Post by greydawnbreaking on Oct 10, 2013 1:29:22 GMT 10
So there seems to be general agreement on the standard ingredients of a dry mouse mix (whole grains, birdseed, etc) but I'm curious what fresh vegetables people have had luck with. I want to start giving all the cages a titbit of something fresh regularly, and I don't want them to get bored with always getting the same old thing. But my budget isn't roomy enough for endless experimentation, either.
I've found that anielka's suggestion of bok choy is a great one, and they eat all the green parts with enthusiasm. Tonight I tried out a mini lebanese cucumber, which chopped into five pieces was the perfect size for five cages, and also seemed to be a success. Other stuff I've seen in the market and thought might be worth a try: sprouts, kale, carrot, asparagus, spinach, chinese broccoli, snow peas, green beans, parsnip, fresh peas, radicchio, and corn on the cob. In general, do mice tend to go for the bitter, strong-tasting veggies or for milder or sweeter ones? What about peeling or shucking?
Any other suggestions? What have people had luck with? Anything I should absolutely avoid, other than the obvious onion/tomato/citrus?
One of the best, simple treats for mice is wild grasses. Pick a small bunch when they have seed heads, and pop them into the enclosure. The mice go nuts for the seeds, and eat the green leaves and stalks as well. They then use any leftover bits to add to their nests.
Mealworms and crickets and caterpillars, especially herb-fed caterpillars! I don't think mice like sage but if they get a caterpillar that has eaten sage they turn into ravenous predators. A stimulating environment helps promote health in intelligent small mammals and hunting insects surely allows our mice to exercise one of their latent, natural skills? (I respect the fact that some of you may be vegetarians yourselves and not wish to encourage carnivorous behaviours in your mice.) I once cared for a rat that loved live snails more than anything. I have never tried mice with snails or slugs.....possibly because....I don't know....I just can't imagine they would like them.... but perhaps that's me imposing my human standards on mice?
Curiously mice seem to love brassicas (kale in particular) which are very bitter and, I would have thought, fairly indigestible when raw. Rocket, parsley and coriander are a favourite and parsley helps control the smell in male cages. Different grass seed heads are eaten differently - at the moment ours are munching the fat, green flower-stems of Sir Walter lawn gone to seed.
And I've tried sprouting beans and seeds for them before. mainly I think they like the thrill of the chase and digging . They also seem to love activated nuts - nuts such as natural almonds which have been soaked for 24 - 48 hours (try them yourself. Delicious! completely different from a dry nut). Fresh pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds that you have grown yourself served in the flower head are a favourite. Capsicum seeds are always a hit and occasional bits of fresh coconut from the shell (and the half-shells make perfect nest-boxes). Mice adore fresh avocado. Not too much of any of these oily foods or nuts or seeds, of course, (supposed not to be good to have too high a proportion of nuts or oil-rich seeds in the diet)
And last but not least - grass roots. If you pull up grass with fresh moist soil and the root system attached, mice seem very keen to nibble.
Never tried radish but will run the experiment. I tried a wide variety of fruits early this year. It's official. All my mice hate nearly all fruits. They will nibble banana sometimes.
Fresh corn-on-the-cob is excellent.
And that seems to be a key-word. Fresh. REALLY fresh. Our mice see to disdain anything that has been in their cage for more than a few hours.
And finally think it was someone else here who suggested Bok Choi to me - I have worked out that you could grow bok choiin moist soil or sand and give your mice the Gift That Keeps on Giving.
Post by rambobright on Dec 2, 2013 17:10:37 GMT 10
My guys love getting some fresh herbs from my garden. I grow chives, oregano, thyme, lemon thyme and rosemary, and they love it! I also have am alpine strawberry bush which produces small strawberries, which are a great size for mice
"You are a bag of meat sitting on a rock in outer space, and someday you will die, and you are completely powerless, helpless, and insignificant in the wake of this beautiful cosmic s**tstorm we call existence." - Matthew Inman
So far Blaci seems to love peas, cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, corn, beans and apple skin. I'll definitely try some of the suggestions on here, especially the veges with good water content now that it's starting to get hot.