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My new Harvest Mice

Discussion in 'Rodents' started by Mim1946, Jan 6, 2012.


  1. Mim1946

    Mim1946 PetForums Junior

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    I have just purchased 6 Harvest Mice, they are adorable. I have bought an exo vivarium 12x12x18" so I hope they will have a good life in that.

    If anybody can give me some suggestions of food they can eat for a treat them please let me know. I plan to give them wheat from a field in the summer and collect some blackberry leaves and fruit later in the year. I am feeding them on a mixture of small bird seed.

    I shall put a photo of them in later
     
    #1 Mim1946, Jan 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  2. chrisd

    chrisd PetForums VIP

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    Lol at the dog peering in
     
  3. blade100

    blade100 PetForums VIP

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    Hi Clair hi clairs mum :D hi meg
    Set up looks fantastic I'm sure someone with experience of harvest mice will be along soon to help with your question
    Amy x
     
  4. Crittery

    Crittery PetForums Member

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    I love harvest mice, setup looks good but I'd personally say it is far too small for 6. I have 2 boys in a 45cm exo-terra cube and they are very, very active. I'd definately suggest getting a small sized silent spinner wheel or similar as well because they go absolutely mad for them!

    You'll need to keep a very close eye on them because they can get very vicious to each other - especially where space is an issue. I believe boys are slightly more prone to this than girls.

    My group was initially 3 but I had to rehome one because they turned on him and would have killed him had I not removed him. I've heard of quite a lot of similar experiences with groups of boys as well I'm afraid. There doesn't seem to be a high success rate for reintroducing them either, so once they've fallen out that seems to be it.

    Food wise - sprays of millet are just brilliant. They can climb up them which is lovely to see and they really enjoy the taste - I make my own seed mix and favourites appear to be the obvious fatty ones such as sunflower/pumpkin seeds but also things like hemp and safflower. You can also give mealworms and an insectivore mix like bogena universal. I did read that rosehips are meant to be loved, but mine ignore them! I have more information on them on my site if you are interested.

    Hope you enjoy your new boys! x
     
  5. Mim1946

    Mim1946 PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for the info. The breeder I got them from told me the opposite information. He said they don't like large spaces and like to be confined but with lots of things to climb on. My daughter also contacted some ex breeders and no one said that there could be problems with all boy groups. I forgot to say that they have millet sprays. I will see how they get on.
     
  6. Crittery

    Crittery PetForums Member

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    Harvest mice can jump over a foot so you might find they hit the sides if they start chasing each other once they get older and are sorting out dominance issues. A smaller area might be good for breeding, as it allows mum to feel secure and that she can protect her territory - but for same sex, bigger is better. You'll also need multiple nests.

    They are some truly awesome vivariums with small colonies of harvest mice that dutch keepers keep - I'll see if I can remember the links to them. I'm sure you are aware that saying 'oh it likes confined spaces' will help breeders sell a great deal more, it is like mice/hamster breeders telling you rotastak is good for them.

    Regarding the aggression, I've found breeders keep bad experiences very, very quiet. Since there is a sad overlap with Herpetology, if a group falls out then they are just considered to have nominated themselves to be snake food. It is certainly rarely discussed by experienced breeders - it is beginner keepers that find themselves stuck if they've been told there are no problems, and then if they don't know to look out for it one or more are killed. I'm certainly not saying it will happen, just that it is a known issue so please be wary.

    Have a look at • View topic - Harvest Mice - Fighting to death for what happen to this guy's group of 6 males. It may be worth having a look at the information and joining that forum, it is a brilliant source of knowledge for exotics.
     
  7. Mim1946

    Mim1946 PetForums Junior

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    Thank you so much for all the information. I am looking for a new cage but I can't have a larger EXO terra as it is to heavy to move and I only live in a studio appartment. I have seen some Aluminium Mesh Vivariums and I am trying to find out if they would be suitable. At the moment my 6 seem to be getting along fine. My breeder is happy to take 4 back if I only want to stay at two. I really don't know what to do.

    Aluminium Mesh Vivariums in 3 sizes from Aquatix-2u Ltd UK Pet Supplies
     
  8. Mim1946

    Mim1946 PetForums Junior

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    Thats my Daughters little dog Meg, who we walk everyday what ever the weather. She wonderful with rabbits, rats, mice and Gerbils.
     
  9. AnnB

    AnnB PetForums Member

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    Congratulations on your new harvest mice. I've been keeping harvest mice since 2009. I started off with three girls and one boy, they multiplied and I then split them into single sex colonies when I didn't want them to breed any more.

    My six boys lived together reasonably successfully but in a larger Exo Terra. There were a few scuffles when they were getting old which resulted in torn ears or bitten tails but I managed to keep them together. I only have one elderly boy left now and he's almost three years old.

    I know what you mean about the larger Exo Terras being too heavy to lift but I also feel that the the smaller ones may be a bit cramped for six harvest mice.

    And back to your question about food, other than the millet which has already been mentioned they love all kinds of seeding grasses (washed first) and regular bought mouse/rat mixes but mine never did like fruit.
     
  10. Mim1946

    Mim1946 PetForums Junior

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    Thank you so much for your information. The 6 are ok so far but I am worried. I am going to buy a larger tank for them within the coming week. I didn't realise that they are better just in 2's. My breeder will give me my money back and have the little mice back so I have a couple of days to think about it. I couldn't bear for them to lose ears or tails. I orginally bought 2 and then had 4 today. They have been so good all evening and I just love them.
     
  11. Mim1946

    Mim1946 PetForums Junior

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    Do you know if girls are any better in groups?
     
  12. Mim1946

    Mim1946 PetForums Junior

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    Thank you to those of you who have written. After a great deal of thought I have decided to just keep my 2 original Harvest Mice. The breeder is coming to take the 4 extra ones back. I must say they have been so lovely together but I am worried that as they get older they will fight. Not only that I am not in a position at the moment to buy a tank large enough to house 6.

    My two original ones I shall keep are going to be called Tiny Tim and Tom Thumb!
     
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