Overview of Harvest Mice
The Harvest mouse is the smallest European rodent, native to Europe and Asia. In the wild it typically lives in fields of cereal crops like wheat and oats, and in reed beds long grass and hedgerows. Its fur is reddish-brown with a white belly, some individuals may weigh as little as 4g though an average adult may weigh around 7g, and a heavily pregnant female could weigh up to 15g.
Captive harvest mice live around 1.5 - 2 years. Like the African Pygmy Dormice they are arboreal so must have a habitat that allows for plenty of climbing opportunities and are generally a pet more to watch than to handle although some mice can be quite friendly.
Harvest mice can be kept with company of their own kind providing they have been introduced at a young age. Pairs or colonies can breakdown quite abruptly however, resulting in serious aggression and one or more mice being killed so they must be monitored carefully. See the Harvest Mice - Behaviour page for more information on colony aggression and introductions.
They cannot be kept in a conventional barred cage due to their small size and can easily chew out of anything plastic-based. A Harvest Mice Environment should provide natural enrichment such as branches, logs and nests. If provided with enough nesting material they may weave the elaborate spherical nests they are best known for.
They are active during day and night and take frequent random naps. A Harvest Mice's Diet consists mainly of seeds and insects but also nectar and fruit. They are very interesting, active pets to watch.
Harvest mice are sexually mature between 6-8 weeks of age and have a gestation period of 21 days. Like any animal, breeding should only be undertaken if you have thoroughly done your research and are prepared to give them the best quality of life as well as ensuring you have loving homes available for any offspring.