Mice/My mice smell!
Hey Natasha! It's Rachel with Whisp and Aspen! The girls are fitting in very well with me! Whisp is now allowed to run freely around the floor, as whenever I stick my hand out she will come to it. Aspen is not allowed to be out alone, however, as she is too skiddish and will run away. Sometimes we let her run around on the table, though,so that she can still get enough room to run around.
Whisp can be a bit too outgoing, though. A few days ago she picked a fight with my parrot! He gave her a little bop on the head though and she ran back into her cage and hid behind Aspen. I was really suprized by this, because I thought that if anyone had a problem, Hiccup would have been the one to start it! Neither of them were hurt, although I could tell they were both a little upset. Hiccup steers clear of the mouse cage now, just in case, haha.
I was also wondering if Whisp might have some wild mouse blood in her? Sometimes she will 'drum' on the toilet paper roll I have in their cage, and I've only heard of male,wild mice doing that? Could it be a behavior she picked up through seeing another mouse doing it?
Also this is a big issue oh my gosh. Their cage seems to stink up SO FAST. What can I do to keep the stink levels low? I already have to keep my windows open almost the entire day, or the smell of mouse just gets too strong. I am using pine bedding and i change their bedding once a week, and I make a point of washing their wheel out more than weekly when it becomes full of poops. Can I change the type of bedding or put something like baking soda in the bedding to reduce odor? Should I change their diet? They are getting one block each daily, and I am also giving them some seeds and occasional fresh fruits/veggies. This is kind of important as i am going to camp next week and my dad will be keeping them in his apartment, which he does not want smelling like mice!
Thanks again and i look forward to your response!
(P.s., my friend who originally found Leo found one of his siblings a few days ago. It let her come and pet it before it ran off. I think it might have been,'thanking' us for taking such good care of him in his last days :) it was really heartwarming, and we left him some seeds and oatmeal I case he decided to come back)
Hi Rachel :)
It is unlikely that Whisp has some wild blood in her-- although a wild mouse could get into a breeder's cage, the first generation babies are so different from pet raised mice that there is no way the breeder would have let them stay. They look like wild mice and they are crazy-- far harder to tame even than full blooded wild mice.
I do not know about this drumming... the only drumming I know that a mouse does is with its tail on the ground or cage wall, as a warning. Could it be a time when she feels territorial? Send me a link about drumming in wild mice :)
I am glad you asked me about smell because in doing so you told me you are using pine.. that is a no-no. Pine and cedar have phenols in them which will damage their delicate respiratory systems and make them prone to illness. Aspen chips are fine.
There are other bedding types; people differ as to what they like best. To reduce smell I was told recently that a person uses some sort of stall refresher that is meant for a horse. I do not know what chemicals might be in it, so I can't recommend it without seeing its ingredients list and maybe discussing it with some folks. There is a very safe option which is very heavy and rather expensive-- there is a wheat kitty litter called S'Wheat. When I used it in my rabbit pan, before she started to eat it (dumb bunny, sigh), her pee did not smell at all. It soaks right in. And bunny pee..... well, it ought to be classified as a toxic waste! So why not mouse pee? You could use aspen chips for the cage but put this stuff in the corners. The third option is easy: a few drops of vanilla in their water bottle.
But.... there are certainly people who just stop having mice due to the smell. I have had mice since I was 5 and I certainly didn't clean their cages frequently enough.. so mouse smell does not bother me much. I wouldn't want to sleep with my head actually in a dirty mouse cage, but other than that pretty much anything goes. I have not, however, had a male mouse since I was 14. They are very stinky.
Very cool about the little wild mouse :)
squeaks n giggles,