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Purchasing Exhibition Mice

3639 Views 20 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  nuedaimice
I'm sure this post will cause some controversy and I would just like to say that is not my intention, I just want to pass some important advice on to newcomers to the exhibition side of breeding. I have absolutely nothing against pet breeders breeding with show stock, people should do whatever makes them happy with their hobby ;)

I am concerned because there have been many incidents of late where newcomers to mouse breeding have arranged to buy mice advertised as show mice from a breeder, and these mice are not show stock. A lot of people who have mice from show lines sell them as 'show mice', when they have never shown mice in their life. I'm sure this is a genuine misunderstanding; most show mice are so distinctive with their racy type, long bodies, big ears and exquisitely shaped heads, that people think these are defined as 'show mice'. This is not the case.

Show mice are mice that are being shown, regardless of where they came from. My Dutch mice, though small and dumpy, are show mice because I am actively showing them, whereas big typey champagnes that have never been shown are pet mice. If the mice in question are not being shown then they are pet mice, whatever they look like.

I've also seen pet mice advertised as 'bred from show lines'. That means nothing to the exhibitor, it only takes one bad decision, one generation, and the line is ruined. To the novice looking for mice to start off exhibiting mice, this can be very difficult. It can mean novices unwittingly buying inferior stock.

The best way to purchase show mice is through a good breeder in the National Mouse Club who regularly exhibits and does at least fairly well with their variety. Upon joining the NMC newcomers will receive the current yearbook which contains many adverts as well as overall show results and cup winners for the past year. This will hopefully help the novice find a breeder of their chosen variety. If not, try contacting the more successful members of the NMC for references and information of breeders who might carry your variety. If you pay for the NMC Newsletter, show results from every show are available and you can see who is breeding what and the kind of comments the judges make about their mice.

As a newcomer myself in the tail end of 2008, I can honestly say that I've never met such friendly, generous and accomodating people as the NMC exhibitors I've dealt with. They are so generous of their mice, time and advice, that there is really no need to go elsewhere for foundation stock - novices can start with the best stock.

On a related note, if you go to see 'show mice' with a view to buying and you realise those mice are not actually up to scratch, don't feel obligated to buy them.

Sarah xxx
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Nice post Sarah, well put.

Generally i agree with what you are saying. The one thing that always stumps me is how to describe mice that you may sell as an exhibitor, that are surplus and not up to scratch for show? Are they described as pet mice?

I think breeders should specify that the animals are being sold as pets and the reasons why they are not 'showable'. This of course doesn't stop someone purchasing them and working on their faults.

I would urge newcomers to seek out active NMC exhibitors to purchase stock from, at least that way you may get some good 'show' info.

On a personal note Sarah, if you had big Typey pale selfs, but were not showing them, i'd still buy them off you as stock to breed for show in the future, as i know you are serious about exhibition mice and you are an active NMC member.

Every time i have purchased or been given stock by NMC breeders I have been told their faults and given advice how to improve them.

hope i'm making sense?
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Absolutely, you won't get perfect mice from anyone because perfect mice don't exist. But if you buy from an exhibitor they will advise you, as you say, whereas if you buy from a non-exhibitor they will most likely not have the faintest clue on how their mice would fail as exhibition stock. If the person you're buying from is successful with that variety on the show bench you know you're getting good advice.

But anyway, this post is only really intended for people buying their very first stock. The reason I posted this is because a new exhibitor may go to buy 'champagne self show mice' and they and the pet breeder may not realise that the mice in question have raging tan vents, snipey noses, rabbit ears and a big thick line through the belly, and are therefore not show quality. So the new exhibitor may come away with their new big show-type mice and end up being devastated by the negative comments received on the show bench.

Sarah xxx

I think it can save a lot of heartache in the long run if breeders are clear as to their stock!
ok well i think i need to post on here lol. as you both know i am new to all this. the mice i have currently ( 14 in total) are just pet mice and i breed them to supply a few local pet shops and sell to the public as pets. They are still very well looked after and handled but at the end of the day are just pets.

As for show mice - i am looking to buy some. I have had a lady on here that has offered me champagne tans if i am a member of the NMC ( which i will be by the end of next week) and if i can pick them up from a show. this to me sounds great but as i have not yet shown anything i am not 100% in what i am looking for in show mice. Also i am guessing that these are not going to be mice that i can just take out and show??

so i am some what slightly confused
SarahC breeds superb mice and is one of the most respected fanciers in the country, you can trust her ;)

Sarah xxx
ok thankyou very much. if its ok sarah i will try and catch up with you at the show on the 20th march for a chat if thats ok??
There will be plenty of advice available at the show.

SarahC breeds great mice and will tell you the faults on the mice she gives you. Then all you have to do is breed them and select your finest!
ok cool. im really really looking forward to it. thanks guys
Welcome to a fascinating and enjoyable new world!! :)
There should never be any doubt about the quality of "show mice" from a fancier. I never sell mice as "show stock" unless I would use them myself for breeding. I don't sell mice as pets at all and I cull all my inferior stock. Too many newbies too often rush in and buy the first available mice without thinking about the future of their stud. Always buy stock from a respected established breeder. Too many newbies are also keen to sell their surpluss stock without having the expertise to determine whether or not they are any good. Good advice has been given in this post I hope it dosen't fall on deaf ears.
I also never sell mice or give mice that I would not breed from myself. They may not be showable because of minor faults like chips in ears but I always inform any prospective new owner of these faults. I do not keep enough boxes to keep or breed from inferior stock. I know it is a frustration to people who are trying to get stock from me, but I cant give stock I dont have and I wont give stock thats not up to standard. I personaly have never recived poor mice from any member of the NMC. But getting good stock is not enough as any respectable breeder will tell you you can loose good points far quicker than you can gain them and poor selection can destroy a stud very quickly. I would hope that no member of the NMC would sell stock that they do not feel is up to standard. Again I find myself agreeing with Phil always seek advice talk to more than one person before asking for stock from any breeder, to ensure you are getting stock of a suitable standard, and the shows are the best place to do this.

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These are some of my results from the first generation of stock from NMC breeders at the biggest show of the year, who have contributed to THIS thread . 4th &5th PEW in class of 20 plus and many exhibitors. Same in cream class. firsts in Self Silvers- 2nd adut chalenge , tans. I may have the experience to pick the right mice to show, However the point is, Phill, Sam, Ian, are all nmc members who repeatedly supply excellent stock to beginners. One such person supplied again by a contributing member to this thread, won an entire section of the show- that means her mouse was on the table for the final five to be considered for BEST IN SHOW at arguably the most prestigious mouse show of the year.
I don't advertise my mice as 'show mice'. . . But when I have someone buying mice, I do use 'typey' and 'more show typed' to describe the mouse they are getting. I don't think there's anything wrong there, but I do agree that just because you have mice with type, advertising 'show mice' is misleading.
But 'show type' doesn't mean anything - my Dutch are show typed... for Dutch mice! :lol:

Sarah xxx
I think the point of difference here is that stock supplied from winning lines is exhibition breeding stock, and also from pure bred non winning exhibition lines. They are both exhibition stock, their quality is a matter of degree. To my mind show stock is when someone buys an animal to show. For example a person wants to buy a show dutch, and he shows it and wins a few cards in his/her name thats show stock. We all have a few such mice in the shed which are a product of our exhibtion lines. The backbone and most important members of every stud are the average mice. It is from the average of the stud that all exhibition breeding stock is supplied. It is a matter of definition.
I would describe such mice as "Exhibition breeding stock". Or "show Champagne for sale " etc.
I was told when i started breeding mice to get my stock from the very best exhibitors of that variety - I was told to join the NMC, to subscribe to the magazine, and to study the judges reports to see who was consistently winning or doing very well with a variety i was interested in, then to approach that person and get on the waiting list. And to expect to wait a long time for good stock.

I agree with Seawatch when he says too many newbies rush out and buy stock - take your time and get the best you can.
Loganberry said:
I was told when i started breeding mice to get my stock from the very best exhibitors of that variety - I was told to join the NMC, to subscribe to the magazine, and to study the judges reports to see who was consistently winning or doing very well with a variety i was interested in, then to approach that person and get on the waiting list. And to expect to wait a long time for good stock.

I agree with Seawatch when he says too many newbies rush out and buy stock - take your time and get the best you can.
This remains the best advice. I have some mice in my shed that aren not as up to scratch as they could have been if i waited for better stock. While i wait for better stock I plough on with them! (they are not hugely bad)

I have other stock in my shed from Seawatch, Joe Bennett, Loganberry, among others, that are my BEST stock!!
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