The African Miniature Mouse (Mus minutoides) is one of the smallest mammals and that makes them very cute! They are no larger than 3 to 6 cm. They are real sight animals. They are too small and too fast to be picked up and cuddled. The Little Mice are active at dusk and at night.
Body weight: 4 to 10 g
Mice are generally active and curious animals. They are social animals that should be kept together. Thanks to the long tail, they are also good climbers and can keep their balance well. This also helps them to walk well on the hand and because they see depth, they also stay on the hand.
The African pygmy mouse comes, as the name suggests, from Africa where they live on the side of the Sahara. In captivity they live an average of 2 years.
Tame and familiarize yourself with the African Miniature Mouse
Always read carefully before you decide to take African Dwarf Mice. They are twilight and night active animals, so they are not often seen during the day. This makes them less suitable as pets for children. In addition, African Dwarf Mice are very small and not easy to handle, making them more viewing animals. In the evenings you look, your eyes out!
In order to be able to observe the animals well in the nighttime hours, a moonlight lamp can be used with blue light.
Housing of the African Miniature Mouse
African Miniature Mice are social animals that should be kept together. In the wild they live in colonies with often one dominant male. It is best to put together a group of women or men at a young age.
A wire cage is not suitable for African Miniature Mice. This is due to their small size. There isn't a single wire cage they can't squeeze through. A terrarium is therefore the best housing for an African Miniature Mouse.
African pygmy mice need a spacious enclosure of at least 75 x 40 x 40 cm ( LICG ) for two animals. For each additional animal, 20% extra ground surface must be calculated. A good stay gives the animals the opportunity to display their natural behaviour. Mice are very active in the wild, they want to keep doing that in captivity, they don't want to be bored. The Mouse needs an extensive stay with lots of play and climbing opportunities. The long tail allows Mice to keep their balance very well, making them great climbers.
Hamsterscaping is also great fun for Color Mice!
In our home, a good mouse enclosure translates into a spacious enclosure with a lot of challenge and plenty of hiding places. A terrarium is the best choice because of its closed nature. It is important that a terrarium allows good ventilation, so preferably has two grids (top and bottom). This is especially important in summer when temperatures rise above 25°C.
A running wheel is a challenge for these small animals. There are currently very few running wheels that are light enough for the African Miniature Mouse.
African Miniature Mouse can't stand low temperatures
African pygmy mice do not tolerate low temperatures very well. Due to their small size, the body needs a lot of energy to keep warm. If the temperature gets too low, it can be fatal for the animals. The temperature should therefore preferably not fall below 18°C.
For example, a heat lamp can be used to give the mice extra heat.
House for an African Miniature Mouse
African Dwarf Mice are lucky! because many houses that are made for hamsters also have a good size for these Mice. African Mice are also prey animals and do not like to walk openly through the enclosure, if they occasionally come across a shelter where they can shoot away, they already feel a lot safer. Mice like to sleep together, so at least one house in the enclosure must be large enough to accommodate the entire group. In addition, one extra sleeping house or hiding place per Mouse is ideal. The animals like to sleep together, but they should also have a place where they can retreat for a while.
Grass houses are also very natural for Muisjes and the animals like it very much because it imitates a natural hiding place.
Mice's urine smells stronger, just like Rats' urine. The animals mark their territory by leaving a drop of urine on everything. This means that parts of the mouse house can quickly start to smell. We therefore recommend using a " Urine Spray" for parts where the urine can penetrate.
For wooden accessories it can help to varnish them with clear lacquer. It is not allowed to just use lacquer from the hardware store because of toxic substances. A special paint for animals is best used for this.
Ground cover for the African Miniature Mouse
It is important that the ground cover is digable for Mice , that is to say that they can make tunnels and burrows in it, which preferably remain standing. This can be achieved by choosing ground cover that is digable in itself or by mixing ground cover to make it digable. An example of an excavatable soil cover is for example the Humus and the Holenzand , but also Cotton & Cotton . A nice mix is, for example, the mix of Cotton & Hemp Fiber, Cotton & Wood Fiber or a mix of Wood Fiber, Hemp Fiber and Hay. Ground covers such as Back 2 Nature are not suitable because the animals cannot dig in them. An ideal height of the ground bed for digging is around 20 cm.
Just like rats, mice have sensitive airways, so the bedding must not be dusty.
African pygmy mice are nest builders
Mice are real nest builders. They also like to cover their nest with soft nesting material . Making a nest is therefore part of the natural behavior of a mouse. Therefore, always give the Mice 15-25 grams of nesting material. Mice nesting material should be nice and soft, absorb moisture and have fragile fibers so that the animals cannot get entangled in it. Materials such as cotton, hemp, toilet paper and hay are ideal.
African pygmy mice food
There is no specific diet for African Miniature Mice. They are naturally granivores (seed eaters). The diet of these mice consists mainly of seeds and a small amount of vegetable food in the form of herbs , but also animal proteins. Mice catch small insects in the wild, so it is good if their diet also contains animal proteins.
Gnawing material to wear down the teeth
African Miniature Mice have a natural need to gnaw. This is because they belong to the rodents and have growing incisors. It is therefore necessary for Mice that they can gnaw on something to wear out their teeth. If Mice have too few opportunities to wear down their teeth, the teeth can become too long or grow crooked, with all the consequences that entails.
Most Mice gnaw gnawing wood very actively. However, it is a matter of taste and, on the other hand, a matter of need how much the animals gnaw on it. If a Mouse has no need to gnaw because the teeth remain at a good length due to the food, hay or other nibbles, then he will gnaw on gnawing wood less. It is good to always offer natural gnawing wood so that the animals can always gnaw if they have a need to gnaw.
Reproduction of the African Miniature Mouse
African Miniature Mice are social animals, the whole group is involved in the education of the young. The parents take care of the young until they start to become independent from the 18th day.
The female is willing (in rut) and ready to mate every 4 - 9 days. This will take approximately 12 - 24 hours. If a successful mating has taken place on these days, the young are born after about 24 days.
The difference between males and females can be seen in the distance between the genital opening and the anus. This distance is greater in a male than in a female.
Sexual maturity : females after 4 - 5 weeks