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Feeder Mice

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Post by cookiepotatopaw Mon 20 Apr 2020, 11:45 am

I am wondering if there are any behavioral differences between fancy mice and feeder mice. I want to try hand-raising a baby mouse, and the easiest way to do so without getting a whole litter would be getting a feeder mouse. I would probably get either a fuzzy or a hopper as they are more likely to survive then a pinky. But I am wondering if there are any major behavioral or health differences between a feeder and a fancy mouse.
I know that feeder mice are often inbred and kept in crappy situations, but so are pet store mice. I would most likely be getting a pet mouse from a pet store anyways if I don't get a feeder mouse because I have heard that they can be just as friendly as breeder mice. I would not be getting them through a chain store, but I have not asked whether the store that i'm going to breeds their own animals or gets them from a reputable breeder. My dad said that feeder mice are generally slower and not as smart as fancy mice, is this true?
My main question is, are most feeder mice worse then fancy mice to keep as pets?

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Post by Robin~ Mon 20 Apr 2020, 1:29 pm

Hello!

The main difference between pet shop feeder mice and fancy mice is just the name and color. Feeder mice are often albino, and fancy mice come in other “fancier” colors. Their genetics are basically the same—both are rather poor and things like health, longevity, and behavior are not considered when pairing, especially if your pet store sources from a mill.

The best option for a healthy, well-behaved mouse is to buy from an ethical breeder, or one that is truly breeding for the benefit of the species. Sure, pet shop mice can be very friendly and awesome pets, but breeders target that on a genetic level and you’re much more likely to get a friendly mouse. Breeders are also good for ethical reasons—their mice are raised in stress-free environments and the animals are treated with full respect. The bottom line is the animal, not the money.

By the way, most pet shop mice are hoppers anyways, so no need to look for anything specific. Keep in mind removing a pup from their mom too early can result in behavioral issues and stress because they haven’t learned everything from mom yet. I’m really not sure who’s advocating for hand-raised pups; I’ve seen it floating around—it’s really difficult if you don’t have time for it 24/7 and much less successful than if the pup were to stay with the mom. There’s a reason pup mortality is high when the pup is abandoned.

TL; DR: Fancy mice and feeder mice are the same; where/how they were bred is what matters. No pup under the hopper stage should be removed from their parents without good medical reason.

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Post by cookiepotatopaw Mon 20 Apr 2020, 2:08 pm

Thank you for your input. I know that it is generally better to get pets from a breeder, but I thought it would be an interesting experience to raise a pup the best I can. These pups are being sold as feeders anyways, so I personally think it would be alright to try to raise them because they would most likely be dying if I did not. (I have no problem with feeders btw, snakes need to eat too) I just think that it would be interesting to care for a mouse through all/most of the stages of it's life. In my mind, I think it is perfectly alright to try raising these mice because they were meant to be feeders and probably would not have a chance to be a pet. If you have any opinions about this, I would love to hear your side of the story. (I'm not trying to sound snobby, I actually do want to consider different points of view.) My main question was if their behaviors and health were lower than pet store mice, and if they are not and if I'm still up for it by the time I get all the supplies, then this is still an option.

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Post by Molly_mouse Tue 21 Apr 2020, 7:35 pm

I would say ideally that no, if it can be avoided try not to buy feeder mice. They aren’t bred for health, so a feeder mouse will GENERALLY live shorter lives. If you were planning on getting pet store mice anyway (which I wouldn’t really recommend), their health might be similar, however from a pet store temperament might be a little better. I still wouldn’t recommend supporting pet store breeding. If you follow this link, you can look at ethical breeders in your area: http://www.fmbamice.com/breeder-listings/ . If there are none in your area, check out rescues or local pet stores that breed their own animals (ethically of course). Try to avoid commercial pet stores as well as you can. The health of feeder mice is almost definitely going to be a worse, however the health of commercial pet store mice is already going to most likely be bad anyway. Their temperament will also most likely be worse.

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