When you first get your pet mouse home, one of the things most on your mind is, what do they eat! It really is fun feeding mice, as they enjoy a whole host of different foods, and this is part of the run of owning a pet mouse. But here’s a common question for you…can mice eat apples?
Mice love to eat apples. More than that, they adore nibbling on the twigs and the small branches of apple trees. You can pick up fallen branches near apple trees and give them to your mouse as a treat. Or you can buy pre-prepared chewy branches from various fruit trees that they enjoy.
There are a couple of reasons why mice love apples and their branches.
To mice, apples taste lovely and sweet, so you could say they are the sweets of the animal world. Then chewing the branches helps their teeth.
I’m going to take a look at all the reasons why mice like apples, and then lots of top tips about mice diets and how to keep them as healthy as you possibly can!
The Benefits Of Eating Apples For Mice
Apples have numerous health benefits, including:
- They are high in fiber
- They contain a range of natural sugars
- They contain high levels of potassium, which has been linked to heart health
- They are famously a good provider of Vitamin C
The range of nutrients found in apples have a positive effect on mice, which can include a positive impact on several organs, including the heart.
Mice Have Constantly Growing Teeth
Apples, apple stalks, and apple branches are also an excellent food source for mice because they help them to gnaw.
Mice have to nibble; their health depends on it.
A mouse has the constant job of filing down its front teeth simply because they just never stop growing!
If they were to stop nibbling and filing their teeth down, they would die, since their teeth would be too long to allow them to close their mouths, and they would not be able to chew properly. [Source]
The things that mice can chew through will shock you.
Mice have such a dogged determination to nibble, which is inherent in their natural makeup, that they can chew things that would probably surprise you. This includes aluminum, brick, wood, concrete and plastic.
That is why, if you are avoiding infestations of wild mice, you have to make sure they have special sealants on various house materials.
They have even been known to have a go at steel wool, which seems a bit unbelievable, but they do tend to avoid things that hurt their nose or don’t feel good against their noses.
Mice use their nose as a type of sight, and their whiskers too.
Domestic Mice And Apples
Domestic mice will also chew through anything given half the chance, but they are fortunate to have us to look after them.
Besides mice are so fun to look after it is worth the bother.
They are probably not as hardy as their wild counterparts, so if you do pick up apple twigs, make sure they are washed well to avoid pesticides entering their system. You can dry them quickly in the oven on bake to avoid mildew build-up or even mold.
They love a variety of fruits and vegetables, this includes not only apples, but berries, dried bananas, dried fruits, pears, coconut shells and the flesh as well.
The trick with mice is to not overfeed them fruit or vegetables, although it can be tempting to do so. Too much fruit and vegetables can lead to stomach upsets. [Source]
Having a tummy upset is not great for your mouse, but it is also not great for the bacteria to build up in their cages either.
Give Them Plenty of Fresh Water
More important than food, although naturally both are important, fresh water for mice is paramount. It might shock you to know that mice can die quite quickly without water and can survive longer without food than water.
The best way to serve mice water is to put it into a special decanter bottle made for this purpose. I personally like the ones that do not get bunged up with food. This saves me from checking on them all the time.
This happens because when mice chew, they often drink with a full mouth, and it can cause the food to backwash into the feeder pipe, causing a blockage. Special ones have a valve to stop this from occurring.
They can be hooked onto the sidewalls of the tank, and your mouse can have a drink at any time they want. I place quite a few around the cage, as this is best when you have a large cage and sometimes mice, busy with the fun things of life, can forget if it is not visible to them.
These funnel decanted water bottles also encourage your mouse to stand up when he drinks, which is also a bit of extra exercise.
Treats are for Fun too
Treats like apples can also be used for fun.
Cut an apple into smaller pieces and throw it around the cage. This way, finding the treats can be a bit of an adventure for them, which adds to their exercise.
Just make sure you clear away any unwanted food as soon as you can.
Mice must have plenty of exercise. If they do not, they will become overweight, which is the last thing you want. An overweight mouse will present eventually with health problems.
Do Mice Only Eat Fruit Then?
Although mice love fruit, they also love vegetables and some animal products too, like an egg!
These types of foods are given in moderation though, because a mouse’s diet must be high in carbs, low in sugar, and have various seeds and other feeds present, like millet.
The Correct Diet for Mice
Purchased mice feed is not expensive, and it also helps to know that the homework has been done for you. This means that the correct portions of each feed have been prepared in advance for your mouse’s excellent health.
Basic Mouse Feed
Mouse feed will vary according to which one you buy, but generally, they contain some protein, like soy or beans, barley and millet.
Mice love seeds and nuts, but these are high in fat, so should be of a lesser amount in their muesli type of feed. Some owners buy nougats to avoid overeating seeds for this reason.
Mice are high energy, so a diet of high carbohydrates, protein and a bit of fat is good for them. Commercially prepared foods should form the bulk of their diet.
Making Your Own Basic Mouse Feed
The sky is the limit when making your own mice muesli. You can use cornflakes, millet, seeds, barley, a bit of dried fruit, dried pasta, rice, nuts and other goodies, but make sure you get the portions for optimum health right.
You might find your mouse focuses on the thing they love, like dried fruit. This is a bit like humans right! Leaving out other necessary nutrients in favor of this.
On top of this diet, plenty of fresh water, lots of fruit, vegetables and chewy things will round off their diet.
Keep their fruits and vegetables to two servings a week and not too much at once.
So, what you can take away from this! Mice can also enjoy a few of our own foods too. Beans, peas, a tiny bit of sweet biscuit now and then, but no chocolate. Chocolate is very toxic to mice.
Mice will eat apples and various other fruits too, they love them, they are the sweeties of the mice world. Don’t forget the whole apple tree though, so to speak, as the branches and twigs of various fruit trees go down a treat.
Mice need to chew, and these can assist them with keeping their teeth nicely trimmed down.
Mice also love all sorts of fruits, even dried fruit and coconuts as they love to chew on the coconut shells.
They will also enjoy a bit of human food, like peas, beans and biscuits. They will share some of your dog’s biscuits too!
They never say no to vegetables either.
When feeding mice, do it in such a way as to mimic natural foraging. This way, it keeps them healthy and entertained too. Make sure there is plenty of fresh water. Not having fresh water can make a mouse unwell quickly, so I suggest getting a few water bottles with a protective inbuilt value to stop it from getting choked up. You could be out and they might not be able to access their water.
Above all, do some reading about their diet. It’s interesting and fun, and the happier your mouse is, the more fun things you get to experience with them.