Pellets too high in protein

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Post by Fuzzball on Mon 30 Sep 2019, 5:54 pm

I just got a pair of young males, two brothers (whom I'm hoping will be able to live together without fighting since I've given them the largest cage I could find). I'm new to mouse ownership and am finding all the nutrition info a bit overwhelming. I got some pellet mouse food at the pet store but it's got 17% protein and only 3% fibre, so I filled their food bowl with half pellets, half oats, to try and dilute the high protein food and increase the amount of fibre in their diet. Is that a good mix to give them? Also I've heard that they like variety, and am worried that they'll find just pellets and oats quite boring. I offered them some apple but they weren't interested. What are some other things I can give them to keep their diet interesting? I've got some uncooked rice which might add an interesting texture to their food mix - would that be good for them?

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Post by Robin~ on Mon 30 Sep 2019, 9:24 pm

Hello!

I would definitely suggest finding a different food source. Too high of a protein level can cause irritated patches on the skin often referred to as “hot spots”, which aren’t fun at all for the mice Sad Generally sticking to 12-14% protein is good. This typically takes you into the realm of parakeet food, which is a pretty great alternative Smile

I also wanted to note you can’t exactly change the variety or GA with add-ins—the diet must be good to start, and then you can use add ins to make it even better. But, whole grain rice can be added if you’d like Smile

Lastly, male mice can and will fight no matter the cage size— I highly suggest splitting them before things get ugly. Here’s an article on the topic: http://www.petmousefanciers.com/t142-males-living-together-warning-graphic-photos
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Post by Fuzzball on Mon 30 Sep 2019, 10:17 pm

Thanks for your advice Robin. Would it be okay to mix some of their pellets in with the parakeet food for the sake of variety or is it better to just completely avoid high-protein foods?

I appreciate your concern about me housing males together, I know it's risky and I certainly don't want either of my mice to get hurt. None of the options for keeping male mice seem very good - risk of fighting, risk of lonileness, or risk of death during neutering operation. After some research I decided to try two males from the same litter together. My boyfriend works from home so he can keep an eye on them all day and separate them at the first sign of aggression. I am totally prepared to separate them permanently and get a second cage if fighting does become an issue, but first I want to give them a chance at getting along because I'd be worried about loneliness if I housed them alone.

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Post by Robin~ on Tue 01 Oct 2019, 3:12 pm

@Fuzzball wrote:Thanks for your advice Robin. Would it be okay to mix some of their pellets in with the parakeet food for the sake of variety or is it better to just completely avoid high-protein foods?

I appreciate your concern about me housing males together, I know it's risky and I certainly don't want either of my mice to get hurt. None of the options for keeping male mice seem very good - risk of fighting, risk of lonileness, or risk of death during neutering operation. After some research I decided to try two males from the same litter together. My boyfriend works from home so he can keep an eye on them all day and separate them at the first sign of aggression. I am totally prepared to separate them permanently and get a second cage if fighting does become an issue, but first I want to give them a chance at getting along because I'd be worried about loneliness if I housed them alone.

I would just remove the pellet Smile Most mice aren’t fond of them and they don’t exactly add to the variety if that makes sense since it’s just a block. That, and the risk of too-high of a protein level can still persist.

I understand your concern, but it’s  simply something males have to live with. The risk of falling out is far too high in non-ethically-bred males. They can find a bit of company from you and, if you put their cages next to each other, they can still chat between the bars Smile I would definitely have a second cage prepared now in case of fighting, that way you don’t have to go buy a cage/ build a bin cage when that time comes.
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Post by CallaLily on Thu 03 Oct 2019, 4:22 pm

You can calculate how much of the pellets to mix in with a good seed mix to get the desired crude protein/fat/fiber.  Many do feed only a parakeet mix with no issues but if you feel more comfortable also including a good block food to round out their diet, that’s fine too!

This link is to a hamster forum but the info on calculating food mixes are good provided you keep the general mouse recommendations in mind instead of their hamster ones. Which for the average pet mouse from untracked lines is 12-14% crude protein, 5-8% crude fat, and <10% crude fiber. (If your mice are from well tracked lines consult your breeder about what works best for their line).
http://hamsterhideout.com/forum/topic/102287-hamster-nutrition-iii-calculating-the-guaranteed-analysis-of-a-mixed-diet/page-1

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