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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! My name is Jack and I breed agouti and cinnamon in standard coat. I am from Kentucky, USA.

I am a member of the American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association (AFRMA) and the East Coast Mouse Association (ECMA), where I show my mice.

Right now I have quite a few varieties in my mouse room because I'm working on improving overall type, but as the time goes I plan to have only the agouti varieties.

I moderate my own mouse forum, but in the US it seems most breeders aim for pretty/cute mice instead of good type. I'm the opposite. I want my mice to be as big and typey as possible, and that's what I'm always striving for! :p

I would rather have a nice big PEW or agouti who excels in type rather than a chocolate splashed angora satin any day! :p

It's good to be here! :)
 

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Welcome Jack!!! hehe You may recognise my name...

I personally like both cute pretty mice and good typey mice, which I do have to keep in check lol

Willow xx
 

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HI, Jack, and welcome! I'm with willowdragon; I like them all. Except maybe wild mice; which reminds me that I need to get back to mouseproofing my mousery to keep those wild ones away from my meeces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hehe...I've had some horribly typed mice in the past (I joke that they were typeless) but nowadays I find myself looking at every mouse I see and asking "How is its tail set? How is its head shape? Are the ears correctly positioned?" :p

I'd love to be a judge some day. Right now, all I do is health checks, and only at one show so far. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hahaha! I have some really horrible typed litters right now, by accident (I bred the litter to cull and then use the mother as a "backup" foster, and then didn't need the mother after all because the original doe had only 5 babies). They're scrawny little things:



They're healthy, but teeeeny. After looking at nicer-typed mice, I forgot how small these normal "pet store" typed mice can be. :p
 

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Those are some interesting looking babies you've got there. Are you breeding the transgenic mousies too? I know that the guy who went me two transgenic meeces that i got started on dispersed a lot of this population through Rodentfest a few years ago. Very, very interesting...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No, I'm not. Those were babies from a mouse I didn't know was transgenic ("splashed") from a breeder who neglected to tell me. I don't like those mice. I prefer the larger, more managable, selfs. :p
 

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I can see how that could be true. the trangenics can awfullly unpredictable, both as far as color or markings and healthwise. Did you get some stock from Barb of Funmouse?

BTW, the ones we're talking about will yield bold markings if you breed two of them together, I think. Unless they based on c^h, which usually gives you smeary markings, a little bolder than what you have there already. Did you look at my yellow tri mousies? Royal, a buck, on the left, took four generations to produce. I'm working on getting a darker red in order to get better contrast.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Those are cute mice! They almost blend in with the bedding! :D I didn't get any mice directly from Barb (she has quit breeding and has isolated a lot of the US mouse fancy due to her breeding practices--refusing to inbreed and condemning those who do, for one), but I got some mice from people who've gotten mice from her, so yeah--but indirectly.

Wanda Wilson (now deceased) was the first person to have the transgenic mice, back in the 1990s, I believe. Rumor has it they "disappeared" from a lab somewhere in New York and ended up in the pet trade! :eh

I don't know of any other varieties in any other animals that is parallel to the mouse "splashed" gene(s). There's even disagreement as to whether it's dominant, recessive, unstable, or something else...
 

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The transgenic element acts in concert with at least two types of genes. The first group it interacts with (these are the one group of genes that is necessary for the tri factor to be expressed at all) are the recessive 'c' locus dilutions such as c^ch, c^h and c^e. In addition, some type of marking pattern is required for the individual hues to separate into clear and distinct patches of individual color. While no standard has been set, the breeders who have worked with this gene seem to agree that blocks of solid hues is the goal with this type of mousie. Belted and dominant marking patterns work best for this quality to show. I am still not sure of which type of dilution factor works best; the siamese/himmy gene often gives a more diffuse blurry or streaky type of marking. Banded gives a nice pattern of large blocks of different hues. I suspect that the dominant marking pattern creates the irregular shaped patches of individual hues. With c^ch you get different shades of chichillated color and patches of full strength, i.e. chinchilla ticked patches and patches of full strength agouti, a type that is very attractive in satin. I have not yet had a satin transgenic blue agouti, but I bet it would be very pretty. I am in the process of trying for argent/agouti tris and expect results soon (then there comes the excitement of waiting for the little eekers to show their markings and colors...waiting waiting waiting). the siamese/himmy dilution is my least favorite combo thus far, maybe because it's the least predictable.

I copied this in here since you joined after I did...Barb has her own ideas how this kind of thing works...and she's wrong IMHO. I guess a lot of folks don't realize that transgenic mice date back to the 90's, and linking the chimeric or mosaic expression to the pigment bearing tissues is pretty common. The distribution and nature of the markings is used as a visual cue to which mice should be used for the 'experiment' or 'project' the meeces were created for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Barb is wrong about a lot of things, if I dare say so myself! :p

US Shows are a lot like English shows in theory. But in practice, we have very, very few fanciers. And there are probably only four or five in the country who breed with a heavy emphasis on type. I'm one of them, although I still wish I had better type in my mice. Since there are so few of us and it's one of the biggest countries in the world, we're pretty spread out and our shows are sparsely attended.

For example, at the last show I went to, there were four people entering mice, and two of them were the judges so we had to have two shows with three people entering mice. I had to double as the official health checker and the recorder for the pet classes. Since there are so few people entering shows, a US BIS doesn't mean much sometimes. It only means there were very few mice entered and this particular mouse got BIS. :p

We're organized into varieties such as standard (my favorite, the easiest to deal with! haha), satin, angora/longhair, rex, fuzzy (what you guys call rex, I believe), etc. Then into colors such as selfs, marked, ticked, etc.

I belong to the ECMA: http://www.eastcoastmice.com/showinformation.htm

And when I was first learning about mice, I was taught by a lady who was taught by British fanciers, so I call a/a p/p dove, like all normal people. :p There are some clubs in the US who refer to it as "lilac" though. But the ECMA, thankfully, sticks to the international standards and calls it dove...
 

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A shame to hear there are so few fanciers when so many mice are bred, you need to work on converting a few of the feeder breeders to running a show line or 2 as well ;) The distances must be huge to travel, here we moan about a couple of hours drive, sounds like your journeys are more like a couple of days!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah, there are folks who drive 12, 14, or 16+ hours to attend a mouse show. It's insane!

There are a lot of pet/hobby breeders, who breed cute mice in a huge array of colors (and also feeder breeders). But those who concentrate on breeding show-quality animals are few. Karen Robbins, of the AFRMA, has been perfecting her show lines for decades and is probably the most respected mouse person in the country. Unfortunately for people like me, who live in the eastern half, she and the AFRMA shows are in California, which would be a week's drive away (and you can't take all the mice on a plane without putting them in cargo and even then it's hundreds or thousands of dollars round trip)! :p
 
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