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Old 02-07-2021, 08:43 AM   #1
WildMouse
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Default Wild mouse care

Hi everyone! This is my first post here

I'm sorry this isn't hamster related but this forum seems very friendly and knowledgeable and I'm having a hard time finding a good mouse forum. (Also sorry for the huge post)

I volunteer at a wildlife rescue and they got 4 tiny baby mice in in November after their nest was disturbed. 1 died but the rest are all healthy now. I think they are house mice but they might be field mice. They cannot be released and are currently being kept in an aquarium (probably 10-15 gallons or so). I have offered to take them home to care for them long term. Partly because I'd like to give them a bit more space and partly because it's just a small rescue charity and the people currently looking after them are super busy. I've wanted to keep fancy mice for years now so I do know a bit about mouse care but I wanted to run some things by you guys before I bring them home.

I have a couple of 90 litre bins and one that's about 30 litres (I'll check when I get them out of storage). They were modified for gerbils so have a couple of windows cut out the sides and replaced with square mesh. The mesh squares are 5mm I think. Is this small enough for house mice? The bins are connected with plastic hamster tubes and used to be connected to a large Pets at Home hamster cage but I'm assuming the bar spacing on that would be too wide for house mice? Ideally I'd like to house them in an Ikea detolf but I don't have a wide enough space for that at the moment. Long term I'd like to modify a rabbit hutch (roughly 40x40x100cm) and connect that to the bins so they have plenty of space to run but for now I'll just have to have lots of time with them outside of their cage.

The 2 90 litre bins are taller rather than wide and at the moment I'm planning to fill one with bedding and lots of houses and tunnels, etc so they have a really fun burrowing area. I'm planning to fill the other with boxes, bridges and branches to make a climbing area, with a thick layer of bedding at the bottom just in case they fall. We have some apple and silver birch trees and I use their branches for my bunny. Would these branches be fine for mice? The 30 litre bin will have the water bottle and wheels.

One of the problems I'm having is figuring out what kind of bedding is best. When I kept gerbils I mixed hay, wood shavings, newspaper and a little Carefresh which made a brilliant substrate for burrowing and nesting. However woodshavings don't seem to be suitable for mice and, at 20 a bag, Carefresh isn't exactly economical. At the moment they are just being kept on a couple of sheets of newspaper.

Finally, what kind of treats would you recommend for mice? I used to feed my gerbils cereal, seeds, nuts, cat biscuits and occasionally dried fruit and vegetables. This morning I bought a small bag of Burgess Hamster, Gerbil and Mouse food but if you have any recommendations for a better food then I'll swap.

Basically I'm just looking for someone to check that my current plan is ok for housing 3 wild mice and looking for suggestions for bedding and food. I am hoping they are all female, if not then that might be a problem in future.

Thanks so much for reading all this and for any replies!
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Old 02-07-2021, 02:49 PM   #2
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Wild mouse care

I don't know much about mice at all. I do follow the rodent nurse on facebook/Instagram and I know she rehabilitates wildlife and I think she has some that she keeps if they can't be released back in the wild incl mice. She might be able to help, or point you in the right direction. If you do contact her, tell her Cosmic Hamsters sent you (she knows who I am )
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Old 02-08-2021, 07:14 AM   #3
WildMouse
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Default Re: Wild mouse care

Thanks so much, I'll message her on Insta
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Old 02-08-2021, 09:36 AM   #4
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Wild mouse care

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildMouse View Post
Thanks so much, I'll message her on Insta
I will send you a private message.
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Old 02-08-2021, 09:46 AM   #5
sushi_78
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Default Re: Wild mouse care

6mm mesh is used for rodent proofing so it should be fine for adult house mice. I think the standard 1cm spacing of most hamster cages might be too big though, especially since it's bars rather than mesh which means they can flatten themselves to get through.

Apple and silver birch branches are fine for rodents.

I'm not sure about which beddings are best for mice in terms of smell as I haven't kept them. For my hamster and gerbils, I use Fitch which is similar to Carefresh but cheaper.
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Old 02-08-2021, 01:39 PM   #6
Maker
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Default Re: Wild mouse care

I used to keep mice when I was very young and they would get out all the time - drove my dad crazy (he was scared I think) if a pencil could fit so could they
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Old 02-09-2021, 03:59 AM   #7
WildMouse
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Default Re: Wild mouse care

Quote:
Originally Posted by sushi_78 View Post
6mm mesh is used for rodent proofing so it should be fine for adult house mice. I think the standard 1cm spacing of most hamster cages might be too big though, especially since it's bars rather than mesh which means they can flatten themselves to get through.

Apple and silver birch branches are fine for rodents.

I'm not sure about which beddings are best for mice in terms of smell as I haven't kept them. For my hamster and gerbils, I use Fitch which is similar to Carefresh but cheaper.
Brilliant thank you. If I were to give them access to 1cm bar spacing (not for the external cage walls of course) would it be dangerous if they tried to squeeze through?

I'll look out for Fitch
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Old 02-09-2021, 04:02 AM   #8
WildMouse
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Default Re: Wild mouse care

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maker View Post
I used to keep mice when I was very young and they would get out all the time - drove my dad crazy (he was scared I think) if a pencil could fit so could they
Yeah, I'm concerned about bar spacing. Especially since these wild mice are much smaller than fancy mice. At the moment I'm actually considering building a play pen style enclosure from correx and putting a couple of cages inside- a deep bin for burrowing in and a barred cage to attach a water bottle, wheels and toys to. However, at least initially, they'll have to live in the bin cages.


Edit: BTW it turns out the 30 litre bin I mentioned in my first post is actually 54 litres
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