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Name: Luca
Status: other
Grade: 6-8
Location: Outside U.S.
Country: USA
Date: Fall 2011

What do field mice eat when there in the wild?


Seeds, Insects, Small Nuts

Sincere regards, Mike Stewart

Hi Luca,

Field mice, and in fact all mice are rodents, wich means they are designed to eat lots of plant material with lots of fiber. Such a diet can be hard on teeth, so rodent teeth continue to grow throughout the animal's lifetime, and must be worn down by eating hard plant material such as roots and seeds.

Mice generally eat seeds. In the wild they would harvest and eat the seeds from wild or cultivated grasses. They are just as happy to eat the seeds from the roadside grass as they are to eat the farmer's barley in the field, but since there is more food in the field, the mice is more likely to look for a meal there. It is this latter behaviors which gives them their common name. They can often be seen at harvest time holding on tightly to the head of a barley stalk or a wheat stalk, nibbling away on a seed. They will also eat roots and green parts such as stems and leaves but will prefer seed if it is available.

Mice eating and polluting grains was a major problem for early civilizations who began to store grain. It is believed that in Egypt cats were revered for their protection of the grain harvest. Even today stored grain in silos etc are subject to mice infiltration and strong measures are taken to keep them out.

Nigel Skelton Lab Technician Barkly College - Secondary

In the U.S. many species of mice in the genus Peromyscus are most likely to be called field mice. Most are primarily seed eaters, though they are opportunists and will eat most anything they can get, including other plant parts and insects. At least one species, the cotton mouse of primarily the southern US eats more animal material, slugs and insects, than other species.

J. Elliott

Field mice are great at finding food. They will eat any nuts, fruits, or berries that they can find. Some mitt even eat a few bugs.

Grace Fields

If this request is written because you are keeping field mice as pets, I want to warn you that several species are part of the life cycle of lyme disease. You health may be compromised.

Steve Sample

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