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How to care for mice

Feeding

  • Mice do well on pelleted food as their staple diet. It is also good for their teeth.
  • Give them seeds and some raw vegetables, such as carrots, swedes, and apples, as treats. However, if the mice are not used to these foods, they may develop a mild diarrhoea that doesn't usually last long.
  • Store their dry food in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Buy only three months' supply at a time to ensure good nutritional value.
  • Change their drinking water daily.

Handling

  • You can lift a mouse by grasping the base of its tail and, at the same time, supporting its body with your hand.
  • Daily handling helps to keep mice tame and provides an opportunity to check on their health. Handle mice gently. If they are frightened or hurt, they may bite.
  • Always supervise children and students when they are handling mice.
  • Wash your hands after handling mice.

Health

  • Do a health check each day. Look for normal activity – are the mice eating and grooming themselves? Check that their fur looks normal and that they have no scabs or bald spots. Check that their eyes, ears, and noses are clear of any discharges and their faeces are normal. Know what is usual for your mice.
  • Changes in temperature and an increase in the level of ammonia because of poor hygiene in the cage may cause mice to develop respiratory diseases.
  • Gastrointestinal problems can be caused by unclean food containers, contaminated food, or eating unfamiliar foods.
  • Mice may be affected by viral, bacterial, and parasitic conditions. If you find any signs of illness, or if you have questions, consult a veterinarian.

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