What do mice eat? Proper nutrition of small rodents

Anyone who has ever had a visit from a house mouse in the pantry knows that mice are not necessarily choosy about their diet and eat everything imaginable. House mice’s tame cousins, however, need a slightly more balanced diet if they are to lead long, healthy pet lives.

What is this little mouse holding between its paws?  She seems to like it anyway - Shutterstock / Nature Art

What is this little mouse holding between its paws? She seems to like it anyway – Shutterstock / Nature Art

Commercially available ready-mixes for mice are not always the best food for small rodents. It often contains too much fat and many animals do not eat the so-called pellets. The following tips reveal how you can put together a healthy diet for the little ones instead.

Mice eat a lot, but not everything is healthy

Wild mice will feast on any available supplies because they have no other choice. After all, rodents have many enemies – cats see them as prey, just like foxes or birds of prey. In addition, very few people like to have a mouse in the house. After all, she not only likes to plunder the pantry, but also nibbles on clothes, builds a nest from the leftovers or uses them as a toilet.

With tame mice, on the other hand, you can pay attention to the diet so that they eat neither too much nor the wrong food. The rodents do not need sugar at all, food with salt should only be given very sparingly, if at all. In addition, attention must be paid to the fat content, otherwise there is a risk of obesity.

This is how mice feel comfortable: safe shelter made of natural wood for hiding - Shutterstock / Martina Osmy

01/10/2018 – 11:00 a.m

Setting up a mouse cage: species-appropriate keeping of rodents

Proper keeping of pet mice includes a beautiful mouse cage with several floors, on which…


Watch now

Finished food for mice: often too fatty

Unfortunately, ready-made mixtures for mice are often too fatty because the proportion of sunflower seeds and peanuts is too high. In addition, the ready-made feed often contains so-called pellets, colorful, pressed small sticks that nobody knows exactly what they contain and whether they are healthy for the rodents.

Therefore, when buying seed mixtures, first take a look at the list of ingredients on the packaging. The proportion of starchy grains such as millet, wheat, spelt, barley, buckwheat or grass seed should be at least 60 to 70 percent. Rice and cornflakes are also fine.

The proportion of fatty grains is best only between five and ten percent. These include pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp, flaxseed and sesame. The latter are particularly recommended due to their high content of unsaturated fatty acids. The rest of the feed mix should contain protein-rich food, for example pea flakes, oats or canary seed.

Guinea pigs are pure vegans and would much rather eat daisies than yogurt drops - Shutterstock / Gordana Sermek
  • Animal

  • nutrition tips

07/03/2016 – 11:59 am

Yoghurt Drops: Unhealthy Snacks for Small Animals?

If you look at the list of ingredients of some treats, such as yoghurt drops, that are commercially available for small animals…


Watch now

Diet: Green fodder and vegetables for mice

For a healthy diet, mice also need so-called juice feed. This means fresh, water-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruit, grass and herbs. Many mice particularly like to eat fruit, but it should only be given in very small quantities. A tiny bit two to three times a week is enough. The reason: fruit contains a lot of sugar, which rodents cannot digest well and which damages their teeth.

In nature, mice like to eat roots, tubers, grass and wild herbs. Root vegetables such as carrots, Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips and turnips are tasty for most of the cute animals and contain important nutrients for them.

Leafy greens are also well accepted and tolerated in small quantities. With lettuce, you should discard the stalk and outer leaves, as they can contain too many harmful substances. However, if your mouse gets diarrhea from it, it is better not to use it.

Other suitable vegetables are for example broccoli, kohlrabi, cauliflower or Chinese cabbage and cucumbers. Mice are also happy about fresh meadow green, such as grass or dandelions. However, do not pick too close to a busy road and preferably not in places where dogs often hang out. Otherwise the green may be contaminated with exhaust fumes or urine. You should also keep your hands off grasses and herbs with bird droppings, as it can make the rodents sick.

Wild mouse on the field

01/22/2013 – 08:24 am

Why doesn’t the mouse bite off a thread?

When someone says “The mouse won’t bite off a thread” it means one thing is immutable…


Watch now

Important for the mouse teeth: roughage and twigs

As with other rodents, mouse teeth grow back continuously. If they are not regularly worn down by eating, this can lead to misaligned teeth and serious injuries. Therefore, so-called roughage should definitely be on the menu.

Therefore, fresh, high-quality hay belongs in every mouse cage, but twigs are also ideal for nibbling. Non-toxic twigs come, for example, from apple and pear trees, from poplars and from hazelnut, blueberry and currant bushes.

In addition, the raw fibers and dietary fibers contained in this roughage are important for the mice’s digestion. Otherwise, the small mouse stomach does not have enough strength to move the food into the intestines on its own, so it needs the fibers and roughage to push the food into the digestive tract.

"So, I'll come out of the bunkhouse and have a look around my mouse enclosure" – Shutterstock / Shcherbakov Ilya

02/27/2018 – 5:50 p.m

Build a mouse cage yourself: Tips for the rodent paradise

If you want to build a mouse cage yourself, you have various options for your cute…


Watch now

Mouse food: Animal proteins should not be missing

Different to Rabbits Mice need animal proteins to stay healthy. In nature, mice prefer to eat insects and their larvae. For your pet, you can get mealworms, house crickets or crickets from pet shops, for example, which are given to the rodents alive. However, mealworms contain a lot of fat and therefore rarely belong on the menu.

Be sure to feed the insects out of your hand or use tweezers to give them to your mouse. Otherwise there is a risk that they will escape and survive in the cage.

Amazingly, certain types of dry food compatible for dogs and cats also for their prey. It goes without saying that there shouldn’t be any sugar in it. Besides, there shouldn’t be any taurine and contain as little salt as possible.

Small pieces of hard-boiled eggs are also good sources of protein, as are sugar-free, low-fat dairy products like cottage cheese and yogurt, and unsalted cottage cheese. Even if it’s a common cliché: Cheese rodents should not eat at all because of the high salt and fat content.

You might also be interested in these topics on Einfachtierisch.de:

“Bitch! Catch me!”: Nasty mouse annoys cat

Dormice are so cute!

Tiny baby mouse eats little flower

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button