Laboratory animals are generally offered food and water ad libitum. Mice are herbivores with a preference for grains but they are able to adapt to an omnivore life style, meaning that in addition to grains, they can eat scraps of meat, dairy products and insects. cannibalism may also be observed in mice.
Mice will engage in coprophagia, which means they re-ingest stool. The alimentary canal is able to efficiently absorb a large quantity of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and other nutrients on second passage.
Sensitive to dehydration
The daily food intake of the mouse is about 15 grams per 100 grams of body weight. Fluid intake is about 15 mL per 100 grams of body weight per day. Because of their unfavorable surface to volume ratio and their high metabolic rate, mice are extremely sensitive to fluid loss (dehydration). This can occur when the animal is sick or when it is placed under a warming lamp following surgery (see picture).