There comes a time in every ones life that if they have a snake, they will need to be accustomed to rodents.
Mice, rats, gerbils... you name it.
You need to be aware of the care and husbandry of these little suckers too, as with someone like myself, I always end up with a few pets/left-overs every week.
Let us begin a brief overview.
NOTE: This is BASIC care. Yes, there is more that you can provide for your rodents. If you want to, please feel free!
For a mouse or a few mice, a 10 gallon tank or something equivalent is good.
One rat, a 10 gallon is also good. A few rats, a 20 gallon long will suffice. Bigger is better, but those are my suggested minimums.
I like using tanks as they cannot chew out. There are other places to house rodents, such as the wire cages with plastic bottoms, but I have had bad luck with those being eventually chewed out of.
SCREEN TOPS. METAL SCREEN TOPS. Slide-ons are better than push tops, as rats are particularly clever at figuring out how to push things up and out.
Food and water dishes need to be chew proof as well. Metal hoppers made out of wire are fantastic for food, and water dispensers should be glass. This will prevent any loss of materials, and the need to buy a new dish/dispenser every few months.
Bedding should be some type of soft wood. Pine is okay, Cedar is not. Paper is also okay. I use Aspen.
Chewing is a big problem, as you can see... This can be prevented by using a wheel or some type of entertainment device. If they don't have something, they will find something.. i.e. themselves.
Cannibalism is not against their nature if pushed. Be aware.
Food and Water:
As you and I both know well, food and water are essential to life. So... if you intend to keep your rodents alive, please provide fresh food and water. I check mine every day, but every other day if you only have a few animals, should suffice.
Lab block is awesome for food, as it holds up well and doesn't require much refilling.
Water, on the other hand, while awesome for drink, requires more refilling than I would prefer, but such is life.
How many per area?
Not a lot... the more there are, the more they will compete for resources and may kill each other. I like to keep the animals limited to 2.4 in a 10 gallon tank for mice, for rats, 1.3.
In a pinch, it can be more, but realize that they will have issues. Squeeking, fighting, and even death may occur. Be hospitable, and provide the best housing you can under your circumstances.
I always have a "leftover" tank available for animals that do not get fed off. This is a 30 gallon tank that is always available. Sometimes I need even more, so I have a few tubs that I use to hold them as well.
I will go over the production of these next week.
So there you go, my friends. Be nice to the food. They deserve it in their last few days.. They are animals too, and deserve respect and care. Even if they do smell.
Have a great weekend, my friends!