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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, my name is Jay. I have kept and attempted to breed mice before as feeders. I am really glad I have found a forum that accepts feeder breeders. I want to attempt breeding for feeders once I move into a house which I hope will be soon. I am also looking for a forum for rats as well as I'm attempting to breed those as well for feeders.

I keep and breed ball pythons so I go through a lot of mice and rats every month. My current feeding bill is sitting at around $100 a month to feed all my reptiles. I have 8 ball pythons, 2 corn snakes, and a red tail boa, and I'm breeding two female ball pythons this season.

I also keep ferrets who are on a raw/whole prey diet. They LOVE mice. They only get frozen/thawed mice though as most of them have no hunting instinct. I've only let one of my ferrets hunt before and that is because she showed a high prey drive from the start. She can dispatch a mouse in an instant so I am sure the mouse does not suffer. Its not like when a mouse is constricted by a snake for what seems like forever. All of my snakes get frozen/thawed mice/rats as I do not like to feed live, both for the health of my snakes and the well being of the mice.

So I need to breed for a lot of mice but I want to do it responsibly and treat the mice as humanely as possible. I don't want to overcrowd enclosures and I want to provide the best diet I can and provide stimulation. Basically I want my breeders to be kept much like pets.

I've attempted to breed mice in the past but every attempt has fizzled out. I've had mice that wouldn't breed, produced tiny litters, and there have been times I just didn't have the money or time to care for them. I'm hoping the local pet store can order in the food I need in bulk so I don't have to pay as much. I will be researching about enclosures and diet so I can really get a colony going. I hope to learn a lot from you all. :)
 

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Hello and welcome from next door (Kentucky)! :)

When you say a mouse hunted by a ferret does not suffer, do you not think being hunted is a form of psychological suffering, even if the ferret kills the mouse the instant she catches it? Just curious as to how other people think...live-feeding is a controversial topic, to be sure so feel free not to answer.
 

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Its a difficult issue, especially as live feeding is illegal in th UK. I think it is considered causing unnecessary suffering which it is really from the point of view of the prey animal. Must be fantastic enrichment for the hunter though.
 

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ian said:
Its a difficult issue, especially as live feeding is illegal in th UK.
I thought it was just selling animals for live food that was illegal,not breeding your own and using.After all some won't eat dead ones.Anyways ,hi and welcome,I also feed my ferrets on mice.
 

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I have just had a little look at the laws regarding this (in the UK) and its all a bit fuzzy actually. The RSPCA say that live feeding is a cruelty issue, and they have some 'interesting' powers but dont know where you would stand in legal terms.

Im sure lots of people feed live and there has to be a balance when the reptile wont take dead, not providing them appropriate food would also be a cruelty issue! I suppose as long as you dont video it and put it up on youtube (theres lots :roll: ) theres no reason for anyone else to know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It takes mere seconds. It is not a long drawn out hunt. I allow her to hunt rarely, and it usually takes place in a bathtub for easy clean up. I place the mouse and ferret on opposite sides of the tub and she locks onto it and its less than 10 seconds from moment of introduction to kill. She is the only ferret I allow to hunt because she is so good at it. I have another ferret who has a high prey drive, but he does not kill instantly, so he is not allowed to hunt. But like I said, its a rare treat for her. All other times it is pre-killed or frozen/thawed feeders. My ferrets have enjoyed mice, rats, and gerbils.

If my ferrets ate the number of mice I'd like them too, they'd go through almost 40 mice a week. I'd like to breed several different kinds of feeders for them since a raw diet is so expensive. Right now, without whole prey items, it costs us around $60-75 to feed five ferrets per month. If I was breeding my own rodents, it would be less than $50 and I could make sure the feeders were well bred and well cared for and humanely dispatched.
 

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Chances are good that mouse doesn't even suffer from fear, never having been hunted before. But I prefer feeding the Frozen Chosen as a general rule, but then, my babies are all hand raised. I have no problem when it comes to using rodents for what they evolved to be. Wild rodents get short shrift around here, although that mode will get harsher as the winter moves in. Glad to have another member, anyhoo.

Welcome!
 

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Welcome to the forum fuzzymom :) There is lots of info on here about diet, breeding methods, and adapting tubs to keep mice in. I'd love to see some pics of your ferrets and snakes too. Some of us on here keep and breed rats too so ask away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Right now I do not have any mice. I won't be able to get any until we move which I hope will be soon after the holidays, but I want to go ahead and start researching and asking questions so that I'm not in a panic when I finally bring some cute mice home. I do have 3 rats. One is an older male that is strictly a pet and will never breed. He is far too aggressive. The other two are new to the family. One is a cream male named Creampuff. I'm estimating him to be around 6-7 weeks old and he weighs in at 172g. He's not very used to being handled but I'm hoping with time and some patience on my part, he might come around.

The female is a lot more tolerant of handling and as long as I support her bum, she is quite content to sit in my hands. She is an agouti I think, but I'm not an expert on colors. She's the same age as the male and weighs around 160g. Her name is Nutmeg. I'm about to post a picture of her in the other pets section. I didn't get any pictures of Creampuff because my camera died. :(
 
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