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Post by EverythingAnimal on Sun 24 Jul 2016, 3:57 pm

I've been growing pumpkins and decorative gourds in my garden this year, and the first few fruits are ripening. I have little use for pumpkins this time of year, and don't need any more seeds to plant or cook, so I was wondering how to make the seeds mouse-safe. Can I just leave them raw and wash them, or should they be cooked? Is pumpkin mush any good as a treat? And, finally, could the seeds of the decorative gourds be used as treats? I do not know the exact species they are. Thanks!

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Post by River on Sun 24 Jul 2016, 4:06 pm

I think if you just wash the raw seeds, it'd be fine. However I've heard more of people roasting them to rid of bacteria, but I'm not too certain.

Not sure about the rest - sorry!

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Post by scaredymouse on Sun 24 Jul 2016, 5:38 pm

Yep, pumpkin is safe. Wash the seeds real well and get off all the goopy stuff. Then roast them. I roast the for a couple reasons. For one, mice like them better if they are crunchy. Second, roasting them helps them stay fresher longer by cooking off any fresh pumpkin slime on the seeds. I think the need to be roasted to kill any surface bacteria. Here's the thing, yes they could eat raw pumpkin seeds and so can we... but we would just have to take it out of the shell first and we can do this with our hands. Since mice use their teeth to rip into the shell any bacterial on the shell goes right in their mouth. So if you wanted to remove the shells for them, they could eat raw seeds. But if you want to give them the seeds in the shell (which is the fun part) than you need to roast them. You should roast them plain, no salt and no oil

You can feed them a little pumpkin mush f you want, some mice really like it. Don't give too much though, it has the potential to gie them diarrhea. In fact, my exotics vet has advised me in the past to give canned pumpkin to my critters when they are constipated.

As far as the decorative gourds go... I'm going to say no. I know that pesticides are used on these to make sure they look perfect and obviously they have that strange coating on them. Who knows how much of that makes it to the inside of the gourd. Better safe than sorry.

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Post by MesaMouse on Sun 24 Jul 2016, 6:04 pm

@scaredymouse wrote:Wash the seeds real well and get off all the goopy stuff.  Then roast them.  I roast the for a couple reasons.  For one, mice like them better if they are crunchy.  Second, roasting them helps them stay fresher longer by cooking off any fresh pumpkin slime on the seeds.

scaredy, are the only pumpkin seeds you give to your critters ones that you've prepared yourself? I would love to give Cordelia some pumpkin seeds (she always loved them in the Brown's Carnival mix) but would be hard-pressed to find pumpkins in Arizona at this time of year and all of the ones sold commercially are roasted but are ruined by being salted or flavored. If you feed commercially roasted seeds, where do you get them from?

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Post by EverythingAnimal on Sun 24 Jul 2016, 6:31 pm

Thanks for the info on the pumpkins, I will be sure to roast them plain. As for the gourds, I grew them myself without any pesticides or anything, and I bought the original gourds from my local flee market from a man who grows them like this as well. What is this "strange coating" you are referring to?

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Post by scaredymouse on Sun 24 Jul 2016, 10:13 pm

Mesa- I don't make my own seeds that often but I can definitely tell you where you can find them plain and in the shell!

I've been using this mix for years, some would argue that it's a lot of money for a few seeds but my girls like it and that's the important part to me. Here 's a link... and Petco has free shipping on any sized order, so if you wanted to, you could just order it by itself and use the code freeship and enjoy free shipping.

http://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/small-animal/browns-tropical-carnival-natural-select-seeds-treat

Since it's Brown's Tropical Treats... they are the exact same squash seeds. Cordelia is going to be so happy! Here's what it's got in it: sunflower, pumpkin, squash, cantaloupe and watermelon. I'll be honest, it's got a lot of striped sunflower seeds which are all garbage. BUT my girls go absolute bonkers for the cantaloupe seeds. I just bought a cantaloupe and since those have a lot of seeds and it's one of Gilly & Furgie favorites, I think I'll prepare those for them since they will most likely be leaving me soon.

Everything animal: If you are growing them yourself, they aren't getting any pesticides. Gourds at the store often have a thick layer of some kind of inedible (perhaps unsafe) waxy coating on them to make them shiny and help preserve then. I somehow missed the part where you said you grew them. I don't know of anything in the squash family that isn't safe for mice, so if it's safe for you to eat, I would think it would be safe for the mice. That said, without knowing what kind it is- I can't say for sure.


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Lady mice: Maggie, Claire, and Penny (aka Sweet P)
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Other pets: Little Buddy, Kevin (cats) Sherberta, Dustin, Lidiya, Chip, Squiggy, Nina, Harold, Spike, Mia, Mim, Henrietta(hamsters), Chloe and Zoey (chinchillas), Herman/Figaro Whooopers/Burlington (guinea pigs)
Rainbow Angel  Penny, Honeybun, Lucy, Annie, Gilly, Furgie, Tedward Wigglesworth, Olivia, Goose, Sweet Katie, Binky, Delilah, Bitsy, Boopers, Sprout, Splotchy, Eva, Slappy, Shuggie, Fancy Pants, Jellybean, Charlie, Murray, Sally, Maya, Gunther, Lil Smokey, Magnus, Norman, Winnie, Sally, George, Harriet, Spec, Erzulie, Lucille, Agatha and Clementine.
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Post by EverythingAnimal on Sun 24 Jul 2016, 10:42 pm

Darn, I should have given more attention to the sign at the flea market! I've been doing some research on the gourd, and the closest thing I've found like it is a crown of thorns gourd, but it doesn't look exactly the same. I saw a lot about people roasting the seeds of various ornamental gourds, so I'll try them with the mice and see how they like them. I'll probably try a few of them for myself, first. I can be the guinea pig to see if they are any good (or poisonous)! Laughing

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Post by CallaLily on Mon 25 Jul 2016, 9:19 am

I'm pretty sure most gourds are not toxic. I think some may be very bitter though, so they're usually not eaten.  Seeds are probably fine.

I always toast pumpkin seeds in the oven on a low heat for the mice. They really enjoy them and they keep better.  I think it was around last Thanksgiving that I made mini mouse (and hermit crab) safe pumpkin pies. They really loved it, though it was definitely just a special treat. Not something I'd give regularly.
Pumpkins Tempor13

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 oz coconut milk
1 tbsp molasses
1 small egg

Whip together pumpkin, coconut milk, and molasses.  Add gently beaten egg, mix until just combined.  Pour over prepared pie crust and bake at 375 F for around 20 minutes.

For crust: grind up dried mealworms, flax seed, and walnut.  Mix in a small amount of coconut oil and press into lined muffin tin.

I think this made me 3 little pies using a large muffin tin.

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Post by CAPSLOCK on Mon 25 Jul 2016, 9:25 am

Can you feed that ^ to your unsuspecting friends?

I'm thinking the mealworm crust sounds particularly intriguing.

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Post by CallaLily on Mon 25 Jul 2016, 9:29 am

I'm sure you could. Wouldn't hurt them but I'm not sure they'd be too happy with you. Laughing

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Post by MesaMouse on Mon 25 Jul 2016, 12:01 pm

@scaredymouse wrote:Mesa- I don't make my own seeds that often but I can definitely tell you where you can find them plain and in the shell!

I've been using this mix for years, some would argue that it's a lot of money for a few seeds but my girls like it and that's the important part to me.  Here 's a link... and Petco has free shipping on any sized order, so if you wanted to, you could just order it by itself and use the code freeship and enjoy free shipping.

http://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/small-animal/browns-tropical-carnival-natural-select-seeds-treat

Since it's Brown's Tropical Treats... they are the exact same squash seeds.  Cordelia is going to be so happy!  Here's what it's got in it:  sunflower, pumpkin, squash, cantaloupe and watermelon.  I'll be honest, it's got a lot of striped sunflower seeds which are all garbage.  BUT my girls go absolute bonkers for the cantaloupe seeds.  I just bought a cantaloupe and since those have a lot of seeds and it's one of Gilly & Furgie favorites, I think I'll prepare those for them since they will most likely be leaving me soon.

Thanks for the tip, scaredy! Just placed an order this morning for the seed mix, a small bag of Clean and Cozy and a bag of Nutro Mixed Berry Crunchy Treats for the BooDog (Cordelia loves these little grain-free triangles, too). The online prices were discounted and the free shipping was the clincher! I'm not much of an online shopper, other than eBay, mainly due to the high shipping costs on most sites but show me free shipping and I'm more than willing to browse. In fact, I bought a Drive 4-Wheel Rollator on Amazon last Thursday for about 1/3 its usual retail price: after using my $25 Amazon gift card and signing up for a free 30-day Prime trial which included -- you guessed it -- free 2-day shipping, I ended up paying $47 for an item that sells for $130-$140 before taxes! And it arrived in less than 48 hours so I've been a bit more mobile than usual these past two days.

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