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Exotic pets, rodents and birds

Pygmy Mice!

The smallest of all commonly kept rodentia is the Pygmy Mouse, or more commonly known as Mus minutoides. They are from Southern Africa, and obtain a size of about 2.5-12 grams. They are able to be kept in a small colony, but care must be taken that adult males do not fight, or have been introduced from an earlier age.

The other issue is diet and water. The little pygmies are so small that often times they are not strong or tall enough to use a typical ball bearing type water bottle - their tongues aren't strong enough to push back the ball bearing. Also, they prefer eating small seeds. A finch or parakeet mix is a great diet for them, add in a few alfalfa pellets and a VERY small amount of fresh fruit or veggies and they'll be quite happy.

These little guys feel much more comfortable if they have a secure place to hide. A ten gallon tank should be suitable for a very small group, as long as you have quite a few branches to climb and places to hide on the bottom, giving the tank much more vertical, usable space. Toilet paper tubes, plastic tubes, rodent hide-aways, and boxes all make great secure nests, and with the addition of dried grass hay, tissue, paper and leaves, they can make a secure nest and den for themselves.

They do tend to like it a bit warmer, remember they are from Africa! 78-82 Fahrenheit is best.

They come into sexual maturity at about 8 weeks of age, and can reproduce every 3 weeks. In a short time, a pair can turn into a couple of thousand! It's best to sex them as soon as you can (at about 6 weeks) and separate them via gender.

Below are some links for more information and some photos. The photos you will see will be primarily the golden agouti coloured African mouse. There is apparently a silver agouti coloured Southern US mouse, but I cannot locate any photos of them.

Helen's Little Critters
Animals Exotique
PawPrint Online
Doc's Rodent Nest
First Experiences with an African Pygmy mouse
The Ratkateers

Things you will need for their tank!

* climbing apparatus

* hanging water bottle

* heating system

* thermometer

* nestbox: you can fill it with cotton batting, shavings, shredded paper (make sure it's soy based ink or no ink), but please stay away from cedar bedding.

* toys: toilet paper rolls, coconut shells, securely placed rocks for ledges, PVC tubes, terra cotta planters, small bird nest boxes, rodent tubes.

* chew sticks or pieces of rodent diet for their teeth maintenance

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