Looking for mouse diet information?

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Looking for mouse diet information?

Post by MooMouse on Mon 15 Aug 2016, 7:58 pm

Hello!
Researching mouse diets online is not very easy. Over the past week, I have found many articles about what your pet mouse should be eating, all with different recommendations. Since I have reached no conclusion from my research, I really appreciate it if some more experienced mouse owners out there could give me some information, since everything that I thought I knew about mouse diets turned out to be wrong.

Basically what I’m asking is “What should I feed my mouse on a daily basis?”

I understand that this question does not have a simple answer, but even providing me with information about what you feed your mice each day would help.

Here is a breakdown of what I typically feed my mouse currently:
-2 wild harvest (Walmart brand, I know these are low quality but I don’t know what other brand to buy) mouse lab blocks daily
-1-3 Plain cheerios daily
-One large pinch of dry oats daily
-Strawberries/watermelon/other fruit 2 times per week

It would be greatly appreciated if other mouse owners could let me know how to change my mouse’s diet so that he could be the healthiest possible. Smile

Thank you!
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Re: Looking for mouse diet information?

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Mon 15 Aug 2016, 8:40 pm

While lab blocks make a mouse feel full, they don't provide very much vitamins and usually aren't nutritionally complete, unless you buy a really high quality lab block. Most of us feed our mice bird food, with a few other things mixed in here and there ( Like lab blocks, fresh fruit and veggies, cheerios, millet, etc.). Tropical Carnival Parakeet food is suggested a lot by mouse owners, though, I myself use wild bird seed. Things you want to watch for in bird seed is peanuts and striped sunflower seeds, too much of those things is bad for your mouse. Hope that helps!

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Re: Looking for mouse diet information?

Post by Artistwolf on Mon 15 Aug 2016, 8:43 pm

Okay, so these are the base mixes we recommend:
•Sunseed Vita Parakeet food, or
•Healthy Select Parakeet food, or
•Brown's Tropical Carnival Hamster & Mouse food.
You're confused, aren't you? Wink
So you've probably noticed that none of these are mouse foods! But really general "mouse & rat" foods are terrible for mice. I really like the parakeet foods. The Brown's is okay but sometimes the food has mold or other issues. Although most of the time it's fine.
Also, lab blocks really aren't that great for mice. Mice need the mental stimulation of looking through a nice mix of seeds... It's actually proven to be more mentally stimulating for them.

Okay, what else? Hm, the fruit doesn't sound too bad... Oats is fine... Maybe you could try adding a protein such as mealworms (freeze-dried or live) or some high-quality dog kibble a couple times a week (or was it once a week? Sorry, I don't remember. It's hard when you don't have your own mice to practice it on!).

Anyway, hope that helped!

Edit: @AnonymousMouseOwner: Is it wise to feed wild bird food? Like, can you see the percent of crude protein and everything in that? I'd be a little worried about the quality of wild bird food, as it often seems kind of dusty and dirty to me. I wouldn't imagine it's as cleanly made as pet food.

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Re: Looking for mouse diet information?

Post by scaredymouse on Mon 15 Aug 2016, 9:07 pm

I agree with Artiswolfs suggestions but I would also suggest including fresh vegetables to the diet weekly. Mice really like kale, spinach, lettuce, brocolli and cucumbers. I also like to throw in a few extra things into their diet like flaxseeds, quinoa, brown rice, mealworms, coconut, nuts (walnuts/pecans/cashews), and pumpkin seeds. Mice also really like quinoa and pasta.

In addition to being boring to eat by mice, most lab blocks are too high in crude protein. For a base mix, I Vitakraft Vitasmart Parakeet food. The mice love it, there is nothing to pick out, it has the right amount of crude protein, and it's not too expensive.

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Re: Looking for mouse diet information?

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Mon 15 Aug 2016, 9:10 pm

@Artistwolf wrote:Okay, so these are the base mixes we recommend:
•Sunseed Vita Parakeet food, or
•Healthy Select Parakeet food, or
•Brown's Tropical Carnival Hamster & Mouse food.
You're confused, aren't you? Wink
So you've probably noticed that none of these are mouse foods! But really general "mouse & rat" foods are terrible for mice. I really like the parakeet foods. The Brown's is okay but sometimes the food has mold or other issues. Although most of the time it's fine.
Also, lab blocks really aren't that great for mice. Mice need the mental stimulation of looking through a nice mix of seeds... It's actually proven to be more mentally stimulating for them.

Okay, what else? Hm, the fruit doesn't sound too bad... Oats is fine... Maybe you could try adding a protein such as mealworms (freeze-dried or live) or some high-quality dog kibble a couple times a week (or was it once a week? Sorry, I don't remember. It's hard when you don't have your own mice to practice it on!).

Anyway, hope that helped!

Edit: @AnonymousMouseOwner: Is it wise to feed wild bird food? Like, can you see the percent of crude protein and everything in that? I'd be a little worried about the quality of wild bird food, as it often seems kind of dusty and dirty to me. I wouldn't imagine it's as cleanly made as pet food.
\
Oh yes, you can see the nutrition info!  My family has fed wild bird food to all our seed eating animals for years, and they have all been fine. My long lived dwarf hamster lived on it (She made it to 4 years!) and was healthy. It's basically the same thing as pet bird food but cheaper and doesn't have the junk in it like peanuts and such. We buy the really big bags to get the best deal because we have lots of animals, but the crude protein is usually like perfect, right within the recommended range for mice. Also, we always pick the one with the least sunflower seeds just so it's not too fatty. I'd just shop around, and make sure to check the nutrition facts on the bag you consider purchasing. That's just me though, if you are more comfortable with pet bird seed, I say use it if you can afford it.

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Re: Looking for mouse diet information?

Post by Artistwolf on Mon 15 Aug 2016, 9:27 pm

Ohhh okay well that's good then Smile I was just picturing the big bags you buy at like hardware stores and stuff Laughing

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Re: Looking for mouse diet information?

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Mon 15 Aug 2016, 9:44 pm

@Artistwolf wrote:Ohhh okay well that's good then Smile I was just picturing the big bags you buy at like hardware stores and stuff Laughing

Yeah, we've gotten those a couple times, but usually we get it from Walmart or the local grocery store, there's a bigger selection that way and sometimes it's cheaper too.  I do believe they are required to put the information on all bags though, right? At least that's what I've always thought. Confused  Believe it or not, if you actually pick up a few of those bags and look at the back, they have nutrition information and they generally have crude protein about 13 or 14 percent. My dad normally buys the bird seed and lets me take what I need for the mice, so I don't get to pick it out myself much, but he usually makes a good selection. That's why I use wild bird seed, It's free and available for me at all times, plus I've heard some bad things about parakeet food, like there being mold in the packages, or the fact that many have peanuts. I just feel more comfortable with wild bird seed because it's always worked out for me. But again, that's just me. Bouncy

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Re: Looking for mouse diet information?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Tue 16 Aug 2016, 9:16 am

Just a quick correction! The correct bag us Brown's Tropical Carnival Hamster and Gerbil food, not Hamster and Mouse. Avoid foods marketed for rats and mice. But honestly, I recommend against choosing Brown's. Their foods always look less natural than the other parakeet brands, and they've sold me more moldy bags than they have fresh bags. I like Sunseed Vita, but I've heard great things about Vitakraft.

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Re: Looking for mouse diet information?

Post by MooMouse on Tue 16 Aug 2016, 1:36 pm

Thanks for all of this great advice! I never thought that I would get such a great reply! I went to Walmart today to look at their pet bird seed and wild bird seed. All of the wild bird seeds they had were 50% sunflower seeds, and I just can't justify picking out that much of the mix. Vita parakeet is not available in-store where I live, so I'd have to order online. I'd rather be able to buy from a store so I can return it easily if it has an issue (it's also significantly more expensive that the option listed below). Here are some of the pet bird seed mixes had under 13% crude protein. I would be great if someone could give me a ranking of these mixes based on the ingredient list and guaranteed analysis:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Universal-Blend-Premium-Small-Birds-Seeds-3-Lb-Birds/10804873 - The ingredients of this one look very similar to the vita parakeet formula y'all recommended, however has corn close to the top of the list.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/8In1-Pet-Products-Super-Premium-Wild-Harvest-Parakeet-Food-4-Lb-Birds/10318460 - Ingredients are not as similar to vita parakeet, but contains no corn.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/8-in-1-Pet-Products-Bird-Food-Premium-Parakeet-Canary-Finch-Food-2-Lb-Birds/10318463 - Also has no corn, but ingredients differ a little bit

To access the guaranteed analysis, click the little blue "read more" button under the "About this Item" section.

These are the 3 small bird mixes that they had that contained the lowest amount of crude protein. The mixes for larger birds had a LOT of whole corn and sunflower seeds that I would have to remove. Again, thanks so much for the help and it would be awesome if you could take a look at these different types of food and let me know which one, or if any, are better to feed my mouse. Smile
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Re: Looking for mouse diet information?

Post by Artistwolf on Tue 16 Aug 2016, 4:25 pm

@CinnamonPearl wrote:Just a quick correction! The correct bag us Brown's Tropical Carnival Hamster and Gerbil food, not Hamster and Mouse.
Eep! Sorry, no idea why I wrote that. I wasn't even thinking hamster & mouse so I have no idea where that came from. Hamster and gerbil. Right.

Okay, I think we've confused you Laughing The correct amount of crude protein is 12.5 to 14%, I believe. You don't want to go any higher or lower than that range. That said, I've only looked at the first one on your list so I can't say for sure they're all bad. Anyway, do you particularly want a food you can buy at Walmart? Because in that case we can have a look there and see.

And btw—I don't know what you've hear about corn, but it really isn't much of a problem except that it doesn't really do anything nutritionally. It's not bad for them, but of course it's not really doing anything either.

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Re: Looking for mouse diet information?

Post by MooMouse on Tue 16 Aug 2016, 4:45 pm

Oh, I misunderstood that about crude protein. I thought that lower was better. My fault, sorry about that.

The second option that I listed has a crude protein amount of 12.5℅. I was skeptical about buying something that has a lot of corn in it because I read that corn can cause cancer and "red spots" (at least I think that is what they were called) in mice. Something from Walmart would be great, as they have pretty reasonable prices and I don't have to go far to get to one. But if Walmart does not have any healthy mixes, I would be willing to purchase from somewhere else (preferably not online, in case I have a problem with the food).

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Re: Looking for mouse diet information?

Post by River on Tue 16 Aug 2016, 4:58 pm

Corn is rumored to cause cancer so I pick them out. It's not too much trouble, even though there's quite a few in my mix.
I think the term you're looking for is hot spots? Not sure about that!
No Walmart near me carries any suitable mouse foods. Maybe that's just my luck? They do carry some good beddings though, so at least that's one thing down.
In my opinion, Browns Tropical Carnival Rat and Mouse food isn't all that bad. It's 14% protein, so on the higher end of okay for mice, but still fine. It's a little fatty though and more 'treat like' than anything so I probably won't be getting it again.

EDIT: Sunseed Vita dwarf hamster mix is also okay, or at least, it is from what I've heard.

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Re: Looking for mouse diet information?

Post by MooMouse on Tue 16 Aug 2016, 5:17 pm

Yes, hot spots, that is what I meant. Thanks for correcting me on that Smile

Another question: Are sunflower seeds to fatty for mice? Would I have to pick them out if I got a mix that had them?

Actually, I use organic soil for my mouse's bedding from Walmart. It helps eliminate a lot of the stench that comes with owning a male mouse. He loves digging around in it and even builds a collection of roots/wood pieces he finds on top of his igloo!

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Re: Looking for mouse diet information?

Post by Peachy on Tue 16 Aug 2016, 5:25 pm

Maybe you could compare and pick from the foods that are available in store at one of the larger stores like PetSmart or Petco. The three that were recommended earlier definitely aren't the only ones to choose from, and I'd bet many of them would be more suitable than anything from WalMart. Maybe check out a conure mix or something? I'd look at smaller pet stores, too.

Sunflower seeds should be picked out because many mice are allergic to them. I think that's what triggered one of my boys to start scratching at his ear. Poor guy. Sad

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Re: Looking for mouse diet information?

Post by MooMouse on Tue 16 Aug 2016, 6:03 pm

Ok good news! I took abeona's advice in checking my local pet stores, and the first one that I walked into had Sunseed Vita Parakeet sitting on a shelf! It was $7 for 2 pounds, which isn't too bad I suppose. Thanks again for all of your advice! I will be picking up mealworms from Walmart and definitely try adding some vegetables to my mouse's diet. The members of this fourm are so helpful, I will definitely post here often! Smile

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