Exotic lovers are of great interest to an unusual animal from the order Rodents - the spiny mouse. Due to the fact that this animal is unpretentious in food, does not have an unpleasant smell, is easily tamed, it is often kept as a pet.
This small animal from the Mouse family (from 7 to 17 cm in size) has other names - akomis, a spiny Egyptian mouse. The weight of even adults does not exceed 50 g. The unusualness of these animals lies in the hairline, which on the back is real needles. The rest of the body is covered with soft hairs of a sandy or brown color, only the abdomen and breast are lighter, sometimes completely white. Adult males have longer fur on their heads, giving the appearance of a mane.
On the narrow muzzle there are black beads of eyes and rather long vibrissae, with the help of which the animal is easily oriented in space. Rounded, very mobile ears are set high. On short paws, a wide foot stands out. The tail has almost the same length as the body, and resembles a rat. He is very fragile, oftenbreaks and in the wild helps to save the life of the animal, which dumps it at the moment of danger.
The spiny mouse (photo can be viewed on the page) lives from 3 to 8 years, depending on the conditions of detention.
The birthplace of these animals is Saudi Arabia, Africa, the islands of Crete and Cyprus, Western Asia. Savannah and semi-desert, dominated by rocky and sandy areas, are their favorite terrain. Akomis (spiny mouse) makes nests in rock crevices, among stones, sometimes occupies the holes of other rodents.
As pets, animals are very common today around the world.
Life in nature
These animals hide from enemies mainly in shelters, but in the absence of such they flee. Despite its short legs, the mouse can run up to 15 km per day. If the situation is hopeless, and there is no way to escape, the animal tries to scare off the enemy by spreading its needles, which makes it seem larger than it actually is.
Akomis live in groups, each of them is headed by a female. There are practically no conflicts between members of the same community. Mice show amazing care for relatives, raising cubs together and caring for each other. Mothers are able to feed other people's babies left orphans. Such instincts help animals survive in the harsh conditions of semi-deserts. The spiny mouse does not like heat, so it leads an active life mainly at night.
Constant communication with these amazing animals makes them quite tame. Recently, mice are very often kept as pets. Given that they live in families, it is recommended to always have several animals, where there would be at least 2 females per male. Otherwise, the annoying boyfriend will not give rest to his only chosen one. You cannot keep several males together with females at the same time, because fights will arise between them, as a result of which the animals can cripple or even kill the weaker one.
Otherwise, spiny mice feel great at home, and there are no particular difficulties with them. But to ensure the safety and comfort of the pet, a specially equipped house will be required.
Contain akomis both in glass aquariums, tightly closed from above with a metal mesh, and in cages. These animals are active, like to frolic, so housing for them should be spacious. For five mice, the minimum size is 90 x 30 x 40 cm.
When choosing a metal cage as a dwelling for rodents, it is necessary that the size of its cells be no more than 1 x 1 cm. An important condition for a comfortable living of akomis is the surface area. To do this, all kinds of shelves, ladders, snags, etc. are placed in their dwelling. To satisfy the need of these animals in movement, it is necessary to install a wheel. It must be firmly attached, have solid solid walls to prevent injury to the fragiletail. Wheel diameter - at least 13 cm.
Several jars with two exits are also placed in the cage for arranging the nest and breeding. One of the most important conditions is the absence of plastic items. Mice can easily gnaw on them, swallowing pieces, which will lead to injury. To grind the incisors put small wooden blocks or tree branches.
Various materials are used as bedding - sawdust, sand, straw, dry leaves, moss. The spiny mouse is a very clean animal, equipping its toilet in one particular place. Therefore, it is usually necessary to change the bedding no more than three times a week.
The cage should always have a feeder and a drinker with water. For this purpose, thick ceramic dishes are suitable, which the animals cannot overturn. Once a week, all items in the cage are washed with warm water and soap. The place for the dwelling of mice is chosen away from heaters and sunlight. Drafts should also be avoided. The most comfortable temperature for animals is 25–27 ⁰С, humidity is 30–35%.
Spiny mice are omnivorous and completely unpretentious in food. Their content therefore does not cause trouble, although it is better to diversify the diet. It is based on cereals - millet, oats, barley, wheat. Occasionally, you can pamper your pet with seeds, nuts, treat with berries, pieces of fruit or vegetables.
Akomis need animal protein, so once a week theygive flour worms or grasshoppers. A substitute for such a delicacy is cottage cheese, yogurt, boiled egg protein, boiled chicken or liver. All this is required in small quantities. Everyone knows the love of representatives of this family for cheese, but it is not recommended to give it to small pets, because this product contains components that are harmful to them - s alt and various preservatives. They are contraindicated in any spicy or fatty foods.
The source of calcium, which the spiny mouse also needs, is crushed eggshells. In pet stores, you can buy special mineral stones designed for rodents, activated charcoal and vitamin sticks. It is only necessary to first consult with a veterinarian.
Food should always be in the feeder, because the metabolic processes in animals proceed quite quickly. It is only important to ensure that it does not stale and does not deteriorate. The water needs to be changed daily, and the cleanliness of the feeder should also be monitored.
From the age of three months, akomis are already considered sexually mature. 42 days after mating, the female gives birth to cubs whose weight is no more than 6 g. Usually there are from 1 to 3, but sometimes 5 babies happen in a litter. They differ from newborn decorative mice in that they are completely independent. From the first day, a small spiny mouse can do without parents (photo below).
She looks a little different than decorative fellow tribesmen - the body is covered with wool, soft needles onback, big head and long legs. The main difference is that the eyes of newborn mice are open. Babies try to walk right away. They are able to independently maintain body temperature, so they do not experience much need for maternal warmth. However, the female feeds on milk for another three weeks. She, in turn, takes care of the cubs, carefully licking them.
At the age of one month, babies are separated from their mother into a general group of animals. Young animals are not kept completely separately, because this subsequently causes mental disorders and leads to the fact that mice lack the ability to communicate with their own kind.
Features of behavior
The spiny mouse is a nocturnal animal. She is most active at night. When purchasing such a pet, you need to be prepared for the fact that rustling, squeaking and other sounds will be heard at night. During the day, the animal may not even appear, resting in a mink. The spiny mouse has an amazing ability to sleep with its eyes open.
Keeping these rodents at home requires getting used to them, otherwise they can run wild. If you do not plan to breed mice, it is recommended to have two same-sex animals, preferably males, because they are larger and much calmer than females. These pets love to sleep in a hammock. It can easily be made from a small piece of sheepskin.
You can not take a spiny mouse by the tail - it is very brittle, and the animal can easily part with it. This also happens in case of danger. It is no coincidence that in nature these animals are often found with acquiredshort-tailed.
Spiny mice do best in a group. They are absolutely not aggressive, very sociable. Help each other in grooming, females raise offspring together.
Akomis do not get along with other pets - they are always prey for cats, dogs and even birds. It is not worth the risk, letting the animals out for a walk, it is better to provide them with a spacious and safe home. If there is a cat in the house, the pallet must be properly protected, and a strong carabiner must be made on the cage.
For young children, close contact with mice can result in bites, and the pets themselves are at risk of injury. Therefore, the cage must be placed in an inaccessible place and securely closed. Only children over 6 years old who know how to handle animals can be trusted with pets such as spiny mice. Care, which consists in feeding, cleaning the cage, at this age the child is already quite capable.
Lack of communication quickly leads to mice running wild. They have a highly excitable nervous system and are capable of dying from fright in a number of cases - when they are suddenly picked up, as well as from loud and sharp sounds. It is necessary to accustom animals to humans from childhood, only this must be done very carefully, to show maximum care and attention. As a result, mice can even recognize their owner by smell, respond to the name and calmly come to hands.
Pretty good overallAkomis (spiny mice) have he alth. How many animals live at home depends on the quality of care for them. The maximum age that these pets can reach is 8 years. Unlike other rodents, they are less likely to suffer from problems such as various types of tumors. Of non-communicable diseases, obesity, metabolic disorders, otitis media, vitamin deficiency are most common. Improper feeding can lead to diseases of the digestive system.
Hypothermia of a pet (for example, due to the cage being in a cold place or in a draft) can lead to the development of rhinitis, pneumonia, bronchitis. Sometimes akomis suffer from skin diseases caused by fungus or parasites.
Due to the unusual appearance of spiny mice, their amazing cleanliness and the lack of smell characteristic of many rodents, more and more people choose them as pets.