How do i keep mice warm in a large tank/cage in winter?

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How do i keep mice warm in a large tank/cage in winter? Empty How do i keep mice warm in a large tank/cage in winter?

Post by mnemosyneslunarian on Fri 04 Oct 2019, 6:24 pm

So i have a roughly 50 gallon glass tank, and i only have 3 female mice at the moment. I've noticed their body temperature seems a bit lower than normal despite them acting pretty active as far as i can tell, though they are shivering I've also noticed. I live in Mass on the Cape, so it gets rather cold her at night specially in winter (below 0°F (-17.78°C) sometimes) and my house doesn't have great heating circulation specially in my room (heater only on one wall, and its a master-bedroom to give a size idea) so it gets specially cold inside.
I've seen some posts on her mention adding more bedding helps keep them warm during winter. but i wasn't sure if there were any other methods that are safe. I just wanna prep before the weather starts getting colder. Last year i had a set up of them in the smaller cage at night and the larger cage during the day but i'd love to be able to keep them in the larger tank year round this year.
at the moment I've moved them temporarily back to their old 10 gallon tank (need to give the larger one a thorough cleaning anyway) These are the first mice i've been able to take care of for a full year so i'd love to be able to take care of them for a 2nd year & more. So any suggestions is appreciated greatly

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Post by Javascript.exe on Sat 05 Oct 2019, 1:36 pm

I know this technically falls under extra bedding, but during winter my mice tend to appreciate small scraps of warmer materials. Paper towel, fleece, felt, old dryer sheets and rabbit fur were well received. You could also try using a heat dish/fan or whatever they’re called and leaving it on in the room if necessary. I would say not to put anything inside the actual cage because if they wanted to cool off they’d have nowhere to go. I don’t know for certain, but perhaps minimizing the empty area in the cage would help them keep it warm. I thing putting them in the ten gallon for a while is enough in addition to some extra bedding materials. I live in Michigan so my winters were never as severe as yours must be, but my mice were fine in their 20gal year round.
*Edit: I also used tinfoil as a bedding addition. I’d put entire sheets in at night and wake up to their nests filled with tin ribbons haha. Very Happy Nobody ever got hurt from it because it’s so soft.
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Post by Robin~ on Sat 05 Oct 2019, 8:10 pm

Reptile heating mats can work nicely under tanks. Be sure to use them with a thermostat so they don’t overheat, though. Having a small space heater nearby could also be helpful (although I’m not sure how well it would reach the inside of the tank, it’s worth a shot).

I don’t think the size should affect how cold the tank gets, so I would move your girls back into the 50g asap. A 10g isn’t super ideal for three girls.

Toilet paper and shredded construction paper have been favorites for nesting. Be sure to steer clear of cotton bedding, though, as this can cause limb amputation. Fleece hammocks/hides may be well appreciated Smile
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Post by mnemosyneslunarian on Sun 06 Oct 2019, 3:32 am

@Robin~ wrote:Reptile heating mats can work nicely under tanks. Be sure to use them with a thermostat so they don’t overheat, though. Having a small space heater nearby could also be helpful (although I’m not sure how well it would reach the inside of the tank, it’s worth a shot).

I don’t think the size should affect how cold the tank gets, so I would move your girls back into the 50g asap. A 10g isn’t super ideal for three girls.

Toilet paper and shredded construction paper have been favorites for nesting. Be sure to steer clear of cotton bedding, though, as this can cause limb amputation. Fleece hammocks/hides may be well appreciated Smile

i'll likely look into the heating mat & thermostat, cause it gets really chilly in my room. the mention of the cotton bedding.. i wasnt aware it wasn't ideal for them and had used it for a couple weeks in august though i'll add that to my note of reasons to not use it.. i found out the hard way it smells bad fast. construction paper wasn't something i had thought of for additional bedding/nesting before so i might try that with my girls.
as for the tank, i'm hoping to move them back into the large one as soon as possible- i feel bad whenever i have to put them in the smaller tank for cleaning in general cause they seem so bored in it in comparison. usually have them in it to monitor them for health issues (had a scare last winter with them health wise thus why im concerned this year, almost lost them but a thread on here helped me save them) or for when i clean the large cage when i have my mom's huskey over to pet sit. half the reason i put them in the 10 gallon was cause i wanted to moniter them while also taking the whole day to really clean the larger tank. the other half is cause i thought having them in a tank ic an pile the bedding a bit higher might help them warm up faster which it did a little bit.

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Post by mnemosyneslunarian on Sun 06 Oct 2019, 3:39 am

@Javascript.exe wrote:I know this technically falls under extra bedding, but during winter my mice tend to appreciate small scraps of warmer materials. Paper towel, fleece, felt, old dryer sheets and rabbit fur were well received. You could also try using a heat dish/fan or whatever they’re called and leaving it on in the room if necessary. I would say not to put anything inside the actual cage because if they wanted to cool off they’d have nowhere to go. I don’t know for certain, but perhaps minimizing the empty area in the cage would help them keep it warm. I thing putting them in the ten gallon for a while is enough in addition to some extra bedding materials. I live in Michigan so my winters were never as severe as yours must be, but my mice were fine in their 20gal year round.
*Edit: I also used tinfoil as a bedding addition. I’d put entire sheets in at night and wake up to their nests filled with tin ribbons haha. Very Happy  Nobody ever got hurt from it because it’s so soft.

aside from rabbit fur (think my mom's huskey might become more interested in the mice if i had that in their tank..) i might try to look into buying some bed-accessories the local pet store has for small animals and see if we have any old towels with holes already in them that i can cut up around the house to add to the cage. thank you for the suggestions
tbh my winters seem bad cause capecod's like an island basically, so ocean wind adds to the temperature drop and well heating in my house circulates poorly, specially in my room. so its OTL yea.. im in like hoodies and blankets when im in my room due to it and have a heated blanket & mattress pad for my bed to sleep warmly.

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Post by CallaLily on Sun 06 Oct 2019, 6:29 pm

I agree that a good reptile heating mat on a thermostat on one side of the tank would be good in your situation. It’s a good idea to have a thermometer (checking the temperature directly over the mat) to double check the thermostat is functioning properly. Make sure the mat you buy can be safely used with a thermostat and that it’s properly installed.  Ultratherm is a great brand but I think it’s only available online. Low 70s F (around 21 C) would probably be a good setting, as 65-80F (18-26 C) is what’s considered a safe range for them.

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