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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally got most of my little feeder mice to a point where I can handle them safely enough to make it worth taking some pictures. I'm interested in knowing the proper names for their colors, if there are proper names for their colors. I found the references to colors and varieties through some of the links floating around, but I'm a bit color blind and having trouble sorting out the lighter tan-ish-gray-ish colors.

Unfortunately, we had a little escape party tonight and two of my mice are no longer with us. Sadly, the cats found them before I knew they were out - one was consumed and another was injured too badly to be saved. I'm truly sad about that because even though the mice are intended to be food for the cats, I wanted them to have a kinder, more humane death than that. :(

BUT, my first introduction is the most resilient mousie you'll ever meet and the mousie that survived the cats!



She was carried around in the mouth of a cat for a full 20 minutes, while I chased him, trying to get her back! I finally got him to drop her and she was quite stunned, but seems to have come out of it with just a couple of scratches, a bruise on her ear, and some rumpled furs! We've decided that it would be completely unfair to turn her into food after she survived that, so when retires from breeding, she'll get to live out her days in the Fancy Mouse Retirement House™ :mrgreen:

Here are some of her brothers and sisters, presumably, since they all came from the same tank at the pet store. It's not all of them, because a few are still too skittish to tolerate the flash on the camera. Oh, and my apologies for that flash - the only safe space I have to take the pictures requires it.







Then there is my older set of 4 mice. They had already reached breeding age when I got them, so I bred them almost as soon as they came in the door.

This the buck - what a fatso! It's amazing he can get his business done.. but he can! :lol:



These are 3 of Fatso's girlfriends that are living together, in the order I expect them to deliver their babies. Based on my calendar, I was expecting the brown and white one to deliver yesterday, but she's still holding those babies in, although I have no idea HOW! :lol:





And then I brought in two more does a few days ago and moved Fatso over to live with them, while his other girls deliver and raise their babies. Fatso's becoming quite the man about town.. :lol: Unfortunately, these two girls seem to be drama queens. They squeal at the mere touch of a human and the solid white one is ALWAYS taking that semi-aggressive pose in the photo. I'm giving them time to settle before we have a heart to heart about the squealing and nipping annoying me.. :?




And last but not least, there's the teeny babies. These were feeders I picked up off of a "free to good home" ad. I've had them for almost a week and the best that he could recall, they were just over 3 weeks old when I picked them up. Their mother was within hours of delivering her next litter. He never removes the buck from the cage, so the poor doe just has back to back to back to back litters. There are 4 bucks and a one doe (she's been moved into another box with 2 older does) and they were bitey as hell at first, but I discovered it was because they were hungry and smelled food on my fingers. Now that they're well fed, the biting has stopped, but they're still a bit on the skittish side. And the little black one sticks out like sore thumb among my mice.. he's very different looking!

He cracks me up, because he smiles.. :mrgreen:






And last but not least, the little baby doe. She has the same color pattern as the black one, except she's gray instead. She was doing really well with being held, but she's been a little flipped out since I removed her from the litter, so it was hard to get a decent picture of her with her jumping all over the place. I feel bad that she didn't even have a sister to go with her to the new tub, with the new lady mice. :( The older girls have been nothin' but sweet to her, but she's not very happy!

 

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You have a few distinguishable colours there.

The first picture of the mouse that survived the cats mouth looks like an argente to me. (genetically they are pink eyed agouti)

Next ones are the pale grey ones with white bellies, might be chinchilla, or more likely bone or stone tans also called dilutes and caused by the recessive ce gene. It causes the colour to become washed out making this pale shade and can wash out the tan so much it appears as a white belly.

Then you have a broken agouti.

The next ones with the pink eyes look either argente or champagne. And the black eyed one is an agouti.

The big fat buck looks like a satin fawn (are you in the UK?)

Then the pregnant one is another broken agouti.

The next two are both satin, the pink eyed one looks to be a fawn (uinless your in the US in which cases its more likely to be a recessive yellow). I dont know what the black eyed satin one is, if you are in the US then recessive yellow might be behind it as its not something I know much about as I dont think we have it in the UK.

Next is the two plae/white ones, both are satins, the top one might be a broken dove satin the bottom one appears to be satin Pink eyed white which is called an ivory.

Your smiling buck is a black tan just with a weak tan as expected of hobby type mice. The next one is an agouti.
The last photo seems to be a black tan, its really pale which might be due to it carrying chocolate or something similar as iiit can affect the shade even though it is a recessive gene. On the other hand it may be an oddly coloured blue tan?

Im sure others will give thier opinions too and youll get a whole range of suggestions!! Sometimes the only way to tell what youve got is to breed and see what babies pop out.
 

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The pregnant doe is a Broken Agouti American Brindle. I would thin Fatso and the other two girls from that set are all American Brindles, they are probably just homozygous Brindles, which usually gives them a solid yellow/orange color that resembles fawn or recessive yellow.
 

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CatWoman said:
I don't know what this, but it's really pretty! Is it possible to be a tan satin RY? Would an RY even show the tan belly? Maybe with some other dilutes that makes the tan light?
 

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Brindle, of course it is!!

I still think the buck really looks like a fawn though, fatness is gene linked to red/fawns.
 

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The fatness is also linked to Avy or american brindle as it is called. American brindles can be bred to be unmarked, and look like regular yellows/oranges. So pink eyed versions are called Fawn. Even though they are not the same genes as our fawn.

W xx
 

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I honestly never knew people used feeder mice for cats. Learn something new everyday!

You got a good ID from Ian. They are cute!
 

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I find that intriguing, as well. Using mice as a cat diet... hmmm... I only feed my cats meat, since cats are strictly carnivores, but I never thought about giving them mice...

I'm going to go discuss this with them and see what they think...
 

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I brought over some mice for my friend's snake, and without even thinking about it, I turned my back on the open box to put the first mouse in the snake cage. WHen I look back, I see the cat with the mouse in its mouth, but the only part you can see it the tail waving frantically. Total Tom and Jerry moment.
 

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I asked my cats... they told me to start breeding Guppies. (My cats have -zero- interest in mice... the oldest one used to get into the cages with them when she was younger and sleep with them).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
There's only a very small percentage of people that feed a whole prey diet to their cats, but it's the best diet for them. There's a larger percentage of people that feed a raw diet, but even that's not very many people in the grand scheme of things.

Most people don't realize that commercial pet food manufacturers add very strong smells and other enticements to dog and cat food, because it's the only way to get the animals to eat it to begin with. If you've been feeding commercial food for a lifetime, most cats don't recognize raw meat or whole prey items as food right away, because it doesn't have a strong scent. More often than not, people switching from commercial foods to a natural diet have to use strong smelling "bribes" on top (powdered kibble, liver powder, or brewers yeast) so that the cat will become interested enough to realize it's actually food being offered. But once they realize it's food, all bets are off!

People also don't realize that there are also additives in commercial food that significantly reduce the smell of the feces, because the "after effects" of that kind of unnatural diet are so terrible that no human would continue to feed it if they had to live with the true smell. :shock: Cats on a species appropriate raw diet or whole prey diet utilize about 98% of the food they consume, so they produce significantly less fecal matter, and it has no odor whatsoever.

I am in the US. I know all about mice as food, but I know nothing about mouse genetics so it always amazes me what you guys can tell just from looking at the mice! I figured most would be so poorly bred that they'd be beyond identification! :lol:

I *think* the 3 pregnant does are sisters, so they're more than likely all have the same underlying genetics. Also, without the lousy lighting and camera flash, the orange and tan color shades of the two solid does are visible as flecks of color in the agouti of the broken doe. I don't know if Fatso is related to the girls or not (or how, if he is) but there's probably is some link somewhere along the way, because they came from the same source.
 

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Oh yes, I am extremely familiar with feeding raw (in dogs, not cats). I guess when you think about it, breeding feeder mice for them makes sense i just never came across anyone willing to do that for their cats.
 

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Hmm... I have two tamed feral cats (but I'm still the only one in the family that can safely handle them for any length of time) and one cat that was handled from birth. I wonder if my ferals would pick up on the concept of mice as food sooner than my tame one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The tame vs. feral thing really depends on the individual cat. I have cats that were born in my home, to feral mom's that were rescued already pregnant, and they LOOOOVE the mice, but the Mom's won't have any part of it. I think it's because they've spent their life working for their food, so they want the easy "kills" and will choose ground raw meat over whole prey when they have that option.

My first litter of babies is 8 days old now, and ready to make their debut!

Mom & Dad:



There were originally 10 in the litter, but the Mom culled it down to 3. I think. In hindsight, I think she may not be producing enough milk (or any milk) because I had second doe deliver 4 days later and she's doing the bulk of the nursing for both litters.

But anyway, the pups!

1 Buck:

Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18 Show Content


2 Does:



I assume the American brindle guesses were correct? I have to admit, with my lack of knowledge about this color stuff, those two solid tan ones look like the milkman's kids.. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
He's got the funniest little personality too... he spends most of his time trying to stack various things up and when they finally fall over, I'd swear he laughs at the pile of rubble.. :lol:
 

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Pretty mice!!!

My cat's scared of mice.. even wild ones.. :oops:
 
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