All About Pygmy Mice
African Pygmy Mice are one of the more interesting pets you can keep. But do not try to keep them in any plastic containers or they will chew their way out. The best way to keep them is in an aquarium with a secure top. And know that pygmy mice can jump straight up as high as 18 inches and catching an escaped pygmy mouse can be next to impossible. And they can get out through very small holes that you would never believe they could get through.
Provide them with paper towel or toilet paper tubes to play in and hide in. I use shredded newspapers that we shred with a commercial shredder as bedding for my pygmy mice and that works out great. If you place it to deep you won't be able to see your mice but they do love digging and burrowing in the shredded newspaper.
I have found that it is best to water the pygmy mice with a shallow heavy glass water bowl and I put pebbles in the water dish so the mice can climb out if they do happen to fall in. I set my water bowl on a block of applewood that the pygmy mice like to chew on. Just be sure your apple wood blocks are not treated. The apple wood blocks helps keep their teeth healthy.
Be sure that you don't ever use cedar shavings with your pygmy mice as the oils in cedar shavings can be harmful to pygmy mice and other small mammals.
The best food I have found for them is the wild bird seed mix sold to be fed to wild birds. To this I add a bag of dry kitten food and mix it up well. This food seems to work very well for my pygmy mice and they seem to thrive on it. Every once in a while I give them a treat of a small piee of fruit or dried fruit but never does their treats make up over 10 percent of their diet.
Never try to keep a single African Pygmy Mouse by its self as they are very social animals and you need to keep two or more African Pygmy Mice together. Please know that these mice drink an enormous amount of water for their size. And their water must be kept clean. Provide them with extra calcium and minerals by sprinkling powdered milk on their feed. If you don't the mice may turn cannibalistic and start nipping each others tails and ears. I also give them a bit of wet cat food about once a week. This is the canned cat food and they really enjoy it and it helps to keep them healthy.
African Pygmy Mouse Mother and babies
Pygmy Mice reach breeding age at about 6-8 weeks of age and the female carries her young for 20 days. Usually they have a litter of 3 or more hairless sightless mice. Their eyes open after about 2 weeks and they are weaned after 4 weeks. The life span of the pygmy mouse is supposed to be around 2 years but in captivity it is not unheard of them for them to live 4 years.
In its native habitat the African Pygmy Mice have several unique traits. For one thing they stack pebbles in front of their burrows and at night and in the morning they lick the dew from the pebbles that accumulate during the night. After that it returns back to its den.
Your pygmy mice must have fresh water all the time and I use bottled water and not the city water with chlorine in it to water my mice. I do the same thing with almost all of my mammals and reptiles. The city water with the chlorine in it might not hurt them but I don't take the chance.
When I change my mouse cages I do it in the bathtub. This way if they get out I can catch them back easily. I bet you didn't know that it takes 8 pygmy mice to make one ounce. You want to be sure to keep your pygmy mice warm and out of drafts.