UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

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UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by Rhasputin on Wed May 23, 2012 10:28 am

Our standards are still a work in progress. Our last show proved that there are still a few bugs in the system we're working on, so we're working diligently to fix them, and make the judging system run more smoothly. Happy

I'm open to ideas, and suggestions, about what -you-, the members, want to see in your mouse club!
Are there any varieties that you'd like to see recognized, that may not be currently recognized?
Suggestions about places for the next show?


Please let us know! Thanks! Happy
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by tinyhartmouseries on Wed May 23, 2012 12:33 pm

I am interested in knowing a bit more about the ear standards.

Also, not to start MORE controversy over the new mice, but will we have any rules about showing the new English mice, ie has to be certain gens removed, or something? It doesn't seems right that a breeder could compete with F1's and beat breeders who have been working for years. I don't want to start a whole lot of fussing over this, but didn't know if it has crossed anyone else's mind.
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by Love2read on Wed May 23, 2012 1:18 pm

As an offshoot of what Emma mentioned about mice being certain generations bred out...

I think it would be a good idea to add a rule about mice needing to be X-number of generations bred out to be considered your own and that if a mouse is directly from another breeder or is under the required number of generations then any wins should be credited directly to the breeder(s) of the original mice instead of the person who is actually showing the mouse.

Personally, I would love to show a couple of the awesome mice that I got from Beth just to get a feel for how the rate against the "system" and if I get any winners I'll be able to saw that they're actual SHOW mice and not just show-type. I think it gives a line alot more credit when their babies are show winners and not just "show-type".

However, the only thing holding me back is that I wouldn't feel right showing someone else's mouse or even the offspring of that mouse unless I knew that the credit was going to the right breeder, which would NOT be me.

The same thing applies to babies I sell...if they were to be shown by the person who got them and they won a show I would definitely like credit for that!

Anyways...just an idea. Wink
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by tinyhartmouseries on Wed May 23, 2012 1:50 pm

I wonder how weird that might get. I have mice that have breeder fathers and grandfathers but the mothers are 10gens mine. I've been breeding in other breeder's mice for type on something existing.
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by kawmice on Wed May 23, 2012 2:06 pm

This has been a controversy for many years. I have had my tans going for roughly 26 gens and many breeders have my orgional tan line genes in their tan lines.

Weather it is first gen out or 20. I feel the person who bred the mouse should get credit. For example, breeder A has a doe from me and breeds her to a buck from breeder b. The pups will have breder's A's mousery prefix. Breeder A was the one who planned the breeding and paired the two mice from two different breeders together. If breeder A shows that said mouse and wins, then breeder A should get the credit since they were the ones who carefully planned the breeding

Good idea - during the MAMA event there was a specific show for offspring. It HAD to be three gens in and the winner was the breeder who improved the most in that line. I would LOVE to see more of that. It really shows how much dedication a breeder puts into a line.

Also - I feel that every particular breeder has a right to contracts. If said breeder does not want their mice shown (and credit be taken elsewere if the mouse wins) until a few gens out, then that should be stated in a contract.

I never show a mouse I recieve from someone else unless the breeder of that mouse gives permission. If that mouse should win, the owner of the mouse deserves the ribbon, BUT the breede of the mouse needs to be credited as well. The exception is what happened at rodent fest. For example - Beth showed a few mice reserved for me. We were at an event where I was obtaining mice, but since the orgional breeder showed them, she had all right to the ribbons, ect.

Am I making sense?? I am dead tired right now! lol

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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by tinyhartmouseries on Wed May 23, 2012 2:11 pm

That makes a lot of sense KAW, I think I like that idea.
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by kawmice on Wed May 23, 2012 2:14 pm

I also think it may be a good idea to either do one of two things:

1 - show all imported or with imported background in one show and have another show for others

2 - have a set requirement for gens out of imported stock. For example - imported lines must be three gens out to show.


Other thoughts -

I am not a fan of the point system. But then again, I do not know much about it. I feel the mice should bge broken down into varities and coats...... almost like the ECMA and FMA do. Examples being Ticked, Marked, Self, Tan, Satin, Angora, ect.

I would also love to see a pet show class. And I am a big fan of recieving a copy of each of my mouse's judging notes and ranks. It is very important for a breeder to know what they need to improve upon and what should be left alone. I feel this is the purpose of having a show. New and established breeders alike should be able to enter a mouse and get a written score/ report on every mouse so they know what to work towards.
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by kawmice on Wed May 23, 2012 2:15 pm

Thanks Emma!!!
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by tinyhartmouseries on Wed May 23, 2012 2:50 pm

It's going to be hard to say what to do. For example, I am breeding my English mouse/mice into my existing. I agree that for the people that are breeding trio sent over, perhaps a 3 g thing should apply. I don't know, that's why I brought it up because it confuses me to think about on my own.

I'd be all for doing a pet class. I'd even offer write or help write the pet qualifications.
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by Rhasputin on Wed May 23, 2012 2:55 pm

Woah! Posting this to let you guys know I'm reading through and taking notes, I'll post again in a few minutes when I absorb it all! Happy
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by candycorn on Wed May 23, 2012 3:02 pm

I would certainly never think of showing the actual imports...but the next generation should be fair game for a show. No one is stopping anyone else from importing after all. I personally am not as interested in showing myself...but the idea is to find out what needs improvement and not letting us show our F1 mice takes away from that knowledge.
These imports are NOT perfect. They are lovely...but not perfect. So it will still take work before we win. Our tans for example have great color...but not so great size. They are definatly much smaller than the show mice I have seen so far here in the states.
Otherwise yes, I think the ear standard needs to be clarified since it seems to be at odds with all the other clubs. I also think variety should be set as other clubs so that we have a standard to compair ourselves to
.
And last I think we need to vary the judges so it's not just one person. How someone becomes a judge will be more difficult, but I think one important thing should be that the person have actual show winning mice that have proven themselves.

I think we need to be able to use our own containers for the mice instead of used lab cages.

And I think if we do it with Rodentfest again, then the mouse show needs to go on at the same time as the rat show instead of waiting until the very end of the day. That way the presentation of the winners and the judges info cards can be passed out and photos of the show mice and their ribbons can be taken. And of course results can be recorded...which is the whole point of a mouse show! Happy
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by Rhasputin on Wed May 23, 2012 3:11 pm

kawmice wrote:I also think it may be a good idea to either do one of two things:

1 - show all imported or with imported background in one show and have another show for others

2 - have a set requirement for gens out of imported stock. For example - imported lines must be three gens out to show.


Other thoughts -

I am not a fan of the point system. But then again, I do not know much about it. I feel the mice should bge broken down into varities and coats...... almost like the ECMA and FMA do. Examples being Ticked, Marked, Self, Tan, Satin, Angora, ect.

I would also love to see a pet show class. And I am a big fan of recieving a copy of each of my mouse's judging notes and ranks. It is very important for a breeder to know what they need to improve upon and what should be left alone. I feel this is the purpose of having a show. New and established breeders alike should be able to enter a mouse and get a written score/ report on every mouse so they know what to work towards.

Christine.

In the UMC the mice are separated into the same categories, and are judged against other mice in the category, as well as being judged against all the other mice, for BIS.
The UMC tried to be as fair and equal to all entries as possible, so that one variety has no advantage over another. For example, a marked mouse, would recieve the same number of points judging it's markings, as a mouse entered for its coat would recieve judging it's coat.

Say, for example purposes only, a dutch marked mouse would get 20 points max for it's markings, and an angora mouse would get 20 points max for it's coat quality.

A black mouse, recieves points for it's toenails specifically, where-as a white mouse recieves those same points for something like brightness, instead, since a white mouse does not have pigmented toenails. The points are moved around so that they are just as likely to be faulted on every mouse.

Judging from the last show, I felt like I was giving away too many points, however at the end, when everyone's totals were added up, everyone ended up in the same general area points wise, which is what I hoped for! Most of the mice there ended up in the 70s, which is good, because the idea is that no mouse will ever reach 100 points, so 70s is a good place to be for that crows of mice. And since they all ended up in the same range, it means that for the most part, the system is working to keep all the mice judged in a way that doesn't give advantages to a single variety.

They still need a little tweaking, but I feel like we are truely on the right track. We are following a system very close to ARBA's system of points. Happy

To your other point, we meant to give everyone back their sheets, and were just in such a rush that it didn't happen, so that's our mistake, but we do intend on passing the sheets out after judging next time! Embarassed




As far as not allowing people to show mice which aren't a certain number of generations in, I think it's a bust. For one thing, I cannot think of another club which does this with any animal species, and it's probably for good reasons. For one thing, I cannot prove to anyone that a mouse is, or is not, a certain number of generations in, and even if I could, and the mouse was, then where does this end? If I cross 2 mice that don't belong to me, and then cross back, what generation is that? People have different opinions on whether this is 2nd, or a repeat of 1st generation under their current owner.

A good way to get the breeders of the mice to receive their due credit, is to make sure that when you sell mice, if you want credit, to make sure that they have a pedigree and a name with your prefix attached. This way, when the mouse wins, it is listed as "MYM's Black Beauty owned by EVLV" (Just as an example) so that both the owner, and breeder of the mouse get credit.

You can compare this, if it helps, to dog showing. A person who buys a dog from a breeder, is perfectly capable of showing the dog, despite not having bred it. Well. . . At least I think that's how it works,. I don't have any show dogs or anything, but I do know of people, Elena and Stina, who have show dogs, and show them to my knowledge. Maybe they can help weigh in on that a bit more. Happy


Please keep up the discussion, this is all very thought provoking and helpful! Worship
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by Rhasputin on Wed May 23, 2012 3:17 pm

candycorn wrote:I would certainly never think of showing the actual imports...but the next generation should be fair game for a show. No one is stopping anyone else from importing after all. I personally am not as interested in showing myself...but the idea is to find out what needs improvement and not letting us show our F1 mice takes away from that knowledge.
These imports are NOT perfect. They are lovely...but not perfect. So it will still take work before we win. Our tans for example have great color...but not so great size. They are definatly much smaller than the show mice I have seen so far here in the states.
Otherwise yes, I think the ear standard needs to be clarified since it seems to be at odds with all the other clubs. I also think variety should be set as other clubs so that we have a standard to compair ourselves to
.
And last I think we need to vary the judges so it's not just one person. How someone becomes a judge will be more difficult, but I think one important thing should be that the person have actual show winning mice that have proven themselves.

I think we need to be able to use our own containers for the mice instead of used lab cages.

And I think if we do it with Rodentfest again, then the mouse show needs to go on at the same time as the rat show instead of waiting until the very end of the day. That way the presentation of the winners and the judges info cards can be passed out and photos of the show mice and their ribbons can be taken. And of course results can be recorded...which is the whole point of a mouse show! Happy

Thank you for the feedback!
For the containers, we are working on standardizing a container for showing. From now on, hopefully, the shows will be run more like they are in the UK. Where the mouse must be put into it's show container and basically not leave the show container during the event, outside of judging. The containers will be available for sale from the club, for rent from the club, or you can build or buy your own, once we have plans for them. We're currently un-decided on exactly what we'll be using, but someone has offered to build us Maxey cages, and we're considering them, or extra small KK containers. Happy



The last show (which was also the first, forgive us!) ran very, very late. We had to try very hard to convince RF to even let us have the show in the first place, as they were un-sure that it would be a very big deal. After seeing how many people showed up just for the mouse portion of RF the organizers agreed that next time the show will start much earlier, will have it's own table, and will be absolutely welcome to join any RFs in the future!
We've also been invited to run a show at a pet-expo in PA (I believe, I'll have to get more details from Lee and May) with RF so they're very interested in keeping this relationship going!


The organization at the last one left much to be desired, but as I said many times, it was free for a reason! Laughing

Thank you very much for the c&c!
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by m137b on Wed May 23, 2012 8:08 pm

Wow, lots to read through and things I hadn't even really thought about, so I'll comment on those first.

I think the owner of the mouse has the right to show it. Regardless of how long it has been owned or how many generations it is removed from purchased stock. If I sold someone a mouse in june, I see no reason it can not be shown by that person in july, the buyer has conditioned it, cared for it and has the right to exhibit it and get credit for it, sure it's one thing to say 'i bought this mouse from so and so' to other breeders, but to be forced to give that award to the breeder even though the breeder effectively culled the animal, seems contradictory. I know I would not be offended or angry if a mouse I sold turned around to kick my ass, it wouldn't be the first time it's happened. Also the club should not be responsible for upholding or even considering personal contracts between individual members.

I think the imported mice should be shown right alongside the american bred animals. Your judging them to the same standard, are working toward the same goals, so comparing them side by side is the best way to improve them. Like candycorn said, they are great mice but far from perfect, they just excel in areas existing stock fails. I see no reason their direct offspring should not be shown, or even why if it were to come up they could not be shown, the current owner is caring for and conditioning the animal. I thought the purpose of importing them was to improve the varieties, not to segregate them into their own 'breed' and effectively divide the fancy.



There were a few things I noticed during the show that concerned me.

First was evaluation of condition. Overweight animals, animals in poor coat and animals in only fair condition were all given the same number of points. A well conditioned animal is lean, and muscular, it will feel a bit heavy for it's size but solid and strong in the hand, it will not be flabby, lumpy, or soft, it's coat will be smooth and tight. I think it's very important to understand what condition is and what truly excellent condition looks like. Condition has a very big effect on how good or bad an animal looks, it can make a great mouse look very bad and a ok mouse look great.

It took me a while to realize and understand why the animals were basically being graded instead of judged. I get it, and at the same time I think it's ineffective. Every species I am familiar with the animals are judged against the other animals and to the standard, not against the standard itself. It is impossible to grade the animals in the show and then fairly decide the best animals once they are not longer in your hands. I don't mean to be offensive, and i'm not trying to insult anyone, but I think that manner of judging is a bit counterproductive because it is very long and tedious and no offense but I don't think it was effective.

There were two other things that concerned me, first was the ear shape thing. A tulip has a very very faint curl to the tip of the petal, a calla lily has a large curl some almost curl all the way back. So I'd think if the ear curls backward very faintly at the tip it would be desirable over an ear that is flat or one that curls forward, however anything extreme would cause the ear to not be open and it would look more like a crease which is another fault. I also think there was a lot of emphasis on the tail being longer than the body. From my understanding of NMC standards so long as the tail is as long as the body it is acceptable.
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by Rhasputin on Wed May 23, 2012 8:27 pm

Cindy I greatly value your opinion since you have lots of experience! Please give me some time to read through, and heavily consider your comments before I respond! Thank you so much.
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by m137b on Wed May 23, 2012 8:28 pm

Lol, I know I wrote a lot Happy
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by Rhasputin on Wed May 23, 2012 8:48 pm

You're much more experienced in showing than I am, so I highly highly value your opinion. Happy
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by kawmice on Wed May 23, 2012 11:30 pm

I 100% agree with Cindy!! You said most of what I was trying to except about the imported mice and contracts.

I see your point on contracts and I do agree. It is between a buyer and seller, not between said parties and a club.

Imported mice- Tara and Cindy make very valid points. After reading I do agree they be shown with everyone else.

Tail and ears- I was always told - and bred/shown for- tails should be as long or longer then the length of the body to nose tip. Slight ear curls are best. I agree with Cindy on these points.

And I was also saying I believe the point system is ineffective. Cindy said everything better then I could. Happy
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by Rhasputin on Thu May 24, 2012 12:18 am

I'm confused about the points system being invective. Could someone describe a better system, or a preferred system?

I was basing our points system strongly off of ARBA's points system, though I know now that I've misused a few of the sections, and I think a few points need to be moved around.

When I initially wrote the points out, I gave eyes 2 points, because in my head at the time it seemed like enough. I mean, the mouse has 2 eyes, and they're either big and good, or small and not good. But really after putting it to work, I kept finding myself thinking, "Damn, if only eyes had a few more points!" Because I was forced to give some mice the same judgement due to lack of flexibility with the number.

I do want to say that, after the show, despite the winners generally lining up according to the best score, the results were also chosen based on my personal opinions of the mice. A couple of mice received BIS even though they did not have the most points in their category.

We're still very much a WIP, but we're trying over here! tongue
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by Rhasputin on Thu May 24, 2012 3:32 pm

On the topic of ears, here's sort of what I was thinking when I wrote the standards. The ears, from above, have a profile similar to a cala lilly, but from the front appear smooth and open and clean from wrinkles and creases.



Maybe it's over exaggerated.

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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by candycorn on Thu May 24, 2012 4:08 pm

I think the ear at the top of the picture is bent too far back. The other however seems nice. That mouse is also definatly fluffy. LOL!
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by Rhasputin on Thu May 24, 2012 4:16 pm

Yeah, them mouse isn't holding them both at the same angle in the photo, but it gets my point across. And yes, she's very fluffy, lol.

It's someone else's mouse, which had a tumor, on it's rump too, so that makes it look a little XL too. RIP. Sad
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by m137b on Thu May 24, 2012 5:49 pm

Okay, I think it makes sense now and i see where the disconnect happened.

The points aren't intended to be used to grade the animal, you don't actually get a score sheet and give x number of points for this and y number of points for that. The points are used to give importance to each part so when you compare the individual animals in each class you can place them accordingly.

But you are supposed to compare the animals in each separate class to one another when judging, examine the whole class, each animal individually first for disqualifications[like missing toes, whiskers, tail kinks ect] then for conformation. When you find a disqualification disqualify the animal immediately then set it aside, then continue on with the rest of the class, place them in your head, then recheck them to make sure you still like the placement, if needed examine them side by side, then starting with last place give a brief set of comments on the animals good points[ie, very good coat, good head, ear and eye] bad points[poor color and length of body, animal is over conditioned, soft in flesh] and if you like what specifically it lost to[looses to the third place animal on over all balance, and condition].

The comment cards are just that, comments, brief and to the point. Highlight their best and worst points so the breeders know which areas they excel in and which they fail in, but it isn't necessary to comment on every single point. And again you are not scoring the mice. You don't actually say they get 20 points out of 30 for color. In addition to comment cards you should also have a control sheet, the control sheet is a list of each animal entered in the class, you will have one for each class, and then one master control sheet for each breed[in the case of mice I'd think it would be coats instead of breed]. During judging the control sheet is filled in with placement only this way you have records to refer back to as the show secretary. The comment cards are given back to the exhibitors so they know how their animal placed, and the judges comments on it.

Another note, you have to judge the mice as they are in front of you, not what they may develop into, what they may produce, or what they would look like in better coat/condition, if they were older or younger etc. That is the breeder's job, to see what can be produced, it is the judges job to see what is right there in front of them on that day.

As for the ears on that mouse, I think they are very extreme and on the verge of being folded. Instead of being carried erect they are pointed backward. If you look at the pew, the champagne, the creme, or the silver on the NMC standard's page http://www.thenationalmouseclub.co.uk/selfs.php that is the extent of curl I would consider good, it is a delicate and subtle curve to the ear, it is very smooth and clean with no evidence of a sharp bend. The ears are still carried forward, erect and open.

Another thing to understand is that each judge interprets the standard differently, the differences should be subtle and small but no two judges think the same, and this is why we have shows over and over again, even when sometimes the same small handful of animals compete against one another many times.
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Re: UMC mouse standards, and suggestions

Post by lunalady on Fri May 25, 2012 7:53 am

This is very interesting. I am not giving input, but I am following this...

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