Can mice eat rat food?

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Can mice eat rat food?

Post by metalmouse on Thu 01 Jun 2017, 8:46 am

Recently, I took in another wild rodent: Howie, who is currently identified as Rattus Rattus, or the roof rat/black rat. He needs to eat, obviously, and because he's just opening his eyes I've been offering him some of Bean's seed mix, which I thought was nutritionally complete for mice and rats, but I can't tell. Everywhere I read I see "seed mixes should not be the [rodent]'s primary diet." Well, alright.

Anyway, the other food I'm looking at is Science Selective (at the recommendation of someone here). They have a rat food and a mouse food--different from other foods advertised as rat and mouse food in one. The ingredients don't really differ between the foods; the mouse food has dicalcum phosphate, which the rat food doesn't. I'm also not sure if there would be an amount difference in protein, but since Howie and Bean are both wild they need the extra protein anyway. Maybe? I've been told that, as well.

My eyes hurt from obsessively Google-searching these answers. Somebody help! Laughing

Is the seed mix linked above I'm feeding them "nutritionally complete" ingredients-wise, or do they NEED block? If the latter, is it okay to feed rat block to Bean, or mouse block to Howie?

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Re: Can mice eat rat food?

Post by CallaLily on Thu 01 Jun 2017, 9:53 am

I can't speak for rats as I have zero experience, but for mice naturally the main part of their diet consists of grains, seeds, and insects.  

If you could share the ingredients, protein, fat, and fiber of your current seed mix, I would have a better idea on how suitable it may be for mice. I don't see these things listed in the link. *EDIT* Oops, I see the ingredients and they look great!  But I'd  love to know the protein, fat, and fiber %.  For the average pet shop mouse, you want 12-14% crude protein, 5-7% crude fat, and <10% fiber.  But you have a wildy, right?  So probably slightly different needs.

Supreme Science Selective rat or mouse blocks....they do have slightly different ingredients and slightly different % (according to the company website), but both are fine as a supplement to a good seed mix. I personally don't recommend blocks as a main part of a mouse's diet, simply because variety is important to me and mice do better with the stimulation a seed mix provides.  The addition of a block food is probably not necessary, especially if you have a good seed mix. I personally add the mouse block to my homemade seed mix just to balance it out and ease any worry that I overlooked something important.

And I thought I'd go ahead and mention that, for mice, supplementing with a little fresh fruits and veggies at least twice a week can be good too. Again, just making sure it's not the main part of their diet.


**EDIT 2** I'm speaking mainly of Mus musculus. I just remembered you have a different species of wild mouse. I found this on a quick search.
Cactus mice are opportunistic omnivores. They eat mainly fruits and blossoms of shrubs and annual seeds such as hackberry (Ulmaceae) and mesquite (Leguminoseae) (Species Information Library, Peromyscus eremicus eremicus 1994). Pinus and Juniperus seeds are eaten during the winter. In addition, cactus mice eat insects, leaves, and green vegetation
Sounds like your species may eat more fruits and plants than Mus musculus would naturally.  Sorry I do not know more.

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