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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am really pleasantly surprised with the difference in culling attitudes within the mouse fancy, people are willing to discuss methods and there is not nearly so much public outcry.
I have experience in culling through the rabbit fancy yet if someone said to me what do you do with your excess I mainly would be very careful how I answered. I have a friend who is an experienced hunter who culls mostly for me but once in a while a desperate situation arises where I have to do it myself and it does hurt each and every time, thats because at the end of the day we love our stock and put a lot into it.
I done my first pinky the other day as it only had half a tail, an over enthusiastic mum, being honest I was not sure what to do had it been a baby rabbit I would have used the floor but was a bit befuddled, I remembered a snake feeder telling me she just pinged the back of the head so I though ok give it a try and was amazed how effective it was.
I am experienced with the edge of unit etc one also as I have had a few guinea pigs remove legs from babies and that had to be dealt with quickly and eficiently, I assume that is how you would do an adult mouse.
 

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There are several ways to cull mice, and different ways to different ages.

Its never a happy experience, but it is something that must be considered and looked into when breeding.
 

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I am really pleasantly surprised with the difference in culling attitudes within the mouse fancy, people are willing to discuss methods and there is not nearly so much public outcry.
This is one of my favourite things about the mouse fancy in general and this forum :) Culling is practical and realistic when breeding mice and that's just the way it is!

Sarah xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I really am delighted by the lack of backlash, I am very much of the attitude that I breed to exhibit and while my stock are with me they are loved, cared for and have great living conditions, I always know they are safe and healthy.
After a few bad experiences of rehoming rabbits I decided to no longer do it unless I knew and trusted the person implicitly. I had one I rehomed ripped apart by the pet dogs, another used as a backstreet breeding machine, one found in horrendous conditions and now I feel I would rather cull and have them healthy and happy to the end than possibly suffer a long and horrible death. I also have a few oaps so I am not all bad.
I am lucky that I dont breed many a year and most go to other breeders to improve lines so I don't have much excess but with the mice I do feel that if not careful I could end up over run in no time so I need to look at all possibilities and be realistic.
 

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You can EASILY get overrun with mice if you're not culling - particularly as they are so hard to sell as pets. No-one wants them, I have no idea why because mice are fab little guys. The biggest problem I have is because my mice are all dove; most pet orientated people say "oh, I really wanted two that look different, do you not sell any other colours?" I've sold a total of eight pet does in the last year! Then you have all the ex-breeding adults; they can't be shown, they can't be bred, so what else are you supposed to do with them? I'm so happy that culling is so accepted, even recommended, within the fancy. Otherwise I'd be doing it in secret and fretting that people would find out!

Sarah xxx
 

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Yeah, there's a lot of difference within the mouse fancy, worldwide, with culling. I am under the impression that it is easier to talk about culling in the UK than in the US or Australia, so much so that on another forum (based in the US) we had to set up a separate private forum just for the topic, similar to this one here. I know I'm probably naive, but it surprised me that we had to do that. I know that culling carries over from rabbits, but in the US even a lot of rabbit breeders refuse to cull. I've never understood that. Also, with rats in the US I know exactly one rat breeder who culls and talks about it. That's the key point--I know other rat breeders who cull their litters but never mention it. It just looks like they have litters of 4-6 all the time, year in, year out. :roll:

I cull my litters pretty heavily, down to 3-5 mice per litter and sometimes fewer. This has caused me some real problems with associations and clubs over the years. There are those who require you to say you will not cull before you can have membership, and when I tried to join one a few years back, I refused to say that I would not cull and they refused me membership. Go figure. But I wasn't going to lie and say no, I'd never cull a litter. I think that particular club is now defunct, which wouldn't surprise me because I doubt they had many members who would agree to that. I like clubs whose policy it is to have no official policy. That allows the individual members to decide for themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am hoping to generate a bit of interest at our shows but I really do not see me getting that many people interested. They really are fab wee creatures and far more suitable pets than gerbils and hamsters IMHO. I suppose it is just a case of getting people to see that, Sadly it may be an uphill struggle and if nobody wants them then I will have no choice but to control numbers in any way I can.
There are one or two rabbit breeders further down Scotland who are interested in pushing the mouse fancy but again that is just an in the pipe line thing.
I understand the whole animal rights thing but culling done responsibly and correctly in my opinion is far more responsible than putting animals here there and everywhere just because thats what is acceptable.
I know of old time breeders who ask people looking for stock could you kill a rabbit because otherwise you are going to be over run and you are wasting your time as your hutches will be full in 6 months.
 

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At the last show i went to, i was talking to a guy there who was saying that after 3 litters he culls his does... if any mice are aggressive or bitey he culls them, and he culls his litters down always for type, colour and gender.

Some people i know thinks this is extreme, but personally I think this practice is how I have ended up with gorgeous mice that are lovely and not aggressive!

Lets face it, if the fancy was against culling, the mice we have would be no way near as lovely as they are!

Willow xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I absolutely agree with culling for nature, if a rabbit is aggressive here it does not stay no way no how. I have gone to the trouble of taking stock hundreds of miles at great expense and found you couldn't get into the hutch without being attacked and that goes. A breeder I got that rabbit from told me it was spirited :shock: it would draw blood from itself in an effort to attack the nearest human, thats not spirited it psychotic.
I must add in response to the forums, the rabbit breeder forums are very tight with security and access to different areas as there have been terrible threats and attacks on some breeders. I was surprised to access this area so easily being honest one forum I go on even as a known breeder and brc member you have to be vouched for by 2 known members or you cannot even see any part of the forum. Major security.
 

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I wonder if the fact that people eat rabbits matters?

People eat mice too, but not in this part of the world (the West), I don't think.

I think the lack of interest in mice as pets stems from the fear that a lot of people have for them. Just a couple weeks ago I was in a pet store and heard a girl about 12 or 13 years old scream when her brother asked to hold one of the rats. I was there and I told her that mice and rats bite less than hamsters or gerbils and make good pets and she said, "I just can't get over their tails!" and was genuinely terrified. Being naturally curious, I asked her why she was afraid of their tails. She said they looked like snakes. I didn't know what to say to that because to me they look nothing at all like snakes. :?:

I did say, a few minutes later, that their tails are soft and warm like human skin. It didn't seem to help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have seen forums where breeders are not welcome etc and was amazed that they bang on about how many are in rescue and actually have areas of the forum where they trawl free ad sites and go and RESCUE these rabbits, :shock: that is not a rescue it was someone rehoming. I am not surprised there are so many in rescue when this is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Break the neck, I can't do it as I am not big or strong enough which is why I have an experienced hunter do it. It is very fast.
 

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One of my friends with as warped a sense of humor as I have called me "mouse Hitler" but I countered that I was humane and had actual reasons and that mice were not people, but even though she was kidding around, I think she mirrored an attitude that a lot of people feel towards the subject of culling. To them, those of us who cull our litters down and keep only the very best are practicing genocide, except that what they fail to see (from my biased standpoint) is that these are not people. They're animals. Yes, animals deserve kindness and fair treatment, but at the end of the day they're still animals and at the end of the day they are our animals and we reserve the right to make life-and-death decisions on their behalf.

I agree with the notion that if it were not for culling we would not have half as many nice mice as we do. If I had to keep every mouse born, I would never ever EVER be able to breed the very best because I simply wouldn't have room.
 

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unicorn said:
Break the neck, I can't do it as I am not big or strong enough which is why I have an experienced hunter do it. It is very fast.
I've watched it done for a guy who fed rabbits to his python. It is deceptively fast (a couple of seconds).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have head of people using pellet guns and captive bolt stunners but I think that can go wrong a bit easily. Necking is a tried and tested method and as you say unbelievably fast.
 

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I euthanize adult mice this way. One time I was asked to do it on a rat and just couldn't do it because I didn't trust myself with the rat being so much bigger than a mouse, so people who can do it on rabbits really have my respect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It is definately better to not try if you are not sure, youngsters or emergency I would but otherwise not a chance.
 

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I know this sounds morbid, but it's also a good idea to practice on dead animals if you have the chance. That's how I was taught to cull mice (by a person who worked in a lab where the method was used).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That is actually very good advice, I have heard of people doing this so they don't mess up when it really counts.
 
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