The African Pygmy Mice.

Scientific name: Mus Minutoides

written by Stephen Sharp,
41 Gllane Close, East Stanely,County Durham England

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I have recently obtained two African Pygmy Mice. These are said to be the smallest mice in the world. In the wild they can be found throughout Africa south of the Sahara. The two mice are adult but are only about one inch in length. They have a very slender tail.

Houseing


I am keeping the two, which I hope are a pair, ( see update below ) ,in a small plastic pet cage. The cage is about 12 inch long by 8 inch wide by 5 inch high. The top is ventilated. I use wood shavings on the floor. Hides are provided in the form of a roll from a kitchen towel and a grass woven birds nest. A good hand full of hay / straw is also added to help the animals feel secure. Water is provided in a glass container as is food. I read on one Internet site that pygmy mice do not do well at temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit and anything below 60 Fahrenheit might even kill them.

Feeding

I am feeding them a mix of 2 different propriety bird seeds, hamster food and cut grasses. One of the propriety bird seeds contains some fruit. I placed a squished mealworm in the cage and this was gone next morning. In fact he is quite partial to mealworms!

Breeding

I have read on the Internet that these mice reach maturity in 5-6 weeks. Their gestation period is only 20-21 days and they can produce litters of 2-8. The young, which are born blind and hairless, grow quickly and open their eyes around 14 days of age. They should be fully weaned by 4 weeks old. Pygmy mice will live up to three years in captivity.

Conclusion

These are excellent mice to sit and watch. I think they are to small to handle but will see how this goes as we get used to each other.

Update

I obtained the original two pygmy mice in August 2002. I am writing this update in September 2003. The original pair turned out to be two males. One died 2 to 3 months after I bought them. The remaining mouse is still doing well and is at least a year and a half old. I have tried several times to obtain a mate for him without success. He has tamed down a lot and is hand tame. He sits still and lets you pick him up. I have met a breeder on ate a reptile show who says he may have babies from his large breeding group in a month or so. Therefore the little mouse will hopefully soon have some company.

Update 2004

I have now obtained two pairs of African Pygmy Mice and set them up in two cages. First signs are looking well and I hope to have some baby African Pygmy Mice appearing soon ;O) .

If you would like more details, why not E-mail me at Stephen@SnakeBreeder.Com .

Copyright S. Sharp. 2002 / 2003 / 2004 / 2005.