FANCY MICE

MICE, being to all intents and purposes miniature rats, must be accommodated in the same way, but on a smaller scale.

Their cage need not be allowed more than six inches square space per mouse, &nd should have a small cosy retiring-ioom filled loosely with soft paper. The food should be bird-seed instead of chicken-corn, and any milk used to make stale-bread sop for them should be diluted by hah with water. Green grass-seed is the best raw vegetable food, but some raw vegetable or fruit should be given daily, as for rats. Water should be placed in some small vessel that cannot be upset and make the cago damp.

Susceptible to Cold

As mice are delicate little things and very susceptible to cold, their cago should be kept indoors, and the open part should be covered with wire gauze or perforated zinc. It is desirable to have two cages, so that every now and then one can be thoroughly scalded out and dried, by way of keeping down the very pronounced smell of these little animals, while of course a liberal bedding of sawdust or chaff is alwa3rs necessary.

A pair can usually be kept together, but some bucks cannot be trusted when the doe has young. The gestation period is three weeks, and the young are born naked and blind like young rats; they can see in a few days and then get their fur, and begin to cat for themselves.

Black-eyed Whites

Mice can claim quite a number of fanciers, and a great variety of pretty colours and markings are to be found among them. Those who admire a white mouse, but do not like its usual pink eyes, may be interested in the black-eyed whites. Mice showing two colours, except when pied with white, or tri-coloured ones, are very rare and should be taken care of.

Short-lived Animals

Mice are short-lived animals, two or three years being their limit, but their activity and enterprise enable them to make the most of a short existence. When tame they can be let out for exercise; an old dry aquarium makes a good gymnasium for them, and they much enjoy exercise in a wire wheel.

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