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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had two new litters born in the past week. One was from Tangerine, a satin fawn self, and Kumquat, a marked satin fawn buck. they were born a bit too early and were very small and red. I noticed that two of them disappeared the first 24 hours, then one more, and fostered them with the other doe who had a litter. That was Honey, an oddly colored marked argente doe in my tri line. She accepted them and they were doing well last night, nice big milk bellies on them. Honey had her second litter off of Sugar, a marked cinnamon tri buck, which consisted of seven babies, so she has a lot to deal with, and I'm giving her extra stuff to support the production of all the milk that will be needed.

There wee four does put to sleep as they had tumors. I've been having difficulty with corn adulterating the wheat and oats I've been getting. I try to sort it out, but after seeing the spate of tumors, I started running all the grain through a wire sieve and found there were a lot of very fine bits of corn that would be almost impossible to get by hand sorting. Now I have two sieves with slightly different size holes, and I'm much happier with the looks of the grain. I think it will take a lot less time to sort the grain with the use of the sieves. I'm also getting rid of the dirt, dust, and whatnot. There was just too much crud in general in the grain; now I'm a lot happier with the product of my sorting. Gonna have to find a different supplier, though. I shouldn't have to go to these lengths to have a decent quality product to feed my little loves.
 

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Would you still have the same problem if you were to try human grade oats and wheat? And hugs for the loss of your does - I've got four just now with the same problem and what's worse is poor Bitsy is only 8 months old :( I will however keep my fingers crossed that Honey does a fab job (which I'm sure she will!) with her babies and the fosters!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As of midnight last night all four of the fostered babies were still alive. One of them still looks awfully skinny. but had a full milk belly, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

zany_toon: As far as getting food grade grain goes, i could inquire again, but when I asked the only thing close to that was seed grade grain, which was much more expensive. It may be worth it, though, since all the sieving and sorting eats up a fair chunk of time.
 

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I'll keep my fingers crossed for the poorly baby..let me know how he/she gets on!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There's a bakery in town that grinds its flour fresh every day; I just remembered them, and I should ask them how to get fod grade grain; and buy some baked stuff: their goods are out of this world!

I think Tangerine, the doe who had the problem litter, was fighting off something as I noticed that her face looked a wee bit puffy on one side. It could have been from the nasty stuff that I had not figured out was in the food and how to get rid of it. One does does what one can and one tries to improve upon that as one can. I did call some of the large corporations that wholesale grain and was told that I couldn't buy in the 'small' quantities that I get. I may also check without the coop stores here in the city.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just thought I'd post an update on Honey's large brood of babies: I put down the little runty survivor last night. It had a milk belly, but had not grown at all. On top of that it was dehydrated and appeared to be having seizures. The other three are fattening up and growing nicely. Honey's own babies are doing very well.
 

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Sorry to hear that you lost the little runty baby :( As long as the other babies are okay though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They are still very small for their age. I suspect they weren't getting the best of care from Tangerine. Their fur is coming in, and I suspect they will catch up as soon as they are on solid food. Honey is a really attentive mother, and that's a real plus.
 

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Hey stranger!!

Was just reading your "mousey ramblings" thread and had a thought - would your bakery order in food grade grain for you? Our local one used to do that a few years ago even for people who home baked (of course they added a little something on top so they could make a little cash.) They viewed it as another way to bring in regular custom. I just thought that if your bakery could/would do that for you it would solve your problem with trying to get better grade food for your meece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey yourself! And I resemble that remark, strange as that may seem.

Yes, that was my thought exactly; if it's not too freakin' expensive. I will also inquire at the feed mills, as I think they carry food quality grain as well, but it would probably be even more expensive that seed grade which is the next step up from the feed quality I've getting.

I've honed my sorting technique further and found that sieving both the oats and the wheat through the right size screen lid removes almost all the crud and is quicker. Last night I dropped the big glass bowl full or sorted and nuked grain while taking it
out of the microwave. The bowl shattered in a gazillion pieces, but instead of starting over, me and the spouse swept it up, sorted out the glass and dust kittens and whatnot, sieved it to get rid of tiny fragments, and went to do the mousework at about 11:45 pm, about an hour later than usual. He's such a sweetheart to help me as much as he does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's been an exciting couple of weeks in the mousery as I get closer to installing the new baseboards, flooring and wire shelving with caster on them. I got the wheels on the first big unit last night and it rolls really well. I'm in the middle of scoring, cutting and bending the flashing I'm putting in as mouseproofing. The big units will serve as a place to put cages while I take out the really tall wire shelving I already have so I can take out the small amount of carpeting remaining in the mousery. Those older units of shelving will also get casters installed.

My fawn, champagne and argent meeces have surprised me with curly babies, and then there's the Enormouselette. Sweetheart suffered a relapse of his ear crud, and didn't respond to treatment and had to be pts, which was very sad. At least I had one litter off him during the 3 months he was in good health. One of the does from that litter, Songbird, is going to placed for breeding tonight with one of Adamant's boys. My first yellow tri buck died peacefully the week before. Nora and Nibbles produced a lovely blue agouti tri doe who is expecting a litter off of Oddball. It's a stab in the dark and I hope to learn something useful: why none of my yellow/red tri does have had solid blocks of color, only splashing.

(embarrassing misspelling, like I expected black to show up in a yellow line...)
 

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I actually have some connections with a farmer in Cannon Falls. He farms oats and they are real nice quality. I used to feed it to my horse. His wife is my best friend. If you want I can poke my head in a bag next time I'm there. If you liked it I could even pick some up and bring it to the cities for you.
 

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I've been making my own mix lately but I won't know how effective or uneffective it is yet. They seem to really love it and they are all very healthy so perhaps... thought I would share...I go to an exotic bird store and buy 2 lbs of their medium hookbill seeds which has some corn meal but way down on the list and I buy 1 lb of their fruit and veggie mix. I then go to the local grocery and buy a jar of unsalted shelled peanuts and a tall can of Quaker Old Fashioned oats. I mix all these together in a big plastic container that I can seal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Today we drove north to North Branch to Petersen's Feed Mill to get grain to feed the meeces for the next few months. It has been like summer the last couple of days, and today was sunny with pretty puffy clouds. The trees are at maximum fall color so it was a very nice trip overall. I got a couple hundred pounds each of oats and wheat, and a big bag each of millet and safflower seeds, and a couple of bags of my favorite kibble.

Work on the mousery is proceeding quickly, as once I get started with something I'm driven to finish ASAP. tonight I get to find out if my older wire shelving will take the casters I bought, or whether I need to exchange them for something else. Tonight I tear out carpet and tacks along the north wall, and tomorrow I start installing the flashing that will help render the mousery mouseproof. All the cages from two section of shelving are now sitting in the main part of the room on the new tall units that have casters on them. I need to adjust the spacing of on all the wire units to maximize the numbers of cages I can put on them and to make it easier to get cages tops off for feeding, etc.

I am still reluctant to tear up my flowers garden for new plantings with the weather as balmy as it will be for the next week. Maybe I'll put in a couple of dozen of bulbs tomorrow in area where there's stuff that just doesn't like the intense all day sun we have since the huge elm was taken down. I'm going to give our new boulevard tree, an American Linden, a nice long drink tomorrow. It's about eight feet tall with a diameter that maxes out at the about 2 1/2 inches. While that happens, Nate and I will go on a search and destroy mission of little bitty trees that are right by the house. Kill! KILL! Remember, only you can prevent forests!

I just quickly sorted through a night's worth feeding of the new batches of oats and wheat and they are so very nice and clean. I very pleased with the purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The situation with the mousery is at maximum complication and inconvenience. Last night we shifted the rest of the tanks off the old shelving and moved those units out. The new units are full awaiting their return once I'm through with the cleaning and installing the flashing at the baseboard level. It's very crowded in the West Room, since all the units save one are sitting around
along with three of the old shelving units. The two units that are bare unfinished pine are going to get left outside after they get hosed down and scrubbed with hopes that Mother Nature will bleach the smell of mousemusk out of the wood.

Carpeting in a mousery is utterly wrong. It was left in their in the chaos that ensued upon moving into this place seven years ago. No amount of cleaning ever really gets installed wall-to-wall carpet clean, regardless of it's use, and no amount of Febreze can ever get the oh so special smell of wild mouse musk out. The little bit in a corner where there was a mousehole was sodden to the point that it felt like it had been smeared with soft butter. *pardon me while I grimace and groan once again* OH, yuck! Oh yuck! Oh, oh, oh YUCK!

The floor will remain covered with the old tile for now. I'm going to check an outfit that takes in unused left-over items from builders (as well as all kings of stuff ripped out of old houses-one of my favorite places to walk through and dream...). Home Depot wants too much for a remnant of linoleum. Having all the shelving on casters will make it easy for me to install new wallboard one wall at time. The metal flashing will do a good enough ob of keep out the wild meeces and and the tame ones in for now.

I have two more small units of wire shelving to put together tonight, and tomorrow I will install the flashing. I crimped it today so it will bend easily. It's so nice to have a real worktable again where I can store my tools and stuff. I am in the middle of three different proects right now, counting the work on the mousery. If I can get my dad's old power saw fixed up I'll be making sawhorses and getting ready to expand the mousery next year and add a smaller space for all the boys. I think there will be a lot less stress for the boys in their own space away from the females. Fun, fun, fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Too much fat in it. Corn causes cancer in most pet-type meeces. Peanuts and corn used in pet food are of low quality, are often rancid and carry aflatoxins produced by mold that is common in those crops. Same with sunflower seeds. Peanuts and sunflower seeds should be purchased from supplies stocked for humans to eat, and should be used very sparingly. If at all. Frankly, my meeces go even more nuts over a small chunk of dried bread than they do over those nuts and seeds. Some of the prepared mixes have pellets in them that have a lot of sugar, often in the form of molasses. A little sugar goes a long way with meeces, and shouldn't be part of a daily diet. Even bread has enough sugar and salt in it to be bad if fed on a daily basis.

Whole grains supplemented with a high quality, corn-free dried cat or dog or kitten or puppy kibble provide everything for good nutrition. The kibble should be used sparingly, as too much protein stresses out the skin and kidneys and can cause 'hot' spots under the fur, and generally make a mousie more prone to any of a number of illnesses. Linseed, safflower, and millet are all good additions, but again, the linseed and safflower seeds are very high in fat and I only used those a couple of times a week as a very small part, say 5% of the total mix. Fresh fruits and vegetables, tuna, chicken, cooked egg, oat grass, wheat grass, dandelion greens, all these things can be given in small quantities, but are not essential to the diet. I like to surprise my darlings with this and that from time to time. Dried breakfast cereal with low sugar is always a big hit, as is the dried bread. I stay away form crackers and chips as they are too high in fat and salt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I had signed in to natter about work on the mousery...and then got caught up in talk about feeding the meeces.

It is so nice to have the closet all clean and full of shelving with casters that roll smoothly. We haven't started putting in the new baseboard, etc. yet. I need to patch some gaps in the flooring first. But at least now I can get to any portion of the walls or floor with ease! It's wonderful. The only hitch was getting the tall units back through the door with the wheels on. There was a calculated clearance of 1/4 inch for the units with the wheels added, but I had measure inside the mousery, where the floor was bare, and there was still carpet and pad where the new threshold will be, so I had to get down and cut that back, then jockey the wheels over the raw edge of the carpet and padding one side at a time. The meeces managed to get 'squeaked' back into the mousery by the skin of their teeth.
 
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