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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first litter are now 3 and a half weeks old - the two boys are both ... how can I put this ... well endowed ;) So I have separted them tonight (the girls are still with mum) I don't want any unexpected litters. But am I being a tad cautious and depriving them of mum far too early? They are both eating well and don't seem stressed in any way. What age is usual to separte the youngsters?
 

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Some breeders would recommend keeping them all in until 5 weeks others don't. I tend to remove bucks that I dont need any more earlier to give the does and the bucks I'm going to keep a bit extra milk for a while. I've taken bucks out at 3 and a half weeks and they live in a small group of bucks, the competition seems to do them good and they bullk up quicker than the bucks who are left with the mothers. It doesn't seem to have any impact on adult size or type though as they all catch up to each other in the end.

I think as a new breeder your right in getting advice from the experienced breeders on here but also go with what your instincts are, that way the mice you develop are fully a product of your methods and your stud.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Ian, I just like to double check, its been 15 years :shock: since I last bred mice as an 8 year old.

The two bucks are a good size now anyway - I think my blacks will stay with their mothers a bit longer as they seem to be a smaller variety anyway.
 

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Yeah I keep my blacks in a bit longer, I think sometimes they need a bit of a boost as they look so small. Also I've been told its best to breed from the blacks earlier than I would with my other varieties so I suppose a bit more time with the mother prepares them for that.
 

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I got mine from a couple of different places all of them are reputable breeders who have done well with the variety. I think most of the show line blacks in the country are closely related so I imagine everyone who keeps blacks has the same issues.

I think the important thing is finding a buck which breeds, I 've gone through quite a few bucks now which have failed to produce any young and some bucks which have only managed to get one doe pregnant. The does seem to get pregnant more easily when they are younger, and I've found it incredibly difficult to get any of the does to have a second litter. I've had a few which have fallen pregnant for the second time and then died before giving birth and one which went all the way but lost condition a few days beofre giving birth and she killed all the young and was such a state that I culled but I am sure she would have died within a few hours.

I have got some fantastic blues from Sarah which have great type and breed really easily so I've been putting them into the blacks and by doing that I'm hoping to improve both the colour of the blues and the vitality of the blacks. It seems to be working reasonably well, I just need to work on the tan on the vents a little bit more.
 
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