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    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 4th, 2016 4:30pm (Aug 4th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    After struggling to find mice for an eternity in this area, we have decided to have a try at breeding them.

    This has been months in the making, it was late last year we first considered breeding mice. After a ton of research and speaking with other breeders, we are ready to start on our journey.

    The why: There are two pet shops that occasionally sell mice locally; one has them in a few times a month, the other once every three or four months. The first pet shop is the place we got the mice from where they all died in less than 24 hours, so we will never be using them again, and although the other pet shop's okay their mice never look particularly healthy and quite a few have come home with URIs.

    There are no good breeders locally, no at home breeders, and no pet shops that sell good quality mice. So we are going to try our hand at breeding a litter or two for ourselves...it will just be the one litter unless we start it up as a hobby, considering mice usually have 5-12 babies per litter :smile:

    Initially we have zero plan to sell the mice or continue breeding. To begin with it's just one litter, care for the babies, separate into sexes and enjoy. If it's an experience we enjoy we'll look deeper into the logistics of it, as one pet shop has already said they'd be happy to home mice from us.

    Lyle collected our buck today, a beautiful 10 week old boy from a breeder that he traveled to. Isn't he gorgeous?!

     photo aj2_zpshpgv2e1u.jpg

    He's this beautiful browny-ginger colour, with lighter and white patches :smile:

     photo aj_zpsjzemul3r.jpg

    He's called Aj and has settled in really well and seems nice and confident.

     photo aj9_zpswieujs8s.jpg

    This is his bachelor pad, where any other studs or male off spring will live (not together obviously, they'll have one each!)

     photo aj8_zpsuxniq7wv.jpg

    :heartsabove:

     photo aj5_zpszclabhxb.jpg

    We'll be getting the female mice in a week or two, as the other breeder is travelling our way for a show and has agreed to drop them off :bigsmile:

    We hope to continue our own lines so we don't have to rely on pet shop mice. We have plenty of large cages for groups of females, and can easily set up a stack of RUBS for individual males. If we produced more litters we'd happily rehome for a small fee to good homes :smile:

    We will not be breeding from Anton as although he is beautiful his heritage is unknown, and he's quite skittish too. We really want to produce mice that are inquisitive, confident, and make good pets.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 4th, 2016 11:47pm (Aug 4th 2016)
     
    He's very handsome! With rats they're better if they're handled early and frequently - is it the same for mice?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 5th, 2016 3:49pm (Aug 5th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Most definitely Kate. The most bomb-proof mice I've ever had were birthed from a very nervous female (came to me pregnant), yet because I handled the babies from 4 weeks they were extremely confident.

    We might be getting our females today!! The breeder has family kinda close so has offered to drive some of her meecers over...there are four we like the look of from pics, but I think two is our ideal number so we can have litters from both when they're old enough, and the female babies can live in a group or two :smile: I'll be sure to post pics!
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 5th, 2016 8:38pm (Aug 5th 2016)
     
    How exciting!!! What age to do you have to separate out the babies by sex? Don't want any 'oops' litters! Can't remember what it is for rats - 8 weeks maybe or less?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 6th, 2016 11:40pm (Aug 6th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Gotta separate at four weeks; the boys can stay as one group a little longer but then ideally would all be moved into single homes. The females can either stay with mum or live as their own group. We're really excited :)

    Our two girls arrived today! They are 8 weeks old and soooo tiny!!! Aj is almost double their size despite only being weeks older haha :smile:

    Carmella is a fawn with some satin in her line. She has a mainly white tummy and a white blaze on her face. She's taking a while to settle in but she is quietly confident and very happy to be handled already.

     photo girl8_zpsonlvwk1b.jpg

     photo girl1_zpsvtyisvzx.jpg

     photo girl9_zpsdjnmyat4.jpg

    Alexa is a lilac and white girl and totally different to her sister - VERY lively and outgoing!! She hasn't slept all day because she's been too busy tearing about exploring :rolling: I can't wait to collect apple twigs and create a climbing maze for her :smile:

     photo thebeginning12_zpsnmz076zg.jpg

     photo girl3_zpstmypq2gm.jpg

     photo girl_zpsqbecfqno.jpg

    The girls have 4+ weeks to settle in before we even think about pairing with Aj, which is nice as it gives me time to get to know everyone and work on handling :smile:

     photo thebeginning5_zpsgtgksfrn.jpg

    Aj continues to settle in wonderfully. He's not quite as well handled as the girl but he's a nice confident mouse and I can't help drooling over his colouring!

     photo thebeginning3_zpssnr1ejwl.jpg

     photo thebeginning1_zpsapbqgnjg.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 7th, 2016 2:03pm (Aug 7th 2016)
     
    The girls are gorgeous, but Alexa is my favourtie. Her and AJ are going to have beautiful babies!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 7th, 2016 4:37pm (Aug 7th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I know right?! :bigsmile:

    I got in touch with a fantastic breeder yesterday to ask about his mice...omb, they're real beauties! Solid blue, black and dove (dove and black are two of my favourite colours) so I think in a month or two we'll ask my parents to collect and drive either one male or two females up, whenever they're next planning a visit :smile: My dad will love that, he HATES the smell of male mice :rolling:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 7th, 2016 10:22pm (Aug 7th 2016)
     
    I always wanted a black rat. Dove would be fantastic - hope you get them.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 8th, 2016 7:30pm (Aug 8th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I might get a dove male from them, but not for about 6 months, so we can carry on the line from the girls we breed...some of them will hopefully be lilac so that'd be a cool pairing! I'm considering two females from another breeder who's helping us out (one would be solid black)...so we could have three different breeding 'sets'.

    I'm getting really into it now :smile: I think the hardest part is going to be letting litters go - I'm going to want to keep every litter!! But at least I could pick one from each litter :P

    We have a few people interested in buying all the girls from litters from us already, which is cool, and as no pet shops in this area really sell mice they'll happily put our info up.

    Each female can have three litters in her lifetime, so realistically (because mice can have so many babies) the litters would be few and far between...but I'm just SO excited to go through the experience, plan our lines, and handle the babies and see the temperaments and colours progress.

    I handled everyone today. The girls are FANTASTIC and very sociable, but I was very surprised with Aj too, who sat on my shoulder for 15 minutes as I tidied things :bigsmile:

    Aj:

     photo andleaj2_zpssjo1ta5j.jpg

     photo handleaj_zpsv3xvcupy.jpg

     photo handleaj2_zpsuw9xlpb0.jpg

     photo handleaj1_zpsioukz6wu.jpg

     photo handleaj3_zpsxt1heszj.jpg

    The girls:

     photo handling_zpsyow4u7e6.jpg

     photo alexa_zps3477qppx.jpg

     photo handling2_zpspn5j1ex5.jpg

     photo handling5_zpsblpcuasf.jpg

    I collected some apple branches the other day, treated them, and made a tiny climbing frame...a certain silver girl loves it ;

     photo applebranch10_zps59mzdjji.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 8th, 2016 10:05pm (Aug 8th 2016)
     
    Really! Only 3 litters? Is that physically, or is that all they should have to ensure their continued health? I thought rodents would breed endlessly if unchecked! (I know you will be very careful about how much they breed!) They really are a super set of meecies!!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 9th, 2016 6:41am (Aug 9th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Oh sorry, yeah they can have many many litters and would do if you left a bunch of males and females together - in fact they can get impregnated again immediately after giving birth, which is why you should never leave the dad in with the mum! - but physically they should only have three litters, as it takes a lot out of them. I also think their last litter should be before 8 months old, so it's still 3 litters in 5 months...but unless one's a reeeaaally superb mother, I doubt any of our girls will have more than two :smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 9th, 2016 10:08pm (Aug 9th 2016)
     
    I thought you probably meant that but just thought I'd check! I suspect most animals could reproduce constantly - including us - but healthwise it is not good. I recall a poor little cat coming into rehoming. She was only 18 months old and on her 4th litter. She was skin and bone, and despite her best efforts (and the kittens being taken to be hand-reared to give her a chance) she died because she just hadn't enough in her to survive. It was so sad, but reassured me that trapping Kitten 4 years ago was the right thing to do.

    Am so excited about seeing your baby mice - It would be great to have a picture each day to see them grow when you finally get a litter!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 11th, 2016 5:25am (Aug 11th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    That's awful. I always cringe when rescues take in young female dogs who have obviously recently had a litter and are still babies themselves.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 11th, 2016 5:41pm (Aug 11th 2016)
     
    People still think it's 'best' for cats and dogs to have a litter before being neutered. They prefer old wives tales to vet advice and proven evidence.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 13th, 2016 11:27am (Aug 13th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I don't think it helps that vets don't give out good advice either. Spaying and neutering dogs at 6 months is really bad for them. Raiden is still intact and most likely always will be unless any issues pop up, as it's just better for him behaviourally. We're careful to manage him off lead and on walks and it's never been an issue, but most vets would be horrified at this.

    I couldn't find much information on a good age to neuter cats, but I notice it tends to be done very young in them too, with a lot of places saying before or at 4 months! We spoke to our vet recently who suggested 9 months for Enzo, and Pecan could be neutered at the same time at 8 months old.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 15th, 2016 1:00am (Aug 15th 2016)
     
    Cats can become pregnant from 4 months old, so Cat Protection guidance is 16 weeks. However, the vet does make sure the boys testicles have formed properly. It also depends on the vet - some aren't sure about doing it at 16 weeks because they don't feel confident with the smaller animal. If there's a male and female together then it should be before 6 months. With boys it does stop them wandering so far, and I know yours will be indoor but if one of them got out they are more likely to go off seeking female company or staking out their teritory so could be more difficult to find. Are you getting them chipped when you get them neutered too? Just in case of accidental escape. Someone lost one local to me at the weekend, but thankfully it was chipped despite being indoors so was quickly reunited. Enzo has other health issues so that needs to be the overriding factor with him, and you have to go with the advice and guidance of your vet.

    Doesn't keeping their bits make male dogs more aggressive, or is that an old wives tale too?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 15th, 2016 5:13pm (Aug 15th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    That's an old wives tale Kate, in fact it tends to be neutered males that are more aggressive to intact males. It's really important male dogs aren't neutered until they're at least 12 months old (18 months plus is better for larger breeds) as they need the hormones to mature, just as humans do. Getting a dog neutered during his adolescence (around 6-18 months) means all their hormones are removed, and testosterone for example gives a dog a lot of confidence, amongst others.

    I'm not sure if we'd get them chipped. I can see keeping male and female kittens would mean earlier neutering. Not that there seems to be much in the way of info about neutering effects on cats. Same as with everything else you can find loads of information and studies on neutering and vaccinating dogs, far less on cats, and literally nothing on ferrets :rolling:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 15th, 2016 5:17pm (Aug 15th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    We bought 1000 lollipop sticks for £7 the other day with next day delivery, and I've been creating all sorts of toys for the mice - both the current four and the future babies!

     photo popsicle11_zpswenzaki4.jpg

    This one's double storey, and of course they can climb on the roof too!

     photo popsicle10_zpsimjqpx2p.jpg

    And here are the meecers with some DIY toys :smile:

     photo popsicle5_zpstakoeehs.jpg

     photo popsicle4_zpsj64essap.jpg

     photo popsicle3_zpssjy0hj9a.jpg

     photo popsicle_zpsxrugmuho.jpg

     photo popsicle17_zps8vmqegfq.jpg

    And Aj wasn't left out ;)

     photo popsicle16_zpsp2ougxib.jpg

     photo popsicle14_zpsypn6z4dd.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 15th, 2016 5:19pm (Aug 15th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    And some extra pics

     photo ajmoose_zpsimniuenn.jpg

    Loving how Aj's RUB is looking atm :bigsmile:

     photo ajmoose1_zpsgncljjyd.jpg

    Carmella and Alexa especially are still so tiny!!

     photo lilgirls3_zps3ca88skn.jpg

     photo lilgirls4_zpsfblqg4oo.jpg

     photo lilgirls2_zpsshaaomdp.jpg

    I tried to get some pics to show the difference in size between the girls and Aj, but it was too hard XD

     photo sizediff2_zpsdm9jgvbo.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 27th, 2016 11:39pm (Aug 27th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Two new girls today that are really, really beautiful! The breeder did us proud, I got a bit teary when I saw them, they are so sweet and these are possibly my two favourite mouse colours!

     photo selfs3_zps8oavklxm.jpg

    Not 100% on the names yet, so far we have Pan on the left and Lotus on the right :heart:

     photo selfs4_zpshnayttgz.jpg

    Pan is black with a tiny white blob on her belly and Lotus is a BEW - very hard to come by and one of my all-time favourite colours, strangely I don't like PEWs :smile:

     photo selfs6_zpsgr93ce2i.jpg

     photo selfs2_zpsfu7xfuvb.jpg

     photo selfs1_zpsorye1cgc.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 27th, 2016 11:41pm (Aug 27th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Oh also we begin breeding Carmella and Alexa next week :)
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 28th, 2016 5:47pm (Aug 28th 2016)
     
    Gorgeous new girls (love a black rodent!) Don't think I've ever seen a BEW mouse before - I thought it was a black and white photo at first!!

    Do you just put the boy in with the girls (or is it girls in with the boy)? Do you have to do intros first or will they just know what it's all about and get on with it?!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 28th, 2016 7:00pm (Aug 28th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I was so overwhelmed when I saw them Kate, two of my top favourite colours! We've had one BEW before which was from a market in Leeds that sold show quality mice, Alice was beautiful too and is the reason I love BEWs so much...they're really hard to source though :bigsmile:

    You put the girls in the boy's cage, and they stay together for around seven days, after which you separate and wait to see if either of the girls look pregnant. Gestation is 19-21 days, but I can't disturb the nest/s for the first 4 days after birth, I'll probably leave it a little longer than that tbh.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 29th, 2016 3:54pm (Aug 29th 2016)
     
    Look foward to seeing posts all about it - exciting!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 1st, 2016 6:20am (Sep 1st 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Two bits of mouse news!

    First, love is in the air!! Carmella and Alexa are in with Aj, and he is busy chasing them about and pestering them, as they try go about their business squeaking to tell him to bugger off :rolling: No squabbles though which is nice! Few pics:

     photo breeding1_zps7xlkt86f.jpg

     photo breeding2_zpsefl8hwkp.jpg

    The bachelor pad is a bachelor pad no more!

     photo breeding3_zps21ilv7dh.jpg

    And we set up the Furet Plus cage today. This is the cage we hope to have a very large colony of female mice in, mothers and daughters! I have 15 extra mouse toys on the way (not just for this cage, for boy RUBs too) and 3m of bungee cord, so it will end up more packed out :smile:

     photo furetmice18_zpsb4p8l0yc.jpg

     photo furetmice1_zps8ybnl5y8.jpg

    Ughhh these two are SO CUTE!!

     photo furetmice4_zpscnkaehhr.jpg

     photo furetmice6_zpsiaz7wisi.jpg

    cLIMBING WALL!!

     photo furetmice7_zpshk5szsls.jpg

     photo furetmice14_zpsbgzbdzkm.jpg

     photo furetmice8_zpskj102iv7.jpg

     photo furetmice10_zpsbgoythlc.jpg

     photo furetmice15_zpsgtmremax.jpg

     photo furetmice17_zpszlvn03cz.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 6th, 2016 11:02am (Sep 6th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Aj and the girls have been together a week now. I might have seen a 'plug' on Carmella the other day (used by the buck to stop other males having sex with the female) but am not sure. No other signs of pregnancy yet though!

    Lotus and Pan are both doing great. Lotus is definitely at least semi long haired which is adorable and something I've never had in mice before. Check out her little fluff butt!!









    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeSep 6th, 2016 7:20pm (Sep 6th 2016)
     
    They are such pretty mice. I didn't know they had a plug - how interesting. Will you only know for sure when they start to get fat?!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 7th, 2016 6:49pm (Sep 7th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Thanks! And yep, that's the only way to know for sure!! Some mice, especially if it's a small litter, hardly show at all, whereas others look like they've swallowed a golf ball :D

    First time mums can quite often be 'munchers' and eat either a few or all of the babies as they don't know what they are doing, so I really hope that doesn't happen...we'll probably have them give birth separately now so that if one's a muncher she can't steal the other female's babies!!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 11th, 2016 6:34pm (Sep 11th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    We're pretty certain Alexa is showing, as in she is pregnant!!!

    She has pudged up a lot and doesn't have the sleek shape you'd expect of a young female. Even more exciting is that Carmella looks to be pregnant too, but not as far along! It was hard to get good pics, but there's video footage too :)





    Daddy Aj loves having two girls as company, they're honestly so happy together I'll feel awful breaking them up!! He's a lovely boy and spent most his time on my shoulders as I cleaned them out :smile:



    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeSep 11th, 2016 7:02pm (Sep 11th 2016)
     
    Never mind the mice - your hair is amazing!! You been at the Skittles?! :rolling:

    That's exciting news about the mice. Once they've had enough litters would you get AJ neutered, or is it not a feasible option for mice? Just thinking that they could all live happily together. Or, will you keep a couple of boys from the litters?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 12th, 2016 11:22pm (Sep 12th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Well Skittles are vegan so I have eaten a fair few over the years :tooth:

    It's not a good idea to neuter mice and most vets in the UK won't do it. I know in America they will perform it more readily but with mice being so small it's a very risky procedure. Male mice can't live very well together, UK male mice can live together better than American male mice (different lines have resulted in very different personalities), but you still can't keep a male that has bred with other males, he won't accept that. Aj will hopefully be sharing with a fair few females and, eventually, should be able to share permanently when he's older :smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 13th, 2016 12:47am (Sep 13th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Got some good quality pregnancy photos...LOOK AT THOSE BELLIES!!! :heart: Also Carmella has caught up with Alexa overnight :rolling:







    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeSep 13th, 2016 2:28pm (Sep 13th 2016)
     
    Ooo, better start boiling water and tearing up sheets!
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeSep 13th, 2016 4:50pm (Sep 13th 2016)
     
    Need a hand there?
    I'm used to night calls.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeSep 13th, 2016 7:46pm (Sep 13th 2016)
     
    Oh they look adorable! When will the babies start to arrive? They're not pregnant for long are they?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 14th, 2016 5:27am (Sep 14th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Oh guys I am so excited!! And Ollie could definitely use some experience hands hahaha although not sure how much experience you'll have with new mums eating her babies :rolling:

    Kate pregnancy lasts 19-21 days (same as chicken eggs!), and at most they could be 14 days pregnant now...so I'd guess 6-14 days :smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeSep 14th, 2016 6:44pm (Sep 14th 2016)
     
    I'm excited too! Really looking forward to seeing the babies!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 15th, 2016 3:40pm (Sep 15th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I'm getting scared about how many Alexa's gonna have Kate, she's grown so much in just one day!!! (excuse spelling mistakes most the keys on this keyboard don't work)

    If she has a huge litter (8-10+) it can be very hard on a mum, especially a first time mum. Best outcome would be Carmella having a small litter at the same time so she can 'adopt' soe of Alea's babies!!!

    Pics now because grrr keyboard! These were taken TWO DAYS after the last ones I posted!!!!!



    :gasp:





    Carmella getting bigger too





    Everyone is in their own RUBS now (sad face!), gotta gie the enough tie to settle down before the babies come!!



    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeSep 15th, 2016 9:56pm (Sep 15th 2016)
     
    They look so sweet with their preggy bellies!! Carmella doesn't look as big - so she's either further behind or having a smaller litter by the looks of it. I bet you can hardly take your eyes off them!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 15th, 2016 11:13pm (Sep 15th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I'm hoping for a smaller litter so she could adopt a few of Alexa's if there are dozens!!!! I think she started showing later, but wouldn't it be lovely if they gave birth only a few hours/days apart? :smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 17th, 2016 7:35pm (Sep 17th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I don't even. These photos were taken TWO DAYS after the last ones...look how much bigger she is!!!







    Carmella is inflating too :rolling:



    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeSep 18th, 2016 10:48pm (Sep 18th 2016)
     
    Do they let you hold them? Can you feel the babies wiggling around?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 20th, 2016 6:58am (Sep 20th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I held Alexa about four days ago but didn't think to see if I could feel babies moving!! Carmella's a little more shy so I've not been handling her much to reduce stress.

    I think - we're not 100% sure at all - but we might have some babies!!!!

    Really really hoping Alexa isn't a muncher, and she's been a good mum. Eeeeh!
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeSep 20th, 2016 9:35pm (Sep 20th 2016)
     
    I hope there are babies to see soon..the waiting is killing me. I wonder what colors you will end up with..bet they will be cuties.:face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 20th, 2016 11:48pm (Sep 20th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Okay, update.

    She has definitely had her babies!!! Tonight I lifted the cage lid off and dropped her some food in, and she came and took a cheerio from hand. As she was eating I tilted her house to take a peek at her huge, huge nest...and I couldn't see anything, the nest is too everywhere
    :(

    So either there are babies in there, in which case I'll see them in a few days time (please please please!!). Or Alexa's babies were born too early and she culled them - this would make sense as she gave birth 19 days after being first introduced to Aj, which is the very very earliest she *could* have safely given birth, but I don't think they were born too early because she was massive. Or lastly she is a muncher and nommed her bubs!

    Hopefully it's the first though and I'll uncover them in a few days ;)
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 21st, 2016 10:15am (Sep 21st 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    GUYS WE HAVE BABIES!!!!

    Alexa is being such a sweetheart and is as happy around us as ever, so today Lyle distracted her with cheerios at one end of the RUB, and I quickly lifted the nest and had a peek.

    Oh my bob what beautiful little pinkies we have!! I think there are at least six, and all seem healthy and well cared for. I didn't get very good photos because didn't want to stay long and was a bit busy looking at them myself haha :D

    They are two days old now and it looks like someone at the top is already getting a black patch on their ear
    :heartsabove:




    Carmella has also doubled in size overnight haha, so today I gave her the big food drop off and won't disturb her for a few days. Wish her luck!



    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeSep 21st, 2016 3:23pm (Sep 21st 2016)
     
    We are a grandmother, as Thatcher said. Clever girl...and more to come...?:face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeSep 21st, 2016 7:41pm (Sep 21st 2016)
     
    Carmella has got big really fast! Won't be long before there are more babies in the house!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 22nd, 2016 8:41am (Sep 22nd 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Very quickly signing on to say the second litter is here!!! :woohoo:

    Copied from Much Loved Mice:

    Just seen Carmella up and about after predicting she would give birth last night - she is no longer pregnant so hopefully that means there is a nice healthy litter in the nest!!

    Also after talking to lots of breeders who have years of experience between them, we will be handling Alexa's litter later today - I CAN'T WAIT, and will obviously take lots of photos ;)

    Will post later with pinky photos and hopefully with an update about Carmella's babies too.:yay_jump:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 22nd, 2016 10:15am (Sep 22nd 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Okay, baby pics of everyone!!

    So Alexa had a whopping TWELVE babies, and we unfortunately had to euthanise three that weren't doing very well. Not nice but a very real part of breeding and the best for everyone. The remaining nine seem healthy and active and are all so adorable! :heart: It was LOVELY getting to hold them!!

     photo pinkies_zpssys1qqsf.jpg

     photo pinkies5_zpsrfknqmye.jpg

     photo pinkies4_zps5zhkrocz.jpg

     photo pinkies3_zpsvv4yfbdy.jpg

     photo pinkies2_zpscxxidpjb.jpg

     photo pinkies1_zpsxaw2igjt.jpg

    And as Carmella's bubs are so young I didn't disturb her nest just peeked at what I could see!

     photo pinkiescarm_zpsm1gmnxo4.jpg

     photo pinkiescarm1_zpspqrd8l89.jpg

    Will probably have a proper look later today. Here she is rebuilding her nest and covering her babies, annoyed that I disturbed her! :rolling:

     photo pinkiescarm2_zps2qfcrm0l.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 22nd, 2016 6:35pm (Sep 22nd 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    We had to reduce Alexa's litter, she isn't producing enough milk for all her babies so they weren't getting enough nourishment. We were hoping Carmella would have had a small litter so she could adopt some of Alexa's babies, but she had 11 herself!!

    We removed the three smallest and most underweight babies, and have left Alexa with six. I am very happy to report that for the first time we saw Alexa's babies with really nice milk bellies - YAY! Now lets hope she can keep it up and they will thrive.

     photo 1daycarmella2_zpsm5cznerm.jpg

    It was a horrible decision to have to make, but for the good of the babies and the mum. Alexa's six looking well fed :heart:

     photo 1daycarmella1_zpskbyv34e1.jpg

    Carmella has had a litter of 11 and I saw her day old babies for the first time this evening. Very happy to say her babies are doing very well, lots and lots of nice milk bellies and these guys are SO active and vocal, what a positive sign!

     photo 1daycarmella5_zpsyiurwwfa.jpg

     photo 1daycarmella4_zpslvmujss9.jpg

    Video showing size difference

    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeSep 22nd, 2016 7:22pm (Sep 22nd 2016)
     
    It's sad that you had to euthanise half of the litter, but better to have 6 healthy pinkies than lose all 12. Great news that Carmella's are doing so well! Keep the pics coming - looking forward to their markings starting to appear. A couple look completely pink - maybe they'll be white. Some very slight shading on a couple too - it's very exciting!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 22nd, 2016 9:19pm (Sep 22nd 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    It was a really truly horrific thing to do, especially entirely our decision...but part of our responsibility as a breeder is to keep everyone healthy and happy, and I didn't want 12 babies slowly starving to death. I have an expert mouse breeder who has been talking to me, offering advice etc and said in the pics from this morning Alexa's babies looked underweight, and they look much better now and the milk bellies look great. Made me feel much much better, so I hope the mums can keep it up.

    Also I find it hilarious that because our pinkies have pink eyes it looks like they have no eyeballs hahaha, black eyed pinkies have really obvious dark eyes so when I first saw our bubs I was like AGH! :rolling:

    I'm so excited to watch their colours form!!! By 3 or 4 days you can see black markings quite easily I believe, so if they stay light it could be light brown, fawn, silver etc etc :bigsmile: I also love knowing I can handle them 3-4 times a day, makes me very happy!!

    And here's the proud dad and, in their huge cage, Lotus and Pan so they don't feel left out!











    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd, 2016 12:24pm (Sep 23rd 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Really really happy to announce that Alexa's babies are doing SO MUCH BETTER!!!!

    Not only does everyone have wonderful milk-filled bellies but they are a much nicer rounded shape too, Pinkies should look nice and chubby and they do now. Really chuffed to see this and it's appreciated as means we definitely made the right decision.

     photo alexa3daysold2_zpsqvrzkenv.jpg

     photo alexa3daysold_zpszyrtevvm.jpg

    Everyone has food!!

     photo alexa3daysold3_zps0qx8ghhi.jpg

    And my favourite photos to show quite how well they're doing :heart: :heart: :heart:

     photo alexa3daysold5_zpsxof7jnon.jpg

    And here are some photos to compare body shape. When they were underweight (look at the belly-bum shape):

     photo pinkies1_zpsxaw2igjt.jpg

     photo pinkies3_zpsvv4yfbdy.jpg

    And now :D

     photo alexa3daysold4_zps9wlv6har.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd, 2016 12:28pm (Sep 23rd 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Carmella's babies are two days old and I am so utterly in love with them - such a bunch of livewires they wriggle and pop and squeak constantly!!

     photo carmella2daysold2_zpsqfwozpnb.jpg

    Despite having a litter of 11 her babies seem very well fed, so I am hoping we won't have to reduce her litter at all. We will be keeping a very close eye on them, obviously.

     photo carmella2daysold3_zpskyw5bvve.jpg

    Also, very exciting, we are starting to note quite a few of her babies are developing dark patches!!! If I'm not getting ahead of myself this means they will be either black or very dark brown, so that's very cool!! So far Alexa's litter are looking like they will all be light coloured :D

     photo carmella2daysold4_zpsfqpssj14.jpg

     photo carmella2daysold5_zpsaiel5zni.jpg

    Oh. And this little guy. Just because I love him :rolling:

     photo carmella2daysold_zpsmhkwubzb.jpg

    Finally a video clip of the younger littler. You can see much better how some have dark spots on the video compared to the photos
    :)
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd, 2016 12:33pm (Sep 23rd 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Also, to compare the two litters, here they are at almost the same age, for weight purposes.

    Alexa's (underweight):

     photo pinkies5_zpsrfknqmye.jpg

    And Carmella's - see they look thicker?

     photo carmella2daysold2_zpsqfwozpnb.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 24th, 2016 8:29pm (Sep 24th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Alexa's babies are thriving!! Four days old now, their ears are opening and soon they will grow in some fuzz!



    Aren't they BIG?!


    Pixie loves checking on the pinks :) :heart:



    And here's mum herself, enjoying a little rest!



    Carmella's litter are three days old now, and unfortunately we had to reduce her litter by three bubs as they weren't getting enough milk. As they get bigger they need more milk, and she was struggling which in turn was making the babies weak. We helped them out very quickly, and within 8 hours those bellies had milk in them again!



    "Mum I gotta check on these babies too!!"



    We tried sexing the youngest litter today too...VERY hard to sex young mice, especially when they are so SO young! But it will be fun to see how wrong our predictions are :tooth: So far we see: four girls, four boys :smile:



    This little one was helping determine gender too :rolling:



    And Carmi-mum

    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeSep 25th, 2016 1:29pm (Sep 25th 2016)
     
    They remind me of pink sugar mice! :heart:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 25th, 2016 6:22pm (Sep 25th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    :rolling:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeSep 25th, 2016 7:37pm (Sep 25th 2016)
     
    Sorry you've had to reduce the other litter, but again it's for the right reason and I'm glad you're getting good advice from another breeder. They are darling! When did you say their eyes open? They grow so quickly - maybe you should weigh the litter each day.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 25th, 2016 10:57pm (Sep 25th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Their eyes open around two weeks old, but they'll be up and about and keeping mums on their toes way before that!! Lots of blind bumbling efforts and mums carting them back off to the nest scolding them :rolling:

    I wish we had some scales in :/

    Photos from today, I'm really excited because for the first time we can properly see the colour and fur coming through on Alexa's litter!!! And looks like we have a lot of dove pieds which is one of my favourite varieties :bigsmile: (same as mum)



    Aren't they starting to look more like mice now? Kinda sad but very exciting!

    They're SO BIG!! I cannot believe how much they have grown for just five days old :heart:



    Little dude on the left is the darkest in the litter so far





    Carmella's litter are 4 days old and active and noisy as ever :heartsabove:





    Happy to see some lovely milk bellies again ^__^



    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeSep 26th, 2016 10:25am (Sep 26th 2016)
     
    wow they are comical little babies and are sure growing fast, No wonder you are so pleased with them.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 26th, 2016 11:25am (Sep 26th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    They're perfect NN, I get so excited every day to see them and check out how much everyone's changed :) I really can't wait until individual personalities start coming through!!
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeSep 26th, 2016 8:53pm (Sep 26th 2016)
     
    They are all so darling, Red!!!! Can't wait to see what their colors will be.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 26th, 2016 11:00pm (Sep 26th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I haven't looked at the babies all day today Lynn!! Fell asleep about 5pm and only just woke up - CANNOT wait to see how they've changed!! :D
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 27th, 2016 12:29am (Sep 27th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Wow!!! Just checked on both litters and everybody has their colours!!!! :heartsabove:

    I'll post Alexa's litter first as ever: 6 days old here



    Fawn and dove pieds, so much love!!



    Nurse maid checking in :tooth:





    They are sooo active now, crawling about everywhere - getting hard to hear six at once now :rolling:





    And Carmella bubs! Five days old, but they've always been more advanced than Alexa's litter, so they have their colours too haha :smile:





    And a video of the older babies - ignore my gushing :rolling:

    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeSep 27th, 2016 6:24pm (Sep 27th 2016)
     
    They're darling!! Can't believe the colours are all out almost overnight! It is very exciting!
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeSep 27th, 2016 8:32pm (Sep 27th 2016)
     
    They sure change quickly..love the markings on them. It's going to make telling them apart much easier now. They are the cutest little fur babies.:face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 28th, 2016 6:59pm (Sep 28th 2016) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Oh I just had the cutest time with the babies, they are SO ADORABLE!!! I'm starting to have them out for longer sessions now they're older, 10-15 minutes at a time, which is awesome :smile:

    Alexa's, eight days



    Really excited to see if this beautiful goldeny colour becomes fawn, beige or even brown!





    Alexa has two different shades of silver babies in her litter, dove and ?



    The silver baby on the right here has the cutest half white face!!



    Carmella's babies are a week old now and she has a few solid babies that I am head over heels in love with - the solid silver / dove baby aaaagh!! :heartsabove:





    Pretty sure the babies this colour will be sooty fawns like dad :smile:


    I have the cutest video ever incoming, which shows the solid bub better :)
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 28th, 2016 7:33pm (Sep 28th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeSep 28th, 2016 11:18pm (Sep 28th 2016)
     
    Gorgeous little things! You are going to be so busy when their eyes open!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeSep 29th, 2016 5:33pm (Sep 29th 2016)
     
    When will the sugarmice open their eyes?
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeSep 29th, 2016 8:42pm (Sep 29th 2016)
     
    my word they grow so quickly, I can not believe they have furred up so quick and such lovely colouring coming through.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 30th, 2016 2:59am (Sep 30th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I can't wait Kate :D

    CC in about a week's time, give or take. Colours are really popping now and I'm getting to know everyone and thinking up names!! :woohoo:

    NN tell me about it, they look like completely different babies every time I check on them, I'm not even joking. It's absolutely amazing and every day I wake up so excited to see how they've changed. Colours are getting more and more beautiful everyday!

    The mice looked AMAZING when I handled them this morning and we have three definite keepers :heartsabove: My camera battery was dead and my phone broken so I couldn't get pics, then I was poorly after charging the battery so haven't handled them yet, but we've both just woke up so I'll handle the babies and try get some pics soon!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeSep 30th, 2016 6:22am (Sep 30th 2016)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Alexa's babies - 9 days old :heartsabove:

    (the baby on the right is actually more of a browny colour than the golden bubs!)

     photo alexa9daysold2_zpsld2rvy6m.jpg

    This is more how it looks

     photo alexa9daysold3_zpsaitijcke.jpg

    These are my keepers from Alexa's litter at this point :smile:

     photo alexa9keepers_zpsiyy3nyij.jpg

    Half-face is a lighter silver than the other silver baby

     photo alexa9keepers1_zps1jwp1s2z.jpg

    The two golden babies and the darker silver for comparison

     photo alexa9daysold4_zpsqtjjvh8o.jpg

    Carmella's litter - 8 days old

     photo carmella8daysold_zpsh5tegkwc.jpg

     photo carmella8daysold1_zpsbikre7tl.jpg

    I have two definite keepers in this litter that I am head over heels in love with!!

     photo carmella8keeperrs_zpsixxez4hp.jpg

    HOW CUTE?! :heartsabove:

    Aaaah!

     photo carmella8keepers1_zpssgbkguhm.jpg

    Ugh, that nose! :heartsabove:

     photo carmella8keepers2_zpswu2fumxn.jpg

     photo carmella8daysold2_zpsshpwidvo.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeOct 1st, 2016 10:53pm (Oct 1st 2016)
     
    They are all so beautiful, but Carmella's silver baby is stunning! Such a great colour! They really are wonderful.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 28th, 2017 11:07am (Aug 28th 2017) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Hey, so seeing as it's coming up to a year since I first started breeding mice, I thought I'd update!

    I've lost count of how many litters we've had, but we've had at least 10. I've had some fantastic mothers helping me out (huge shout out to Nia, who is almost a year old, produced three wonderful litters and now helps nanny babies birthed by first time mums!) and am proud to say I now breed from mice that were all bred by us :bigsmile:

    I breed extreme satins (super super shiny!), solid coloured mice (all one colour, no white on them) and am really happy with the health of the mice produced by us.

    My most recent litters were three, all born 8 days or less ago. I had three aims for these litters, produce more fawns (orange), produce more extreme satins, and get pied back into my line. I SMASHED ALL THREE :bigsmile:

    Pied mice are mice that are something+white, so for example black and white. I LOVE pied mice, because each mouse is unique and looks so different to the next, but I bred them out to focus on specific patterns or colours. In these litters I have four pied mice I am madly in love with, it looks like we have at least three extreme satins, and a handful of fawn mice!

    Also, I need to brag that I can now sex mice with 90% accuracy at 2 days old :bigsmile:

    Photos of the most recent bubs





    Two of these are looking to be satins



    Milk band of one of the youngest babies, because it's cute!!

    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 28th, 2017 11:12am (Aug 28th 2017)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    And if anybody wants to see what an extreme satin looks like as they grow, here is Glitsy (bottom left)



    And a video of Glitsy when she was pregnant



    This is a really good video for showing the shine!

    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeAug 28th, 2017 12:11pm (Aug 28th 2017)
     
    Wow, they're like shampoo ads, they're so shiny!! What do you do with all the littluns? You don't keep ALL of them do you? Do you sell them to other breeders?
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeAug 28th, 2017 7:11pm (Aug 28th 2017)
     
    They are sooo shiny, Red..just beautiful!!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 28th, 2017 10:05pm (Aug 28th 2017) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Thanks Lynn and CC!! :bigsmile: I was so excited when we got our first satin, and that rusty brown colour is my favourite! We also have a lot of argente in our lines, which is where tan mice have a dark blue colour at the base of their fur (:

    CC it depends on the litters - size, colours, genders etc. Some babies unfortunately become snake food, so that we don't have to support rodent farms (roden farms are disgusting, basically the mouse equivalent to battery farms. Snakes NEED to eat mice, so I would rather know they were treated with love and killed humanely), and people buy frozen mice for their snakes from us too. Live mice we sell to a local pet shop, and any surplus I sell as pets on our FB page. I usually keep a few from every litter, either as pets or breeders :smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 28th, 2017 10:27pm (Aug 28th 2017)
     
    Fabulous! Wish I could have shiny hair like them! Do satins come in all colours?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeAug 29th, 2017 2:24pm (Aug 29th 2017) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Yes, but I've only cracked orange, silver and the soft brown so far. My line mainly consists of fawn, argente and sooty fawn though, so I might need to add new blood in order to branch out to new satins. Pretty happy with what I've got for now though :bigsmile:

    Top is a brown satin, bottom an orange satin. If Target, on the bottom, wasn't satin he would be a really bright vivid orange (see next pic)



    This gives a better idea of his colour



    Glitsy's sister just before she went to her new home



    Breaking up the satins for a second to show an argente type (dark blue at the base of the hairs, you can just see it showing through)



    Bones (top) is a satin, whereas Bunny (next photo) is an extreme satin (:






    Most my line tends to throw extreme satins out, which I love!
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeAug 29th, 2017 5:50pm (Aug 29th 2017)
     
    They're beautiful, Red.:face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 29th, 2017 11:22pm (Aug 29th 2017)
     
    Can you breed it into humans now please - I need that hair!
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeSep 5th, 2017 1:37pm (Sep 5th 2017)
     
    Oh what little beauties They are just the very cutest I think I have ever seen.