|Originally posted by Reelwoman11 on The Fun Mouse forum. Please do not reproduce in any way without permission.|
A lot of people say, "I breed pet store mice because its all I have access to, so its ok". Well, here is my thought about that. And believe me, this is from someone who DOES NOT have breeders nearby. I understand what its like to not have options, but if you’re going to breed pet store mice? There is really only one way to do it right.
1. If you start off with pet store mice, you have to spend time just *looking* at the mice at different stores over a longer course of time. You can’t just walk in one day and decide to buy whatever they have on hand. And let me just add here that if your pet stores around do not separate their mice and are solely feeder sellers to the millionth degree….I would NOT even MESS with breeding until you find better stock. For example, I have a pet store nearby that DOES separate mice, they also sell them as feeders. But they do not *treat* them as feeders. Trust me, there is a HUGE difference.
2. After you’ve done this and you discover a pet store that is only mildly irritating, wait until they have what you’re interested in…unless that’s X brindle or something which you’re never going to see.
3. When you start to breed you need to keep ALL of the babies or at least most. The ones that you do not keep need to go as pets with the understanding that they may not live as long as true breeder mice. DO NOT sell these to breeders unless you’ve had a lengthy conversation about that line. I wouldn’t even try to adopt any of them out for the first few litters because you need to see what, if any, health problems occur from those mice. You need to keep them for the extent of their life on this planet and carefully track each one.
4. You have to be prepared to COMPLETELY cull your lines should any health issues arise. NO MATTER HOW LONG YOU’VE HAD THAT LINE. With pet store mice you may have 3 generations before serious tumors pop up. You have to be prepared to NOT breed that line anymore and to COMPLETELY start over. This is one reason why its just not smart to even start with pet store mice. You could spend so much time with one line only to discover you have to start over again.
5. once you’ve gotten a line to the point of no health problems for several generations you NEED to find a way to get good breeder mice to contribute to that line. If you continue to fill up that line with more and more pet store mice, believe me, you’ll be culling your entire mousery and starting over every 6-8 months.
6. Do not even think of calling yourself a "mousery" until you reach that level of good lines. It’s a mockery to those of us that have spent time, hundreds of dollars, and energy on MAKING SURE that we have the best we can get. Even with breeder lines sometimes you have to stop the line. But your odds are so much higher of doing that with untracked pet store mice.
If you truly think you can do all of that? Then go for it. More power to you. I do not happen to believe most people will want to or will be able to be as strict as they’ll need to be in order to rise above the "pet store" quality. And I truly believe that if you can’t do those things, you’re not doing YOUR job as a responsible breeder and you need to quit.
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