New to Mice and Some Newbie Questions :)

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New to Mice and Some Newbie Questions :)

Post by IAmLink on Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:50 pm

Hello all! Happy

I am new to mice, and I currently do not own any, but I am not new to owning other various rodents. I don't know much about mice other than the basics, and that I've always wanted to own some!

Sadly, my past experiences with rodents have not been very good, mainly because they were all bought from pet stores and places like Petsmart silent. So most hamsters, gerbils, and other rodents I had as a child were scared, sickly, or lived very short lives.

Now I'm here to try and learn as much as I can about owning and caring for mice, and especially to try and find reputable breeders! Oh yeah, and I live in Chesapeake Beach MD =)

Now for a couple newbie questions tongue

I know that mice do better having another mouse as company, and because of that females do best together because males can fight with one another, but is it better to have two females together that are or are not siblings? Or does that kind of thing not matter at all?

Also, when it comes to food, do you recommend making your own, or buying from a store? I have no problem making food for any pet mice I intend to have (my dog is on a raw diet, so I make her meals on a daily basis and I love knowing I give her the best kind of diet) so making meals for mice would make me feel better about what I was feeding them. But I want to make sure that kind of thing is relatively easy to do and, hopefully, better for them than store bought.

I can't think of anything else at the moment, but I'm sure I'll have more questions! Happy

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Re: New to Mice and Some Newbie Questions :)

Post by Laigaie on Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:05 pm

We're so glad to have you! Being in MD, you're SURROUNDED by breeders!

To answer your questions:

Mice who have been together since birth are very unlikely to fall into disagreement, so that's the one benefit. Other than that, any does who get along already are a plus, but generally does can be convinced to get along. They're pretty chill.

There are plenty of breeders who use pre-made lab block diets, and when you're not breeding, that does open up your options a bit. There are also plenty of breeders and a few pet owners who mix their own, as do I. It's a very small amount of high-protein kibble, a lot of oats and other grains (like wheat, barley), and a bit of seed (millet, safflower). I use 3:1:1:1:.25 (oats:wheat:barley:millet:safflower) plus a few tiny bits of Diamond small dog puppy chow. Plus random scraps of bread when I have them. Or cooked pasta. Or yogurt. Or raw milk. Or whatever scrap I've got that's healthy.

Coming in from a dog perspective, and I mention this in particular since you mention you feed your dog raw, you may have to remind yourself on occasion that mice are designed to eat mostly grains, with some seeds and bugs. Because of that, they're geared toward carbs, fibre, oil, and protein with that order in mind. Grains are much healthier for them than they are for you or me or our dogs. If you're uncomfortable feeding dog kibble to mice (for any of a variety of reasons), keeping a mealworm colony and supplementing protein levels with that is another option. Crickets are also an option, if you're anti-mealworm.

Don't be afraid to ask questions! There are dumb questions, but they're usually on the order of "Should I eat mice? Would that be fun?" or "Why do you people breed such ugly mice?". Big smile To be honest, there are no dumb questions.
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Re: New to Mice and Some Newbie Questions :)

Post by candycorn on Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:12 pm

Yep you are surrounded by breeders, myself included! Welcome to private mouse breeding heaven. And definatly no dumb questions. Feel free to ask away. We all start out new sometime!
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Re: New to Mice and Some Newbie Questions :)

Post by IAmLink on Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:50 pm

That's actually great to know that there are a lot of mouse breeders in my area. Usually, I seem to get the opposite of that when it comes to finding breeders for other animals!

Is there some sort of list on this site of the breeders that are members here? I found the list for all members, but was just wondering if there's a specific list just with breeders Wink

Laigaie- that is incredibly useful information on diets! It somehow never occurred to me that mice also needed to eat some sort of meat protein, though it makes sense now. I also have no problem with buying dog food for them, it'll just seem a bit odd because I haven't needed to buy kibble in such a long time, not to mention I'll be buying it to feed mice tongue

Thank you for all the help! Mouse

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Re: New to Mice and Some Newbie Questions :)

Post by candycorn on Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:01 pm

There is a catagory here called breeder profiles. The top three posts right niw are maryland. But there is also Mrs Beach in DC and there is Sarah in upper Baltiimore County. Theres another breeder near Elkton Md but not sure if she is selling babies yet. Myself and madmouse are in Baltimore, and Cindy is in Westminster. And there are breeders in Pa too.
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Re: New to Mice and Some Newbie Questions :)

Post by kawmice on Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:34 pm

I am in Jersey. Happy very few of us are in Jersey. But yup- you are indeed surounded by great breeders. Happy you can also find breeders by posting in the wanted sections.

Welcome to the forum and ask all the questions you want!
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Re: New to Mice and Some Newbie Questions :)

Post by IAmLink on Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:20 pm

(Sorry for the late reply ^^)

Ah yes, I found that thread now, thank you! Happy

candycorn- It was actually through your website that I found out about this site. I was so excited to know that there was a mouse breeder in Baltimore, which is only an hour away from me!

I'm going to continue to do my research and learn as much as I can and hopefully I'll be able to get some pet mice in the near future. I'm currently in the process of getting a very different kind of pet, but I sure can't wait to have mice My Mouse

Also a quick question, do fancy mice from reputable breeders tend to live longer than other normal and/or feeder mice? I know that fancy mice tend to be bigger in size and have larger ears, but I wasn't sure if there was a significant difference in lifespans. Happy

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Re: New to Mice and Some Newbie Questions :)

Post by thistlebrook on Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:24 pm

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Re: New to Mice and Some Newbie Questions :)

Post by Laigaie on Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:38 pm

To answer your lifespan question, the answer is yes, sort of.

Reputable breeders are less likely to provide you with sick and unhealthy mice. At the same time, the lifespan differences are hard to calculate. Most breeders don't keep large numbers of mice from their own lines who are not used for breeding. Breeding definitely alters life expectancy, because complications can and do arise. The only mice breeders tend to keep for the whole spans of their lives are our bucks, and we don't tend to keep just whole lots of those around either.

In general, I've seen a jump in life expectancy between the pet mice I used to keep and the breeding-quality mice I have now. What used to be 10-14 months of mouse quickly turned into 18-24 months of mouse. Recently, a doe of mine passed after three litters and 22 months. But it's hard to tell simply because breeders don't usually keep unbred does around in significant number. Those who do should be able to tell you what their lines average, though.
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Re: New to Mice and Some Newbie Questions :)

Post by candycorn on Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:01 pm

IAmLink wrote:candycorn- It was actually through your website that I found out about this site. I was so excited to know that there was a mouse breeder in Baltimore, which is only an hour away from me!

Cool! I sometimes wonder if anyone ever see's that website! LOL! And yep...pretty close.

As for lifespans...yes definitely. The main reason being that we sell healthy animals at a young age (or at least are truthful about it). A mouse at a petstore could be 5 weeks...or nearly a year old by the time it's put up for sale. It could have come from a mill type setting where health and temperment are not taken into account. It may be sick or hurt and not be showing signs of it yet.
I keep my retired mice. I grow attached and let them live out happy lives here. I have not been breeding as long as some, but I have at least one doe that is close to two and doing well so far. You never can tell sometimes, but well bred mice certainly have a better shot at a longer life.
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Re: New to Mice and Some Newbie Questions :)

Post by LittleSniffs on Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:20 pm

[quote="candycorn"]
IAmLink wrote:candycorn- It was actually through your website that I found out about this site. I was so excited to know that there was a mouse breeder in Baltimore, which is only an hour away from me!

Welcome to the group! There are a lot of us MD's here :-) I'm Cheri from Elkton!

CandyCorn and Mr.s Beach both has great mice that I have adopted from.

My first mouse was from a horrible pet store in Rising Sun MD, we have now had her for over a year. She had a litter of 4 shortly after we got her, 3 bucks and a doe, 1 buck had to be put down.

Our second mouse also came with some extra's :-) She had 11 in her litter, none with any complications. She was a pet smart mouse.

But shortly after we found that there was breeders. Mice from breeders are more laid back since they are held often, pet store mice will take some time getting used to. Mrs. Ann had the one mouse Buttercup trained when I got her to 2 commands, not that you couldn't train a store mouse but with a breeder mouse you would have better results. Breeder mice also are bigger and just flat out look better to me.

Hope this helps.
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