Peanut Butter. Also, my mice don't seem to like treats?

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Peanut Butter. Also, my mice don't seem to like treats?

Post by Plazmotech on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 2:50 pm

Hi, I just got two mice a few days ago. I'm trying to tame them -- they seem to be scared of me. One of them is super scared of me and the other is just kinda scared. I've been trying to use treats to get them to recognize me as not a threat. However, no matter what treat I put in their cage, they seem to ignore it. I've tried carrots, apples, and strawberries. They took little bites of each but didnt seem to really eat the whole thing. Plus they didn't seem eager to eat it, they only got them hours later.

I've heard that mice can get addicted to peanut butter and it can be a great way to train them. However, I've also heard that peanut butter can be toxic for mice. Although I even looked in in ingredients in my Kaytee mouse food pellets that there's ground up peanuts in it… So I'm not sure what the consensus is. Is it safe to give my mice peanut butter? If so what kind? Crunchy or non? Thanks!

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Re: Peanut Butter. Also, my mice don't seem to like treats?

Post by stephlisa on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 3:15 pm

I think most people are wary of peanut butter for allergy reasons - but someone with more experience will chip in with their thoughts I'm sure. Personally I wouldn't give my mouse peanut butter.

As for treats, it sounds like my Colin - he doesn't really eat anything fresh. Some other treats you could try that my mouse goes mad for are pumpkin seeds, pinenuts, walnut and dried banana (yes, specifically dried!).

Have you tried just leaving your hand in the cage for a while so they can sniff your hand and explore you? That worked well for me to start with. When one of them hops on your hand, you can take them out from there - although they might get a while to get used to that.

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Re: Peanut Butter. Also, my mice don't seem to like treats?

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 3:24 pm

I only give peanut butter as a very occasional treat - like once every few months, and only in tiny amounts. I wouldn't recommend it as an everyday treat or training treat. I put together a list of five great mouse treats which you can view here: http://petmousefanciers.forumotion.com/t1124-5-great-mouse-treats
You can also view the safe foods list here:
http://petmousefanciers.forumotion.com/t2-safe-foods

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Re: Peanut Butter. Also, my mice don't seem to like treats?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 3:31 pm

It's actually a bad idea to use food to tame mice. They'll just see you as a food dispenser, not a friend, and it can even lead to biting. Taking without food is the best way to get them to love you for you, not what they think they can get out of you. If you're impartial, then you can use treats, but I personally like to grow real friendships with my mice.

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Re: Peanut Butter. Also, my mice don't seem to like treats?

Post by CallaLily on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 3:40 pm

There is an allergy risk with peanuts so many choose to avoid them. Watch for that carefully if you do decide to offer them. If you choose to offer peanut butter, avoid the brands that are full of sugar. Look for one with very simple ingredients, preferably just roasted peanuts but a little oil or sea salt would be ok. There is also some concern over the stickiness and choking, so go with very thin smears of it. I'll say again that many on this site recommend you avoid peanuts all together because they're considered a common allergen. I personally do not feed peanuts or peanut butter to my mice just to stay on the safe side. Walnuts are a good alternative and most mice like them.

I would also like to add that I do not recommend hand feeding as a tool for taming mice. It can encourage nipping or biting behaviors. Instead I prefer to take the mice out of their tank every day and put them into a safe play area to work on taming. You can use a tube or box to transfer them over until they're more trusting of you. In the play bin you can start introducing your hand. Most mice will be curious enough to come over and check you out. Eventually they'll climb into your hand and you can start introducing movement (lifting them up). Some mice are very quick to tame, others can take longer to come around. Then after play time is over, hide a few treats around their tank for them to find when you move them back. They'll come to look forward to both play time and finding the treats after.

Treats my mice like are walnuts, puffed rice, nori, pumpkin seeds, mealworms, flax seed, banana chips, coconut, melba toast, crickets.

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Re: Peanut Butter. Also, my mice don't seem to like treats?

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 3:48 pm

@CallaLily wrote: There is also some concern over the stickiness and choking, so go with very thin smears of it.

Because of this I like to bake the peanut butter into treats instead of just giving it to them in the original form. I bake treats for my mice and my hamster with oats, flour, water, and papaya, and they go crazy for them. Sometimes though, I'll choose to add peanut butter and/or blueberries to the treats, and they seem to go even more crazy for them when I add those ingredients. So, that's how my mice get their peanut butter as just an occasional treat.

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Re: Peanut Butter. Also, my mice don't seem to like treats?

Post by Plazmotech on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 7:33 pm

@stephlisa wrote:I think most people are wary of peanut butter for allergy reasons - but someone with more experience will chip in with their thoughts I'm sure.  Personally I wouldn't give my mouse peanut butter.

As for treats, it sounds like my Colin - he doesn't really eat anything fresh.  Some other treats you could try that my mouse goes mad for are pumpkin seeds, pinenuts, walnut and dried banana (yes, specifically dried!).

Have you tried just leaving your hand in the cage for a while so they can sniff your hand and explore you?  That worked well for me to start with.  When one of them hops on your hand, you can take them out from there - although they might get a while to get used to that.

I might try some of those. The thing about it, is I have the CritterTrail starter kit habitat which has a very awkward positioning so I can't really leave my hand in there comfortably. I'm getting the two-level habitat soon and connecting the two, hopefully that one is a little more comfortable to put my hand in.

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Re: Peanut Butter. Also, my mice don't seem to like treats?

Post by Plazmotech on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 7:34 pm

@AnonymousMouseOwner wrote:I only give peanut butter as a very occasional treat - like once every few months, and only in tiny amounts. I wouldn't recommend it as an everyday treat or training treat. I put together a list of five great mouse treats which you can view here: http://petmousefanciers.forumotion.com/t1124-5-great-mouse-treats
You can also view the safe foods list here:
http://petmousefanciers.forumotion.com/t2-safe-foods

Thanks I'll check it out!

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Re: Peanut Butter. Also, my mice don't seem to like treats?

Post by Plazmotech on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 7:51 pm

@CinnamonPearl wrote:It's actually a bad idea to use food to tame mice. They'll just see you as a food dispenser, not a friend, and it can even lead to biting. Taking without food is the best way to get them to love you for you, not what they think they can get out of you. If you're impartial, then you can use treats, but I personally like to grow real friendships with my mice.

Yeah, I'd like to tame them without food but right now they seem way too scared to even get near to me without food. How would you recommend going about it?

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Re: Peanut Butter. Also, my mice don't seem to like treats?

Post by EverythingAnimal on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 9:30 pm

Well were on the topic of food I'd like to add that we don't usually recommend kaytee products of pellets/lab blocks altogether. They are usually cheapply made, and even if you can find a good one out theethey are very boring for the mice, while with a seed mix they can chose what they want to eat first and shuck seeds, much more stimulating for them. We usually reccomend brown's tropical hamster and gerbil or sunseed vita parakeet.
Crittertrail cages are also not recomended because of the flimsy quality and a slightly small footprint. A 10 gallon ank with a metal screen lid and locking clips is ideal.
As for the treate I'm with stephlisa that my mice prefer cruchy treats much fmore than freash foods. You can also try oats!

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