Burying The Water!

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Burying The Water!

Post by jaylew on Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:26 pm

Hi everyone! I feel like I've been researching this non-stop for the 4 days since I've had my mice, and I still cannot seem to find a suitable solution.

I recently purchased two girls - Ophelia and Isabelle. Isabelle is very well behaved, but Ophelia is a bit of a punk. Wink Initially, she started burying her water bowl. I got them a water bottle and tried to rig it up against the glass, and then she started shoving bedding up against it to soak up the water from there. She somehow managed to make the bottle fall the other night, so I started a bowl, again, but this time up on top of a platform... so then she just started grabbing the biggest chunks of bedding she could get in her mouth, and carrying those up to the platform!

Poor Isabelle isn't getting a chance to drink anything, and I'm sure it's not good for Ophelia, either. I'm trying with the bottle up again, but obviously I don't want her to be making another mess and soaking up all the water there, either!

Do you have any ideas on what I could do? I'm feeling so stuck! I feel like the bottle is dangerous and a huge mess, but I know that the bowl is unsanitary, and they won't get any water if Ophelia keeps up with her behaviour. Sad
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Post by jaylew on Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:29 pm

Tank is 10 gallons, mesh top. (Once I can afford it, I'll upgrade them to a bigger tank. Smile)

The bedding is all natural paper Uber brand.

The water bottle is Kaytee glass, held up on the side of the tank.

The water itself has vitamin drops in it that were recommended by the shop I purchased them from, to help balance out their diet. The first day, they were thrilled with the water, and drank lots - especially Isabelle, she was having a blast washing her hands and sipping a'plenty. Then Ophelia started her behaviour. Rolling Eyes

They also have a silent spinner wheel (that they refuse to use...), a home, and a few toys that they really enjoy playing with. Ophelia digs lots of tunnels and buries their food, but the two of them seem to enjoy going foraging for the food every time, so I don't mind.

She's also been acting up by asserting her dominance with Isabelle, but neither of them have been hurt by the spats.
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Re: Burying The Water!

Post by CanadianExport on Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:20 pm

I know the frustration! My mice did the same, one thing that I found worked was to put the bottle up a little higher and place a bendy bridge under it as a step. They still sometimes tried to bury it but the bridge prevented a lot of the bedding from getting to the spout. The other thing I did was check multiple times a day for the bedding getting to close to the spout. When it looked like it was getting higher I spread the bedding out so it was lower again. Eventually mine were not quite so invested in burying it.

As for the wheel, they are probably using it when you are asleep or not there. They are also new and are probably still adjusting. One question about the wheel though is whether it is at least 6.5" in diameter as smaller than that can cause back and tail problems and is uncomfortable for them to run on.

Sounds like you care for them a lot and just have patience! Good luck!
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Re: Burying The Water!

Post by scaredymouse on Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:38 pm

They make really nice water bottle holders that you can easily adjust the height of at Petco: https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/small-animal/small-animal-feeding-supplies/you-and-me-bottle-guard-small

you would need to get a plastic bottle to fit in it though: https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/small-animal/small-animal-feeding-supplies/you-and-me-water-bottle-small

Bottles are always better than bowls. Mice instinctually cover up their food and water. Some mice will go as far as to push their bedding up against the spout of their water bottle as well. To avoid that, you need to hang the bottle higher. As the previous poster suggested, maybe make it so that they have to jump on something to get to the water. They wont be able to push bedding up against it. But yeah, this is just a thing mice do!

Also, I would advise ditching the vitamin drops. Mice don't need them in their diet and it can affect how much water they drink, either too much or too little. It's best to keep their drinking water pure and plain.

As far as the wheel goes, they may be using it at night when you aren't watching them. I have a critter I never see unless I peek in on her in the middle of the night and switch the light on... then I see her running. Also it was mentioned above that if it's the mini wheel, they might not be using it because it's uncomfortable. They need the medium sized wheel to run comfortably.

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Re: Burying The Water!

Post by jaylew on Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:55 pm

Thank you so much, both of you!

I have come to terms with Ophelia's burying habit over the last week. I've realized that they are uncovering the water when they want to drink from it, and they are both clever enough that they'll find a way to bury it no matter where I put it haha! I'll just make peace with a bit of wet bedding from time to time.

No worries about the wheel - I got the biggest size that I could, and they can definitely run in it without getting hurt! I know that they don't use it because they actually bury it as much as they can, and hide toys in it, etc. - so you can tell that it has not been used. Ear wiggle I'll give them a week with some other toys instead of the wheel, and then try to get them interested in the wheel again! Smile

And thanks as well for the water tip, @scaredymouse! I've stopped adding the drops this week and they seem just as happy as before. Smile
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Re: Burying The Water!

Post by Rodents rock! on Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:25 pm

Just wanted to add, I would still try to elevate the water bottle so they have to get up on a platform to drink from it as it's not a good idea to have any wet bedding in the tank.

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Re: Burying The Water!

Post by scaredymouse on Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:50 pm

i agree, a water bottle is preferable.  it's more sanitary, water bowls are a breeding ground for bacteria.

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Rainbow Angel  Penny, Honeybun, Lucy, Annie, Gilly, Furgie, Tedward Wigglesworth, Olivia, Goose, Sweet Katie, Binky, Delilah, Bitsy, Boopers, Sprout, Splotchy, Eva, Slappy, Shuggie.
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