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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am adopting and have started having home visits and so on from my social worker. Basically she says that I wont be able to maintain my mouse collection when the children/child arrives. I realise I wont be able to keep it at the level I have it at the moment but I would like to keep some of my lines going atleast. The children will come first of course so if having the animals affects the children negatively in any way then I will be happy to let them go.

Any input about how others cope with having children and looking after their animals would be useful. It might give me some ideas of how I will be able to manage.

Thanks.
 

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Pets are part of many children's lives. Parental involvement, open discussion, and planning are necessary to help make pet ownership a positive experience for everyone. A child who learns to care for an animal, and treat it kindly and patiently, may get invaluable training in learning to treat people the same way.

From the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_ ... d_children.

What are her main concerns? smell? hygiene? time commitments?Maybe try to get a clear indication from him/her about what exactly do they perceive is the problems? Then you can set clear goals to achieve a safe family environment.

Even very little toddlers can be taught how to hold a mouse properly (just never let them alone with any animal, kids I know many stories of kids loving animals to death.) Exciting time for you. Best of luck.
 

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How old are the children going to be?
I grew up with dogs and was introduced to rodents and other small animals at a really early age. Obviously you won't be able to maaintain all of your mice but when the kiddies reach a certain age they could get involved.
 

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I just wanted to say good luck, its fantastic youre adopting!

We have fertility problems and so have been looking into adoption ourselves (we always planned to adopt our second child, anyway) I know its a lengthy and stressful process, so good luck with it all, itll be so worth it!
As for the mice I can only echo whats been said above. I grew up surrounded by heaps of animals and my mum bred cavies for show. I have nothing but great memories of it all as my mum got my involved in helping out, and it gave me the passion I have for animals now

Still I understand with adoption youll need a lot of time building the childrens confidence, settling them in etc, so making the collection smaller is maybe wise. But I dont see a reason for you to be completely mouseless!
 

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I would cut back a bit,say and do the things this silly woman wants and when you have your child revert to making your own decisions as any other normal parent would.The worlds gone mad.Hope it all works out for you.
 

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I've got kids and a zoo ... no problem what so ever.
Just keep your breeding practices ie culling to yourself, kids don't respond well to that sort of thing.
Your a brave man ...good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for the feedback, Its something I'll try to convince the social worker of but if she doesn't buy it most if not all of the mice will have to go. It's all about jumping through hoops and at the end of the day I would rather have children than mice so if it comes to it I'm happy to make some sacrifices. She is concerned about the time constraints of caring for the number of mice I have so she mimght be happy for me to continue breeding with maybe two bucks and 8 does, I think thats an easily manageable number, she might disagree!
The social worker did say that animals are a good influence on children so she is happy with my rabbits and things. Lots of adopted children might not very nice to animals for many reasons, so they will ahve to be supervised.

It's all moving along really quickly at the moment so its very exciting, we will be doing the home study over the summer and should be going to panel in September where we will get a 'yes or no' and if its yes the social workers will start trying to match us with children.
 

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"I'd rather have children than mice"...I think they may be famous last words,I'd sooner have a puppy ;) might tell mark I want another baby before I'm totally over the hill :eek: see if I can panic him into a puppy.I'm sure you will be wonderful parents or at least no worse than the rest of us doing the best we can.
 

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If the mice are located in the house you could see if having them in an outside building will make a difference. I can see where someone might find the mice as a health issue though I don't buy it for a minute. I'm 18 and have been raising all sorts of furry thing since I was 3 (though the way I act sometimes my mom swears they have been raising me :D ) and I can't imagin what I would be like without them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
They are outside in the garage already, I really think it would have been a serious issue if they were inside!

I've have already gotten rid of 20 mice it was really very easy to identify ones which I actually didn't need. I've got loads more which are pregnant now with their 2nd litters so in a few months once the babies are weaned nearly all of them can go too. I'm actually quite surprised how many mice I have kept to breed from which are not fantastic. But I was almost as surprised to realise that there are a decent number of really good mice I do have. It would be such a shame to see them go down the drain.
 

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I started breeding rats when I was 16 and had my son when I was 21 and he was brought up surrounded by them as I used to have them in the house then.

He learned respect for animals and how to care for other creatures. He learned about life, birth and death, about how to care for something that is sick and about making informed choices about the right time for an animal to die.

He learned how much fun they are and how much unconditional love they can give.

I let him have his first own rats when he was 7 and they were his true pets. He cleaned them out himself and was so enthralled with them. He had one especial rat called Stanley that I would often find in bed with him in the morning - they were pals.

My son is now 21 himself and has no interest in the rodents whatsoever, but will care for them - brilliantly if I go on holiday. He says he cannot imagine our lives without rodents :)

When James was born I did take a real break from breeding rats and had one litter only in the first year and two in the second. I appreciate that time-spans on mice are harder to meet that way, but your child does become the complete priority & I remember when I moved house when he was 6 weeks old that I did re-home my then 8 rats, only to ask for them back 2 weeks later :)

Most people I know in the fancy who have had children have cut right down and just ticked the rodents along until they have the time and energy to pour back into breeding and showing.

Good luck with the adoption! Hope it goes really well for you :)

Lisa
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you Lisa
If I was to be placed with a young baby then I wont have the time, I realise that of course, but I might be placed with a 3 or 4 year old which will be going to school a year later. Its difficult to judge!

I need to look into keeping the mice ticking over, so I need to think about minimum numbers. I definately want to keep the rump whites going but I have got several colours and most of them in self and tan so focus on just one or two colours maybe. Also I would like to keep the blues going and I think they could work with just a few does. I might get rid of the blacks and my herefords haven't really started off yet so I might put keeping herefords on hold for a few years.

I'm sure I won't miss them when the kids arrive-I'll be too busy to even think about the mice!
 

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Hi, even with young children you can still have time for your pets. I have a 2yr old and a 3mth old baby - by 7.30pm the eldest is in bed and then once the younger one is sleeping i go and tend to my mice and hamsters. I am also really sad and rather than going back to bed i often play with them at about 5am after my baby's night feed! Thats the good thing with mice - they are mainly nocturnal whereas kids arent! Teaching my 2yr old how to handle the mice and stroke them gently was great as he then knew what it meant to be 'gentle' with the new baby. Its amazing how gentle and attentive a young child can be. He loves to fill their food bowls after tea. I agree with a previous poster that pets teach children emotion, care, respect etc. Also, i think when you have children it is also important for you to have 'me' time, time spent on doing something that interests you. It might only be for half hour or an hour a day but it keeps your sanity!
 

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LOL - I am glad I am not the only mad one would spend 2 hours in the shed after waking up for the kids! Tescos is good at 3 in the morning too, nice and peaceful...
 

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Ah yes, its a common occurence in our house that by the time i get the eldest (and husband) out of bed at 7am i have already often watched Hollyoaks repeat, cleaned the mice, tidied the house, done hubby's pack up, prepared breakfast, fed and changed the baby and walked the dog! I've not done Tescos at 3am, think earliest i've been there is 7.30 am, but its still lovely and quiet then (well, until me & the kids get in there lol!!!!). Kids dont mean less time; just longer days!!!!!!
 

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Having been in the situation where my family adopted two boys (ages 6 & 7 and brothers), while still living on a small holding that included a variety of animals from rabbits and chickens, to horses and cows, as well as talking to Mum to get her opinion of rearing adoptive children with animals the general conclusion is that the animals are acually helpful. children often find it easier to relate to animals, as well as helping you to build a bond with the child.
It might be that the social workers concern is related to the amount of support your wife will need with your prospective child. However, being adults and knowing that the success of a marriage/partnership is communication, I am sure that your wife/partner will be able to decide on a game plan that suits everyone.
Best of luck and lots of patience (at least for the first year).
 
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