Abstract

Free-ranging populations of house mice, Mus musculus L., on contour banks in a rice field in New South Wales were provided with three types of supplementary food of differing nutritional quality for 10 weeks in spring. Four live-trapping sessions were conducted 3-10 weeks after supplementary feeding started. The percentage of females breeding averaged 47% on banks with supplementary food, and 0% on control banks with no supplementary food. The quality of the supplementary food did not affect breeding performance. It is concluded that breeding in rice fields in spring is limited by the food supply, and it is probably the supply of energy, rather than that of specific nutrients, that is limiting.

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