Small Rodent enrichment

Enclosure, cage, nest box, building and enrichment ideas for any species.

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TamanduaGirl
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Small Rodent enrichment

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:42 pm

One this to consider is a out door cage. A second cage they can be in for some time outside supervised could be enjoyable and stimulate activity. Can be a regular cage or make one by wrapping wire around a small shelf unit. It is also important your rodents get some natural sun during the day to keep their bio clock working well. Rodents not exposed to sun, and especially house under florescent light instead can get thrown off and they may be less active but keep in mind to not over do it for nocturnal species. You want many hours of darkness for your nocturnal animals. Rats exposed to sun for to long got depressed. Night time is their natural active time so long "Days" even if caused by your artificial lights make for less active time and more stress.

many rodents love parrot toys and they are really durable. You can use cat and even human baby toys too.
AVOID toys with rubber or soft plastic (like beads, which are often found on toys made for smaller birds).

Tunnels, ladders, ropes, other things to climb.

Give shredded paper or other bedding but leave it out so they have to drag it back into their house to make their beds. Better yet give them whole pieces of paper towel or other things for them to shred like sisal rope. Consider a nesting material dispenser like this one http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/p ... atid=22307

Things to chew like safe woods, cardboard, dog chews, dry(sap free) pine cones.

For toys include some small toys they can carry and some large toys for them to push around.

Consider a ferret treat ball, chinchilla Buffet Ball, bird foraging toys or make your own from a small container by putting a hole in it for food or treats to fall out and place them around the cage.

Target train them. If Ash can target train her lizard you can target train your rodent. This way they have to follow the target around and get some exercise and stimulation to get the food.

Many rodents are social and will get more activity if kept with others but check for your species some do not house well with others like hamsters.

Make the cage more interesting by using more than one substrait in different areas of the cage.

Wheels of course(except for guinea pigs), they are more likely to use one if exposed young.

Live feed an insect now and then to trigger hunting instinct.

Use a disposable nest box or your own cardboard box for them to hie in, chew and stuff with things and then just change it out now and then as it gets dirty with a new, empty or mostly empty box for them to stuff with bedding and hide things in.

Most like to burrow give them a small ball pit or sand box or hay to gig and burrow in, could be a box in their play area and not all the time. Also long ferret or other appropriately sized tubing in their play area to run through. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD7YR1-4kwY

Most important variety. Keep changing things up. If you just toss a bunch of toys in the cage and never change them up they will likely become bored with them. Rotate toys at least once a week and keep adding new ones too.

You can add perches and ladders and move them around, have them lead to new toys and treats as well.

Make tiny pinatas!
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Mary

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Re: Small Rodent enrichment

Postby minervasden » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:07 pm

I stay in the dark because too much light will blind you
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Re: Small Rodent enrichment

Postby minervasden » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:44 pm

Popular with hermit crabs and some herps and other inverts, suction cup shower caddies are also great for mice and other small rodents. Easy to add mini levels in glass enclosures. My male mouse loves his balcony. Be sure to include access to the caddy.
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Re: Small Rodent enrichment

Postby Ash » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:48 pm

That's so cute. I never would have thought of something like that!
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Re: Small Rodent enrichment

Postby Peacefulward » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:53 am

My old rat Casper loved going on walks with me (with a harness) before he became too old and geriatric. He still enjoyed going outside with me after that, but I'd have to hold him gently in a blanket. He'd stretch out and just relax, enjoying the sun.

He also enjoyed diving for peas. I'd fill a tub of water and sink some frozen peas on the bottom and he'd have fun diving down to get them.
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Re: Small Rodent enrichment

Postby Juska » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:59 pm

Dry pasta boxes (rotini, etc.), plastic removed if present, maybe with a little dry pasta inside for them to snack on :)
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Re: Small Rodent enrichment

Postby minervasden » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:35 pm

This is something I just found in the recycling. From a 'patio planter'. I will be weaving some sisal twine through it somewhat randomly and adding it to the mouse cage as a climbing tower.

I would post a finished image but am out of twine. The only real alteration which needs done is cutting off the four legs so that it sits flat.

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