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A Few Questions!

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Post by kayred2000 Fri 15 Dec 2017, 3:09 pm

Hi!! So I'm planning to get two mice either this month or next month, and I had a few questions about their behaviors and stuff like that. I have had a hamster before for four years, but he passed over summer. But still, I have a good idea of how a few things work, but I'm sure that mice are different, so here we go!

1. I have a 40 gallon tank that I'm currently using to hold my little tv and my fan. It's on it's side so that it can basically be used as a table, and I was wondering if I could keep it like that for the mice! I have the lid and everything, but the lid is like the mesh/wire ones and if mice are known for getting hurt with things like that, then I'd like to know so that I can move the tank or use my 10 gallon instead.

2. Are there any health concerns/facts I should know? I know that for hamsters there are some things that you have to look out for. Like my hamster, Nubbins, I had to brush his fur since he had long hair, and I always had to make sure to get him good bedding because certain kinds of woods were bad for his lungs. Are there things like that for mice?

3. What do they need? Like in terms of extra things like toys, sizes, etc. Like for instance:
-What wheel sizes are good for them?
-Do they like chews?
-Can they drink out of water bowls or should I stick to bottles?

4. (Specific question). I have a bunch of tubes that I want to use since they'll probably fit better in it than my hamster ever did. But I'm confused a bit. I'd like two mice, so I'm worried because what if they start fighting in the tubes? Or what if one gets in the other's way? Would this cause a bunch of issues for me?

5. And please, give any tips that you have! I really, really wanna take care of them as good as I can!

Thank you for reading!!

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Post by CallaLily Fri 15 Dec 2017, 4:29 pm

Mouse Wave  Welcome!

Here's a thread with a lot of links to mouse care information. Check it out when you have the time and feel free to post any questions.

Is it a 40g breeder?  If so, the floor space on its side would be 18×16 inches which would work fine for up to 4 girls according to the cage calculator. That's a lot of height to work with though (36 inches)!  You may be able to do some fun things with that. The metal mesh reptile lids are fine as long as it's not fine screening (like window screen - they'll chew right through that).  Locking clips would probably be a good idea, especially with it on its side.

Most recommend to use paper based bedding with mice, though some swear by aspen.  Mice need more frequent cleaning than the average hamster. They pee a lot, so weekly full cleans are almost always a must.  Common health problems are respiratory infections and tumors.

The absolute smallest wheel size that could work for mice is the 6.5 inch Silent Spinner but some mice do outgrow it. Larger than that is better.  The medium flying saucer is great and unlike hamsters, mice can safely use a mesh wheel (mesh, not barred).  Solid wheels are great too, if you prefer. Yes, they love to chew!  Cardboard items are most loved I find but they like wooden chews, loofah, sisal, etc too. Other than cardboard, willow and apple sticks are a fav here.  They can use a water bowl, but mice are super messy so you may find its more of a pain than it's worth.  They'll pee and poop in it and kick bedding into it constantly.  Water bottles are much easier and perfectly safe.

For groups, tubes are best individually or in smaller arrangements. Large intricate tube setups can lead to problems with fighting and bullying.  Plus, as I said mice pee a lot and lots of connected tubes become dirty quickly and can be a lot of work keeping them clean- and with poor ventilation its important they're kept clean.  But individual tubes or short sections can be great fun!

I also thought I'd mention groups of female mice usually do best with 3 or more. This way it isn't just one mouse taking on the alpha girl's full attention, which sometimes can be a little much (overgrooming, etc).  Also, if one girl were to suddenly pass away you wouldn't be left with one lonely depressed girl. Just something to think about. Smile

Boys should be housed alone in almost all situations.

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Post by River Fri 15 Dec 2017, 6:37 pm

I use a metal window screen lid so I'm a little surprised myself, but I'd go on the safe side and use a more sturdy lid just to be safe! They're also easier to tie toys to. I've been on the lucky side thus far, it seems, but had I known sooner I wouldn't have taken the risk at all.

My girl is allergic to wood, so we use a lot of boxes. Cardboard drink holders and egg cartons are favorites. We use a lot of cardboard rolls and fleece to make hammocks.

Something worth noting, mice love to climb, and they're significantly more skilled than hamsters, especially does. We use a lot of ladders and before Graham developed her allergy, we had a few hanging bridges.

Goose, Otter & Mr. Bald* ♂ 
Remembering Tipsy, Topsy, Maier, Graham & Garcia ♀
*Neutered male group. Do not house intact males together.*

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