Bar Biting Hobbit!

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Bar Biting Hobbit!

Post by AmyLynn on Wed 05 Sep 2018, 4:38 pm

So my oldest male Pepper has become quite the bar biter. I tried extra chews varied chews with all different colors and textures. I tried wedging chews in places where he likes to chew just to have him chew next to it or move the chew toy. When we come in the room he even shakes his cages doors violently. He is upstairs and if he hears you too close to the steps he starts again. Any ideas on what to do with him?

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Re: Bar Biting Hobbit!

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Wed 05 Sep 2018, 5:33 pm

I don't have time tonight to think as thoroughly as I usually like to, but I came up with five possible reasons for Pepper's cage anxiety:

(1) Boredom
(2) Feeling of confinement or lack of exercise
(3) Territoriality
(4) Curiosity or desire to explore
(5) Loneliness

You can eliminate bar biting by moving him to an aquarium, but that won't treat the underlying cause. Some things you might try:

Grant him free roam time, like on a tabletop (no lightbulb overhead, please -- be kind to the mousie eyes!), or more playtime in the bathtub. It could allow him to work out some of his excess energy, if that is the problem.

Try moving him temporarily into other locations for part of the day or evening when he is awake.

Change up toys more often, or come up with new/different treats or new treat delivery challenges.

See if he might be a shoulder mouse, and would like to spend some time walking around the house on somebody's shoulder. (He may make a dash for freedom, so you have to test this in the tub if you are unsure of him.)

Make a mousie obstacle course or come up with little mousie tricks, and start working on training him. He may need that kind of challenge.

I have to get going now, so if some of this seems kind of open or unfinished, just comment on it and I'll see if I can pick up my train of thought when I'm back in the morning.

Best luck.


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Re: Bar Biting Hobbit!

Post by CallaLily on Thu 06 Sep 2018, 9:34 am

I agree with the above. It’s likely he’s a bit bored. Try getting him out to play more often. Maybe look into giving him more space if possible. New things to explore, puzzle toys, foraging walls, digging pits, change toys around often (these can be made cheaply from cardboard, popsicle sticks, etc). Try scatter feeding his main food or treats to give him something more to do.  Try planting some cat grass or other safe plants in a container of plain untreated potting soil and then give it to him to nibble, dig, and explore.

Examples of some awesome foraging walls:


This person was a member on the old forum and just overall had an amazing mouse house and ideas for mousey entertainment.

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Re: Bar Biting Hobbit!

Post by AmyLynn on Thu 06 Sep 2018, 12:55 pm

I did make origami and filled it with seeds and he did not really get excited by that like my other boys. Generally speaking he hates anything with a bell  Sad and completely ignores chew sticks, wooden blocks, lava triangle, wicker braids, wicker balls, and salt blocks. He does like to tear up rope but that is the only "toy" he seemed to like so far. He will work hard to get rice crispy cereal out of stuff but bores with that pretty fast.

So does anyone have some examples of
puzzle toys
foraging walls
digging pits
treat delivery challenges
Either store bought or DIY.

Or any other interactive toy ideas that might help that do not have bells on them? I feel like Pepper just doesn't like anything I have tried...he is a fussy boy. Bad Day


Last edited by AmyLynn on Thu 06 Sep 2018, 1:05 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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My Current Mouse Family
         Group Hug
Does:                             Bucks:                    
Ruby                            Pepper
Princess Fluffles       Stuart
Bianca                         Chestnut
Dottie                          Tiny
                                   Mogwai
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Re: Bar Biting Hobbit!

Post by CallaLily on Thu 06 Sep 2018, 1:41 pm

A few digging pits I’ve done:




Climbing structure with tissue box dig pits (filled after pic):


simple treat puzzle ideas:



Maze inside a box (it was closed after the pic was taken):


very simple foraging walls:





There are quite a few ideas in the DIY section for various toys/puzzles/chews/structures. Check it out.

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Re: Bar Biting Hobbit!

Post by AmyLynn on Tue 11 Sep 2018, 12:49 pm

Update in my Little Hobbit!

So we move Pepper out of his two story bared cage and into what I think is a 30 or 40 gallon aquarium. We kept his favorite wicker hideout and switched up everything else. He is super happy in his new space. We switch up the treats and are offering some bigger variety and have been adding some different challenges and foraging activities for him.

Overall this seems to have worked pretty well. He still has a bit of territorial issues but with 6 male mice in one room (separate cages) it is almost to be expected. He was one of our first mice and the father to the other boys.

Any ideas on how to reduce the smell and markings. The smell doesn't bother me but I know that he and probably the other boys can smell it and can lead to attitude problems and occasional behavior corks and issues.

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My Current Mouse Family
         Group Hug
Does:                             Bucks:                    
Ruby                            Pepper
Princess Fluffles       Stuart
Bianca                         Chestnut
Dottie                          Tiny
                                   Mogwai
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Re: Bar Biting Hobbit!

Post by CallaLily on Tue 11 Sep 2018, 1:00 pm

I’m glad to hear he is doing better. Some mice are happy with anything. Some are more high maintenance. Laughing


Not cleaning every item at every deep clean can help sometimes. Then there’s still a couple things with their smell left, so they don’t usually feel the need to go crazy marking. And you can change up which items each time so nothing gets overly nasty. Leaving his nest unless it’s dirty can help. Filtered water instead of tap. And an air purifier can really make a difference.

Also beware of cleaning too often. This can set them off to crazily marking everything. Once a week full cleans is enough. Spot clean daily - like if there’s a certain corner he seems to always soak or his wheel likely needs daily washing.

But with that many boys near each other, there may be no helping it.

There’s more info on odor here: https://www.petmousefanciers.com/t36-cleaning-odor-and-bedding.

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Celyn, Rina, Seren, Hazel, Arsinoe, Tilda, & Eulyn

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Re: Bar Biting Hobbit!

Post by AmyLynn on Wed 12 Sep 2018, 4:28 pm

Thanks CallaLily. The tips will help.

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Amy Lynn
(a loving Heart mouse mom)


My Current Mouse Family
         Group Hug
Does:                             Bucks:                    
Ruby                            Pepper
Princess Fluffles       Stuart
Bianca                         Chestnut
Dottie                          Tiny
                                   Mogwai
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