Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Posted Jul 09, 2013
These little guys are from the sub Sahara and are thought to be the smallest rodent on earth. They are very very tiny and fast, they can also jump very high, especially considering their small size. They are so small that they are really fragile to handle, added to this is the fact that they jump more then you will think possible they are more a pet to be watched. They are not overly friendly, they will bite (not much of a bite as they are tiny), will never cuddle. But they will provide hours of entertainment as they go about being tiny mice.
They live happily in a 10 gal aquarium, you can easily house 5-6-7 of them there. One male though, males tend to damage each other while females seem to live in relative harmony. They live 2-4 years with proper care. They reach sexual maturity at about 6 weeks of age, they have a gestation period of 20 days and only have 1 or 2 babies at a time. occasionally 3, but that is unusual. They need it to be around 75 degrees, no breezes or drafts. They need a metal mesh secured top for their cage...they can and will escape if it is not secured. I know it is hard to believe, but they can jump HIGH!!! They need a 4 oz small water bottle , chew proof, without a ball as they cannot operate it. In the wild they collect pebbles by their den and drink morning dew and collected rain water off them. Be sure they are getting water, you may need to use a small metal bottle cap for water for them. Bedding is a good rodent bedding from the pet store (never cedar or the dyed pine). Shredded paper. They love the fluffy rodent nesting material you can buy. They need a good rodent feed, crush this small for them, some small seeds (millet, chopped up sunflower meat), crushed dry dog or cat food, pin head crickets on occasion, crumbled lab rocks. you can occasionally give them a bit of apple, carrot, cucumber, melon, squash. We are talking tiny amounts because they are tiny rodents. They will chew on rodent chew sticks, they like a wheel (be sure it is solid so they don't get hurt falling between bars), bird ladders and branches are fun, tissue tubes, small boxes. they love to tunnel and build and explore. Remember their food and toys need to be appropriate for their diminutive size.
They are easy to care for. Biggest problem is their tiny size combined with being very quick and jumping well beyond what should be possible. Otherwise just keeping them warm, clean, dry, well fed and watered and they will entertain you for years.