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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-06-2004, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2004
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Help a new rodent owner!!! I need a bit of support. Will take u just a minute.

Hi and thank you for reading this,

As I said I am a proud new rodent owner……but……

I will start from the beginning. I currently live in Beijing, China (I am European) and about a month ago I did what no pet lover should do, I woke up and just decided that today I will go and get me a pet. Worst yet I took my girlfriend along with me.

Let me describe the most popular local pet stores before I go on: picture a 6 lane busy street, next to it a 30 floor gigantic glass office building, and next to it a small square big enough to park about 20 cars. However instead of cars you have quite a few people on bicycles, and said bicycles have about 30 small cages each filled with cats, dogs, mice, etc more or less anything you can think of, tied on them. Well, that’s were I went to get my new pet.

Guess what, 3 hours later I was on my way home with 2 cats and 2 mice.

Don’t ask why, how could I, couldn’t I wait, etc. I was there they looked at me, I looked at them, then I looked at the guy selling them and they had to be mine. I couldn’t leave them there. My girlfriend didn’t really help in discouraging me, if you know what I mean. For the cats I will go to the cat people, but I need some help with my rodents, Pinki and Brain.

When I go them a month ago they were about half their size now (about 10 cm). They have a grey back, with three black stripes running head to tail (1 on the backbone and 1 either side). They gave a white grey stomach. They have a small stump for a tail (.5 cm about) but it could have been cut. The Chinese call them something along the lines of black-white mouse but don’t know the real name. I am really curious to know what these rodents really are. Could anyone tell me from the description what they are? Or at least narrow down what I should look for to find what they are?

They live in a fish tank about 50 x 25 cm. So far they seem to be doing fine but I don’t know if I am doing the right things for them. In one corner they have pebbles, in the other a running wheel. They have a small terrace to which they get to by little stairs, there they have their water and food. Under the terrace they have a tree root thing (originally for a fish tank) under which they seem to sleep quite nicely. I give them torn pieces of toilet paper to make their beds.

I wash out the tank with water about every 2nd day. I give them new bits of food, bread, fruits, some seeds, etc every day. What they leave I throw away the next day. I normally play with them before feeding time for about 10 min.

Can anyone tell me how to tell them apart, or how to find out if they are male or female? When I got them they couldn’t tell me. When I had them home I thought one was a pregnant female. One of them seems to sleep more and take care of the nest more. It did not help that that one was growing bigger than the other one. Now though they seem to be the same size.

I think that is about it for now. As you might understand I am still a bit nervous about them and I am not sure how I am doing so if you can pls drop me a line, whether it be to give me some comment or advice or just to say I am doing fine (or not) I, we, would appreciate it a lot.

Thank you very much again for reading and thank you even more if you intend on drop us a line.


[email protected]

ps. I 4got to ask, is it normal that from time to time they fight for food or a toy.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-06-2004, 06:46 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Wire cages are better then aquariums, as they provide better ventilation, but an aquarium'll do.
Anyways, what are you using as litter? Cedar shavings are toxic, while pine shavings tend to lead to respiatory problems. Aspen shavings or something like CareFresh should be used.
Also, remember that mouse food should make up most of the diet. Too many fruits will cause diarrhea.
I think your mice might be silver agoutis...not sure, though, I don't know much about colors of mice.
As for the genders,
With the fighting, are they injuring eachother? If they are, you might need to seperate them. Normal disagreements are normal, though.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2004, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2004
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And thanks for the quick reply. Currently they are enjoying the lovely cold glass floor. In a corner I have some pebbles that they seem to enjoy digging through, and I leave them some torn tissue paper, or toilet paper. They take it and put it where they sleep.
I am worried about their diet. I have already tried a few places where they sell animal things (as well as a couple of vets), when I tell them I am looking for mice feed they look at me, open their squinty eyes, tilt their head and say “What?!?!?!” and after I continue explaining what the problem is they just tell me to feed them from what I eat. (I kind of doubt that that would be good for them). Let me put it this way, my 13 years experience in China is telling me that I should give up looking for the food and I should make it by myself. (But I don’t know how, even though I took kitchen for a year in university)
I don’t think they injure each other. Its over quickly, when one goes on its back the other always backs off (if it gets to that), they don’t seem to be able to share.
Thank you again,
And zoo in the background (they are all playing)
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2004, 09:32 AM
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Ok I'll go again...I just wrote down a whole heap of things for you and then proceeded to lose it all.....
Anyway here is a great website for you to look at
It really helped me get going when I was new to the mice world too!
Mice are very clever animals, try and give them more toys to play with and change their cage design once a week....they love a challenge!!! Just simple toilet roll tubes and egg cartons can be great toys for your mice.
You can line your whole tank with a newspaper based kitty litter....mice LOVE to dig and re arrange it all and it also helps to keep your tank smell free!
If you have a boy or two boys you should see testicles sticking out under their tail...they are quite obvious...if not chances are you have girls. If you think you have opposite sixes be prepared for lots and lots of babies or seperate them and get them a same sex friend each.
As long as they aren't making each other bleed when they are fighting they are fine!
Give them planty of tissues to use for bedding! You don't want them getting cold!!!

And more seeds and grains would be good for their diet...I also believe that stale bread is best...anyway it talks about diet at that website!
Any more questions let us know!

Too lazy to even think of a siggy
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2004, 11:09 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I wish that we could see pictures. They sure sound cute, and than someone might be better able to take a guess as to color. Let us know how the adventure in pet ownership goes.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2004, 11:27 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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lol- this is totally random--- maybe its a guinea-pig???
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2004, 12:41 PM
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Ya know I can picture in my head exactly what the mice look like but for the life of me I can't remember what the name is. As far as telling male and female males will have testicles. Actually now that I think about it, they almost sound like chipmunks but smaller. If you've had them for a month and you don't have babies you most likely have two of the same sex. I agree with Carmen, since birds are popular pets there they should have some bird seed or parrot food there that they could eat and you may have to had in some supplimental people food. You can add some nuts to the diet as well. I think some vegetables are okay and some fruits.
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aspen shavings, doing fine, fish tank, kitty litter, local pet store, pet owner, pet store, pet stores, pine shavings, wire cage, wire cages

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