- Pets and Animals
Feeding your African Pygmy Dormice
It is sad to see a lot of websites stating your African Pygmy Dormice can be kept on just a mouse or gerbil mix. This is tantamount to neglect, and just because an animal can survive on this diet, does not mean it will thrive.
Another thing to remember is that the care of animals is changing all the time, especially with the newer species to the pet trade. It is always worth talking to other keepers and seeing what they feed.
A vital part of their diet, often ignored, is nectar! This is very cheap and easy way to supply this for a private keeper and that is maple syrup - poured in a shallow dish, over their fresh fruit, or even smeared on branches. It doesn't have to be daily, but is a vital part of keeping your dormice healthy. Other options include acacia honey and red nectar.
Fresh fruit is another aspect, every few days is fine - items like papaya, blueberries and melon seem to be particular favourites. Citrus fruits should be avoided.
A seed mix is good also, I add fennel seed to keep urine smells down and items like hemp, millets, and safflower seem the most popular. I mix my own using various finch/bird mixes and a fruity parrot mix that includes larger seeds and sunflowers.
Bogena universal is a good insectivore mix, and you can also supply live or dried mealworms and crickets. Although I was initially squeamish of this, nothing compares to seeing your dormouse pouncing on a live cricket with both paws outstretched. They are awesome hunters.
If you are breeding, eggfood is a good source of protein to supply although the males do also love this. Scrambled egg and boiled chicken also make good sources of protein.
Although they don't drink much, water should be constantly available. This can be bottle or bowl, although you must check to see what your dormice are used to and if unsure supply both until you know.
Although this diet may initially seem quite complicated, they don't actually eat a great deal for their size, and with practice it will only take a few minutes a night, or less if you are giving them pieces of fruit or a night of some crickets to hunt!