I'm thinking about getting some mice in the next couple of months, but I have a few questions.
1. What bar spacing is safe for mice? My cage is a Savic Mickey 2XL, which is the same as a Hamster Heaven but with 7mm bar spacing. Would it be suitable?
2. I have a lot of wooden accessories but would mice make these smell? Would it be better to use plastic?
3. Would 3 females be a good starter group? UK mouse groups don't allow keeping males alone so the other option would be a group or pair of neutered males or a neutered male with females. 3 females seems like the simplest and safest way to go.
4. Do mice need sand? What about deep bedding?
That's all for now but I'm sure I'll have more questions later on.
1. Generally, anything under 3/8" is ok, so you should be good with 7mm.
2. Wooden toys are perfectly safe to use, but, yes, your mice will urinate all over them--they do not litter train well! Over time I've opted to use a lot of reused items like cardboard boxes and plastic snack containers since they're a lot easier on the wallet.
3. Three females sounds great. Generally you want at least three at a time so, when one passes, you won't be left with a solo mouse while your new mice are in quarantine. By the way, neutering mice will not fix any hormonal problems--all that does is prevent pregnancies. However, in Europe, mice tend to have better temperaments if you buy from a good breeder, so getting two males to get along can be a lot easier there than in the States.
4. I would steer clear of sand--it tends to be rather dusty, which isn't great for URI-prone mice. Deep bedding is great, though--the more the merrier. At least 6" is recommended; 4" can work if you use a heat source under part of the cage.
Mom of Moo, Raven (mice), Hermes (robo hamster), and Prism (betta) ~ Welcome to the forum! We're happy to have you around!
Generally you can remove half the bedding every 7-10 days, but you can go longer if you really stay on top of spot cleaning. Unlike other rodents, mice love exploring new set ups and won't be stressed out by a new layout each week.
I have some of those cotton bird toys for my mice and they love them. Just keep an eye out for chewing.