The Northern Pygmy Mouse
Species: baiomys taylori
The Northern pygmy mouse can be found in Texas, Arizona, Central and Southern Mexico, the islands of Aruba and Curacao. These rodents normally live among dense high grass, in meadows and in woodland. They make nests in scrubs or among stones. Now it is an endangered species.
The Northern pygmy mouse is about 5-8 cm long, and its tail is further 3-4 cm long. Adult mice weigh around 8-10 gr. They have gray-brown backs and light, almost white bellies.
Northern pygmy mice are sweet and friendly animals, they quickly get tame and bite extremely rarely. They are very sociable so it’s best to keep them in groups.
Pygmy mice are very active so they need a lot of space to move around. The mesh of the cage should be small enough for the animal not to escape. The minimal bottom area as to be 70x30 cm.
For bedding you can use fine wood cuttings: your mouse can bury itself in them. It is best to mix the wood cuttings with hay – then your pet will feel very comfortable. Also the mouse will need some sand to take sand baths: you should put it in a small shallow bowl. You shouldn’t bathe mice in water: it is not good for their health.
You have to put in the cage a food bowl and a water bowl. The pygmy mouse drinks quite seldom and this is normal, but still you will have to change the water daily and take away uneaten food.
The pygmy mouse needs its own shelter: you can get a ready-made plastic or wooden house for rodents. The disadvantage of the wooden house is that it absorbs liquid and will soon start smell badly. A usual ceramic plant pot can be used as a house for a pygmy mouse. Make in its wall a hole 2x3 cm for the mouse to enter the house. You can put in it a couple of paper towels for the mouse to make a nest.
In order for your pygmy mouse to move, put an exercise wheel in the cage. The wheel’s surface has to be solid, otherwise the mouse’s small feet can get injured.
You should clean the cage at least once a week and change the wood cuttings completely. The mice are quite neat and hardly smell.
Northern pygmy mice have accelerated metabolism, so they eat as much food as common hamsters and guinea pigs. So you should give to your mouse the same amount of grain and dry mixes as to a hamster. But their daily consumption of vegetables and fruit is lower. Your pygmy mouse needs a varied diet, so apart from commercial dry mixes you can feed it with seeds, crackers, oat cereals, carrots, apples, dandelion and clover. In order for the mice to breed and to develop properly they need some animal protein, so at times you can feed your pet with some meat or fish or insects.
Northern pygmy mice are prone to overeating. Also they tend to suffer from allergic reactions on citrus fruit and certain mineral supplements. It is a nocturnal species.
The most common diseases among pygmy mice are cystitis, enteritis, rachitis, digestive system disorders, respiratory diseases, parasites, rectocele.
Average life span is 3 – 3.5 years.