The mouse should be eating 24 hours a day!
It`s easy to dare saying that the mouse is one of the hardiest small animals of today when it comes to transports, changing of temperature and limited space, but concerning food the mouse is probably the most sensitive one of all small animals. Since the mouse is so lively and active despite its size she always needs food in her bowl to keep going on being active, negligence with this and the mouse will turn ill. The mouse gets its energy through the food. Principally carbohydrates and fat are transformed to energy. Due to the fact that the mouse is so small - weighs a few dozen grams - it`s easy to believe that it eats very little but that is not the case. The mouse is a gluttonous creature which seems to need every mouthful of food it can get.
Furthermore, the mouse has a very rapid metabolism. After a meal it only takes a couple of hours before the stomach is empty or the food has been combusted by the body. Therefore it`s important for the mouse to eat all the time. Of course the mouse can "eat for the sake of eating", due to boredom - a remedy is to hide the food in the cage and then the mouse will have to seek for it just as the wild ones.
Basic food and additional food
The pet mouse should always have food in its bowl. This food is called basic food. The basic food should be dry in order to keep it fresh as well as to fill "the function of gnawing". The mouse is a rodent and it likes gnawing on things.
Food the mouse just gets now and then is called additional food. The additional food can be fresh, but it should not be given in too big quantities in order not being left in the cage to get bad.
The basic food should contain corn, seeds, nuts, biscuits, dried fruit and dried meat.
Example - basic food
Example - additional food
The four kinds of corn are important in the basic food and should preferable be grinded or granular and peeled. Biscuits, crisp bread etc should be broken into pieces. The mouse food could be pretty expensive, but if you can`t afford to give the mouse good food you shouldn`t have any mouse. Animals are not cheap to keep. To make money on breading mice is very difficult, since they eat so much!!!
The cheapest way is to mix your own food. Then you can also be sure the animal gets the vitamins it needs. Readymade mixtures, except muesli, can be without vitamins and old - which is not to be recommended. Some hamster mixtures can also damage your mouse and cause illness. Therefore, avoid all mixtures with "a lot of coloured lumps" in it, that you don`t know the content of. To see if a mixture has vermin as maize mite and flour beetles you just have to look at the content for a while. If the food is moving a lot there are mite, a trained eye can even see these small rascals. Flour beetles and grain weevils lies at the bottom of the bag. These animals are not interested in you or the mice but indicate that the food is not suitable - old, damaged by water, luck of vitamins or dangerous for the health.
The bags with budgie mixtures, parakeet mixtures etc, that are sold in common groceries in brown environment friendly paper bags, are holding a high quality and are definitely worth its price.
The mouse is a choosy creature, which gladly pick out its favourite seeds from the basic food and leave the least interesting bits to the last. Yes, the mouse can even starve itself to death by being choosy. Fat mice should not have so much seeds due to the fact that the seeds are fat in themselves. Hempseeds should be avoided completely, if you haven't an undernourished mouse that very quickly needs fat food!
Another thing you should avoid is sweetened food and empty calories as for example puffed rice.
Meat, yam etc mice can very well have, in proper amount. Young, growing, suckling and pregnant mice of course need fat food and food rich on protein. Bigger mice should have more food. English typed and Swedish - English cross breeding need more food. They are, as we know, bigger and longer and don`t seem to become fleshy by fat food or food rich on protein, opposite to the Swedish typed mouse.
When it comes to be without water the mouse doesn`t manage many hours before it dies by dehydration - therefore be sure it always has fresh water.
Give the mouse the kind of food you would like yourself if you were only 20 - 30 cm long and weighed a few dozen grams.
Text: Gerodean "Grodan Elleby
Translation: Gunilla Jonsson - Thank you very much!