Mice – food and water
Nutritional information for mice.
Mice must have access to adequate and appropriate water for their age, stage of production and weather conditions.
A clean, adequate supply of water must be available at all times for mice. Mice will contaminate their water if it is provided in a dish or trough so it is recommended to supply water for mice in adequately sized bottle feeders that can provide for the number of mice in the cage. An adult mouse needs approximately 4-7 ml of water daily and lactating females require at least 14mls of water. Mice will also have an increased water requirement of 14mls per animal in hot weather. Water bottles must be cleaned and water changed weekly.
Mice must have access to adequate and appropriate feed for their age, stage of production and weather conditions.
Regular assessment should be made of the needs of the mice in relation to the quantity and quality of feed. This can be done by weighing mice and performing visual assessment of their condition.
Mice are omnivores, eating a large variety of both plant and animal material if offered or available. Mice are intelligent animals and so providing a variety of different foods can help to enrich their environment and reduce the risk or boredom.
Commercially prepared mice pellets or cubes are always recommended as the base diet as they ensure that mice are receiving all of their basic dietary requirements. Manufacturers’ recommendations will provide appropriate quantities.
However as mice enjoy variety in their food, the diet can be supplemented with fresh fruit and vegetables or suitable seeds in small amounts. Mice like their food very fresh, so to avoid wastage always buy fresh food in small amounts at a time. Ensure that fruit, vegetables, seeds and other supplementary feeds are appropriate and safe for mice to eat before feeding. If in doubt, always seek veterinary advice.
Cereals, seeds, grains, biscuits, sweet food, bread, pasta and rice should only be fed as treats in very small amounts. Avoid feeding mice grain and seed mixes, as these are very high in sugars and fats and can lead to mice becoming overweight and obese. Mice will usually pick their favourite seeds out of these mixes, avoiding the more nutritious elements of them. Mice weight needs to be monitored carefully as obesity is a common issue among rodents due to their scavenging nature.
Lactating females need to be provided with at least four times as much food and water, as they normally require.
Clean fresh water must be provided along with food and any changes to the diet must be made gradually to avoid gastrointestinal upsets.
Mice teeth grow continuously and so they should always be provided with hard-shelled nuts or other gnawing material such as blocks of untreated timber to prevent tooth overgrowth.