How do you cull and euthanize mice??

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How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by lunalady on Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:06 pm

I raised and showed guinea pigs. I never had to cull a baby. If I have a sick pig, if was brought to the vet to be treated and sometimes, they needed to be euthanized. So, what is the process for mice.???

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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by Rhasputin on Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:16 pm

For very young small mice I flick them on the head. Pinkies up to 2-3 weeks it's instant death because your flick is hard enough to crush their skull.

For anything larger i do cervical dislocation. For cervical dislocation I flick them as well, to stun them, then very quickly pull their neck and tail base.

For larger batches or mice, or ASFs and rats, I use CO2 chamber.
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by lunalady on Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:35 pm

what is a CO2 chamber? I guess I should say, how does one make a CO2 chamber?

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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by doganddisc on Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:27 pm

There are a lot of instructional videos about building a CO2 chamber on YouTube.

Just a note, you shouldn't use a CO2 chamber on bubs since it doesn't really affect them. I've heard freezing bubs works well and is humane.
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by Rhasputin on Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:36 pm

Lately there have been more and more people against freezing pinkies.
Flicking them in the head, in my opinion, is much more humane as it is instant, rather than 10+ minute deaths. Sad
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by kawmice on Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:01 pm

Sad I use the freezer method for pinkies and pups up till their eyes open. They seem fall asleep and death comes quickly. This is how I was taught years ago by another breeder. It was a popular method at the time.

Older mice I stun and give to my snake. Please keep in mind that I do not normally cull an adult mouse. My snake gets store bought.
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by Rhasputin on Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:30 pm

kawmice wrote:Sad I use the freezer method for pinkies and pups up till their eyes open. They seem fall asleep and death comes quickly. This is how I was taught years ago by another breeder. It was a popular method at the time.


I was also taught by another breeder to use that method, but the first time i used it i waited about 15 minutes and took one out to see if my cat would eat it out of curiosity, and it was still alive after 15 minutes. I don't feel right putting them in there when I don't know how long it takes, and it definitely takes longer than the split second it takes to flick.

I know of a breeder who flushes pinkies down the toilet. . . that makes me really uncomfortable.
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by tinyhartmouseries on Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:03 pm

I don't like the flush method at all, how cruel-unless they are dead already. I used to freeze and it took just two or three minutes, but now I throw them to the cement floor after stunning them.

Adults, I use cervical dislocation unless they are very wiggly and stressed out, then I put them in a pillowcase and use the swing method.

All very unsavory but I prefer the cervical dislocation because death comes so quickly. When my time comes I maybe hope someone can do the same quick service for me, you know?
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by Rhasputin on Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:16 pm

Someone on a forum once mentioned that they had prescription narcotic pain medication patches, and that a tiny smudge on a mouse's skin would kill them. I think that's probably a good way to die. They were probably very numb and blissful at their end.

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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by Lycrisa on Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:39 am

I'd have to agree although if tey break the pain patch to get atthe meds it can be dsangerous to the person too. I wonder if there would be a way to get them to it without breaking the seal on the patch... I swing the adults and flick the bubs. The thing I learned from a fellow breeder is you can't hesitate.
To hesitate defeats the purpose of humane culling because sometimes they can linger.

Do they feel pain when you stun,or don't stun them? I always just put them down, I didn't try to stun them first. Upset
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by Rhasputin on Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:24 pm

I'm sure they feel pain when I stun them, but the way I do it the amount of time between the flick to stun and the pull to dislocate is so short that I feel it's of no consequence. I can't ever get them to hold still long enough without stunning, to CD, so I worry I will cause them more pain by doing the procedure wrong, than I will if I stun them first.



I can't say I like the swing method. . . To me there is just too much room for possible error.

I bought a rat from the pet store as a feeder recently, and I asked the guy if I could go ahead and put it down before I left, so it wasn't chewing out in the car. Without really asking he said 'well I can do it' and he smacked the rat against the floor about 5 times. It made me sick, honestly. When we got in the car it was still very much alive, and clearly in a lot of pain, so I did CD and ended it. I feel very bad for that rat.
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by doganddisc on Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:38 pm

Rhasputin, do you know of any good instruction videos on how to do CV precisely? I know it's something that probably takes a lot of experience to get absolutely perfectly, but I would want to know EXACTLY how to do it before even attempting.
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by Mrs. Beach on Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:42 pm

I use CO2 and then freeze or flush them just to be sure. They "pass out" from the CO2 and never know that death has come. It is sad to euthanise a favorite mouse this way, but it is a merciful way for them to go.
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by Rhasputin on Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:47 pm

I have an excellent video made by a friend of mine, Marina, who I put you in contact with, that shows how to do CD with the 'pencil' method.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o35MGAhKhco

The pencil method involves placing a thin object behind the animal's head, instead of holding it with your fingers. But both are the same method in essence.

Please do NOT click that link if you are uncomfortable seeing an animal being euthanized with cervical dislocation!

The animal in the video is an African Soft Furred rat. The twitching at the end is very normal.

Doganddisc are you going to Rodent Fest? Last time I did a demo at the hotel on how to CD.
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by doganddisc on Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:51 pm

I am going to Rodent Fest. I'd be interested in seeing a demo on how to do it properly. My biggest fear is that I would do something wrong and the animal would suffer. :\

When they twitch at the end like that, are they not dead yet?
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by tinyhartmouseries on Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:54 pm

It is neuronsl firing. Casey told me that as soon as the urinate, they are dead.
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by Rhasputin on Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:44 pm

That's sort of a general thing. It's not a 100% thing.
Generally when they urinate it's a good indication that they have completely gone slack, and everything has ceased it's normal involuntary functions. Like the bladder normally holds the urine in without the mouse thinking about it, but when it dies, the bladder no longer holds the urine in, and it is released.


Males seem to also release a semen plug sometimes upon dying. . . Creepy.
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by GypsyTails on Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:21 pm

Pinkies and fuzzies I use CD and then flush, aka the Squish and Flush method (Or Flick and Flush method if they are really little). Larger babies and adult mice I use my co2 chamber. I still can't do adult CD. I wish I could. Occasionally I've had my vet do it, but I don't like the needle to the heart while they are alive. I cry like a baby. Co2 is gentle and painless, and if you make your chamber a certain way, you can even hold them and keep them calm and they never feel alone.

Some have said that a co2 chamber freaks the animal out too much and they panic which makes it inhumane. My response to that is: You must be doing it wrong.

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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by kawmice on Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:18 am

I would also like to see how to properly CD. If you do a demo let me know. I will just have to leave my friend out of the room! lol I tried once........ years ago. I was - ahem - unsucessful. I never tried it again. But i would like to learn how to properly do it.

As far as the flushing method - I have never even heard of that method until I read everyone's responses to this post. I do not think I could do that. Just a little fear of mine - drowning. I just can't......... lol
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by Rhasputin on Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:33 am

I can do a demo if someone brings a mouse to be culled. It would have to be at the hotel, after the show though. The show starts at 3pm, s I could assume we'd be back at the hotel around 6pm ish.
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by thistlebrook on Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:57 pm

I do cervical dislocation, no prior 'stunning'. Depending on the size of the mouse I may or may not use a pencil.
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by GypsyTails on Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:54 pm

Yeah, I couldn't see flushing a live mouse, though I don't doubt that some people do it. I hate wasting a garbage bag on a single pinky though, which is usually how I cull- one or two at a time. I'm "not allowed" to freeze euthanized culls anymore. If I have a special mouse who had to be pts, I have to hide it well behind the frozen food until I can bury him/her. But the bag of pinkies that used to accumulate in the freezer is a no-no..... Sad So now they all get flushed unless I have a bag of trash that happens to be ready to take out.

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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by Rhasputin on Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:11 pm

This doesn't work for everyone, but I usually feed my culls either to my opossum or my savanna monitor. If neither of them is hungry, I'll freeze them. If the mouse had something wrong with it like cancer or it was rotted before I found it, I'll throw it in the back yard, opossums and raccoons come by at night and eat them, they're never there in the morning.
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by Mrs. Beach on Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:46 am

Gypsy! Tell me how to make a CO2 chamber where I can hold my mice until they die!
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Re: How do you cull and euthanize mice??

Post by GypsyTails on Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:01 am

Sure! I want to make a new one, so when I get a new tub and another set of gloves I'll make a "how to". It's really easy if you have a Dremel or equivalent, and fairly easy if you have to use a blade of some sort. Happy

Casey, I've been pretty tempted to toss culls into the natural area in the back of our lot. Possums and even a skunk come visit on occasion BUT we have a crap-ton of neighbor cats who I'd like to... well... I shouldn't divulge what I'd like to do to those mangy flea bags! Anyway, I don't want them to get any "natural donations". I hate those cats!

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