that I had when I was 7 had hot spots, but helpful mouse forums didn't exist back then, so we just had to watch her suffer and scratch herself bloody as the vet told us over and over again it was mites even when the treatments did nothing. I only found out several years later about the hot spots. You, however, have the internet! Where your babies won't have do deal with that. :)

Also, you can ask your breeder! They should tell you what they feed theirs, and you can keep yours on the same diet if you like it. A good breeder should give you a little of their current food to start you out with to make the transition to their new food easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, I definitely plan to ask for some of the breeders feed. I have to write down the feed and block brands so I can look for them next time I'm at the store. Any idea if they sell those brands at Petco? That's by far my closest store.
 

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I have nooooo idea about Petco. I very rarely shop there for food. The most important thing is protein content and the list of ingredients. I'll get back to you about the protein content (I need to look at my bags, but I think the blocks are about 22% protein, and the seeds are about 13%), but generally you want a food with a couple ingredients listed before corn. While I dont' think corn is a bad thing for mice (my two oldest boys are in great health and have eaten corn their whole life), it is generally just a filler in pet foods and adds little nutritional value. And most mice I know prefer not to eat it if there are big kernels in the mix, so you'd be paying for a lot more wasted food. If you have any local stores, Sunseed hamster and gerbil is another brand I've had success with, and a local store might carry it. I have a Petco really close to me I was planning on visiting soon. I'll take a look for you at what they have. You can also use a good quality bird seed as a staple diet, but that's not something I can be much help with. :)

EDIT:

I looked on Petco's Website. Out of all the foods I would recommend something like these (note protein content and ingredients lists):
http://www.petco.com/product/104152/Sun ... sterHPFood
http://www.petco.com/product/104151/Sun ... MiceHPFood
^^ These are both Sunseed foods with a good amount of protein for a seed mix. I've feed them before and my mice are ok with them.

http://www.petco.com/product/106131/LM- ... MiceHPFood
^^ I have never tried this food ever, but it does have the high protein you feed a block for and corn isn't the #1 ingredient. I think it would be a judgment call for you once you saw the bag.

http://www.petco.com/product/9192/Supre ... =RatHPFood
http://www.petco.com/product/9364/Supre ... sterHPFood
^^ This is Supreme brand. I've fed this before and also really like it. It has a lot of variety, but again you have to make sure they eat a little of everything to get proper nutrition. The Rat formula would be great for a seed mix to use with a block, and you might want to have a look at the hamster variety as being a nice compromise between blocks and seeds. It has 17% protein and might be a good way to just buy one food for your mice and have them get a little more protein like show type mice need, but not so much as if they were being kept in top condition. In your situation, I would personally choose this as a starter food and then adjust it. Besides, even if your babies are pet shop decedents, the extra protein is needed by growing bodies to be healthy.
 
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