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asf rats

Post by mickiemouse12 on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 8:39 pm

so I just got 2 male asf rats. one is almost 4 weeks and the second one is almost 3 weeks ( this is from what the rehomer of these babies told me). so I want to start making my own little colony before these 2 males get older. but I have a few questions
1. can I house these guys with female fancy mice or other types of mice?
I don't want to get female asf because I do not want to breed.
2. I have a 20-30 gal tank from what it looks like. I defiantly know it is not 10 gals or less. I haven't measured it yet. is this an okay size for 2 mice let alone possibly 5?
3. whats the best food for them once they start weaning off baby oatmeal. Also any fruits and veggies I should be feeding them soon
4. do they need sand for bathing? I have 2 gerbils that use sand to bathe. I was not sure if mice do the same?
also is there anything that I shoud know/ look out for as a new mouse owner?
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Post by mickiemouse12 on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 8:42 pm

ALSO, THE TANK IN THE BACKGROUND OF MY PROFILE PIC IS NOT THEIR CAGE. THAT BELONGS TO MY GERBILS. their cage is a bit bigger than half the tank in the picture. if that makes sense?
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Re: asf rats

Post by Sam and their pets on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 9:52 pm

Hello and welcome Smile
I have twenty ASFs of my own though I haven't been keeping them for that long. I've got a couple female mouse/male ASF groups too

A couple female mice should do fine with your boys, providing you know how to mix colonies (if not there are some great topics about it here) I'd wait till they're the size of the mice you'd like them to go with, at that point they should be able to defend themselves if a scuffle occurs. Something I'd like to point out though- lots of male ASFs end up needing separated. They mature super slowly so many people think they're getting along, but once they're actually full grown (can be as late as seven months of age) they can start fighting. I know some people who've had success keeping males together, but in most cases (my own included) it hasn't worked out so just keep that in mind Smile

Most people consider a 20 gallon minimum for ASFs. I think it would be okay temporarily/with a large topper, but if it is indeed a 20 I'd try to upgrade once they're larger. 110 quart bin cages are cheap and huge, I use them and they're great so maybe take a look at building one.

I've had a litter recently, and I tell people not to get pups below five weeks of age- weaning can be tricky. If they're eating oatmeal okay, I'd introduce a new and permanent food as soon as you have it. I've heard they do well with the same foods mice do (if so there's an amazing topic on mouse nutrition here) but I'm starting to agree with some other places that say they need much higher protein. Currently mine are eating the same as my mice and doing fine, but they were also doing great on a high protein pellet so I really don't have a good answer. Whatever it is, don't get anything Kaytee brand, and avoid corn Smile

Some people believe sand is unsafe for mice and no one seems to use it anyways, though I've heard of some people using sand for their ASFs and they didn't really care about it. It's not necessary at all, though I can't find any reason for it being unsafe so it's up to you

Best of luck with your cuties Heart

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Walk  Mice: Sable, Gimble, Ramen, and Max Tail Flip Hamsters: Samsung and Goby Walk ASFs: Quil, Cyg, Merv, Scant, Corvus, Roo, Rocket, Beetle, Grus, Koala, Kas, Tiger, Rook, Jabberwocky and five pups Tail Flip Cockatiel: Holly Walk Hedgehog: Finnegan Tail Flip Gerbils: Kala, Everest, and Mak Walk
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Re: asf rats

Post by mickiemouse12 on Tue 13 Nov 2018, 5:53 am

Thank you . This helped me out a lot . How many female mice should I get ? There’s a local breeder in my area so once my boys get older I’ll get some girls the same age . Hopefully my boys will never fight but if they do I’ll definaitly consider the bin cage. Also I did order. Kaytee food for them as I thought that was the best food for them . I use Kaytee brand for my gerbils as well but I’ll most definitely look into the brand a bit more . What food do you recomend for my boys ?
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Re: asf rats

Post by Sam and their pets on Tue 13 Nov 2018, 12:02 pm

I'd get either two or maybe three girls, that way they also have a companion and if your guys eventually need separated they'll each have a mousey friend Smile

Kaytee food is unfortunately the most popular but also the lowest quality :/ It's mostly corn, dyes, preservatives, and other fillers that really don't add any nutritional value but also can harm the animal. Most mice in particular are more sensitive to food than say a hamster, and there are some big health issues that can come from eating low quality foods. Many Kaytee foods also contain Ethoxyquin, a preservative for fats. It's actually harmful for small animals and can cause cancer, so I'm a bit unsure, but Kaytee may have removed it from most of their foods. Even then, it still shows how little they care about the animals welfare.

https://www.petmousefanciers.com/t15-mouse-diet This topic here is amazing and very well put together. It actually has it's own little section about avoiding Kaytee foods, lol. I'd recommend starting with one of the foods listed as good or mice, such as
Sun Seed Sunscription Vita Prima Parakeet Formula
Vitakfraft VitaSmart Parakeet Food
Vitakraft Vita Prima Sunscription Dwarf Hamster Formula
Brown's Tropical Carnival Gourmet Hamster & Gerbil Food
Definitely read up on them as all are different, none are actually all that amazing but it's the best available. I would probably mix in 20% Oxbow mouse and young rat pellets, but if you find something high protein without corn that'd be great. I don't have any gerbils so I can't help there, but I'd switch their food to something else when you can. Best of luck Smile

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Walk  Mice: Sable, Gimble, Ramen, and Max Tail Flip Hamsters: Samsung and Goby Walk ASFs: Quil, Cyg, Merv, Scant, Corvus, Roo, Rocket, Beetle, Grus, Koala, Kas, Tiger, Rook, Jabberwocky and five pups Tail Flip Cockatiel: Holly Walk Hedgehog: Finnegan Tail Flip Gerbils: Kala, Everest, and Mak Walk
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