Post by Corvidophile on Nov 16, 2015 10:27:12 GMT -5
I never thought to mention this because, I've been in pet rodent communities for seven years already so it's just ingrained as a hard rule, but make sure when you're raising rodents to provide a wheel! Not just for their own entertainment and satisfaction, but to dramatically raise taurine levels! Rats often don't take well to wheels if they aren't introduced to large enough ones in their hyper youth, but everything else will generally pick up how to play on a wheel even as seniors.
Do not underestimate wheel size either- adult fancy mice should be provided a wheel no less than 8" across, and larger show lines need 12" not to cramp up their backs. Weanling rats need 12", mature rats can graduate up to two feet wide. Try finding THAT commercially- nearly impossible unless you search out sugar glider and chinchilla toys that can tip the price scales starting at $40 and going up, I'm not kidding. However, rats are a lot less tolerant of cramping their back than mice, so they simply stop using them once it gets uncomfortable. You should see adult mice left with the 4" wheels their whole life, they literally reshape their bodies into crescents and carry their tails draped over their shoulder. Most mice don't know how or when to stop, so it's up to you.
Yea, it breaks my heart when I see rodents at questionable pet stores without a wheel (I always complain, but I don't go back because I don't have the room to be sucked into wanting to adopt any more animals).