Post by Forum Administrator on Jul 5, 2008 16:52:13 GMT -5
"Culling is the 'selection' (removing or killing) of surplus animals from an animal population. In a wild population the selection is often done by killing the animal immediately. In a domestic situation the culling process involves selection and the selling of surplus stock. The selection may be done to improve breeding stock, for example for improved production of eggs or milk, or simply to control the group's population for the benefit of the environment and other species."
how does one go about culling or essentially euthanizing. i suppose this is essential to which route i choose to take in the long run with live versus frozen.
a) what if i provide them with a live mouse and they hurt it but dont kill it. i would have to put it out of its misery. problem is i believe in doing no harm to other living things. but then, i wonder if putting the mouse in harms way goes against do no harm? hmmmmmmmmmm karma.
b) ive aldready forgotten. lol. i never make it to my second point. i over think my first one to long. damnblast!
Meet my clan of Pinkertons: Matilda(the leader), Baxter (the follower), Ollivander (the optimist), and Penelope (the rogue).
Graduated from the Holistic Ferret Mentor Program August 14th, 2008!!!
Culling is something you don't HAVE to do. You can allow the young mice to grow to become adults and then offer them as dinner guests. But you do need to separate the males from the litter when they are about three weeks old eating solid foods and drinking water or else the sons can breed to the mother.
And they'll breed to their sisters to.
YOu can make your own euthanizing chamber in a couple ways. The easiest is to use a large container with a lid and another small container to put the mice in that has holes for ventilation.
Some people make a Co2 chamber using a CO2 cartridge from an "air" rifle.
Another way to cull is to allow a killing day for the ferrets and then freeze the mice for feeding later. This is the method I use if doing a mass cull.
As long as you start the ferrets out with young mice and work up to older mice as their skills improve, the mice don't suffer that much.
If you offer an older mouse to a new predator the mouse can easily discourage the ferret from going in for the kill. Ferrets are tenacious predators and don't usually torment their prey like cats often do. They might play with it after it is dead, but during a hunt they are ALL business!
AS for "bad karma" - I say a prayer of thanks for each mouse that nourishes my ferrets. I appreciate not only the nourishment the mouse offers to the ferret's body, but also the nourishment to the ferret's mind.
It is my responsibility as a ferret caretaker to offer the best I can for my ferrets. I offer the mice I raise the best I can for them too. Clean housing, adequate room, exercise areas, interesting natural foods, chew toys and the ability to create social bonds (at least among the females).
I've been allowing most of the males to grow to adulthood before feeding. This gives my ferrets the most nutrition possible. The females are not fed to the ferrets unless they haven't produced a litter in two months. My breeding males have immunity for at least a year or until they stop breeding.
Offering your feeder colony a good life before they in turn offer good life to your ferrets is NOT going to issue "bad Karma".
Last Edit: Jul 15, 2008 7:31:15 GMT -5 by josiesmom
Here are my mouse houses. I discontinued the drawers because the mice were chewing them - too many available corners to get their teeth onto, as well as being able to leap to the top lip and hang on in order to chew through the top of the drawer frame!
These bins are Sterlite 20qt(5 gallon) containers. I drilled holes in the tops and place the inverted lid on top of the bin then another bin on top of that. The holes are adequate to offer proper ventilation. When I lift the lid and stick my nose inside I can NOT smell any ammonia, neither is there any condensation on the bin interiors. Each bin has three mice, some bins have mice with pups.
I used a 1/4" drill bit and also drilled one hole in the end of the bin. This hole is perfect for inserting the water bottle spout. Two more holes drilled in the lip of the bin offers attachment points for the bottle's wire holder.
A larger cut out area on one end of the lid offers a place for me to pour their feed without having to take off the lid.
I was using water dishes, but with so many bins this got to be a hassle to remove and clean them daily. I was thinking that letting the mice see my hands on a daily basis kept them calm- but got to thinking- what difference does that make?
I don't plan on handling them except to sex the pups at 9 days old, wean the pups at 30 days old, and put the females in with a male once every couple months. So they aren't getting handled much anyway.
I usually use Sof Sorb bedding, but this time I used pine shavings. The mice seem to like toting around and chewing on the chips. We'll see if the chips keep down the smell as well as the sof sorb has.
The bins each cost $2.88, the water bottles were $1.87 one small bag of pine chips cost $2.69 and bedded all these bins.
I still have room and need for four more bins and water bottles. I am keeping the mice in my bathroom on top of two dressers. So far there is no smell.
I labeled the bins with a sharpiebut you can also use white board markers on these bins for breeding, whelping and weaning notes.
Here are pix of the bins:
Hopefully none of the mice will be able to chew around the wter spouts. I'm thinking ahead and IF they do begin to do this I will glue a metal fender washer around the hole using epoxy. So far I've only had one determined mouse escape by jumping from the spout and getting lucky enough to grab the large feed opening.
Because I have these bins stacked, she was too scared to go any place (mice don't like heights or ledges) and I easily caught her on the inverted lid. Put her back in her bin and she has stayed there!
Hope this helps offer ideas for home breeders! Cheers, Kim
That site has a lot of good info, and an amazing organizing system. I don't plan on doing this exactly, but there is so much information I took away from it. For example, making sure mice get a minimum of 15% protien decreases cannibalism is a great tip.
But you do need to separate the males from the litter when they are about three weeks old eating solid foods and drinking water or else the sons can breed to the mother.
And they'll breed to their sisters to.
Actually weaning age isn't until they are 4 1/2 - 5 weeks of age, that is the proper time to be separating males from their mothers.
Rats and mice aren't sexually mature until they are 5 weeks old.
I guess a couple of my baby males never read that chapter in the book of growing up, because a couple of their sisters ended up having small litters only a few weeks after weaning and separating the boys and girls!
I'd rather not see baby mice having babies because the litters are small and it is VERY hard on the female. She is still very much a baby herself and becoming a mom while still a baby shortens her life as well as delays quality breeding stock.
I prefer to leave the girls with mom a bit longer so they can learn good litter rearing techniques. Boys though, have GOT to go to another bin for the good health of the colony.
Since Crystal annihilated my sweet breeding male I've kept two of his pups as breeders and went back to the roving male technique of breeding until I get another proper "boys Club" bin. By then the boys will probably not be able to be housed together, so I'll have to cull one and keep just one as a breeder.
Something I do notice when separating the young males when they are eating and drinking on their own is that the business of the litter settles down. The boys create a higher energy level in the bin. When they aren't there the girls can settle down a little and fights are less common. Also removing the boys allows the doe to offer more milk to the females in that last week and a half, so the girls get a bit bigger.
So far what I have noticed is that the females prefer a more gentlemanly buck.(Go figure) A male that shows aggression is met with aggression so breeding isn't successful. The roughneck gets culled!
Post by kilasxxrattery on Aug 19, 2008 11:14:01 GMT -5
I also just want to throw in there (in case no body knows yet) that pine and cedar beddings are very harmful to mice, rats and other rodents. They contain phenols that can wreak havoc on a rodent's respiratory system and should never be used. Things like aspen, carefresh, yesterday's news, ect.. can be safely used though.
Another take on mouse bedding is shredded papers. I just sorted through a batch of old magazines and junk mail and am shredding this for the mice. My shredder is a cross cut shredder so the mice will have short strips to burrow in.
I tried a pack of care fresh as bedding and it stinks! Literally! While they advertise supreme odor control- it doesn't come close to what the sof sorb offers! I bedded the bins with about an inch to an inch and a half of patted down carefresh and in just a couple days the ammonia smell was definitely noticeable! This means I've been having to clean the bins more often than I did with the sof sorb or the wood chips! The mice like the wood chips- they stay active reorganizing piles and piles of them.
I'll see how the shredded paper works- free always beats paying good money for just litter!
Post by animalsgetrevenge on Oct 10, 2008 17:01:29 GMT -5
Hemp actually comes from the cannabis! I believe hemp is derived from "male" plants and the ...smokable stuff... come from the "female" plant. You shouldn't have to worry about your mice acting funny but keep an eye on those sneaky buggers! My friend used hemp bedding for her rats and I think she liked it but don't have any details for you.
I have been reading this thread and I find it really interesting.
As a child I always wanted to breed animals, I really wanted to be an animal breeder. I know now that is something I don't want to do because I don't want to add to the growing population of homeless pets.
At this point my ferrets are eating raw but not whole prey. Eventually I would like to be feeding raw primarily and whole prey on occassion depending on how much money I have.
Besides many other factors against me breeding prey for my pets (such as my ferrets not being interested in prey, my boyfriend, my vegan morals (hah!), my parents, the smell) I have two questions:
1. How realistic would it be to breed mice in an apartment? Our apartment is a small two bedroom, about 800 square feet. One bedroom is our, the other is the ferrets. The only place mice could be kept is in the ferret room or outdoor storage garage which probably gets REALLY cold... I live in Portland, Oregon.
2. How much money do you spend on food for mice? I would probably be feeding them a more natural diet that something out of a bag.
Post by luxuriousferret on Nov 26, 2008 15:58:51 GMT -5
If you feed them your table scraps, then free. It would be pretty realictic breeding in an apartment, just use the ferret room, but use a table, that the ferrets cannot get on, and use good odor conrtol bedding. I think it would work.