When you first get your pet mouse home, you’re probably wondering — what do they eat? It really is fun to feed mice, as they enjoy a whole host of different foods. But as humans, sometimes we wonder if the food we eat can translate to our pets. So…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 the fruit trees for them to 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. Chewing the branches helps their teeth.
Read on for 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 has 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 excellent food sources 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 those teeth just never stop growing!
If they were to stop nibbling and filing their teeth down, mice 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.
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.
To avoid infestations of wild mice, 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 noses.
Mice use their nose and whiskers as a way of perceiving the world around them.
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.
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 a low setting to avoid mildew build-up or even mold.
They love a variety of fruits and vegetables, including apples, berries, dried bananas, dried fruits, pears, and coconut shells (and the shells’ flesh).
The trick with mice is to not overfeed them with fruit or vegetables, although it can be tempting to do so. Too many fruit and vegetables can lead to stomach upsets.
Having an upset tummy is not ideal for your mouse, but it’s also not great for the bacteria to build up in their cages, either.
Give Them Plenty of Fresh Water
Fresh water for mice is essential. 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. Sometimes mice, busy with the fun things of life, can forget if it is not visible to them.
These funnel-decanted water bottles encourage your mouse to stand up when he drinks, which is a bit of extra exercise.
Use Treats for Fun
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 possible.
Mice must have plenty of exercise. If they do not, they will become overweight, which often leads to health problems.
Do Mice Only Eat Fruit?
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. 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, which are high in fat. Keep an eye on the amount of those in their muesli type of feed. Some owners buy nougats to avoid their mice overeating seeds.
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
You have several options 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 maintain solid, healthy portions of everything.
You might find your mouse focuses on the thing they love, like dried fruit. Just like humans can be a bit picky with our food!
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.
Keeping Your Mouse Happy
Mice can also enjoy a few of our own foods. 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. Don’t forget the whole apple tree, as the branches and twigs of various fruit trees go down a treat.
Mice need to chew; the branches and twigs can assist them with keeping their teeth nicely trimmed down.
Mice also love all sorts of fruits, even dried fruit and coconuts. They love to chew on coconut shells. They never say no to vegetables, either.
When feeding mice, do it in a way that mimics natural foraging. This way, it keeps them healthy and entertained. Make sure there is plenty of fresh water. Not having fresh water can make a mouse unwell quickly. Get a few water bottles with a protective inbuilt valve to reduce the risk of choking. 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 incredible things you get to experience with them.