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Feeding your African Pygmy Dormice

Updated on September 27, 2011
African Pygmy Dormouse with fruit
African Pygmy Dormouse with fruit | Source

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!


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    • michelemacwrites profile image

      Michele McCallister 6 years ago from USA

      Never heard of the dormice. Indeed cute little fellow. Informational and interesting hub. Keep hubbing !!!!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 6 years ago from United States

      Good information and very well written. What every dormice owner should know! Vote up.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      Cute little guy that dormouse. When you talked about it pouncing on the cricket with arms outstretched (I can still picture it in my mind) it made me smile. This sounds like a lot of detailed information that would be good for someone to have in order to know what is a good diet for their little friend. Can't help but love them animals.