The Ethics of Breeding

Go down

The Ethics of Breeding

Post by CinnamonPearl on Sun 30 Oct 2016, 8:14 pm

So there's something I've been wondering for a long time, but I always refrained from asking it just because it was something that was so well ingrained in our community that I didn't feel like I could ask this question without getting some sort of backlash. But nowadays we don't have a lot of breeders, and I know everyone well, so I thought it was time I get this off my chest and get some good knowledge!

I know that on this forum, we consider the only good breeders to be ones who closely track the genetics of their mice, use pedigrees, and breed beautiful show mice. Otherwise they're BYBs and we don't associate with them. But my question is.... Why? The thing that confused me about this is the mouse world seems to be the only animal community I've come across where this is the standard. Like, before mice, I was a part of the amphibian community, and while breeders that worked in genetics to make cool variations of frogs were widely appreciated, if someone wanted to try their hand at breeding and test the waters, they were usually encouraged to try it out, and no one really minded that they didn't start charting pedigrees. Same goes for parrots; in that community, people were more concerned with whether you could raise tame babies than whether you could list their genotypes.

So I'm more or less wondering why we draw the line between good breeders and bad breeders with pedigrees. Like, I understand completely that you're never going to be a proper show breeder and get incredible mice if you don't track their genotypes. But how come it's looked down upon when people put a girl and boy together just to occasionally experience the joy of bringing up little ones, so long as they do everything safely, bring them up to be tame, and keep them or find them good homes afterwards? What specifically about mice makes it so that breeding that isn't carefully done down to the specific genetics is considered unsafe and cruel?

I'm just trying to understand. I hope this doesn't start any sort of drama. Thanks for reading!

Edited to add: Just realized I forgot to say: I have absolutely no intention of breeding, especially not without doing it responsibly and tracking genetics. Trust me, I don't even like to keep more than two tanks at a time. I'm legitimately just asking because I'm curious.


Last edited by CinnamonPearl on Mon 31 Oct 2016, 5:45 am; edited 1 time in total

_________________
avatar
CinnamonPearl
Hero Member
Hero Member

Join date : 2016-04-06
Posts : 1725
Likes : 256

Pisces

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Ethics of Breeding

Post by Peachy on Sun 30 Oct 2016, 9:15 pm

I've encountered similar views for other pets. Rats, cats, hedgehogs, and ferrets. And dogs. It wasn't just TFM that was very... er, "ethics oriented."

I remember it being said that if you weren't breeding to make the species better, you had no reason to breed at all. Off the top of my head, I can see a big reason for those sorts of views being that breeding MORE mice that are "no better than" the mice you could adopt from a store or shelter, just so you can play with little squirmy cute things, isn't worth the health risks to mothers, and the babies as they age. There's a lot of discussion about things going wrong when you pair the wrong mice up for babies. Tumors is a common concern, for example.

I think there are exceptions. I don't think no one should ever breed or that if you have a litter you're always, automatically a horrible, unethical BYB. But there are definitely some things that you should be able to say are true for you (like having the resources to care for every baby born for their whole life, being knowledgeable about problems that might come up and what you can do, etc) and not everyone who wants to get into breeding can do that.
avatar
Peachy
Moderator
Moderator

Join date : 2016-04-06
Posts : 2886
Likes : 827

Scorpio Mellow

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Ethics of Breeding

Post by CallaLily on Sun 30 Oct 2016, 9:34 pm

I think a lot of the whys are answered in this thread: http://petmousefanciers.forumotion.com/t35-mouse-breeding-ethics.

I agree with Peachy.

_________________
currently without meece but always remembering:
Cheeseburger, Bacon, Twix, Hashbrown, Daryl,
Celyn, Rina, Seren, Hazel, Arsinoe, Tilda, & Eulyn

Gerbils: Oghren & Merin / Jeffrey, Geoffrey, & Jeffri /
Hamlet & Horatio / Emrys, Cream, & Hershey / 
Bill & Frances   Hearts  Hamster: Daydream
avatar
CallaLily
Hero Member
Hero Member

Join date : 2016-04-03
Posts : 3663
Likes : 1024

Aquarius Spooky

View user profile https://www.instagram.com/suz_eliz/

Back to top Go down

Re: The Ethics of Breeding

Post by MouseLover on Mon 31 Oct 2016, 4:11 pm

I've encountered similar views in other "animal communities". For example, a lot of dog lovers will discourage people from buying or breeding puppies when there are so many dogs in animal shelters that need homes.

I think the intention on TFM, and here, was mostly to put off people who would take breeding lightly, or would go into breeding without doing their research and without seriously considering the potential consequences.

But where I live, mice are rarely sold in pet shops (I've never seen them anyway) and the big chain pet stores never sell mice. Show breeders are often very hard to get a hold of, and they often seem quite reluctant to sell their mice. So for me, most of my mice have come from "hobby breeders". They were probably only as well bred as pet shop mice, but they were raised in good conditions and were cared for as pets. So if there weren't hobby breeders and accidental litters around, I really don't know where I'd be getting my mice.

So I guess what I'm saying is that whilst I believe that ethical concerns of breeding should be taken very seriously, I don't see it as you're either a show breeder or a horrible BYB. There are ways to be a more casual breeder and still be very ethical.

Funnily enough, my experience of show breeders vs hobby breeders has lead me to believe that hobby breeders are in many cases more ethical than show breeders - especially when it comes to issues such as culling and euthanasia. So I think every breeder should be judged as an individual and not whether they're a show breeder or something more casual.

_________________
Current Mice: Honey, Violet, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.
Rainbow Bridge: Daisy, Peach, Ivy, Penelope, Hazel, Ruby, Clover, Peanut, Minnie, Ginger.
avatar
MouseLover
Hero Member
Hero Member

Join date : 2016-04-12
Posts : 1362
Likes : 218

Scorpio Sleepy

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Ethics of Breeding

Post by southerncharmmice on Mon 31 Oct 2016, 4:21 pm

So, I am not well versed in mouse breeding at all, but I am in dog breeding and this situation sounds very similar.

I know that, in dogs, the problem with BYB's is the general lack of health. People who tend to just breed for "fun" or "because the puppies are cute" often end up with just awful dogs health and even usually temperament wise. I think the same concerns are raised with mice.
If you breed to random mice from pet shops without knowing their genetic health history, you have no idea what you are going to get. Mice with tumors, mice with defects, etc.

I don't think it's bad to be curious about breeding any animal, and there are plenty of ways to get involved (for example, my situation in adopting the pregnant mice, or volunteering at an animal shelter, etc.) However, I don't think anyone should breed any animal because "it's cute". I think that is really why the mice community and other communities discourage people from breeding.

True, healthy breeding does take a lot of work and people know that, which is why they discourage people from "trying it out". It isn't like a game where you can start to play, realize you don't like it, and quit. You have living, breathing creatures on your hands now that rely on you to live.

But, I do have to agree with MouseLover in that every breeder, regardless of species, should be judged on a case by case basis. There are some really awesome hobby dog breeders that do everything right, but they aren't the big shots who show 24/7 and own 15 dogs. I think the same goes with mice.

Hope this helps!

_________________
Southern Charm Mice
Nova, Ellamae, Xader, Pip, Aero, Finn, Riley, Jess, Lexa, and Rhea
Currently raising two litters of baby mice  Love
Fancy Mice are the best!
avatar
southerncharmmice
Jr Member
Jr Member

Join date : 2016-10-02
Posts : 42
Likes : 2


View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Ethics of Breeding

Post by CinnamonPearl on Mon 31 Oct 2016, 4:24 pm

Thanks everyone for the responses! I'm getting a better idea now, but if anyone else has any input, please share! I'm loving hearing everyone's input and opinions.

_________________
avatar
CinnamonPearl
Hero Member
Hero Member

Join date : 2016-04-06
Posts : 1725
Likes : 256

Pisces

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Ethics of Breeding

Post by despereaux on Tue 01 Nov 2016, 12:45 pm

So ethical breeding is something we talk about at school a lot and it definitely isn't something that is specific to the mouse community. The overall consensus is that casual breeding is generally not a good idea and there are a number of reasons for this.

First, and probably most importantly, is the fact that there are literally millions upon millions of animals that don't have homes. Why create more animals "just for fun" when there are likely several in your area already looking for a home. Furthermore, who's to say that the litter you bring into the world won't just contribute to the surplus of unwanted pets? Even if you do have homes lined up for the babies, what if someone backs out at the last minute or there are more babies than you anticipated? A lot of people just end up dumping them at the pet store which is another discussion entirely.

Second, is genetics. When you breed two animals who's genetics you know little to nothing about you're just asking for problems. The litter may appear to be healthy, but they could be harboring issues that won't show up until later in life. They could also be carrying undesirable recessive genes that could show up in potential offspring if they continue to be bred. This is how you end up with unhealthy animals. Most people don't want to take on an unhealthy animal, so this just adds to the number of unwanted pets. It's also important to note that expectant mothers should be given proper veterinary care BEFORE they conceive to ensure the best possible health for her and her offspring. Be prepared for the fact that both the male and the female can be injured during the act of mating.

Third, is that your average pet owner is just not up to the task of raising a litter. Most pet owners don't visit forums and a lot of people don't seek veterinary care. You would be surprised just how clueless people can be about the animals they've promised to provide care for. These aren't the kinds of people you want dabbling in something as serious as the creation of animal life.

There are more reasons than this, but that's what I can think of off the top of my head. I'm not saying ALL casual breeders are bad, but there are just too many "breeders" out there who are going about it the wrong way. I would never intentionally breed and I would never encourage it. If you have a purebred animal with amazing genetics and are fully prepared and capable to raise the litter and provide homes for them, then by all means do it. However, this does not apply to most people. These are living beings we are talking about they should be treated as such.
avatar
despereaux
Jr Member
Jr Member

Join date : 2016-04-14
Posts : 23
Likes : 0

Aquarius

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Ethics of Breeding

Post by CinnamonPearl on Tue 01 Nov 2016, 2:40 pm

Oh, wait Despereaux, hang on. When I started this thread, I didn't mean to imply that mice don't deserve to be treated with respect in terms of breeding and such. Of course I know that. ^.^

So thank you everyone for the input. My question is now: Do you think someone who considers themself to be a casual breeder, someone who provides our standard of care for their animals and seeks out vet care when needed, would be unethical for choosing to breed one litter of mice if there are mice at a shelter who also need homes? I'm mainly just interested in people's opinions on this and am trying to figure out exactly where the line is between good casual breeders and BYBs.

_________________
avatar
CinnamonPearl
Hero Member
Hero Member

Join date : 2016-04-06
Posts : 1725
Likes : 256

Pisces

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Ethics of Breeding

Post by CallaLily on Tue 01 Nov 2016, 2:48 pm

@CinnamonPearl wrote:My question is now: Do you think someone who considers themself to be a casual breeder, someone who provides our standard of care for their animals and seeks out vet care when needed, would be unethical for choosing to breed one litter of mice if there are mice at a shelter who also need homes? I'm mainly just interested in people's opinions on this and am trying to figure out exactly where the line is between good casual breeders and BYBs.

I think this area is gray and really comes down to your own personal feelings.  Kind of like buying mice at a pet store vs adopting.

_________________
currently without meece but always remembering:
Cheeseburger, Bacon, Twix, Hashbrown, Daryl,
Celyn, Rina, Seren, Hazel, Arsinoe, Tilda, & Eulyn

Gerbils: Oghren & Merin / Jeffrey, Geoffrey, & Jeffri /
Hamlet & Horatio / Emrys, Cream, & Hershey / 
Bill & Frances   Hearts  Hamster: Daydream
avatar
CallaLily
Hero Member
Hero Member

Join date : 2016-04-03
Posts : 3663
Likes : 1024

Aquarius Spooky

View user profile https://www.instagram.com/suz_eliz/

Back to top Go down

Re: The Ethics of Breeding

Post by Peachy on Tue 01 Nov 2016, 4:22 pm

I think it'd be hard to draw a line, but I agree that adopting verse choosing to have your own litter would be a personal choice.

I imagine "casual breeding" is hard for owners who only want a cage or two, because females aren't supposed to be bred after eight months. If your litters go the way my two went, breeding at least one of the girls before she's too old to have a litter would mean many mice being born, maybe a little less if you get into culling. If four were born in January, breeding in August bumps you to nine, breeding again in April leaves you with 13...

The only other option I can think of would be getting down to a couple girls and then deciding to adopt/purchase a mouse so she can have a litter... that's not something I would do but if you like raising your mice from birth and aren't relying on anyone else taking them in (ie, pet stores, rescues, or sketchy owners) I don't see anything wrong with that, assuming you have the knowledge and resources to do it responsibly.

Interesting discussion!
avatar
Peachy
Moderator
Moderator

Join date : 2016-04-06
Posts : 2886
Likes : 827

Scorpio Mellow

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Ethics of Breeding

Post by despereaux on Tue 01 Nov 2016, 6:39 pm

@CinnamonPearl wrote:Oh, wait Despereaux, hang on. When I started this thread, I didn't mean to imply that mice don't deserve to be treated with respect in terms of breeding and such. Of course I know that. ^.^

Of course! I think everyone here can agree on that. What I meant by that was that unfortunately there are people who breed just because they want to see cute babies. They don't consider the fact that those babies will grow up and need to be provided for and looked after for the rest of their lives. They rely on the fact that some pet shops will take the babies off their hands when they get tired of them, and then they never give the babies a second thought after surrendering them. That isn't doing right by your litter.

@CinnamonPearl wrote:Do you think someone who considers themself to be a casual breeder, someone who provides our standard of care for their animals and seeks out vet care when needed, would be unethical for choosing to breed one litter of mice if there are mice at a shelter who also need homes?

I would say it's usually unethical. What's the reason behind breeding that litter? If it's because you want more mice, then why not give a home to one/some of the existing shelter mice instead of potentially creating MORE mice that need homes. On the other hand, it's because you think you have some great mice with good genes and you want to pass those genes on, that is another story. As long as standard of care is being met and you provide every baby with a lifelong home in one way or another, I wouldn't have a problem with that. I think the latter is less often the case, but either way it is a bit of a grey area.
avatar
despereaux
Jr Member
Jr Member

Join date : 2016-04-14
Posts : 23
Likes : 0

Aquarius

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Ethics of Breeding

Post by CinnamonPearl on Tue 01 Nov 2016, 6:46 pm

@despereaux wrote:...why not give a home to one/some of the existing shelter mice instead of potentially creating MORE mice that need homes.

For now, I'm strictly referring to casual breeders who would either keep all of the babies and be able to provide for them or be able to rehome them effectively. It's established that unethical breeders should not be in the practice.

_________________
avatar
CinnamonPearl
Hero Member
Hero Member

Join date : 2016-04-06
Posts : 1725
Likes : 256

Pisces

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Ethics of Breeding

Post by MouseLover on Wed 02 Nov 2016, 5:18 pm

If you're willing to give all the babies a home then you wouldn't be contributing to the number of animals at shelters. It could also be worth telling people who buy mice from you that you would be willing to take back any mice that they can no longer care for.

Even the best mouse breeders were beginners at some point - so as long as someone has done all the necessary research, is prepared to give lifetime care to all their animals, and breeds from healthy mice, then I really see nothing wrong with someone wanting to try breeding.

But maybe I see things differently because of where most of my mice have come from?

_________________
Current Mice: Honey, Violet, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.
Rainbow Bridge: Daisy, Peach, Ivy, Penelope, Hazel, Ruby, Clover, Peanut, Minnie, Ginger.
avatar
MouseLover
Hero Member
Hero Member

Join date : 2016-04-12
Posts : 1362
Likes : 218

Scorpio Sleepy

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Ethics of Breeding

Post by despereaux on Wed 02 Nov 2016, 5:29 pm

MouseLover brings up some good points. I didn't really think about it that way. We can only get good mice if people are willing to breed good mice. I suppose it all comes down to people's personal beliefs and what's right for them/their mice. Good discussion!

_________________
meecers: Clover, Daisy, Violet, & Willow Smile
avatar
despereaux
Jr Member
Jr Member

Join date : 2016-04-14
Posts : 23
Likes : 0

Aquarius

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Ethics of Breeding

Post by CinnamonPearl on Wed 02 Nov 2016, 5:34 pm

This is a good discussion! I'm glad I brought up the question.

_________________
avatar
CinnamonPearl
Hero Member
Hero Member

Join date : 2016-04-06
Posts : 1725
Likes : 256

Pisces

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Ethics of Breeding

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum