Feeding your mice
Mice are ‘opportunistic omnivores’. This means they eat plants, seeds and grains but will also eat insects when they get the chance!
Top tip: making a sudden change to you mouse’s diet can give them an upset stomach. Instead, gradually introduce new food day-by-day.
The ideal mouse diet will include:
- A commercial mouse food. Mice love variety so are often happier with a museli-style diet.
- You can buy mouse food at pet shops.
- Small amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables. There’s a list below of fruit and veg that’s safe for mice to eat.
- Healthy treats such as boiled or scrambled egg, mealworms, lean meat, beans, peas, chickpeas and other pulses.
Make feeding fun
In the wild, you mice would spend most of their time searching for food. You can recreate this natural behaviour for your pet mice. It’ll make dinner time more interesting for your pets and will stop them from getting bored.
Scatter their daily amount of pellets around their cage instead of feeding them from their bowl. Your mice will have to sniff out their meal. This is a really useful trick if you have one mouse that’s over-protective of the food bowl and won’t let your other mice have their fair share of the food.
Hide treats like hay and veg inside paper bags or cardboard tubes and boxes. You mice will love to shred the cardboard to get to their food!
Safe fruit, veg and herbs for your mice
These fruit, vegetables and herbs are all safe for your mice to eat. You should feed them a small amount each day.
- Sweet peppers
- Apple (make sure you remove the seeds first)
- Dried banana
- Red grapes
Don’t feed your mice citrus fruits like oranges, lemons or grapefruit.
Things to chew and gnaw
Mice love to shred, chew and gnaw on things. It’s a natural behaviour that helps keep their teeth healthy and stops you mice getting bored.
Mice love to shred and chew things like:
- Coconut shells
- Hay cubes
- Unbleached loofah
- Pumice stone
They can gnaw on untreated softwood. Before you give them any softwood branches to chew, bake them on a low heat for an hour and give them a good wash to make sure they’re safe for your chinchilla. Good woods to use are:
- Elm & Red Elm
- Grape & Grapevine
- Willow (goat, weeping, or pussy willow)
Why are my mice eating their poo?
We might not find it very appetising but it’s actually really important for your mice to eat their own poo. It helps keep their gut healthy.
Like some other small animals, mice are ‘caecotrophic’. This means they produce two types of poo. The first is a softer pellet - or ‘caecotroph’ - and this is the kind they eat because it’s still full of nutrients which they haven’t properly digested yet. The second is a harder, drier poo which can be cleaned up and thrown away.