Some time ago, our betta fish passed away. He was a tough fish that was healthy when purchased but upon our move fell ill and spent months floating aimlessly through his tank with a swollen face and seemingly incapable of improvement. Don’t get me wrong, we tried to save this fish. He was alone in a 10 gallon tank with a filter and we spent $30 on test kits and meds to improve tank conditions but it did no good. Eventually I woke up one day to find him ACTUALLY dead after months of THINKING he was dead only to reach into the tank and watch him swim away. We bleached the tank, cleaned the rocks, and put away the filter. But I wanted a new low-maintinence pet. I really wanted a snake. And secretly that meant mice.
Buying a mouse (frozen or live) at the petstore is $1-$2. Feeding a pair of two mice and their litters for SEVERAL months is $5. We, having more time than money, decided to raise our own mice and bought a pair. Mice are wonderful pets with short lifespans and low maintinence. Kept in mated pairs or small female-only colonies they keep eachother occupied and require little human interaction but unlike a fish or a hermit cab are handleable and enjoy it. They are one of the best possible first pets for a child. My mice live in the Taj Mahal of breeding mouse enclosures. They have the since-emptied ten gallon tank filled with pine shavings. They have several cardboard tubes simulating underground tunnels, a big water bowl, fresh food and even hay to build with. They get toys which they explore with great curiosity and treats. They are happy little mice, and they are a breeding pair. Just a few days ago our heavilly pregnant female gave birth to a litter.
Now our livingroom is filled with constant squeaking sounds from the babies demanding to be fed and the mother responding. And I’ll be honest, it’s really annoying. Mice are not “as quiet as a mouse” and when they squeak, they squeak VERY loudly. It’s starting to drive me nuts. But when those babies get a little bit bigger they will be processed for snake food and I will get myself my snake at long last. We’re thinking a ball python.
Also, I find that Tasty should be kindling in a few days… Assuming she actually is pregnant. She built a nest but it’s got no fur in it and looks more like a “sleeping in” nest than a “birthing in” nest. I gave her a nest box but no dice, she seems to want nothing to do with it. She isn’t due for a few more days yet so we’ll see. In the meantime I have re-bred Evo. She lost her litter about two weeks ago and yesterday I checked her out… She seemed very healthy. Once again the weather was warm and I figured it was worth a shot. She let Nutro breed her twice, and then twice again when I brought her out that evening. I hope this pregnancy goes better than the last!
And tommorow the two does that Purina kindled for me will be going to a new home to a man who will be buying them for his kid for 4H. I may also be selling a buck before too much longer which will be good. Either way this litter will have paid off. I have scheduled a date for turning what I don’t sell into food early in March. The babies will be about 10 weeks old and will be about as big as I can reasonably get them before they start getting the “gamey” and tough condition that older rabbits have. It’s nice to see my plans moving forward full-steam!