Tan vs Self Pinkie Development

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Tan vs Self Pinkie Development

Post by Zia on Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:18 pm

A while back on another forum, someone asked when you’d be able to see tan bellies on pinkies and I said when I had a tan litter I’d do litter progression photos and try to make a helpful thread about telling if a bub is tan or not. Well, I’m rolling in tan litters right now, so it seems like a good time to try! Sorry if this is a little long winded lol. I will be putting it on my website eventually, so I wanted to make sure it’s as complete as possible.

I probably didn’t pick the best litter to illustrate this with, as only a couple turned out to be tan, but it’s hard to know that when they’re all little and pink! I took these pictures at pretty much the same time every day starting when the bubs were 24 hours old. The parents were a black tan buck crossed with an agouti tan doe, both known to be carrying chocolate, and the offspring are expected to be black, chocolate, agouti and cinnamon both in tan and self. And of course, there seems to always be the chance of other recessives popping up.

**Keep in mind that it is far easier to pick out tan in a black or darkly pigmented black eyed bub. You can kind of tell at day 3 or 4 (depending on how you count your days) if your mouse will be tan or not, especially with black mice. With pink eyed babies, and I’ve noticed even with even chocolate, cinnamon, and agouti, it takes until about day 5 to be sure if you’re looking at a tan or self. **


24 Hours Old: Can’t tell much other than who is Black Eye and who is Pink Eye, even though there is some slight variation in pigment already. I’m keeping on the Pink Eyed bubs as they were not an expected outcome and I’m trying to figure out what recessives mom and dad might carry. At this point the suspects are c/c (albino) and p/p (pink eyed dilution).


48 Hours Old: You can actually tell who will be black by this point. There is only one black bub in this litter, and four other darker that I assume to be agouti or chocolate, but it’s too early to tell yet.


72 Hours Old: Still not a lot of change. I tried to angle the picture so bellies could be seen. At this point they pretty much all still look like the one there in the front. It could potentially be possible at this point to have a hunch at which are tans, but not likely.


Day4 (96 Hours): At this point I’m fairly certain I have one black (the center one), one chocolate or cinnamon (left one), and three agoutis.

Today is an exciting day, because you can tell for sure on black bubs if they are tan or not! If you gently pull the skin to make it taunt against the mouse’s side, you can see that there is a definite stop between black and pink. It can be a little hard to see, but it’s there.

However, you still can’t really tell on the agouti mice. This one could go either way, but you can see that the definite stop the other mouse had isn’t as apparent in this mouse. It COULD be there, but it’s still too early to tell for sure.


Day 5 (120 Hours): Fur is just starting to come in! The other good news is, you can now tell if most black eyed babies are tans.

Little black bub is now very easy to see the tan on. It’s like a line was drawn on her side that pigment isn’t allowed to cross.

You can also tell with the agoutis and chocolate if they are or not, even if it’s a little more difficult. Their line is not nearly as distinct, but it’s there.


Day 6 (144 Hours): Colors are much more evident! I still don’t know if that’s a chocolate or a cinnamon, because I’ve never had a cinnamon in my litters before, but either way, it’s a chocolate based, black, 3 agoutis, what I’m guessing is an argente (although I’ve never had one of them either so again I’m not sure), and what looks like a dove.
Black tan is so easy to tell at this point I didn’t photograph it, but you can now tell if the agouti IS a tan:

Or if it is a self:

You can see on the self how the pigment has no stop, it just continues right on down the side onto the belly.
Also, you can also tell at this age that the dove is a tan, but I couldn’t get my camera to pick up the color. This is probably the earliest day you will be able to tell if a pink eyed bub is tan or self.


I realized on reviewing these images that I had pictures of tans as they develop, but no side by side comparisons of tan vs self at the younger ages. So, I went to one of my other tan litters. These little guys are on on their 5 days old and they illustrate how easy it is to tell a black tan from a black self at this point. You can actually see this difference at day 4 on black mice, but I didn’t think to take a picture at that time.

The one on the left is a self, and the one on the right is a tan. You can see how the pigment on the self is continuing right on to the belly, where on the tan there is a definite division between the colors. And if you pull the skin taunt it’s even easier to see the difference in a tan:

And a self:



That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll update the tread with a few more pictures until the bubs are fully furred. Hopefully SOMEONE can find this information useful one day lol. It seems like it’s describing something very basic, but I thought it might be helpful to new tan breeders, especially when they’re deciding which pups to keep and which to cull without growing a bunch of babies on.
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