Pee and Poop in the Food!

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Pee and Poop in the Food!

Post by FurMommy on Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:14 am

Just wondering if anyone else's mousies fill their food bowl with bits of bedding, and anything else in their cage that's not nailed down LOL? What, if anything, do you do about it?

All 3 of my mice cover their food bowls with bedding, but my one girl in particular, Munchie, fills hers with bedding and chew toys and bits of card board tubes... literally everything she can fit in there, goes in there! I'm assuming it's just their natural instincts, trying to hide their stash. I think it's just one of the many fascinating and quirky little things they do, but my problem is the dirty bedding that ends up in their food. Everyday I clean their bowls of empty seed shells and dusty crumbs, and top them off with some fresh food. And everyday there's dirty bedding in the bowl, with bits of poops all throughout the food. I end up wasting sooo much food because I just throw it out, clean the bowl, and give them all fresh clean food. I've tried putting less food in the bowl, so at least I'm not wasting as much if I have to throw it out, but then I worried that they wouldn't have enough to eat since they pick through it and only eat what they like. Now I fill their bowls just about half way, so they have plenty to choose from, and I'm not wasting as much. Still... I hate to waste it if there's another option.

Also, my newest addition, a sweet and shy little girl named Nala, has a habit of sitting in her bowl while she eats. Her bowls don't just have poops spread throughout, but pee too! It pools at the bottom and the food soaks it up and turns to mush. Both of her food bowls get dumped and cleaned everyday. I end up wasting more food than they actually eat! Anyone else have this issue? Or ideas how to not waste so much?

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Re: Pee and Poop in the Food!

Post by stephlisa on Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:18 am

To help them not fill it with bedding, you could try putting it on a platform (a homemade one from cardboard or lolly sticks is great!). Colin likes to dig and throw bedding *everywhere* so I learnt pretty quickly. He does poop in his bowl but I find that okay to clean out. He's never peed though. Would having a smaller bowl that a mouse can't fit in help with that? (Yeah, I know that would mean a small bowl and they are hard to find...) Just some suggestions.

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Re: Pee and Poop in the Food!

Post by CallaLily on Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:57 am

@stephlisa wrote:To help them not fill it with bedding, you could try putting it on a platform (a homemade one from cardboard or lolly sticks is great!).  Colin likes to dig and throw bedding *everywhere* so I learnt pretty quickly.  He does poop in his bowl but I find that okay to clean out.  He's never peed though.  Would having a smaller bowl that a mouse can't fit in help with that?  (Yeah, I know that would mean a small bowl and they are hard to find...)  Just some suggestions.

This is exactly what I was going to suggest. Raising the food dish in some way and smaller dishes that they have to perch on the side instead of sitting in can help. Don't be too overly worried about the stray poop in the dish, they do actually naturally eat some of their poo anyway. Gross, I know. This article talks mostly about rats but its the same idea. Soaked with pee needs changing though.

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Re: Pee and Poop in the Food!

Post by FurMommy on Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:34 pm

Nala, the new girl that sits in her bowl while she eats, is very young and tiny still. The bowl she has now is pretty small, but she's still small enough to fit in it. She does have a larger bowl for food as well, but oddly, it's the small bowl that she likes to sit in. She perches on the side of the larger bowl. I think the reason for that though, is the small bowl is inside of one of those igloo hides and she feels safe enough in it to just sit and eat. She was very skittish when I first brought her home, still is actually, and I noticed that she wasn't eating much. I would see her go to the bowl and dig around a bit, but then something would spook her and she would take off and hide, and not eat. I put a smaller bowl inside the igloo so she could be under cover and feel safe to eat. I'm guessing that's why there's more pee and poop in the small bowl. The larger bowl she just digs through til she finds something she wants, and then carries it away some place safe. I'm going to put the bowl back out in the open, but leave a hide close by. That way she can still sit in the hide and eat so she feels safe, but not sit in the bowl. We'll see if that solves that problem.

The other two, they do have bowls that are raised. They're like bird food bowls that hang from the cage bars. But they like to get in there and just hang out, so they ended up being a hang out spot, rather than a food bowl LOL. I'm going to get more of those bowls and try using them for food too. So it's not so easy to cover them with bedding, like you suggested. But if the few pieces of poop mixed in the food is no big deal, then I guess can leave them to bury their food. Give them something to do and act like a mouse. And I can stop wasting so much food! Thanks guys!!!

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