What are some good ingredients in mouse food?

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What are some good ingredients in mouse food?

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 2:10 am

What are good foods to be in a mouse's diet? For example, millet, is it a good thing to make up a large portion of their diet? What are good grains, seeds, dried fruits, and nuts that can make up a mouse's diet?

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Re: What are some good ingredients in mouse food?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 5:53 am

I'm interested to find out too!

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Re: What are some good ingredients in mouse food?

Post by CallaLily on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 11:12 am

I personally try to keep my mix mostly oats and other grains. Rolled oats is always the most, followed by barley, wheat, millet, rye, buckwheat.  There's also spelt and triticale.  I've lowered things like quinoa and rice (brown and wild) down a bit because my mice don't eat them very well.  I skip corn and try to keep soy as low as I can (it's in the block food I feed though).  Corn and soy aren't necessarily bad,  you just don't want them to be the main part of the diet.  From what I've read corn in large amounts seems to maybe increase tumors and soy isn't digested well.  Source for this is the TFM diet page - I haven't been able to confirm or deny.

Corn
Unfortunately corn is an overwhelming ingredient in most foods. Companies love to use it because it is a cheap filler. However, you need to regulate corn intake. Corn in large quantities has been linked to cancer in mice (as well as all other animals). Most corn is genetically modified, which is the root of all problems. If your mix has a lot of corn, consider picking a lot of it out. Reasonable amounts of corn is okay, but it should not be an overwhelming part of it.


For instance, while soy has a good amount of protein, a mouse is unable to utilize the protein from soy effectively, therefore it is not a good source of protein despite its "nutritional value."

There's plenty of other mention on the corn if you search. It still seems up in the air, no definite answers. I honestly haven't been able to find any more info on the soy claim.

I add smaller amounts of things like pumpkin/squash seeds, chia, hemp seed, flax seed. Way little black oil sunflower seeds but I'm planning on dropping those next mix. (Edited to add I'm wanting to add safflower, thistle, and canary grass seed). I stopped adding walnuts to the mix and just use them more like treats.  Same with mealworms and other dried bugs.  They just get a bit of these a few times a week.  Other safe nuts I believe (on occasion) are pecans, pistatios, and cashews.  Someone correct me if im wrong there. Peanuts and almonds are generally recommended to be avoided.  I'm thinking about adding things like split peas, beans, and lentils.

I like for fruit and veg to be low in the mix.  I've used or plan to use dried spring greens, carrot, bell pepper, potato (white, sweet, and purple), celery, broccoli, plantain, banana, coconut, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, apple, papaya.  But yeah, grains are making up about 70% of the mix.  Fruits and veg I aim for around 10%. The rest is other seeds (and legumes if I decide to add them).  I keep the block food separate from the mix until I fill their bowl.

I just want to add that I am not just throwing ingredients together. Each item is carefully weighed and calculated into the mix to be sure that they're balanced how I want them and that crude protein, fat, and fiber are figured in.  It's still not where I want it, still being tweaked to add more variety, balance, and to my mice's needs.  

**This is just how I decided to mix my food after over a year of my own research.  I'm not claiming it is the best or right way. I am not an animal nutritionist or a veterinarian.**

I'm not sure if this helps you at all. I'm thinking you were asking more along the lines of commercial foods.  With those I look for corn and soy to be low on the list. Pay attention to the whole food variety - you want that to be as high as you can find. Watch out for any ingredients from the avoid list and of course pay attention to the GA.  With my research I looked not only at what experienced mouse keepers found to work (books, websites, etc) but also research papers on what mice would naturally eat without human interference and also about what they're eating near to humans (though a lot of that sounds like surviving, not thriving....I mean soap and glue?  Sick )  It's difficult because a lot of very experienced fanciers are breeders and keep a huge number of mice and aren't always looking for the best variety or ingredients but more towards what's cheapest yet still keeps the mice in good condition.  In the wild - away from people - naturally they eat mostly grains, seeds, and insects.  If you're interested I suggest to read all that you can find on the subject and keep notes.


Last edited by CallaLily on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 4:30 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What are some good ingredients in mouse food?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 11:16 am

How come TFM says that it's the genetic modifications in corn that cause increased cancer? There doesn't seem to be any evidence for that.

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Re: What are some good ingredients in mouse food?

Post by CallaLily on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 11:18 am

I don't know. Like I said I couldn't find anything confirming either statement for sure.  I have considered adding corn in along with the veggies, but since it's not necessary I settled on just skipping it (they do occasionally get corn in some treats).  My mice do get some soy in the block and I may be adding a small amount of roasted soybeans next time (only around 2% - just for variety) but to be safe I try to keep it low.  Really, most on the avoid list is just because I can't find a for sure answer.

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