What Do Wild Mice Eat?

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wild mouse eating

What do wild mice eat? Although wild mice are omnivores, their diet is mostly vegetarian, and varies a lot. These adaptable creatures will eat just about anything depending on where they live and what is naturally available. Today we’ll find out what mice eat in the wild, in urban areas, and during the winter months. We’ll also share the dietary needs of pet mice and baby mice.

Wild mice live in forests, fields, and farmland where food is everywhere. They are nocturnal animals that are mostly awake at night. Wild mice spend their days sleeping in burrows or nests and nights foraging for food. Mice are notorious nibblers. A small amount of food will sustain them for days, and they generally eat whatever offers the most energy and requires the least amount of effort to obtain.

What Do Wild Mice Eat?

As opportunistic eaters, wild mice will eat just about anything. But they do have a preference for seeds and grains, which are easily found in abundance and full of nutrients and vitamins to keep them healthy. Leaves, grass, shoots, tree bark, and mushrooms are found readily in the wild, and other regular foods for wild mice include fruits, vegetables, nuts, insects, and carrion.

What Seeds and Grains Do Wild Mice Eat?

The most common tree seeds that mice eat include oak, ash, maple, pine, poplar, hawthorn, beech, and sycamore seeds, which are easy to consume at the source or stash away for the winter months.

Other favorite seeds include pumpkin, flax, sunflower, pea, and bean, and they’ll happily wolf down bulbs and tubers, especially if they’re newly planted.

Fields of grains like oats, wheat, barley, corn, and rye offer a huge store of food for a wild mouse.

What Fruits and Vegetables do Wild Mice Eat?

Fruit and vegetables in fields and gardens offer another plentiful source of vitamins and nutrients for wild mice. Root vegetables like carrots, radishes, and potatoes, vine vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, and peas, and fruits like peaches, apples, cherries, blueberries, and strawberries, are commonly on the wild mice menu.

What Nuts Do Wild Mice Eat?

The high healthy fat content in nuts such as acorns, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, and beechnuts give wild mice lots of energy.

What Insects Do Wild Mice Eat?

Insects are a good source of protein, and insects such as crickets, moths, spiders, aphids, caterpillars, grasshoppers, millipedes, larvae, and worms are particularly abundant during the spring and summer months.

Do Wild Mice Eat Meat?

Although they’re generally too small to hunt prey, wild mice will eat meat or carrion if they find it. They’ll steal and eat bird’s eggs from nests, and if things become desperate, they’ve even been known to eat other mice.

Do Wild Mice Eat Poop?

Mice, like other rodents, are coprophagic animals, meaning they eat their own poop. This behavior is due to the design of their digestive system and is necessary for them to obtain essential nutrients such as vitamin B12 and folic acid.

What Do Wild Mice Eat in the Winter?

Mice don’t hibernate in the winter but will burrow in a warm and dry place such as an old stump or woodpile when the temperature drops. In the autumn, they’ll increase their hidden stores for when food becomes scarce. Seeds and nuts are ideal for stowing away because they keep their freshness for long periods.

Wild mice will continue to search for food during the winter, and when access to plants becomes limited, they will consume tree bark, roots, and insect larvae they find buried in the ground.

What Do Pet Mice Eat?

The healthiest pet mouse diet tends to be mouse pellets supplemented with small amounts of suitable fresh or dried fruit, vegetables, and seeds.

Seed mixes containing a variety of different seeds such as corn, buckwheat, wheat, soy, millet, barley and sunflower are popular. The problem is, the pet mouse often chooses the higher calorie seeds like sunflower seeds, resulting in weight gain and dietary imbalance. Mice require magnesium, vitamin A, and choline in their diet to prevent nutritional deficiencies.

What Do Baby Wild Mice Eat?

Baby mice are called pups. For the first three weeks of life, they’re blind, deaf, and completely reliant on their mother’s milk for sustenance, which contains all the essential nutrients they need for proper development.
After this time, they’ll start to eat solid foods like grains and fruit, which are often brought to them by their mother, or they’ll forage for their food with the help of other mice.

wild mouse

What Do City Mice Eat?

Wild mice are very adaptive to city living. Their ability to eat a wide range of foods combined with a very good sense of smell will lead them to the nearest trash can or dumpster filled with scraps. Mice have no trouble gnawing through trash bags to get at a meal.

The bird seed put out in suburban areas is another food source for wild mice. Since seeds are one of their staples, they’ll happily partake in those the birds scatter on the ground below the feeder. Wild mice are not picky and will gladly help themselves to whatever pet food is left outside in your pet’s bowl.

How Much Water Do Wild Mice Need?

In the wild, mice get water from natural water sources like lakes, streams, and puddles. Even a small amount of water can sustain a mouse for several days. Even if there is no drinking water available, a significant amount of water consumed by mice comes from the moisture of the food they eat.

Do Wild Mice Eat Cheese?

Saturday morning cartoons would have you believe that mice love cheese. But given a choice, mice will choose seeds, grains, fruits, or a sugary treat over dairy products like cheese. In fact, a study by Dr. David Holmes of Manchester Metropolitan University found that mice don’t like the pungent aroma of cheese at all.

Since cheese is manmade, it’s not something wild mice will encounter. If a city mouse comes across a piece of cheese in the garbage, they’ll eat it, but it’s not something they’d seek out.

What Do Wild Mice Eat?

Wild mice can’t be too fussy about what they eat. These highly adaptable foragers will consume almost anything depending on the environment they’re living in and make a habit of storing food to ensure they won’t be hungry during the lean times.

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