Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

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Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by jencandy on Sat May 19, 2012 10:06 pm

Before pairing any of my girls, I started getting together a waiting list. One particular potential adopter had asked what kind of litter size Im looking at, as he has never bred mice. He asked this while commenting on the picture of the little girl I rescued (who may be pregnant far too young from her brothers-the pet store kept her in with the males for the first few months of her life) so I just said that the average was 8-12, but because she was so young, she would probably have about half a dozen "with only a few surviving". Im not sure how to go about the whole culling issue as far as dealing with the public. I know had I not done extensive research about breeding mice, Id be like "you do WHAT to the babies?!". Should I just announce the litter size as how many Ive culled it down to? Or say "X amount of babies born, with Y Amount surviving"? I have no problem being upfront with my breeding methods/ethics/etc. but Ive never seen a breeder announce that they had 12 babies, but killed off 8 of them. Im just not sure the best way to go about this.

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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by Stina on Sat May 19, 2012 10:36 pm

This is definitely a sensitive topic...this is one reason I don't generally do waiting lists (besides that I'm terrible at keeping track of that kind of stuff...lol)...I don't like people to think they are promised something and then have it not be available...especialy if its not available b/c it was culled for something else. I find it easier just to list what is available when it becomes available. I HAVE however breached the culling topic with some people who've gotten animals from me.....saying "x survived" I don't think is a good way to go about things, as it implies you/the mother COULDN"T keep some alive. When you discuss culling you have to do so carefully and highlight the the health benefits to the mother and remaining offspring and how not culling could affect them all.

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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by kawmice on Sat May 19, 2012 11:13 pm

I never discus culling with the public. My own mother does not even know what the word means. Lol. I do however have my ethics and methods posted on my site (under construction) and I very lightly touch upon culling. But even on my page it just states that I do cull to benefit the mother, ect and it does not go into detail at all.
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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by Stina on Sat May 19, 2012 11:23 pm

I don't put it out there...but if I have someone ask about it, I will discuss it.

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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by jencandy on Sat May 19, 2012 11:24 pm

That was kind of my plan, just stating "we cull for the benefit of the mother and the litter" and leaving it at that.
How would you respond if someone asked you how many babies a certain mouse had? (Like if there were 10 born, but only 4 werent culled)

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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by jencandy on Sat May 19, 2012 11:27 pm

Stina, how do you know if you can find homes for all the babies? Thats the main reason I did a waiting list-to make sure I wasnt breeding a litter that couldnt be found homes. Obviously if necessary, I would be willing to house all the babies. Ive never even considered not having a waiting list an option, Im so excited to hear that someone seems to do just fine without them!

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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by doganddisc on Sat May 19, 2012 11:37 pm

jencandy wrote:That was kind of my plan, just stating "we cull for the benefit of the mother and the litter" and leaving it at that.
How would you respond if someone asked you how many babies a certain mouse had? (Like if there were 10 born, but only 4 werent culled)

I am all for mentioning it briefly and leaving it at that.

As for how to respond about number of babies, I would assume that someone asking that is inquiring about the number born to determine how many are available vs how many you are keeping. I would answer, in the scenario you provided, that there were four babies.
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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by Mrs. Beach on Sun May 20, 2012 12:22 am

I don't say anything about culling to adopters unless they are breeders, themselves.
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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by Stina on Sun May 20, 2012 12:50 am

Christina, the only problem with that is if the person is looking to breed....and asking in order to estimate what they could expect a female to produce from that line....if you say 4 when they actually produced quite a bit more, that isn't helpful.

Jen...since I cull to no more than 6, there usually aren't many that end up available to begin with.

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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by doganddisc on Sun May 20, 2012 12:56 am

Stina wrote:Christina, the only problem with that is if the person is looking to breed....and asking in order to estimate what they could expect a female to produce from that line....if you say 4 when they actually produced quite a bit more, that isn't helpful.

Jen...since I cull to no more than 6, there usually aren't many that end up available to begin with.

Valid point!
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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by jencandy on Sun May 20, 2012 1:04 am

Thats where my concern was. I dont want to be changing numbers and seeming shady depending on what I think the person wants to hear. Then again, if someone cant be up front with me about their intentions, I dont really care what they think about my litter sizes.

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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by kawmice on Sun May 20, 2012 11:47 am

Use my pharse- "it all depends on the mouse, so difficult to say. Mice can have aywhere from about 4-10". You are stating a fact but letting them know that it is unsure how many the mouse will have

I also usually work without a reserved list for the most part. I will make exceptions for breeders. Lol
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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by Rhasputin on Sun May 20, 2012 11:58 am

Mrs. Beach wrote:I don't say anything about culling to adopters unless they are breeders, themselves.

I agree with this. Though 99% of the time I'm selling, it is to other breeders anyways. And I believe that if you are a breeder of mice, you need to at the very least understand culling and why many people believe it is essential to caring properly for mice.
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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by seafolly on Sun May 20, 2012 12:42 pm

I'm thrilled this was posted as I just bumped into this issue!

One girl in my city (not a breeder, just bred once for kicks) that I've been exchanging emails with has quickly become a person I would not trust with my mice. She's very, very keen though, particularly keen on the runt I have "because she's different." Unfortunately I've decided to cull her (whenever the mother takes a break...anytime now Tully, come on, I'm ready!) and was wrestling with what to say to this girl. I think I'm just going to say I decided to keep them all. I certainly wouldn't bring up culling to someone who isn't a breeder just because they wouldn't have likely done the reading, thus would assume the worst of you. I think.

Now. How to explain the large reduction to my PETA fan of a sister who barges in and checks them every few hours, I have NO idea.
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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by jencandy on Sun May 20, 2012 12:53 pm

Seafolly, considering that peta is supposed to be for the well being of the animals, maybe explain the benefits of culling to her? Try explaining that if you dont cull, the entire litter will be less healthy, and its not fair to let them all suffer. Not to mention mama may have killed some anyways.
As for the waiting/reserved list, I think I will do away with it as well after I get through the people on it.

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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by seafolly on Sun May 20, 2012 2:19 pm

This would work with 95% of the population I'm sure, but my sister is vegan and feels free to lecture people on eating an egg. I really don't even want to think of what she'd do if she figured this out. Fortunately, since I rehab birds all the time, I don't THINK she'll suspect it of me. But in regards to the girl online, I already feel the need to lecture her on his mouse keeping morals. (like ditching hers to whoever wants them but wanting mine...and she has another oops litter born last night...oh and her first babies were taken away from the mother at 18 days old, and adopted out a few days later).

Waiting lists make good sense. Happy I'd do it if I had a clue as to what I was expecting. All I know for sure is the babies will be satin. But at this rate I'm not sure I'll be giving any away at all with only three "for sure keepers."
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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by tinyhartmouseries on Sun May 20, 2012 4:45 pm

Your sister should not really be checking on them every few hours, bringing in unfamiliar scent. I would not worry about what your sister will do, unless you think she will try to turn you in for animal abuse. PETA kills the majority of animals it claims to adopt out anyway. Wink You shouldn't feel the need to hide your own accepted, ethical practices.

That being said, on the off chance that I adopt out mice as pets to people i don't already know on here, culling is not their business. It does not get brought up.

As far as this gal goes, you can tell her that you've decided to keep the babies or be honest and tell her certain aspects of her husbandry ethics make you uncomfortable and you'd decided not to adopt to her. It's well within your rights to do either.
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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by seafolly on Sun May 20, 2012 4:55 pm

Oh sorry, by checking on them I meant peeking from the bottom of the tank which has been slid out a bit. Momma doesn't know. Happy The snag is I'm really only doing it for convenience if you think about it - 8 is reasonable, and by taking out all the boys it's just me thinking, "Where will they live?"

Already done. Big smile She actually suggested she take a baby or two to put with her own female who gave birth last night after having 3 week old babies still. Culling or staying with me is pretty much all I can consider after having read these sorts of ideas! Though it wouldn't be a lie, I think the last three girls will stick with me. Happy (three breeders just confirmed my sexing so I'm off to cull for my first time Sad )
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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by tinyhartmouseries on Sun May 20, 2012 5:00 pm

It is 100% fine to cull mice if you are unsure you could get them into safe homes. It's sometimes kinder to not live at all then to live an unknown life, being possibly used as a secret feeder or neglected by children, bounced from home to home, etc. Don't feel too bad. After experiences with adoptors lying or neglecting my mice, I chose to start culling rather than struggle to find good homes.
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Re: Tactfully discussing culling with adopters

Post by seafolly on Sun May 20, 2012 5:43 pm

That's an excellent way of thinking about it. Happy Especially when it comes to males (my family won't tolerate their smell!). I'm going to try adding vanilla drops tonight. But yes, I wouldn't chance it with males once the new adopters got a real sense of what they smell like. Even if I made them promise to give them back.
(that said, I had a male mouse two years ago who didn't smell much at all - weird)
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