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post #31 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 04:22 PM
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I think at the very least, the males should be used as snake food instead of being culled. I hate to say that, but at least then they would be helping a snake and not just dying because it easier.

And personally, there are people out there that do like males.

EDIT- I just saw your post breyer08 and I agree.


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post #32 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Most male mice cant be housed together, but male rats can. Ive talked to several rat breeders who do cull as well.

A breeder could give the unwanted males to a petstore, but to me thats worse then being put to sleep peacefully. After I cull the mice, I sell/give them away as reptile food, but I would never give a live mouse as food to anyone. A petstore dones care who buys the animal or wht ti will be used for.
I would love to keep all my mice male, but I cant. I get way more males then I do females in my litters. I provide HUGE cages for both males and females, which is alot better then most other breeders I know. They keep males in homemade cages, that are usully shoe totes. All of my mice have toys,wheels,etc. and again most breeders dont, Alot of them dont even provide food bowls, they just throw the food in the cage.

I dont cull casually, its hard to do it,but I beleive its for the best.
The first ones I cull are the runts and peanuts, but if I have too many males, then yes I cull some of them and of course I cull for type. I dont need 100 bucks, I do fine with 10 or less. I am breeding to better the species, not just to add to it, so if I get a mouse with bad type, then I cull it. Lots of other breeders cull simply for eye color alone. Beleive it or not, compared to lots of other breeders, I am Responsible. I put tons of money into my mice, including vet visits,etc. I take responsibility for all my animals
I dont view them as a way to make money or anything like that.
The few breeders that dont cull end up with way too many animals way to fast, and the animals suffer for it. No one can pay attention to 300+ mice daily. At least I keep my numbers small, where I can handle them each daily.

a popular mouse forum:
http://www.fancymicebreeders.com/phpBB3

It has a board just for culling, as do many other mouse forums.

Show breeders breed their mice over and over and tend to only keep only 1 or 2 out of the litter, the rest are culled and once the adults are done breeding they are culled 2.
The mice world is different then what most people are used to. I didnt cull at first and it was frowned on!

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post #33 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 07:10 PM
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I do believe that what you breed is your responsibility. If it takes so much out of the mom, then don't breed her so much. Or you could sell your male mice for a significantly cut price. There are other ways.

And even though other mouseries do cull, it is your decision whether to do it or not. I think giving them to a pet store would be the best. That way, they could maybe find homes. They would have a chance.
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post #34 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 09:09 PM
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I think the entire point is that if you are going to breed you are held to a higher standard and you don't get to complain about how hard it is to meet those higher standards since you are making animals.

I'm not understand how it would be impossible for a mousery to provide the same level of care as a rattery since rats are bigger, require more space, and have longer lifespans. If people routinely provide more space for longer than mouseries do, how is that being elitist? Respectable rat breeders also don't kill PEWs or males because they're more difficult to adopt.
Like I said, I understand exactly where you are coming from. I think at a core level of our beliefs we may just disagree about certain things, which is fine with me. You don't have to agree with me. I think you're more noble by not agreeing, if less practical. But in matters of the heart, practicality isn't and shouldn't be first.

I am also perhaps having trouble wrapping my head around the exacts of what it takes to better the mice as a species practically and not cull in some way. (Culling either by euthanasia, pet store give away, or reptile feeding). So far the strongest argument for keeping every single mouse for life in spite of the cost and space, is the very real issue of tracking their later life health issues. Thank you for pointing that out.

I am a bit confused about referring to rat people as elitist. Are they called that? Are you saying that I feel that way? If so, woah, where'd that come from? No, I think there's some key differences in mouse and rat husbandry which to me makes it easier to place rats of both sexes, but I'd be the last person to think either one is elitist for some reason. I'm also a bit confused about rats having longer life spans. I haven't really seen that to be consistently or significantly so these days Most mice live 2 years and most rats live 2 years? Somebody correct me if I'm wrong? As for space, I don't know that I can see that, since rats can be kept together male or female, and mice can't. So unless you're keeping your male mice in inky dinky temporary cages...? I guess it all depends on how the numbers come out.

I'd still love to hear from a mousery who doesn't cull, and how they manage it. One that isn't dabbling, but working hard for years on line improvement. How much space they require, how many litters is their limit, how they place their kits, etc.


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post #35 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 09:15 PM
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And personally, there are people out there that do like males.
I think there are too. Some of them on this forum!

But they are few and far between, and even fewer who are willing to keep them on a regular basis. If there were more, I don't think this thread would be any more a debate or issue than it is for rats.

Right or wrong, most potential mouse owners won't keep males.


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post #36 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 10:27 PM
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I think there are too. Some of them on this forum!

But they are few and far between, and even fewer who are willing to keep them on a regular basis. If there were more, I don't think this thread would be any more a debate or issue than it is for rats.

Right or wrong, most potential mouse owners won't keep males.
No No, I'm not trying to point fingers. I know that males are harder to keep Believe me I've been there.

I believe that they should at least be given a chance I guess. And rather than just be culled that could at least be food or something. I guess I just don't think it is right to kill them for that reason. I could understand if they were sick or deformed.

I just think that if you are a breeder, then you still have the responsibility to care for all of the mice, and if the males don't find homes then you also have the responsibility to take care of them for the rest of their lives. That is my opinion.

And because most mouseries (sp?) do cull doesn't mean it is the right thing to do. If most people went around committing crimes, it wouldn't make it right. I think some people don't care as much about mice because they can reproduce so quickly and they're are already a lot of them. I'm sorry, but I just can't see the other side of this debate.


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post #37 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 01:24 AM
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Like I said, I understand exactly where you are coming from. I think at a core level of our beliefs we may just disagree about certain things, which is fine with me. You don't have to agree with me. I think you're more noble by not agreeing, if less practical. But in matters of the heart, practicality isn't and shouldn't be first.
I just don't understand how "practicality" should figure at all into an optional hobby that you take up of your own accord with living animals. Look at it this way -- it's more practical for dog breeders not to do health checks and to give dogs away for free to whoever wants them. Breeders that do this are looked down upon as poor quality, backyard breeders. Responsible breeding practices are rarely practical.

All the BAWWWWing about how you only need 10 male mice (from the mousery above) is not some magical species perogative. Dog breeders only need a couple of males too. There are too many dogs in the world and it's tough to place dogs. Is it then practical to drown male puppies?

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I am also perhaps having trouble wrapping my head around the exacts of what it takes to better the mice as a species practically and not cull in some way. (Culling either by euthanasia, pet store give away, or reptile feeding). So far the strongest argument for keeping every single mouse for life in spite of the cost and space, is the very real issue of tracking their later life health issues. Thank you for pointing that out.
To clarify, I have no qualms with someone "culling" from their breeding program by rehoming non-breeding animals into pet only homes that they can continue to communicate with in order to track their lines. Not every animal should be part of a breeding program.

I'm challenging you -- why are mice specially different that routine culling should occur? Would you be waxing about the practicality of smothering kittens if someone were killing off their difficult to adopt kittens because nobody wanted them? Or would you tell them to stop breeding cats if they wouldn't provide for them?

Incidently, we've had great success integrating males into female colonies after neutering them.

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I am a bit confused about referring to rat people as elitist. Are they called that? Are you saying that I feel that way? If so, woah, where'd that come from?
No, you said it was elitist to think that only 'independently wealthy' people could breed. I pointed out that not killing off extra animals because it's SO HARRRRD to house them is a reasonable standard in most species, so how would it be considered elitist to hold mouse breeders to the same standard, especially when mice have comparatively easier and cheaper habitats and lifespans?

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No, I think there's some key differences in mouse and rat husbandry which to me makes it easier to place rats of both sexes, but I'd be the last person to think either one is elitist for some reason. I'm also a bit confused about rats having longer life spans. I haven't really seen that to be consistently or significantly so these days Most mice live 2 years and most rats live 2 years?
You can come up with theories about placing rats all you want. I have 20 foster rats right now. PEWs are virtually unadoptable. I have 8 baby PEW rats here that will likely die with me. They were born here. All of their colored siblings have been adopted. They will likely die here. Just like the PEWs I took 2.5 years ago. Rats are not easy to place in any sense of the word. In order to place the rats that we have, we spayed and neutered the entire litter out of pocket at an average cost of $50 per rat, and then adopted them out for $30 each. We essentially have to pay people $20 to adopt rats. (and the $50 is a conservative estimate that doesn't cover any rats that have had respiratory problems or the males that had to have followups to their neuters due to abscesses. In some cases we're in the negative around $100 an animal.)

However, I could probably quadruple my adoption numbers if I "culled" all these PEWs and only left alive anything blue, female, and dumbo, because those are the highly sought after, prettiest rats.

Mice typically live 1-2 years, rats typically 2-3 (although I've gotten a couple to 4).


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As for space, I don't know that I can see that, since rats can be kept together male or female, and mice can't. So unless you're keeping your male mice in inky dinky temporary cages...? I guess it all depends on how the numbers come out.
I have ferret nations for my foster cages for rats. A ferret nation holds roughly 10 rats comfortably. In the same space that a ferret nation takes, I can put up a shelving system that holds 12 mice in 10 gallon aquariums. AFRMA recommends 5 gallons for a male, so in the same amount of space you would require for 10 rats to live a the bare minimums (2 cu. feet each) you could provide double the recommended minimum for your male mice. Living socially does not give rats a significant advantage when it comes to saving space. That's assuming that only males will live there. For females, which you can co-house, 3-4 mice can go into each 10 gallon aquarium, meaning the same space that could house 10 rats could house 48 female mice.

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post #38 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 08:28 AM
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All the BAWWWWing about how you only need 10 male mice (from the mousery above) is not some magical species perogative. Dog breeders only need a couple of males too. There are too many dogs in the world and it's tough to place dogs. Is it then practical to drown male puppies?
I think this is a very good point. If someone were to use this same practice with dog or cat breeding, it would be considered an actual criminal offense. The person could go to jail. Why, then, is it an acceptable practice for small animals?


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post #39 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 08:35 AM
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so Windyhill said she gives the culled mice as reptile food (or sells).
If the babies are humanely put down and used as food, I have much less of a problem with it. I find that better than a pet mill breeding all sorts of babies for food and letting females have back to back to back to back litters.
Perhaps windyhill, you should say you breed to better the species and also breed for feeder. Because in the end that is what you are doing.
I have trouble accepting that you do kill some of the babies, but if they are going for food I have an easier time thinking it's ok.
I would find it even more acceptable if it was to feed your OWN reptiles.
Just like shannon marie did with rats. I mean you have to feed your reptiles somehow, and from a mousery rather than a pet store seems like a better idea to me.
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post #40 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 08:44 AM
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But how can you be bettering the species if you're killing off half of your genetic material? You have no idea, pedigree wise, what's showing up in your lines. How do you know if your mice are prone to tumors when half of them never lived long enough to develop them? How do you assess their overall health and vigor when they're dead? How do you judge how effectively you bred for type when half of them never make adulthood?

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post #41 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 09:02 AM
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[quote=Jennicat;604615]I just don't understand how "practicality" should figure at all into an optional hobby that you take up of your own accord with living animals. Look at it this way -- it's more practical for dog breeders not to do health checks and to give dogs away for free to whoever wants them. Breeders that do this are looked down upon as poor quality, backyard breeders. Responsible breeding practices are rarely practical.

All the BAWWWWing about how you only need 10 male mice (from the mousery above) is not some magical species perogative. Dog breeders only need a couple of males too. There are too many dogs in the world and it's tough to place dogs. Is it then practical to drown male puppies?

I think it's good for all to see everyone's thoughts on this, not just me. See my personal thoughts in your challenge below.



To clarify, I have no qualms with someone "culling" from their breeding program by rehoming non-breeding animals into pet only homes that they can continue to communicate with in order to track their lines. Not every animal should be part of a breeding program.

Oh, don't worry, I didn't think you would feel they are one in the same, I only wrote the differences to clarify that I understood culling doesn't always mean death. And of course not killing would be the ideal.


I'm challenging you -- why are mice specially different that routine culling should occur? Would you be waxing about the practicality of smothering kittens if someone were killing off their difficult to adopt kittens because nobody wanted them? Or would you tell them to stop breeding cats if they wouldn't provide for them?

This is a good challenge. I will have to say for my personal beliefs, I always strive for the ideal, but face the practical. Ideally I wouldn't want any animal drowned or otherwise killed, which is why I love people like yourself. When faced with an animal in front of me and the choice is mine to have to make, if I can provide an alternative to death I will. But practically, if an animal can't be homed or cared for, I take it to be euthanized in the most humane way possible, Whether they are cute kittens, or baby mice. I am also someone who feels strongly for the need to provide legal abortions to people with the addition of counseling and other options, which since you're challenging me to explore my personal beliefs, is a related concept. I think this challenge gets to the core of our differences of stance on this topic.

Incidentally, we've had great success integrating males into female colonies after neutering them.

I'm glad to know there is another option available. Ideally if there are more vets willing to neuter mice, this could be a good alternative in some cases. Just because I'm curious, I may call around to our local vets and see who does this and how much it would cost.

No, you said it was elitist to think that only 'independently wealthy' people could breed.

Ah. I went back to see what I'd written, and no, I never used the word or even intended the sentiment of 'elitist', since that implies a sense of superior exclusivity. I meant that as I understood it, to provide everything a no-kill mousery who is breeding for species improvement needs to be successful, it requires more money than I think most folks have.



You can come up with theories about placing rats all you want. I have 20 foster rats right now. PEWs are virtually unadoptable. I have 8 baby PEW rats here that will likely die with me. They were born here. All of their colored siblings have been adopted. They will likely die here. Just like the PEWs I took 2.5 years ago. Rats are not easy to place in any sense of the word. In order to place the rats that we have, we spayed and neutered the entire litter out of pocket at an average cost of $50 per rat, and then adopted them out for $30 each. We essentially have to pay people $20 to adopt rats. (and the $50 is a conservative estimate that doesn't cover any rats that have had respiratory problems or the males that had to have followups to their neuters due to abscesses. In some cases we're in the negative around $100 an animal.)

However, I could probably quadruple my adoption numbers if I "culled" all these PEWs and only left alive anything blue, female, and dumbo, because those are the highly sought after, prettiest rats.

Mice typically live 1-2 years, rats typically 2-3 (although I've gotten a couple to 4).

I have ferret nations for my foster cages for rats. A ferret nation holds roughly 10 rats comfortably. In the same space that a ferret nation takes, I can put up a shelving system that holds 12 mice in 10 gallon aquariums. AFRMA recommends 5 gallons for a male, so in the same amount of space you would require for 10 rats to live a the bare minimums (2 cu. feet each) you could provide double the recommended minimum for your male mice. Living socially does not give rats a significant advantage when it comes to saving space. That's assuming that only males will live there. For females, which you can co-house, 3-4 mice can go into each 10 gallon aquarium, meaning the same space that could house 10 rats could house 48 female mice.


Thank you for providing the hard numbers I didn't have to get a clear picture.


I know debates like this can get passionate and sometimes heated, thanks for being willing to continue talking with me in particular about this. I'm positive my views drive you crazy given all you work towards. I can't say I'll change my views. I know many years past I had views closer to yours and changed, so who knows. I can say I'm always thinking and reevaluating. Hopefully it will give others good information to think about. Maybe it will even help others think more and figure out where their beliefs lie.


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post #42 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 09:02 AM
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I agree, I should have said breeding for pets, and breeding for feeders.
She didn't however kill half of them but 4 on 13, and she kept boys.
Is that still enough to not see some important genetic material?
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post #43 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 09:10 AM
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No No, I'm not trying to point fingers. I know that males are harder to keep Believe me I've been there.

I believe that they should at least be given a chance I guess. And rather than just be culled that could at least be food or something. I guess I just don't think it is right to kill them for that reason. I could understand if they were sick or deformed.

I just think that if you are a breeder, then you still have the responsibility to care for all of the mice, and if the males don't find homes then you also have the responsibility to take care of them for the rest of their lives. That is my opinion.

And because most mouseries (sp?) do cull doesn't mean it is the right thing to do. If most people went around committing crimes, it wouldn't make it right. I think some people don't care as much about mice because they can reproduce so quickly and they're are already a lot of them. I'm sorry, but I just can't see the other side of this debate.
Nah, no finger pointing meant or intended. Just giving a response and expanding the point.


And, see , this is why I love this forum. Seeing lots of people who love animals so much that the reality of things like all kill culling could be considered barbaric. Obviously from my above challenge answer to jennicat, I don't personally think that and work in more shades of grey, but I love that there are people who are willing to put their walk where their mouth is and fight for an ideal.


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post #44 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 11:00 AM
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I agree, I should have said breeding for pets, and breeding for feeders.
She didn't however kill half of them but 4 on 13, and she kept boys.
Is that still enough to not see some important genetic material?
Well yes. A bad gene only has to appear once to be discovered. If one of your mice turns up with tumors at a year old, that means that every single mouse in that litter is carrying part of those genetics and shouldn't be bred.

Look at how many families have one family member who has a genetic problem, and the rest of the people are fine. Typically a "bad" gene will require certain conditions to express, and they may only happy to occur correctly in one member of a litter.

One of the male mice I have right now (out of a litter) is mutilating himself out of sexual frustration. The other members of his litter aren't. That's certainly not a trait that anyone should want to breed into an animal -- tearing off his ears and bloodying himself -- so why would you risk that gene continuing in any of that litter's progeny?

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post #45 of 75 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Im not just dabbling in mice, but working hard for years on line improvements. I am one of the top breeders in Missouri. I have mice all over the US. I work hard on my lines and have lots to show for it.
I keep track of my pedigrees and lines very well.
I have plenty of genetic material to work with.
If something just show up in my lines, then that line will no longer be bred.


I do understand that we arent going to agree about culling,but that doesnt make me a bad person. I am a animal lover just like everyone else here.


My does have 2-3 litters max and then they are retired and live in a huge cage. They have a month long rest after weaning a litter before I even think about breeding them again. But nursing 16+ babies at a time drains her, no matter how much or how little she has been bred. Show breeders cull to 6 or less everytime. I cull based on how the mom handles the litter. it its too much for her then I cull some.

For those have you that have problems with the way I breed, I ask you to go to http://www.fancymicebreeders.com/phpBB3 and see how how breeders are with mice. I treat mine like pets and most other breeders treat them like livestock.
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