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A Few Questions For Owners!

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Post by Minty Sun 07 May 2023, 12:26 am

Hello everyone! I’m new, and so happy to be here! I wasn’t 100% sure where this topic belonged, so I put it here...I hope that’s alright.

I have been researching mice off and on for quite awhile now, and am at the point of being nearly ready to take the plunge! Just a few questions and reservations that I haven’t found much information on.

I was originally looking to get two females, but it seems three is a much better option so that’s what I’ve decided on.

I am “on a budget” like most people in this world. I can’t afford huge monthly upkeep costs, but am prepared for vet bills and want to take the best care of them that I possibly can. I’m sure most of you understand. I won’t get them if it turns out they’re drastically more expensive to keep then I thought.

First question is, how much food/bedding do your mice go through? Food wise, I’m guessing a pound per mouse per month. Do you think that’s fairly accurate? I will be feeding vitakraft parakeet food as I’ve seen it recommended often.
But bedding wise, I have no clue. I believe I’ll be going with a 10 gallon aquarium and will change all the bedding and scrub down the tank once a week. Planning to use 3-4 inches of aspen and get it in 141 liter bags. Would love to get a rough estimate of how long that will last!

Second, how likely are escapes? Has anyone ever had a mouse get out, breed with a wild mouse, give birth in the walls, and completely take over the house? Ridiculous fear, I know! But I want to handle and interact with my mice without worrying that disaster will strike if one takes off.

Last one, I’ve had several people tell me that keeping mice, especially in my bedroom, will make me sick. They’re all mouse-haters or afraid of mice though so I’m not sure how accurate it is. It’s not like I’m going to lick their wheel!

Anyways, that’s all for now and thank you for reading. Smile

Last edited by Minty on Sun 07 May 2023, 12:28 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Grammar)

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Post by cerial Mon 08 May 2023, 11:12 am

As long as you keep them in a tank or up high like on a desk fancy will generally be happy where they are. They love to explore new things. Avoid placing them on the floor as thats a great way for them to run off. Also make sure no other pets are around when they are outside of the tank.

I have fancy mice, deer mice(wild house), and "feeder" mice. One group can not have babies with the other. I would have had several sets of mixed groups by now. It never happened.

Here is my BIG tank. It currently has 14 deers, 1 feeder, and only 1 fancy. The deers are 2 going on 3 years , feeder is almost a year, and fancy is over 2 years.  I am picking up more fancy soon.

A Few Questions For Owners! 20230510

My big tank is a 55 gallon long, two 10 gallons, and a custom made tank. The math comes out to around 230 gallons with around 20 feet of "floor" space for them to run.

I have 2 trouble mice in a 20 long in my bedroom. Grey is extremely anxiousand scared of everything and Shorty is just to curious and trusting and had her tail chewed. I had a very agressive fancy with them who would stalk and attack the other mice in all parts of the main cage. Eventually she calmed down after a bit of tough love and then placing her in with these two. She recently passed though.

A Few Questions For Owners! 20230512

I use glass lids over mesh tops. The 10 gallons have mesh at the bottom and top. But I have had it chewed before.
I use 2 pennies and tape them to the top of the tank at the 4 corners. This gives 1/8" gap. This is to small for them to fit their heads through. But large enough to let air in/out.

Now the 20 long I grabbed for $20 and think I paid $50  for the 55 long. Both bought used off marketplace.

I go through alot of bedding, and boxes, and sticks. I fill 3 trash bags every 2 weeks. Bedding alone fills two 13 gallon bags. So buying it at a store or online is not justified.

What I do is go to a thrift store and get books for $1 each. Things like large print dictionaries,  microwave cook books, expired tech books, etc. I then cross shread these around 3000 pages into bedding that fills up 2 totes. I overturn these totes reducing dust, then I shoot the bedding with a spray bottle that has a 1/5 mix of ivermectin/water. Mix it some more and shoot it again then repete until it has mixed 4 or 5 times. I pour all the bedding in and then shoot it once again with the ivermectin mix.  

Now ivermectin is best applied topically. But deers are dang near impossible to keep still or will think your giving them a treat. I
wet the bedding down with the mix and it works for me.

You can wet the bedding down with straight water to reduce the dust if applying ivermectin normally.

Now I have my mice on a strict schedule.

6am is feeding time, 9 pm is exercise,  1230am is feeding and light exersize, and 330am is all out everyone is up running around. Outside of these times its quiet with a few moving around quietly exploring.

The cage in my bedroom has a Niteangel wheel. Whice is expensive. But quiet.

The big cages all have the normal plastic wheels. This is because they are not perfectly round. Fancy mice dont run that fast so a night ange that is perfectly round l will be fine for in the room.

The deers can move very fast. So much so they will get enough speed to launch them selfs several feet across the cage with a perfectly round wheel. I would hear a "tonk  "tonk" after putting a Niteangel in the main tank and that was them hitting the glass side. Nope can't have you guys doing that.

In a bedroom tank a  Niteangel will help you sleep better with you just hearing the feet hitting it.

Now I have a few mesh items that are easy to clean that I reuse. But I mostly use boxes and sticks. They will make the boxes how they want making  additional holes in them. I also rearange things every 2 week throwing out most things and putting in new. They have 3" to 6" of bedding to explore and move around with the shreaded pieces easy for them to move and dig in.  This keeps enrichment high and avoids territorial habits with a group of mice hording treats in a plastic thing.

You can have those plastic things. Just move things around or swap out the plastic for a cardboard box every now and then. Your mice will be popcorning that first day exploring all the new stuff.

Food consumption is tricky. When you first clean the cage they will hide alot of the food. Once they are done doing this then they will only eat so much. I figure around 4 to 5 ounces per mouse per day is a healthy food amount. Your probally going to throw 2 of those out when you clean the tank.

I keep food in a 10 gallon tank. It lets me see the level and avoids any house mice getting to it.

I have a live trap for catching house mice and releasing them down the road as its unknown what they might have been exposed to.

When introducing new mice I do it like this.

This lets them smell eachother before hand avoiding a majority of chasing/butt pulling from one trying to smell the other who is running away. Your going to have a dominance battle to watch  when they are first exposed. But letting them get use to each other first will help things.

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