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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is technically a follow-up to this thread: http://www.fancymicebreeders.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=3958&p=33436#p33436, so it does pertain to breeding plans. ;)

I've placed a couple of traps around the outside of my house (against the outside 'wall,' if you will), as a last attempt to see if just maybe we do have house mice around and not just Deer Mice.

Well, this morning, what do I find? I opened up on of them and found lots and lots of mouse poos and almost all the food gone! Funny thing is, the top wasn't open and there is no way that I can see that they'd be able to escape.. so how on earth could that have happened?!

In the other trap, I caught a slug. Yum.

These are the live traps I use:

Found for sale here: http://www.victorpest.com/store/rodent-control/b323-2

I read the one review on the bottom of the page just now, and it says that some mice figure out how to escape. This is quite frustrating. There were even mouse poos on the top of the trap. Is there any way to distinguish house mouse poos from deer mouse poos? :?

This is what the trap looked like:



Can you all see the little poos?
 

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Oh wow!

Wouldn't they be able to push down the lever in front of the door and walk back out?
 

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I have had this too - English wild mice have a 'don't let the buggers take you alive!' policy - they have done the same thing to me with live traps, and nicked the food from 'snap' traps and got away with their heads. (I get them in my garage where my mice live.) I just use poison now, which works easily - I normally find them, dead, in the garage and can clean them away without danger to wildlife.
 

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Poison is better than traps because you get rid of an entire colony of rodents, rather than a few of them which lets the rest continue breeding and you have an ongoing problem.
It can take them a while to die, yes, but whether it could be classed as 'horrifying' is debatable. Studies I have glanced at suggest that mice that have consumed the poison, showed no outward symptoms of pain or discomfort and went about there normal routines... become drowsy on the 4th or 5th day and then simply falling unconcious and dying.

W xx
 

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Okay, I'll change what I said. :)
It's horrifying to me.

I used to get field mice in my house all the time, and my dad would use rat poison. We found one of them crawling across the floor one night, almost dead, it looked like it was in really terrible pain. ):
I guess if you have a really bad infestation (and can keep the mice inside somehow, so that other animals don't eat the poisoned mice) I can see how it's much more practical to use poison. But I much prefer quick kill traps.

Another thing I can't stand is glue traps. . . They say you can just pour oil on the mouse and release them, but that's IF you get to them before they struggle, and die of exhaustion, or get their face stuck, or gnaw their legs off . . . I hate those traps . . .

-ramble ramble-
 

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Depends what poison it is. Some are like that but some cause the rodent to hemorrhage to death through all orifices. I agree it's not ideal, I'd prefer a quick and painless death for everything on the planet, but there's just no other way to get rid of wild mice properly. They can carry all kinds of nastiness, contaminate everything with their wee and poo, and they do a lot of damage gnawing.

I agree that glue traps totally suck.

On the farm where I grew up we had polecats living above the stables and a mousing cat in the house and gardens. That's the ultimate way of keeping rodents away - I never saw evidence of a single rodent in the house, outbuildings, barns or farmyard :)

Sarah xxx
 

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WillowDragon said:
I HATE glue traps... hate them.
so do I.Especially when people joke about what they do to the rats they catch on them.The least horrible thing I've heard is they turn the trap over and stand on them.Terrible.
 

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Agreed! I use a tincat trap. Some traps are not very good at their jobs. The best way to catch some it to lure the mice to an area you want to trap them. A good idea would to build the wild mouse shelter on the mouseranch.com site. Fill it with food and put out water. Feed them for a week- build up the population. ( don't do this too near your home- LOL) then after you see evidence of the mice, place out the trap and only have food inside of it. If you don't know if you have deer mice or house mice, this should help:

In the area you want to know about, place a thin layer of flour. (thin enough that with light pressure it reveals the dark soil underneth.) Put some food out on top of the flour and in the AM take some pics of the flour (or look real close) Here are images of what a mouse prints look like- and the different kinds of mice:

Deer Mouse: http://www.bear-tracker.com/deermous.html
Meadow Jumping Mouse:http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Home/spe...ex/meadowjumpingmouse/tabid/6890/Default.aspx
House Mouse:http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/tabid/6873/Default.aspx
Deer Mouse:http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/tabid/6844/Default.aspx
Woodland Jumping Mouse:http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Home/spe.../woodlandjumpingmouse/tabid/6959/Default.aspx
Eastern Harvest Mouse:http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Home/spe...x/easternharvestmouse/tabid/6851/Default.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I almost bought the Tincat trap! I couldn't find it in stores, and I was too impatient to order online.. so.. Walmart provided me with the Victor live traps for only about 4 bucks. neurozool - thank you for all of those links as well!

I agree that poison is horrifying to me, honestly.. as are glue traps. Poison is not instantaneous, and you can end up with nests of dead rodents in your walls, which will of course smell..

Also, guys - this thread was created not to eradicate mice, but to catch wild house mice to integrate into my breeding program for longevity and hardiness in the long run (a huge undertaking, I know). I'm not trying to get rid of any mice or mouse colonies! :?

However, thank you for all of your input! :)
 

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My friend has a colony of deer mice I think, it would be very interesting to see what you do with your wildies, once you get them. :)
 

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If anyone in the US is willing to do the program as well- I would love to! I was planning on doing this by myself to see if anything similar would happen as it did to the foxes by only breeding for tameness- without trying to tame them. If you only ever use wild agouti- would white marks and new colors arise as it did in Siberia? The project would have to have guidelines and be structured though to draw any solid conclusions from. That would allow the genetic diversity to remain high though- different wild colonies across the country.

In the end you could have very tame mice with incredible genetic hardiness! Keep in mind it did take the foxes 20 years- although they breed slower, it is still a huge undertaking!
 

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SarahY said:
On the farm where I grew up we had polecats living above the stables and a mousing cat in the house and gardens.
Sarah xxx
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't polecats... skunks? I'd be afraid to go into skunk territory!
 

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Autumn2005 said:
SarahY said:
On the farm where I grew up we had polecats living above the stables and a mousing cat in the house and gardens.
Sarah xxx
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't polecats... skunks? I'd be afraid to go into skunk territory!
best way to describe a polecat is that it's a non domesticated ferret and the two can be bred together.

The Longworth small animal trap is used by conservationists for catching rodents,it can be obtained with a special hole in it to allow shrews to escape as they starve very very quickly.It's expensive though.
 

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Now before I say anything else, I just want to point out I am not being sarcastic or funny or whatever when I say this...

But I genuinely don't understand why some people would want to cross wild mice into domesticated mice?

Can people tell me why?

W xx
 

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Well, the type of program I am talking about it essentially domesticating mice- not breeding in wild mice. The idea is to get the strength of the genes without the issues of wild mice. Most people only try to introduce wild mice and are disappointed by the wild pups. However, if you were to breed wild mice and only keep/breed pups that were less wild then the parents, you could have within a year or two domesticated mice. This is not caring about type or color, but temperament. These resulting mice would be tame and have genetic vigor (if you had a very strict breeding program with well thought out guidelines) You could then use these mice to infuse pet mice with wild genes without undoing decades of careful breeding in your show lines...done wrong you could end up with sick inbred wild mice that would destroy your mousery.

If you read about the Siberian silver fox program, you can see how it is possible to domesticate wild animals- not tame the wildness, but breed it out of them (without waiting 100 years)

Short answer: Health.

They live longer and are smarter as well. Domestication and focus on color and type has led to inbred mice that have many issues. Add to that the mice that come out of labs, and we have some very messed up mice that can be very sick, die young, and are rather dull. Infusing captive stock with wild bloodlines allows for a true outcross that is not available when using domesticated mice. As wild mice are not routinely re-domesticated into the pet/show trade, the really genetic pool available to us is limited. How many tame mice do you think were born in the wild and started the fancy? And how long ago was that? Half the reason we deal with so many unpleasantness in mice is due to this fact. If done correctly it would only help.
 

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Has there been any studies assertaining the health of wild mice though, cos it may just be me, but I do not equate Wild with Healthy.

Wild mice live such a short span compared to most pet mice, mostly due to outside forces yes, but still, how can you be sure that introducing wild genes will ensure health and/or longevity?

I know people hear the words 'Outcross' and 'Hybrid Vigour' and automatically assume doing this will ensure more healthy offspring, but this is certainly not always the case.

Plus you have to think in terms of genetics, you do not know the background of any wild mice you introduce... you could be introducing any number of negative factors into your lines. Also disease is a huge risk when having wild stock anywhere near domestic stock.

There is just many risk factors involved for me to even consider this... other peoples opinions may differ, but thats my opinion.

Think very carefully before you do this, it may be a great idea in theory, but in actuality it may devastate the stock you already have.

W xx
 

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I did have a mind to introduce wild stock when I was breeding rats years ago. Pet rats, as everyone knows, are prone to tumours and the reason for this is because our fancy rats mostly came from laboratories that selectively bred them to develop tumours so that they could study and test them. Wild rats are no more prone to tumours than anything else, so to my mind introducing wild stock would have been an attempt to undo the work that we've done on them.

Inbreeding alone is not responsible for the genetic breakdown of our small furry friends, only badly conducted inbreeding is. If mice and rats had been inbred positively from the start their gene pool would be stronger than ever. My show mice are an awesome example of this - my show mice come from lines that date back decades, bred by responsible people who were trying to improve them. They are extremely inbred, but they are also healthy, intelligent and very sweet natured. Adding wild stock would only ruin them.

On planning this kind of project you have to accept that you've got to inbreed and keep the genes tight - but only with the good specimens. Even if you are breeding with wild stock you need to heavily inbreed or your stock would display nothing but hybrid vigour. So, the wild-stock mice would end up as inbred as pet mice are now, but it's the breeders decisions that affect what that means. It can mean sick and stupid or healthy and bright.

Sarah xxx
 
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