The key to a healthy life for a pet mouse is species-appropriate nutrition. Even though the small rodents eat almost everything (and are certainly not vegetarians), caution is advised. An incorrect or imbalanced diet damages the health of the animals and further reduces their naturally short life expectancy.
Water, Water, Water
Water must always be available and replenished to keep it fresh. Foods rich in water (melons, cucumber) are not enough on their own.
- Herbs, flowers, and leaves: basil, dill, echinacea, daisy, chamomile, dandelion, mallow, red clover, sorrel, ribwort, dead-nettle, white clover, rough hawksbeard, chickweed, cornflower blossoms, yarrow.
- Cereals: amaranth, buckwheat, barley, oats (in grains or flakes), various types of millet such as Chinese/German/Hungarian/Italian millet, rye, wheat (in grains or flakes).
- Fruit: apples (without seeds), bananas, pears, rose hips, raisins, blackberries, strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries, watermelon, kiwis, grapes (without seeds), persimmons cherries, mirabelles.
- Vegetables: broccoli, leaf spinach, chicory, iceberg lettuce, endive, lamb's lettuce, lettuce, fennel tubers, cucumbers, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes, beetroot, parsnips, pumpkin, corn, chard, radishes, courgettes.
- Branches: maple, apple tree, birch, ash, lime, shrubs (hazelnut, currant, blueberry).
- Animal protein: mealworms, crickets, freshwater shrimps, grasshoppers, fish, zophobas, eggs, dairy products (low-fat curd cheese or yoghurt).
- Some components such as corn are healthy but can cause constipation and should not be given too often.
- Regular pumpkin is fine, but never give decorative pumpkin.
- Shepherd's purse must not be given to pregnant pet mice, because it can induce labour.
- Apple seeds contain prussic acid and must be removed.
- If you want to feed your pet mice something you’ve collected from nature, make sure the food is unsprayed and does not come from fields where dogs live or exercise.
Do it yourself: Millet biscuits
Bake your own little treats for your pet mice! Use the following recipe as inspiration.
- 5 tablespoons parakeet food
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons wholemeal flour
- Put the egg in a mixing bowl, mix in the parakeet food until everything is combined, then add some flour until the mixture forms a dough.
- Moisten your hands with cold water and form the biscuits from the dough. These can be balls, small mounds or snack sticks - use your imagination!
- Depending on the size/thickness of the biscuits, bake for 40-90 minutes at 100-150 °C (fan oven).
Stored in a biscuit tin, the millet biscuits will keep for about 6 months.
Many thanks to Anna Jekamczyk for the lovley recipe!