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I have some tan-related questions which I hope someone can help me with:

1. Does it make a difference in appearance if a self based tan is at/at or a/at? I was wondering if an at/at tan would suffer from 'bleeding' of the tan areas more than a/at, and also if an a/at tan would be as bright. Basically, are these faults partly genetic or are they purely selective breeding?

2. Since agouti tan (A/at) can only have one tan gene, does the belly colour suffer in any way?

3. If one made an extreme black tan (ae/at), what would that look like? Apparently extreme black elimates all red colours from the mouse, so would it be a fox? Completely black? Or something stranger?

4. Do we have the leaden gene in this country that would enable us to make blue tans with an actual tan belly? (Although I do think blue tans with golden bellies are extremely pretty.) Finnmouse says: "With the "mock blue gene" leaden (see Blue), it is possible to get a much more fiery belly than with d/d."

Thank you!

Sarah xxx
 

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1. Doesn't matter, looks the same. The brightness of the tan you must select. If you got a bleeding tan, you can make it better by crossing it with a self, but the brightness of the tan will also suffer. It will take a few generations to get it back to standard.

2. Since it doesn't matter if it's a/at or at/at, the tan of agouti can be very rich. Select!

3. ae/at looks like a bad tan. The topcolor is a nice, rich black with lots of color on the tail, feet and ears. The tan color is not so bright. Here a photo of a black tan, parents extreme black x choc tan.



And a very good black tan to see the difference:


It is hard to see on these pics (first one doesn't show the colors correctly), but the ears are a lot darker on the first mouse.

4. I know there are leaden mice in England, since someone in Holland brought them over. I've got some from them to breed blue tans. Don't think it is easy with the leaden gene, it doesn't effect the red as much as diluted does, but it still does have an effect. This is also a process of selection.
I heared there are breeders in England with very nice blue tans, so it is possible!
 

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I disagree that a/at tans all look the same as at/at. Although when talking pets they can both look the same, I would say that in show mice you'd see a difference, because the tan wouldn't be as strong on a/at, especially over many generations. That's why you breed tan to tan and don't put other things in unless you have to try and get rid of tan creep or drastically improve top colour etc.
 
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