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?
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.
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?
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).
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.