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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Improving petstore mice "from scratch" to the level of show mice takes decades at least, so just be aware of what you're in for. It took our current show mice over a hundred years and tens of thousands of generations to reach the level they are now. That's why I recommend so strongly getting good, well-tracked foundation stock to begin with.

Interestingly, most of the cost associated with acquisition of good foundation stock is not the animals themselves, but the hundreds of miles you have to travel to get them or the thousands of dollars you need to spend on having them shipped across the continent or from overseas.
 

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Jack Garcia said:
Improving petstore mice "from scratch" to the level of show mice takes decades at least, so just be aware of what you're in for. It took our current show mice over a hundred years and tens of thousands of generations to reach the level they are now.
tens of thousands of generations were breeding your mice? :p I don't need them to be show quality, just excellent quality. It's a project anyways, not a money making or honor-earning endeavor anyways, I think it will take less to impress me. I also don't expect to quit in a year, so no worries :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep, all told, the excellently-typed, award-winning animals of today (particularly so in England and on the continent) have in their backgrounds literally tens of thousands of very carefully selected pairings, pairings that have led to them being the excellent animals they are today (though as any good breeder will tell you there's always room for improvement). Just think of any family tree. The parents of one mouse number 2; the grandparents, 4; the great grandparents, 8, and then 16, 32, 64, and so on. If you include cousins, aunts/uncles, and so forth, the number quickly becomes exponential. Yet each of those carefully-selected pairings is significant. The fancier had to know very well what s/he was doing to make even a millimeter of progress and it took a lot of concentration and wise decisions. So if you think about it, you can have three (or more) generations on one branch of the tree in any given year, and the number of individual pairings adds up very quickly in the 100+ years that the fancy has been active. If you were to count the number of generations from one of today's excellent mice all the way back to Walter Maxey or Abbie Lathrop, I think it would take a very long time!

Don't worry, most people underestimate how much hard work has gone into breeding mice to the standards. They think you can just get two cute animals from a petstore or your backyard, breed them, and make dramatic improvements, but it doesn't quite work that way! Even though mice breed quickly, overall, starting from scratch is a much slower process than many people imagine--that's essentially what people like Maxey and Lathrop did in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and it has taken us this long to get to where we are today! :p

Anyway, as somebody else said, be sure to post lots of pics of your meece! Pictures are always a hit! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yep. We got the PE dilute from the Japanese. And before them, the ancient Chinese bred "colored mice." People have been selectively breeding mice for a long, long, time. :) Most of our current progress comes from the early individuals in England (and one or two in the US) during the late 1800s and early 1900s, though. I often think that I would have liked to have lived back then. :p

(I'm actually in the early stages of writing a book about the history of the mouse fancy. Bet you couldn't've have guessed, could you? ;) )
 

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Why, isn't that a coincidence!! Hee hee. I'm sure your facts will be right. I'll believe it when I see it. Will you have anything original to write about? It takes more regurgitation of referenced material to make an expository scribbling worth reading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Of course. That's why I'm going to England in a few short years, to do research that I can't really do stateside! :p

(It takes a surprisingly long time to write a book, at least a good book...)
 
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