Burrowing Mice!?

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Burrowing Mice!?

Post by Megan8121 on Thu 12 Apr 2018, 7:47 am

So I have a lovely 120 gallon tank set up for my five new female mice. They have two hides and lots of other places to play. HOWEVER, they insist on burrowing below the Carefresh bedding and hiding . It drives me crazy because I don't know where they are half the time. Could this mean I have too much bedding in there?

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Re: Burrowing Mice!?

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Thu 12 Apr 2018, 9:07 am

Burrowing is just their nature.  They are small and vulnerable, so they find comfort in hiding -- plus digging is just so much FUN!

Your mousies are in a new living situation with you, so they may be extra timid to start.  They will probably hide less as they get used to life with Megan8121, although burrowing will still be something they do out of their self-preservation instinct.  And if their room is on the cool side, they will burrow more to keep warm.

Oh -- and mousies are not fond of bright light. If their room is bright, burrowing is a way to get away from that.

Little April lived in an acrylic tank that was easy to lift, even with one hand.  If I couldn't see her, and couldn't deduce where she was, I would run my hand underneath to feel for the warm spot so I'd know where to look for her, and then lift the tank overhead to do a welfare check on her.  Lifting your tank is not even remotely possible, eh?

For now, don't try to force a more open, visible lifestyle on the little girls.  They need to adjust on their own terms.  But you can try some different tank arrangements that, for instance, provide lots of burrowing in an open-topped box (with an access ramp over the box wall that they will carry bedding out by way of, or a hole in the side that they will drag bedding out through) while leaving other parts of the tank just lined with some paper towel or fleece.  That way, mousie residents can start to recognize that being "out in the open" in their new home is actually quite safe, and that some things might even be easier to do on the flat surface without all that bedding piled around.

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Re: Burrowing Mice!?

Post by Megan8121 on Thu 12 Apr 2018, 9:48 am

Thanks!! I will have to try that for sure.

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Re: Burrowing Mice!?

Post by CallaLily on Sat 14 Apr 2018, 7:11 pm

Some mice do just really like to dig and burrow, but in my experience it’s mostly been mice that don’t have enough cover in their home. Mice do not like bright, wide open spaces. They much prefer it very cluttered, with lots of hides and toys to move between. When setting up my tank I always try to provide plenty of hides and cover throughout - under the bedding and over and hanging. The largest open area should be a nesting area which should be just big enough for all of the mice to comfortably be in at once. I hope this helps.

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