You will find basic seed mixes sold at the supermarket or a pet shop. Many people simply give this mix, and it is sufficient to keep a mouse happy. However, I like to add a few things to make the mix more interesting, and a little healthier and more balanced.
These should form the base of your mix:
- Wild bird seeds
- French millet/budgie seeds
- Guinea pig seed/pellet/lucerne mix
- Uncooked, plain rolled oats
- Dog kibbles (less than 20% protein if possible – I use the ‘Senior’ type)
These are good to add in smaller quantities or for variation:
- Uncooked pasta
- Uncooked brown rice
- Rice/wheat/corn puffs (from the health food section – no sugar or preservatives)
- Cooked and dried chickpea snacks
- Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
A complete balanced diet – it’s what they’re fed in research labs, which is why they’re called lab blocks! Many people swear by them, as it means the mice can’t pick and choose what they want out of their mix. They are also a bit boring. If you want to use lab blocks, your mice will especially enjoy some variation in their treats and fresh food, as outlined below. There are various brands of lab blocks out there, some good brands to try if you can find them in your area are McManus Cummins, Laucke Mills, or Norco.
Fresh fruits and veggies
Some mice love fresh fruits and veggies – others don’t. Experiment by giving them little slices of carrot, broccoli, cucumber, celery, sweet potato – be creative. Avoid iceberg lettuce as it tends to give mice diarrhoea. Fruits should be given in moderation as they are high in sugar, but I’ve found that apple, grapes, pear and melon are quite popular.
Good quality baby food (check the ingredients to make sure there’s no colours, preservatives, salt or sugar added – I like the organic ones) is also an excellent treat and I’ve found that even with mice that don’t like fresh veggies, they’ll all dig in to some baby food. The best flavours, in my opinion, are the plain veggie ones, or the meat and veggie dinners. Plain egg custard is also a popular one for a treat. A good way to get your mouse to like you is to put a bit on the end of your finger and let him lick it off. Prepare to be nibbled, though!
Mice have a pretty similar dietary requirement as humans – they can eat most of what we can. Crusts from your toast in the morning, mushy Weetbix leavings, scraps of scrambled eggs or omelette, leftover rice or pasta – they’ll eat it all and love it. Remember to clean out any uneaten food before it goes bad though!