Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Breeding of the Harvest Mouse in Captivity


THE harvest mouse, Micromys minutus, is easy to keep in captivity, this tiny beast flourishing in a roomy cage as many naturalists have proved. One of mine lived with me for nearly four years and died apparently of senile decay. But it has rarely been bred in confinement; indeed I believe that until quite recently the late Miss Phyllis Kelway's achievement of breeding a litter of harvest mice was unique. I say until "quite recently" because two females in my possession have just produced a litter each. The first family two thirds grown was out and running about on May 12 and the second litter came out, being but half-grown, on May 15. An accurate count was difficult for the small animals kept running in and out of the straw, hay, etc., in their quarters; but my provisional estimate was three in litter number one and four in litter number two. This may have to be modified.

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

PITT, F. Breeding of the Harvest Mouse in Captivity. Nature 155, 700 (1945).

Download citation


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing