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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some help, Im planning to show some of my blacks and blues at Bristol, even though I have only just started breeding both varieties I've got quite a few. Unfortunately I dont have the eye for them yet and none of the youngsters stand out from the crowd.
I've looked at the standards so I've got a bit of an idea about having dark toes etc (no idea about what colouring is just right but that comes with experience)
What should I be looking for, what are common faults and what do judges look for?
Also an important thing to know is what faults might mean losing a few points and which faults rule a mouse out completely. I'm not looking to win BIS at the stage but I will be trying my best to be placed within the variety for the blacks and aov self for one of the blues. I might be very lucky to get that but you have to have goals to aim for!
 

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I'll start with blues :) Check for heathering, it's allowed in rats but not mice. It's when you get lighter coloured hairs mixed into the coat, quite hard to describe but it doesn't look as though the mouse has a nice evenly coloured coat if this is present. Check the vent for tan or even paler hairs, which I'd say you get in blue more than tan as such, because the hairs are more sandy beigey colour than real tan. As you said before check that toes and TOENAILS are blue and not white. On blues I also used to check for areas on the tail without pigment or with altered pigment as sometimes blues got pigment clumping on the skin. Sometimes it looks like little dots or there might be tiny pink areas, though it was usually on older mice and not babies. Check the ears are blue not pink.

A lot of the above applies for blacks too. Try and make sure the belly and armpits are well furred and the ears not folded back or crinkled. I have seen lots of blacks with this problem. Blacks seem to be a variety for having bone fusions in their tail, so that might be something to check for when deciding which ones to show.

Then of course there's the usual do they have whiskers, are their eyes bright (i.e. no illness, not blind), no lumps, well furred unders, no kinks in tails, no dodgy breathing/sneezing, no mites etc.... Makes it sound like hard work eh? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for that Cait, its unbelieveably useful! I unfortunately recognise some of those faults already, the blues all seems to have white toenails and also have some pale hairs around the vent I have one young buck which has good colour but he is so scrawny.
The blacks seem to have good colour, again very small but they do have those crinkled ears. I'm hoping I'll have something to show as I really want to have another go at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok I've had a look through and its seems that by crossing my two lines (one with good type and fantastic ears but not great colour to my smaller blacks with fantastic colour but crinkled ears) has resulted in lots of small, crinkly eared, white toed youngsters. Theres a couple which maybe have slightly less crinkeled ears than others so I think there might be atleast one black and one blue which could go to show, Ive not got my hopes up for any results. Maybe in the nesxt generation the ears will miraculously come back.
 
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