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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question to all the breeders out there. I'm not trying to be judgemental, I'm honestly curious: what happens to the mice you breed? I've heard people say they have 50+ mice, and they breed five or six litters at a time. That can be upwards of 50-60 pups! Even if you cull early due to size/color, that still leaves a lot of mice, on top of all the ones they already have. So what happens to them? Do you keep them, cull all but the ones you keep for breeding, send them to pet stores, give them to friends, release them in the field across the street, what?

Maybe it's different for those of you who are established breeders, you can keep huge number of mice without strain, but I breed about a litter every 2-3 weeks (spread out among 7 does), and so I know how fast the mouse population can grow. I do have trouble with space, but as I am a feeder breeder, I had my established breeders, and most of the babies go to feeding, so I control my population that way.

What do other people do?
 

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I had a friend that used to release hers across the street in a field. Frustrated me too, because she had 2 or 3 really nice brindles that I wanted... and she set them free!!! :x she saw a black rat snake laying on the road a day later, with 3 lumps in it... one of those lumps was probably one of the brindles I wanted. :( worst part was; as bad as i wanted those brindles, they all had mites. She had horrible mites on her mice, and couldn't afford to buy treatment for them... a lot of them died because the mites were so bad. Gives me chills just thinking about it. So glad mine are healthy, seeing stuff like that really makes you appreciate the fact that yours are healthy, and all is well. She also had problems with house mice getting into her cages and breeding her females, and killing her small males.
 

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I cull really early on as I breed rumpwhites so most of the litter is clearly unsuitable for breeding just because of their markings. If any of them show any signs of weakness or illness they are removed and generally leaves me with a coupe of decent adults to breed from. All the ones that dont make the grade are either sold as pets (sometimes at the pet shop but mostly through preloved) or if they are ill (or i cant find homes for them) then they are culled and given to my friend who has a huge snake collection. After their breeding life some of my does become nannies and the others who start to look unhealthy are culled and go as snake food as well. I think its useful to keep some does to their natural life to see if any health probems are cropping up, not really necessary for my show mice but I think its important to know if im selling surplus as pets, I wouldnt want to give any one a mouse whih will get tumours and die before a year.
 

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I have always tried to keep all the mousies born in my mousery. To this end, I have become good at social engineering solutions and observation in order to safely house groups of males together, something that usually works, and if it doesn't then I have to decide if I really want to keep the ones that have to live alone. I have about ten boys living as singles; usually they are either essential to some breeding plans, or have been bred, and I want to be able to track longevity.

Breeding tris is a very different situation, as I eagerly await the appearance of colors and markings. It is not a happy chore, but I have taken to culling some of the tris after noting the results...I hate culling meeces just because I don't have room, but sometimes reality sets in and i realize it's necessary. I almost always keep the girls, with the exception of the occasional psycho mousies that can't get along with any other mousie. Even there, I'm reluctant...

I will not sell to pet shops, I'd rather trade with the local mousicle seller, in exchange for garden supplies or the occasional item of mouseware. She doesn't sell live rodents for feeders, or I would not let any of them go to her. The thought of one of my mousies that had been raised by hand being used as live food in repugnant to me. I have no general problem with the use of feeders as live food. But the other half of the pet shop objection is my repugnance of the general ignorance most buyers have as to the specialized sort of care meeces require in order to be happy and healthy.
 

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I try to cull what I dont need, or what wont for me when they are young. It easier for me to cull pinkies, then it is once they are older.
I try to keep all of what I dont cull as babies, but sometimes I end up with too many adults that I dont need. In those cases, I find them pet homes. I dont sell/give to petstores and I dont let them go. I think thats cruel to release something you raised in captivy into the wild. They dont stand a chance.
If I cant find a home for them, then I will cull them. I would rather cull something humanly then to let it suffer in the wild or in the hands of someone who doesnt truely care about them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Those of you that cull (sorry, maybe this should have been in the culling section), what do you do with the bodies afterward? I'm asking because I have a genuine curiosity about this... The only reason I'm allowed to breed mice is because I have a snake to take care of the extras. Now that I have mice, I will always get a snake so I can continue breeding them.
 

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I keep only the very best mice. In a litter of 12, I might cull down to 3 or 4 and often end up keeping only 1 or 2. The rest are adopted out to a few friends of mine or euthanized and given to a wildlife rehabilitation center for birds of prey, a friend with a snake, or composted. Every once and a while I will adopt out as pets-only, but not very often.
 

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With my mice i do not cull when they are pinkies i let them come through and start culling from 4 weeks old when i can see what there colour and there unders are like. You never know if you are killing a winning mouse. If say i had one doe and she had a litter of 20 then i would cull down to 10 or so but i do try to kindle does together.

With the spare mice i cull them or give them away, my friend insits that i release them into the woods so they can live out there lives but i believe they will suffer and die slowly as they do not know how to cope out in the wild.
 
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