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I showed some mice at the Enfield Show today. I put 3 home bred babies in U8 weeks class. They are 7 weeks old. I was sitting quite close to the judge and when my buck kits were judged comments were made about them being very big and classed as over-developed. I think that they may have even doubted that they were under 8 weeks maybe? I'm not sure.

Anyway, watching the judging - indeed a lot of the U8's were way smaller than my mice.

Granted my mice are PEW and BEC so may be a bit larger than some other varieties but I didn't realise how exceptionally large they would look at the show.

Is it best not to show these large mice then even if they are U8 weeks? Should I put them in adult? I would have spoken to the judge about this but it was getting late and I have a 120 mile drive home.

I always try to feed my animals a suitable diet, surely they are not growing too quickly?

Thanks loads in advance.

Lisa
 

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You've come across 'one of those' problems that all good breeders will probably experience from time to time in their showing careers. That is, you breed for size and type as required and it comes back to bite you when you do it too well :lol: :roll: If you show your mice honestly (i.e. they are always truly u/8) then most of the time a good judge will be able to tell that they are true babies. I once had this with a broken who won Best Marked - she was bang on 6 weeks old and the smallest in her litter so I debated whether to show her or wait another week and hope she grew, but I decided she was old enough so I took her. The steward (our now President) then came and had a word with me, saying that although she was a clearly a genuine baby, that she was as big as the brokens in the adult class and bigger than some, and to be careful because some people might not be able to tell she was a youngster. I have to admit, he did laugh at me because when he said can I have a word about your broken, the first words out of my mouth were "I know she's a bit young and small, but..." :p

Anyway, the point is that yes it can backfire on you after all your hard work. It's up to you whether to enter them as adults, but they might get knocked back for that too, because they will be in between the two in a lot of cases - bigger than other/younger babies and smaller or not as well developed as the adults. I tend to take the view that if they are truly u/8 and I enter them and they get said to be 'over age' that it's almost a compliment. After all I know I have shown them honestly. I usually show creams and cream satins at the age of around 6 weeks, perhaps showing them again if there's another show the next week of course, but that's just how it tends to fall. I would still show them for the first time at 7 weeks if that coincided with the show.
 
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