Some years ago I kept mice as pets. They were lovely, affectionate creatures — but oh so fragile and short-lived. None of them lasted for more than one and a half years, and apart from Nugget who died of a respiratory infection all the others had to be put down to spare them from a ugly death by cancer. Here’s part of their legacy.
This little mouse house was made from packing tape cores glued together. A tube made from 1″ label cores inserted into a hole made in the side of the resulting cylinder. More cardboard was glued to the base to create a floor. The assembly was then secured to the cage with garden-grade twist-ties. The mice seemed to find their home not just comfortable but tasty as well, so a new house had to made every four months or so.
Twigs were added to create interesting new paths and climbing/resting opportunities.
At cleaning time I’d take the cage into the yard, pull out the tray and leave the top gate open. The mice felt more secure in, on or near the cage, so I had no concerns about escape.
Playing in the coop cups was a frequent theme.
The mousies’ freedom was sharply curtailed when one morning a butcherbird suddenly showed an interest in the proceedings and, landing on the cage, tried to get at its occupants as I watched open-mouthed from less than two metres away. The cage door was fortunately closed at the time. After that incident there was no more unsupervised exploring.
This is Harlequin trying to get to the main cage from the travel cage.