UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

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UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by Laigaie on Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:47 pm

We're planning on taking a look at the UMC standards and making a few tweaks. Some of the standards have typos, others have issues that we may have to decide as a group. There's also been some discussion of altering the way the points are weighted for each variety, such that they're not weighted the same across all varieties. That leaves questions for the group:

What changes would you like to see to the standards?
Are there varieties that we're missing?
Did you notice some typos?

and most importantly: How would you like the club to go about agreeing on the changes?
Do paid members vote? Do all FB and TMC forum members vote? Do you want Elena to make executive decisions? Should we have some sort of subgroup for these kinds of things? How do you guys want this to work?
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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by jencandy on Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:57 pm

I would say everyone who has thoughts, share them. Then have Elena (and maybe a few paying members) make decisions based on everyones thoughts. Id say go through the varieties/colors/etc one at a time, have everyone weigh in, then a final decision made (everything gets jumbled when theres only one discussion).

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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by Lycrisa on Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:40 pm

I agree. In my last club (I'm not saying this is the best for everyone), they had a board of about 5 dedicated (or elected) officials that listened to everyone's opinions and then voted for what they thought would best serve the club and it's members as a whole. That's basically the same method Jencandy just mentioned, and it worked phenomenally.

I do have a suggestion though, or a question rather.
I can only ever find the forum website, not the club site. Is there a link in the forum somewhere that I haven't found yet?

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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by Laigaie on Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:59 pm

Huh. I can't find it, either. Maybe Elena (or one of our mods. who are our mods? Emma and who else) could post it on a sticky somewhere. Or in the Outside Links or something. For reference, though, the variety listing is on the webpage, which is here: http://www.unitedmouseclub.com/ but the standards come in your packet that you get when you join.
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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by Laigaie on Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:15 am

Here are the issues, clumped into categories, that were pointed out by the three folks going through the standards:

1) Creating a General Standard.
Rather than including the full notes about type, condition, etc, we could set forth an equivalent to the other clubs' General Standard, the, well, general standard to which all mouse varieties are held. This can include things that may be specifically different in a variety (like a short, even coat) by saying that when a variety standard specifically states otherwise, the variety's standard takes precedence. This would make the variety pages of the document significantly more concise, so that new judges or breeders of the variety can get a better understanding of what's specifically important about that variety. As for the General Standard, it was also noted that previously agreed-upon changes to the ear shape were not included in the standards, which still describe a "calla lily" ear with more curve than the club membership has previously discussed desiring.

2) Altering the points structure.
Though the points structure is not what seasoned judges will go by (and, indeed, nobody wants to see an exact breakdown of how many points off for which thing), new judges need a points structure that makes sense in order for them to learn how to judge. At current, all varieties get the same number of points for each characteristic. That means that marked mice aren't (according to our standard) judged by their markings, as this has no place in the points scoring. Tans and siamese and sables similarly have no value put into their liveries. Coated mice have far more points in their color than their coats. All mice currently get
Condition  5 Color 40
Head  5 Coat 10
Ears  5 Type 20
Eyes  5
Tail  5
Size  5
Instead, suggested points systems could be allowed marked varieties to put 30 of the points from Color into a new category "Markings". Coated varieties (save satin) could similarly swap the values for Color and Coat. Tans/Foxes, Pointed, and Sable could split the points in Color between Color and Livery (like a marking, but location non-variable). There is also the option to split "Pale Selfs" from the rest such that PEW, BEW, and perhaps Champagne, Beige could be more heavily weighted for their type than their color (color not generally being variable in PEW and BEW).

3) AOC Organization.
A few varieties in the AOC section might be moved into other sections, and some created. Specifically, Chinchilla, Agouti Tan, and Sable might each individually be considered as part of the Tan/Fox variety rather than under AOC. Currently, Chinchilla and "Agouti Sable" are AOC, Agouti Tan is presumed to be included in Tan section, and there is no standard at current for Silver Agouti.

"Agouti Sable" as written does not well describe the variety most fanciers seem to understand as Sable, having the description from Chinchilla and then "Shading should start at the top of the mouse, along the spine with a dark black un-ticked streak. The shading should flow effortlessly into agouti, then a reddish ticked belly." Some rewriting of this variety may be necessary, and a photo included.

4) Pink Eyes, Black Eyes, Ruby Eyes, Odd Eyes, all the eye problems.
Many varieties were listed with simply the wrong eye color (Dove as Black-eyed, etc), but many sections list one or more eye colors when more or fewer might be allowed in that section.

Himalayan, for example, lists both ch/ch and ch/ce as genetic options (assuming this was intended for "Siamese"?), indicating that we standardized Black-Eyed Siamese rather than Colorpoint Beige. Is that our intention?

Splashed and Tri list black. Do we want to include pink-eyed splashed/tri? What about odd-eyed splashed/tri? NMC currently counts as a fault pointing on splashed mice, but Siamese splashed are commonly bred by members here and on the West Coast with AFRMA breeders, where ruby eyes are actually preferred.

Foxes and Tans currently list black eyes only. I am perhaps slightly biased in suggesting that we should include pink-eyed tans, but what about pink-eyed foxes? We saw some pointed foxes this past RF. If those are included with the pointed group, do we specifically fault for fox bellies? Or if they're included in the fox group, do we allow for "top color to be any standardized color with eyes to match"?

The standard for American Brindle seems to indicate only black-eyed undiluted forms of brindle, but do we want to allow c-diluted, pink-eyed, and other dilution forms of brindle? If so, as their own varieties, or included with American Brindle? Mosaic Brindles similarly do not include any acceptance of pink-eyed forms.

Hairless currently faults for pigmentation of skin, which indicates that only pink-eyed or diluted mice can be shown. If we include black-eyed mice, do we want to allow for skin pigmentation? What is the purpose in faulting it?

Marked varieties are a somewhat hairier issue. Black-eyed marked mice will always have more contrast between the spots and the white background, but should a fancier prefer to breed pink-eyed marked, would we want to include them as an option?

5) Variety-specific Edits
Leaden is now available as an alternative to dd in making blues. Are there any edits needed to the standard for blues that might need to be made in order to indicate that should a fancier be able to create a show-stopping blue from leaden, that would be allowed in the standard? This may be as simple as adding ln/ln to the Genotype listing for the variety. Alternatively, if the color distinction between the two is sufficiently great, or the genotype issues are sufficiently great, the variety could be split. We already include Gold, which is genotypically identical to Red/Fawn, but phenotypically very different, so perhaps a similar split between blue and leaden would be ideal.

Similarly, some note may need to be made within the standard for black about extreme black, perhaps faulting tan hairs more heavily than white hairs?

The standard for silver was brought into question where it notes that undercoat should not deviate from the top coat. This indicates that we are continuing the tradition of discarding ddpp mice for genetic doves bred to be very pale. Do we want to enlarge the standard to allow for genetic silvers to be shown as silver? Perhaps "undercoat should be as close as possible to the top coat" would suffice.

Do we want to note some kind of desirability for mirrored stripes in brindles? This has typically been bred for, but is not praised in the standard.

Spotting is generally considered a fault in most patterned varieties (like siamese), but is it a fault or preferred in merle mice? Roan and merle are currently listed as a single variety (or perhaps roan isn't standardized at all?), with no note being made of whether white spotting is desired or faulted or neither in this variety. If it is faulted, are pied merle/roan to be shown with the marked varieties? Or as some sort of faulty tricolor? Or are the completely unstandardized?

A note within fox could be made to specifically fault tan hairs at the demarcation line. A common fault, this is not noted in the standards.

Demarcation lines for fox and tan are not listed very descriptively, for example they do not note where on the feet the line should be, how far up the side of the belly, or how far up the muzzle (top jaw all top colored? line splits through whisker bed? what?) and does not note the degree to which tan above the demarcation line (such as around the ears or around the eyes of lighter agoutis) is acceptable vs faulted. Some clarity is needed here.

The demarcation on Dutch is similarly unclear, as it does not indicate how far up the saddle should ride, where on the tail the stop is, where on the feet the stop is. It is, however, very clear about cheek patches. A rewrite of the standard to describe saddle location and stops would help.

6) Quarantine regulations as listed in the standards book are the rules as needed for Rodentfest. If we are going to have several shows a year, a four-week hiatus in breeding before each and every one would very very very likely be completely ignored by anyone who wanted to attend more than one show. This rule could simply be noted as being recommended rather than a requirement for shows or meetups in general, and absolutely necessary for RF.


Aaaaand that's what I've got. If I missed anything that you'd like changed, please do describe it. And please, please, make it clear what your opinions are on all the little gritty details above. They may not seem important, but if that's the variety you breed, it's gonna be really important when you finally make it to a show, or if you ever want to train to be a judge. Judge training is useful not only in that we need more judges, but in that a judge's eye is an invaluable tool for a breeder. Please, be a part of your club and weigh in.
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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by jencandy on Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:40 am

Oh holy crap. Completely overwhelmed by all of that.
I guess my first question is: Is everyone to weigh in, only paying members, etc?

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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by jencandy on Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:55 am

Okay. Ive taken a few minutes to calm down (the long post really got me worked up), and am going to attempt to give some input. For those who dont know : I am a completely inexperienced show-er, and have just gotten my first show-type trio. That being said, take my input with a grain of salt, since some of my thoughts may be stupid, incomplete, ridiculous, etc. I dont claim to be an expert here, but think that have an inexperienced outlook may be just as valuable as an experienced one, since some folks may visit the UMC site (or a show) being completely inexperienced/ignorant to show mice. That being said, Ill attempt to address your points as best I can (though varieties I have absolutely no experience with I will leave alone), as well as address questions/concerns of mine when going through the UMC standards.

The lack of a general standard was one of the first things I noticed upon visiting the UMC site. While some things are the same everywhere (deep tail set, racy body, etc) some things are not (ear shape/size, overall size, etc).

I concur with the change to the point structure. I feel that with some marked varieties, the markings are far more important than type or color. Example : With a perfectly (or near) marked even marked, I could give a crap less what color it is, or how big the ears are. Obviously, it is a show, so there are certain standards, but with some varieties, certain aspects are more important than others.

Eye color - unless an eye dilution changes the actual color intended, I dont see why eye color should matter. If a PE tri is legitimately the best tri, why should it be DQ'd? Personally, my favorite brindle was my PE brindle (orange with blue stripes, how much cooler does it get!?). My splasheds are often odd eyed, and the better marked ones are the ones that end of odd eye (because the splashes are scattered about instead of in a clump, one eye gets a splash and the other doesnt). Id almost think OE would be preferred there. Tans, brokens, etc can be shown in any color, why not brindles? Again, if a c dilute brindle is legitimately a better brindle than an undiluted one, why shouldnt it win?

I think extreme black and black should be separate colors, personally. If an extreme black is available, why on earth would a regular black beat it (assuming the a^e isnt horridly typed, missing an eye ball, etc)? Its always bothered me seeing the two together.

I like the proposed change to the silver standard.

I think mirrored stripes should be ideal.

Im quite disappointed to see that broken merles arent standardized. I think theyre gorgeous, and absolutely something to strive for.
(On that note, Id like to see more marked standards in general. Broken merles. Broken brindles. Tri varis. I think they all have potential to be gorgeous if done right, and shouldnt be excluded. There could be an "unstandardized marked" class or something along those lines for less traditional markings. )

Wouldnt tan hairs on a fox be a DQ, since it couldnt technically be a true fox? Wouldnt that just be a bad tan?

While I understand the point made about QT, I feel its too large of a risk to not QT before shows... Perhaps limit it to no new mice can be added to the colony (excluding litters) for the standard QT time?

Random thoughts:
I feel like there should be a standard for individual colors of tans/foxes.

The standard for broken does not indicate how much spotting a mouse should have. Technically, a mouse with two little spots (as long as theyre round, crisp, etc) qualifies. I think it should be more defined.

Same thought as above with even marked. Technically, a mouse with two eye patches qualifies.

Similar thought with tri's. What Ive heard is 1/3 of each color (white, undiluted, c diluted) - the standard does not specify that.

Bit sad not to see silver agouti or blue agouti on the AOC list.

Merle - The standard does not define -how- the colors should be dispersed. Evenly? Randomly? Doesnt matter as long as its 50/50? If I have a mouse that is exactly one half base color, one half roan (literally, a line split down the middle) does that count? Are larger patches or smaller patches preferred?

What about broken tans? Are they allowed? Other various combinations? What about a list of DQs? both type wise, and for each standard (IE if broken tans arent allowed, a piebald marking in the tan section could be listed as a DQ).

Crap. I know I had more thoughts when I went through the first time, but then I decided to gather myself before responding, and I lost some of it.

(and as a side note, just because Ive brought something up doesnt mean I think it should be allowed/not allowed - It just means it doesnt seem to be clear and should be addressed.)

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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by Lycrisa on Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:15 pm

I'm going to try to be clear, but I'm sort of bad with words so hopefully this helps.
Also, I don't have experience with all of the varieties, but I think I might have a few notes to offer too.


Just in response to your post jencandy-
All ae does as oppose to a is wipe tan pigment from the hairs that would be tan. ae is extreme black. I'm not saying this to brag or anything, but my standard a blacks have been better than some ae blacks simply because spitfire's work on them has bred them blacker than ink. some ae mice haven't been. I'm not sure where to go with that one, I just wanted to mention it. A poorly bred mouse is a poorly bred mouse. <3
I do think the differences should be addressed though.
The note about tan hairs being more heavily faulted than white hairs is a really good suggestion.

Also, I think Laigaie's post is very thorough and well written.
The point about brindles' stripes in particular didn't even occur to me.

The UMC standards mention that "dark stripes should be present on a complimentary color" and "shown in any recognized color" so I do believe that was already covered. I do wonder though, assuming body type is still bred for with these, would obesity be a fault for that variety?

How does one approach things like "black tan pied merle"?

I agree with jencandy, my splashes who are odd eyed, do tend to have the best markings. While the black eyed mice have blotches.
Also, I'm glad you brought up pointed splashes.

I find this all very confusing, I'm trying to be articulate though.

About the quarantine.
I understand the necessity, but I'm not familiar with the hiatus on breeding, only on bringing new mice in.
I imagine if everything is in-house (including new pups being born)
there wouldn't be much of a problem.
I think the risk really comes in, when you're adopting mice in a few weeks before the shows.

And honestly, that's only limiting the risk.
I think people forget that sometimes.
You could have everything sealed off and never bring in new mice.
Lice could come in on bedding, or a wild mouse could sneak in and bring sendai with it, without even realizing it until it's already there. ( thank goodness for door-checks right?)

n the hairless varieties, I'm thinking even pigmentation might be a better approach. For instance, if you have a PEW, no pigment should be there at all. If you have a red hairless, there shouldn't be blotchiness. If I remember correctly, the ears, noses and feet tend to be darker than the body. So, you'd want whatever color the mouse is, to be evenly distributed. I'd imagine the want for no pigment at all, would be from it's tendency to be darker at those points.

I also like the proposed alteration to the silver standards.





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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by jencandy on Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:30 pm

My thing with a^e is that they tend to have pitch black ears, and tend to be ridiculously dark - Ive never seen a poorly bred one though. Ive also never seen one in person, so maybe in my mind theyre much nicer than they actually are?

As far as black tan pied merle (I actually have one of those. Hes not so great in most aspects) and other odd mixtures, if theres an "unstandarized marked" class, how well does the mouse represent ALL of its varieties? In the case of a black tan pied merle - how good is the merling, how rich is the tan and how is the demarcation line, and how are the pied spots. I have variegated tris and variegated merles - both are gorgeous varieties, but not done perfectly yet (they were accidents the first time around, and Ive since fallen in love). Ideally, theyll have correct vari markings, the tris will have different colored spots and the merles with have solid spots and roaned spots. I know neither will ever be standardized, but both are stunning. My tri merles are the same way. (when I got my merle, he was unexpressed splash, and carried EVERYTHING, I didnt choose to mix all these genes together). That being said, I know a lot of folks have had some really nice, albeit odd, combinations. Obviously standardizing them all isnt an option (at least not a practical one), but having a separate class for said combos could be really cool.

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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by candycorn on Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:10 pm

I agree and think adding a "unstandarized marked" class is the perfect solution to adding pied to any other variety...such as pied merle, pied brindle, pied siamese, etc.
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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by mousefan on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:29 pm

well for the AGS the way the points work is the following:

Body (which means body type, build, shape, etc) 25 points

fur/color (coat and coloring) 25 points

temperament (I don't know if it's like that in mouse communities, but in the AGS gerbils should be very friendly and not bite) 25 points

tail 15 points

eyes 5 points

ears 5 points.

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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by mousefan on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:32 pm

and for the AGS each gerbil starts with 100 points, but the judges can take points away depending on how well the gerbil conforms to the standards. points can also be taken away for the following reasons:

missing fur- 10 points max
excess fat- 10 points max
molting (when the color is changing)- 10 points max
dirty or stained fur- 10 points max
dirty show pen- 5 points max

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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by mousefan on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:51 pm

Do the standards come in the free membership, or just the paid?

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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by mousefan on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:54 pm

How many classes are there so far?

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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by Laigaie on Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:55 pm

There is no free membership that I'm aware of. Membership here on the forum is free, and membership on the FB is free. Not of the club itself. The standards comes with membership. Current sections include:
Self, AOC, Tan/Fox, Pointed, Marked, AOCP, Coated.

As far as things like "where do I categorize mixed-variety mice", I would suggest implementing a system with the sections wherein certain traits take precedence and therefore are the defining trait for sectioning. ie:

1. Does the mouse have a standard coat? If yes, go to 2. If no, mouse is coated
2. Does the mouse have markings? If no, go to 4. If yes, go to 3.
3. Are the markings on white? If yes, mouse is marked. If no, mouse is AOCP
4. Does the mouse have tan/fox belly? If no, go to 5. If yes, mouse is tan/fox.
5. Does the mouse have points? If no, go to 6. If yes, mouse is pointed.
6. Does the mouse have ticking or shading? If yes, mouse is aoc. If no, mouse is self.

The order of that might be disputed, but a system -like- that would at least tell us which section to class a mouse into, even if they're an "unstandardized marked" within that section.

Personally, I don't think that ae and a should be separate varieties. I've seen excellent examples of each, and in a really good example of either, you won't know the difference. I would, also, totally second the request for more of the common faults for the variety listed in the standards themselves. If we cut out all the general standard stuff from each variety and include that as its own thing, it'll open up a lot of space for us to go into the nitty gritty of the variety, which helps both judges and breeders. Knowing which specific things are faulted more heavily by the club in general won't stop specific judges from having a biases against certain characteristics or faults, but it will help everybody know what to aim for in general.
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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by HemlockStud on Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:10 am

Laigaie wrote:

Splashed and Tri list black. Do we want to include pink-eyed splashed/tri? What about odd-eyed splashed/tri? NMC currently counts as a fault pointing on splashed mice, but Siamese splashed are commonly bred by members here and on the West Coast with AFRMA breeders, where ruby eyes are actually preferred.
Ill give some input on splashed since those have been a main focus of mine for a while now.

Pink eyed splashed should be included but I have found when I have pink eye splashed that they would be dove on white or cham on white though so that may be taken into consideration.

Few thoughts on pointed splashed.  I have found that himilayan (ch/c) and black eyed siamese (ce/ch) show better markings over siamese (ch/ch). The point of a standard is to breed towards something that en-captures the variety and also gives a challenge to the breeder; what if splashed were separated into pointed and non pointed? Like the standard has two sub sections that are slightly different for each but they can still be judged against each other for the best of class. I just think that if points are to be included they should be highlighted and have some sort of ideal in mind. And actually the one big AFRMA breeder with splashed doesnt breed hers on a siamese base at all because she says they become muddy and not defined in markings. Hers are all ce/c.

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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by Love2read on Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:10 am

I like what Lycrisa mentioned: what about things like Black Tan Pied Merle?

Merle is my #1 focus and I breed it in self, Pied, Tan, and Pied Tan(also working on Merle Fuzzies!). So, how would that work if I wanted to show them?

Personally, I think if a Merle is to be Pied then it should be similar to Tri in that it should have even amounts of white, roan, and solid and that having separate spots of roan and solid would be a plus(example: a broken-marked mouse with spots of roan and spots of solid color would score higher than one that had spots that consisted of half roan/half solid patches).

As for hairless, requiring them to have uniform color would disqualify everything but PEW, which would be not only unfair, but downright boring, imo. I would like to see all self colors allowed. However, I think that they should have to follow the standards of whatever color/variation they are. Since color only shows on points, then those should be the areas where they're judged. Example: Black self Hairless should be completely black on their ears, tail, nose and feet/toes. There shouldn't be any white toes, no white chin, and no white tip on the tail, just like with a self black.

Quarentine and a breeding hiatus: for many breeders, taking a hiatus in breeding is not an option. Many of the breeders in the mouse community raise their mice as feeders for their snakes(or to sell as feeders) and don't have the luxury of being able to stop all their mice from breeding for an entire month. Would it be sufficient to simply house the mice in a separate room/area of the house away from the other mice and not allow any mice in that room/area to breed, but still allow the mice in the normal critter area to breed like normal?

Although, some people don't even have a secondary room for QT, so that might be a problem as well.

I don't really understand the purpose being the breeding hiatus. As long as no new animals have been brought in, then there shouldn't be an issue. Babies aren't going to come out of the womb with strange new diseases and parasites that their parents don't already have. tongue They came from the belly of a mouse that was already in your home, they weren't beamed in from another country, lol.

I find it sad that Silver Agouti isn't listed under AOC as well. It's a beautiful color on it's own and it makes me sad that no one ever recognizes it, they only recognize Chinchilla. Sad

Extreme Black and Black both have even odds on the show bench, imo. I've seen Blacks that would blow most Extreme Blacks out of the water! It's all about how they're bred.

I would like to see more details written about Texels versus just "Fluffy and cute like a little pillow"...that's not a very helpful description. >.<
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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by Laigaie on Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:31 am

Excellent points! Silver agouti needs a standard description written for it, including its most common faults. Sable also needs a complete ground-up rewrite.

The standards listed on the website are not the standards seen in the standards booklet you get when you actually join the club. Texel is listed there as "Coat should be curled, and long. Guard hairs should stick out from the undercoat, but both should be curled evenly. There length of the coat should be consistent over the entire mouse." I'm personally not a fan of the guard hairs, but the standard is otherwise effective. It's a small enough issue that, compared to other things, I honestly didn't even notice it the first time through.

The purpose behind the hiatus in breeding is to allow a die-out of a set of diseases that go dormant in adults but are symptomatic and contagious in pups. A breeding hiatus of SIX WEEKS is necessary to contain it, however, and it is really quite rare, and quite noticeable. The pups get diarrhea and waste away. If you don't notice that that's happening in your stud, you're not likely to have followed quarantine anyway. Similarly, if you noticed that, and you decide to bring mice to the show anyway, you're still the kind of person who wouldn't've followed quarantine. Still, I think for shows that aren't RF (where we don't make the rules--Lee does), recommending QT but not disqualifying participants based on QT might be the better bet.

I'd be okay making pied merle its own standard, but it would need to be written. You could use a combination of the merle standard and the tri standard. Roan is not its own variety either, if that's important to you. It would similarly need to be written.

Personally, I agree with a fairly liberal policy as far as standardizing varieties. More varieties that all have fairly strict standards is better, imo, than fewer varieties with loose standards.

As for a pied tan merle fuzzy, go back to my post at the end of the previous page. It would be a fuzzy. A standard-coated pied tan merle would be a marked mouse (probably in the pied merle variety you were talking about, or if we don't standardize that, then in whatever marking pattern it follows--dutch, broken, even, whatever). If it weren't merle, and were just a pied tan, it would again be judged as a marked mouse (whatever marking pattern). If it were just a merle tan, I'd judge it as a merle (AOCP). Having a non-standard coat type makes it harder to do anything else well, so that gets priority. Having markings makes it harder to do anything else well, while simultaneously hiding faults, so that gets next priority. And so on. Does that make sense?
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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

Post by Lycrisa on Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:20 am

I really, really like the idea of a separate standard for pied merles and roans from merle in general. I think they are sort of like tricolor and splash. You can get either when interbreeding and some dependence on splash for tricolor is there, but they are still different varieties.

I also think the "flowchart" for traits is a wonderful solution. It makes perfect sense to me the way you explained it. That would eliminate a lot of hassle.

All I breed is blacks and blues with any success or consistency.
I notice my blues tend to be mealy and have pale toes/ears/noses if I focus too heavily on type. The bellies tend to be lighter than the tops too, and that's the hardest for me to get right. The blacks don't really have that issue. I do believe those are the biggest faults for the variety.

This is the current standard on self blues
"Blue - Deep smooth slate blue. Dark toenails
preferred. Eyes are black.
Genotype - a/a d/d"

Am I understanding it right that faults will be included in the standards, next to what should be bred for like:

"Mouse should be an even, slate blue. Black eyes. Not to show mealiness or have pale extremities."

It's subtle, but wouldn't the word "smooth" in the first one already cover both of those? You wouldn't notice it unless you knew what to breed for already though, so for the purpose for being more clear, having those faults, BAM, right there should help.

(typing as I 'm thinking. Hopefully that made sense.)
I wish I had more ...things I could comment on.
All I've got with confidence is those two.
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Re: UMC Standards Edits Forthcoming

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