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The Fun Mouse: About Us: Mouse Room Environment and Care


Mouse Location
The Mouse room is located in its own room of our home, on the main floor of the house, in a spare bedroom on the opposite end of the house as the main living area. The door is almost always open so that it keeps good air flow. However, there is a baby gate that keeps those out that we don't want entering (dog, child, etc). The mice are also on open air shelves to keep good airflow in their tanks.

Elements
The Mouse Room is kept between 70*F and 77*F at the extremes. It generally stays tight to 74*F year round with no possible cool draft. I have fish tank thermometers on several tanks spread through the Mouse Room as well as a couple thermometers on the shelving units themselves. These are carefully watched. Windows are covered with light window treatments which screen the sunlight for harmful rays and dim any extreme light that could bake the mice or hurt their eyes (while do not see well, they are still light sensitive). The windows still allow some natural and indirect (not touching the tanks) light in the Mouse Room which helps keep the mice healthy. Sunlight provides vitamin D which helps bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, etc (it does not have to touch the mice to have positive effects). The windows in the Mouse Room are fairly new and of good quality to keep out draft. As an added precaution I put a blanket around the shelf closest to the windows and next to the heating/cooling vents to stop any direct heat/cool that might be present. I highly doubt it is needed, but I like to eliminate all potential risks I can. We have April Air which regulates humidity in the entire house, including the Mouse Room. When the temperature and humidity outside is the same as it is inside, the windows in the Mouse Room are opened to give them fresh air. When there is no breeze outside, I place a window fan up to bring the outside air in. The mice very much enjoy this, often coming out to play. The lights in the Mouse room are set on a timer. They come on at 8am and turn off at 11pm. This gives them 9 hours of complete darkness and 15 hours of light. There are no televisions or tube type computer monitors in the Mouse Room. This is to keep out the high pitched squeal that those things can put out, potentially harming the hearing of the mice as well as causing severe neurological reactions. The Mousie Cams do not have a monitor. They are controlled via the network outside of the mouse room.

Exposure to other animals and surroundings
In addition to the mice there are 2 adults, 1 child, 1 dog, and 2 cats that live in our home. The dog is not allowed in the Mouse Room and a gate is put up to keep her out. She would never intentionally hurt any mouse, nor would she try to get one out of a cage. We keep her out mainly because she likes to eat mouse food which upsets her tummy. Our young child is allowed in the Mouse Room when supervised. The mice are used to all the sounds that children make. I feel that exposure to young children helps the mice get used to the company of different ages of people. This way adoptable mice will not be upset if they are adopted to a home with children. My mice are used to a female voice (such as mine) as well as the deep voice of a man (my husband). I also play a radio in the Mouse Room which is playing constantly. The radio is set at a even level, not too loud and not too soft. The station my mice listen to is a variety of all kinds of music as well as talk in the AM. This helps expose the mice to different types of noise. A soft noise around mice is proven by labs to be a stress reliever. These things may seem insignificant but all of these exposures work wonders with taming mice and sincerely help them adapt to new homes better than they would if everything came as a shock to them. Mice that are not used to something will often be frightened of it. If they are exposed to a lot, in a safe manner, they will be more tame and will easily adjust to many different surroundings. Doing these things helps the mice as well as their caregiver.

Cleaning
Housing units are cleaned on a weekly basis without fail. They are also cleaned during the week as needed. All plastic houses, toys, wheels, food dishes, etc are cleaned in a dedicated dishwasher (used only for mouse belongings) with a mild dishwashing detergent (antibacterial, of course). The dishwasher is not located in the mouse room. I have between 70 and 130 mice at any given time. It generally takes 3+ loads to wash all of their possessions. I have duplicates of almost everything so no mouse goes without while their possessions are being cleaned. While cleaning their tanks, the mice are either placed into a play tank with toys to play, on my shoulder, on on a shelf with a jungle gym (large bird gym) with treats. Pregnant or nursing moms have their own dedicated play area, separate from the general play area, as I like to keep that even more regulated. All bedding is dumped at least once a week. Tanks are thoroughly wiped out with natural, unscented baby wipes and then dried with a paper towel. If they need it I scrub them with antibacterial, unscented, Soft Soap in the bathtub. In addition, tanks are washed in the tub periodically whether they appear to need it or not (generally they are not bad because of how often they are cleaned). Using the right brand of baby wipes does not leave a residue but it's nice to give a good scrubbing now and then. After a tank or keeper is completely dry, all bedding, food, toys, houses, etc are replaced. Old water is dumped and replaced. My mice get purified water in their water bottle. It takes all day to clean everyone. If I tried to push through it quickly, it would probably only take half of a day (5-6 hours) but I like to spend added time with each as they are being cleaned so it generally takes me 1 1/2 days. No type of air freshener, candles, smoke, etc are ever used anywhere near my Mouse Room. Mice have sensitive lungs and those things put mice at risk. In the Mouse Room there is a True Air system which helps keep the air clean. Filters are cleaned/changed regularly.

Bedding
I mix Ultra Carefresh (white) and shredded paper for their main substrate. The shredded paper is more enrichment material than anything else as I use far more carefresh than paper. I freeze all carefresh for a minimum of 48 hours at 0*F to insure no bugs are present (it is, of course, room temperature when used). Every once in a while I will pick up a few bags of carefresh colors just as my own eye candy too. I will give my mice hay from time to time, as enrichment (also frozen prior to use). I use kleenex (no aloe), shredded white paper towels, and FiberCore Eco bedding (shredded thin cardboard/paper) for added enrichment and nesting material.

Food
I feed my mice a main diet of SunSeed Sunscription Vita Hamster [Nutrient list]. I have fed Sunseed brand foods since I've had mice (over 10 years) and stand behind their foods. In addition to that, I also add the following for added nutrients i.e. healthy treats; (listed in no particular order) cheerios, oatmeal, Sunseed SunFun Sunscription Parakeet, cooked turkey, cooked chicken, cooked fish, puppy biscuits (I prefer Milk Bone brand), random low sugar cereals, as well as Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers Soul adult dog kibble.

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