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Hi, I hope this doesn't sound like too stupid a question but I am planning to get some show/exhibition typy mice soon. I have only kept mice from pet shops before and encountered problems over the years with obesity in some, dry skin(paticularily in blacks) in some others and then difficulty in keeping weight on some of the old ladies! So, is there any good rule of thumb to follow for feeding? ( I have only fed pre-mix mouse food before) Are there any definate no-no's for mice? Apologies if this is a bit basic but i am anxious to get it right and have happy mousies :) Thanks.
 

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No citrus or tomato; I'd avoid anything with corn or corn products to avoid excessive chances of tumors. Whole grains like oats, barley, and wheat are good. They have a good balance of proteins. Supplementing the diet with corn-free dog kibble a few times a week, about a lump per mousie, will add protien, fats, and vitamins. Fresh foods like spinach, carrots, bananas, cooked potato or pasta or rice are all good. I use dried fruit because it won't go bad and likes likely to cause digestive problems. Mousies riot over a very small chunk of dried bread or dry breakfast cereal. I use dried because some mousies have trouble with live yeast. My pregnant and nursing does get dry cereal dipped in all natural yogurt. Avoid feeding much of anything sweet as it can cause diarrhea.

Mousies will eat almost anything if they're hungry and they are like children in that they will eat things that aren't good for them instead of the healthier stuff if you let them. Peanuts, sunflowers (and other nuts occasionally) can cause allergies that show as problems with the skin, ears, and eyes. I no longer feed these to my meeces at all. They love safflower seeds so I mix a half a handful into 8 to 10 lbs. of whole grains, as well as a scant half handful of millet a couple of times a week. Some of the English breeders like to give their meeces mealy worms I haven't tried that as it really doesn't add anything to the diet that my mousies alrady get.

Also, I give my meeces filtered water (reverse osmosis filtration) as it's cheap. I figure if I don't drink the tap water they shouldn't have to either.

Meeces couse live quite well on dried bread; I think bread is why the house mouse evolved from other types of outdoor meeces. Who can resist the allure of fresh baked bread, I ask you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi, thanks everso for the great info, I didn't realise that corn products could increase the risk of tumours, I'd kind of assumed that what they put in ready mixed mouse/hamster food was well balanced and good for mice, so it just goes to show don't believe everything you read on the packet! Having said that I used to pick a lot of the sunflowers and peanuts out of the mix as there seemed to be a lot and I had heard that they were too high in oils and protein and could cause skin problems (don't know how accurate this info was?) There seems to be a vast amount of information out there and the more I read the more I'm leaning towards mixing my own mouse food.Please, what are the essential daily dietary requirements and amounts of each? e.g I don't know how much protein a mouse should have in it's diet? :oops:
 

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Hi again, just to say sorry Moustress, have just re read your reply and noted that you had commented on peanuts and sunflowers, I'm having a dim moment, it's obviously way past my bedtime! :oops: :oops:
 

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Corn is used in almost every kind of pet food except some of the pricey premium kinds. I have a large mousery. but a bag of good puppy kibble (higher in calcium for breeding strong babies) costs $10 to $15 for 4 lbs., which sounds high; but that lasts a good long time. Months at least, even with a couple of hundred hungry little mouths. If you are only going to have several meeces or several dozen the small 'sample' size bags will prabably do just fine, otherwise you should freeze most of it.

Corn is often the single most common ingredient in most dried cat and dog food. They can't digest it well at all, it causes gas, really vile smelling crap, and causes allergies. Yellow corn is the worst; blue, red, and black corn is not nearly as bad. I think that cooked corn is prbably not as bad, but I still avoid feeding that to my meeces. Some breeders may tell you that they only breed lines that are susceptible to cancer, but I still think that reducing the occurrence of tumors to near zero, especially in females, is a pretty neat thing.
 

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My everyday mix for my meeces is rolled naked oats, wheat, white millet, linseed, brown rice, high protein kitten complete biscuits (I use the Wellbeing range, expensive, but worth it) and a ready mix from the pet shop, usually a rabbit one, never a hamster one =o/

Willow xx
 

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Oh and what you call corn, i believe we call maize... and its in virtually everything pet related and very hard to avoid.

Willow xx
 

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That's correct, Willow. I think it's only called "corn" in the US and Canada (in Mexico it's also "maíz"). We're weird like that. :p

Corn/maíz is in virtually everything, including laboratory-grade mouse food (lab blocks). I obviously don't feed my mice an ear of corn every day, but I don't particularly avoid it either because, as others have alluded to, it's difficult to avoid!

Tomatoes, sunflower seeds, and peanuts are all fine as an occasional treat for most mice, but you have to use your common sense if somebody starts breaking out or having other possibly-related symptoms.

moustress said:
Some of the English breeders like to give their meeces mealy worms I haven't tried that as it really doesn't add anything to the diet that my mousies alrady get.
It's not just English breeders, in my experience. Most people who breed for show and a few pet owners I know feed mealworms if not regularly then around once a month at least. Live mealworms (or roaches or beetles or similar critters) add an element of the hunt to the mouse's diet so it's not only a nutritional aspect you're adding but a psychological one as well. Although we often think of mice as prey, they are in fact natural predators of small invertebrates like mealworms. They have a natural predatory drive to dig in their bedding and root around for prey. I think the occasional "hunt" is good for them psychologically. If nothing else, it's fun (for the people) to watch. :p
 

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It is also worth noting that different strains and indeed mice in different countries have different reactions to foods and protein levels. It seems that UK mice can handle higher protein levels than US mice for some reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the info folks, it hadn't occurred to me that there might be different feeding requirements between the different strains of mice! I can see I've got a lot to learn - looking forward to it! :D
 

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You're very welcome! :)

I think the difference in strains has a lot to do with size and metabolism. Smaller, pet-store-derived mice (regardless of country) use less energy than the much larger show mice. So giving a 35% protein food to my show mice is perfectly fine (necessary, in fact) whereas it might "overload" a smaller mouse's bodily systems, a mouse who doesn't need as much protein for growth and development because it doesn't grow as large. Knowing me, though, that's probably an overly-simplistic explanation. :lol:
 
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