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Odd Stories From an Aspiring Mouse Breeder

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Post by MOMM on Sat 14 Sep 2019, 12:58 pm

My name is Teddy, and I am the co owner of a soon-to-be up and running mousery. I go to a school with a specialized Vet program, and work directly with both a CVT and a CVA. I will graduate with as a CVA.

My friend and I are required to do a SAEP which is an outside-of-school project to learn. We will be breeding mice. We have been studying about genetics, housing, litters, breeding, all that jazz, and will be starting the project most likely in January. The mice will be kept at our school.

I already have a bit of experience with breeding mice. I aquired two female mice early July (Jersey Girl & Little Miss Salem), and Jersey had babies July 12th. She had 6 babies, but unfortunately, only two survived (Gus & Avalon).

Jersey's litter is a bit of an odd case. I actually don't know how many babies she had, because her enclosure consisted of a tank with 3 levels (a large area with 2 lofts & a seperated area on top of that which they had access to) and a smaller area in ground level with a semi-transparent hide. My dad found 5 babies in the hide on ground floor, and when I got to his house (parents are divorced and I was on vacation. My mice lived with my dad.) I found two babies up in the seperated area on top, but didn't check and see if Jersey or Salem had took the babies up there, because I didn't want to disturb anyone. I assumed there were 7 babies, but later, when the two babies up top had dissapeared, and we found 6 in the bottom, I changed it to 6.

The babies got older without any fuss. Everything was fine. They were about 12ish days old when one of the runts died. There were about 4 healthy looking babies, and 2 runts. The next day, the other runt died. About two days later, another baby died. I was distraught. I was so sad that that was happening. I got some Pedialyte and started to paintbrush feed Pedialyte to the babies. The next day, another baby died. I kept giving Pedialyte to the last two babies every few hours when I was awake.

The two babies are doing great. Gus, who was dubbed 'my little water baby' because he loved drinking from a paintbrush (and I didn't know his sex), has been separated into another cage, while Avalon lives with her mom and nanny.

I really want to go through with this project because I'm planning on becoming an actual breeder when I graduate. I love animals, and I love caring for them. I love genetics and seeing what coats colors and types you can get. The possibilities are endless!! Mice are also my passion because they are the sweetest things! Even the mean ones. I know I'm not done researching, and I might be too young, but I will do my best. I know bad that things will happen. I'm going to cry. I'm going to want to give up. But it will be a lesson I have to learn. Everything happens for a reason. Everytime something bad happens, I will get stronger.

Any advice, tips, tricks, or facts would be greatly appreciated. If you guys don't think my friend and I will be able to do this, please explain why. You may have a good point, and I will appreciate it

Thank you.

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Post by ApricotWinter on Thu 07 Jan 2021, 3:53 pm

That's great that you are starting a mousery! I have bred mice before, so I am going to give you some advice. Feed high quality food. Don't do water bowls they will drown baby mice. Supplement the females diet when they are pregnant/lactating. Remove the male from the female once she is pregnant. Do not keep brothers together. Loud noises are a huge factor in the survival rate. Do NOT put your mice by loud things, or even in the same room. T.V.s stress the females out! Always have food available for the females! Any Questions?
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Post by milkyway on Thu 07 Jan 2021, 9:59 pm

You may to consider that things may get difficult for a mother if they have 12+ babies, mice have only 10 nipples and the babies may end up smaller due to competition.

It's good that you have experience brush-feeding.

Separate males from mom and sisters at 4 weeks, though it's not uncommon to witnessing mounting at 3.5 weeks, so if they start doing that around that age, remove them to be safe.

I would recommend you make a Facebook page for your mousery and join Mouse Breeder groups, lots of experienced breeders there as well as people looking for pets.

Be sure to temperament test, very few people want to take on a nipper or a suicide jumper.

You can choose to hand raise, but leaving them alone until temperament testing time is a better idea so you don't mask the temperament in your lines- most of the temperament in a mouse in from it's genetics, you don't want to breed seemingly tame mice that produce aggressive offspring.

Another big thing, look for mentors. Facebook is a great resource for finding homes and fellow breeders. Good luck, it's a hard journey with equal amounts of death and life, and sometimes you have to do hard things to ensure you're only breeding the best mice.

EDIT: Did not realize how old this was. Oh well.

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Post by Dee67 on Fri 08 Jan 2021, 4:05 pm

It's cool bumps up an interesting old post

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do - Rumi
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