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  1. #1
    Registered User Roux's Avatar
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    Best place to get mice or rats for breeding

    Is it best to just buy baby feeders and raise them up, or buy a few 'pets' from a petstore like petco?

    I have a local reptile store i buy feeders from in emergencies, but one rat i intended to keep was covered in fleas or mites(not sure) and though i treated him for it, he died. So not a fan of getting rodents from there...

    Is there certain qualities i need to look for when choosing mice?

    Thanks for any help

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  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran Sunnieskys's Avatar
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    So you are feeding live? Petco mice are $4.29 each which is omg expensive. Frozen has better options and a lot cheaper.
    Coilsome, Odyn, & Eeden AKA theLittleOne

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  3. #3
    BPnet Veteran the_rotten1's Avatar
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    You can buy breeders wherever you like. The only difference between a feeder rodent and a pet rodent is the price tag. I have a bit of both in my breeding groups and haven't noticed a significant difference in quality, health, or their ability to reproduce.

    I would not buy from anyone who has mites, fleas, or other issues. Wherever you go, make sure the rodents you buy look healthy and don't have any visible parasites, injuries, or other issues. You also want them to be active and alert. An overly docile or sluggish rodent could be showing the first signs of sickness. On that note, it's a good idea to quarantine any new rodents you bring in. You're probably going to have to keep buying feeders while you raise your breeders, so make sure you keep the two groups separate. If you decide that you want to keep a feeder around for use as a breeder later, it's a good idea to quarantine for at least a month before introducing them to the rest of your colony.

    Trust me, I learned this the hard way. If a rodent does have something (and it's not always obvious at first if they do) they could infect your entire breeding group and you could end up losing valuable breeders. Even if you buy from the same souce at a later date, quarantine is still a good idea.

    Most of my mice are from Petco, and most of them are doing just fine, but there was a period back several months ago when I bought two girls, put them right in with my other Petco mice, and only found out several weeks later that they were sick. Not only did both of the new girls die, but two of my established breeders did too. So now all new rodents go through quarantine first. No exceptions.
    Last edited by the_rotten1; 01-05-2018 at 04:49 AM. Reason: fixing typos
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    Roux (01-07-2018)

  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran cchardwick's Avatar
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    I bought fancy mice from Petco, there are several problems using them as feeders. For some reason fancy mice don't produce nearly as many babies as white feeder mice. My litter size for fancy mice was in the 8-10 range, for white breeder mice I get up to 16 babies at a time. Also, it may be hard to feed off fancy mice because each one is unique, you may end up with a whole colony of pet mice LOL. White mice are easier to feed off, they all look the same and you don't get attached to one color or pattern combo.

    Personally I'd do the same with rats, try to find some white / albino rats instead of fancy colored pet rats. I actually started with multi colored rats and I'm holding back all the white albino rats as female breeders and keeping the solid black rat males as breeders, that way I can tell them apart.

    I'd suggest getting rats or mice from a pet store that sells feeder rodents. Usually breeders choose that specific line for their ability to reproduce, most times you'll find white mice used as breeders. Be sure to keep just one male per one or more females per tub. Often times in the pet stores they throw all the mice together in a random tub and they will beat each other up to the point where they are all bloody and beat up, not a pretty site. That's where I started, I chose just a few mice from those beat up pet store feeders and got my start that way. Now I never combine mice from different colonies, I keep them all together as they grow and mature and cull the extra males first.

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    Roux (01-07-2018)

  7. #5
    Telling it like it is! Stewart_Reptiles's Avatar
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    You want to buy animals that are about 4 to 6 weeks old, weaned to small and raise them to breeder size.

    Ideally you want to buy them from a breeder but if you can't a pet store will do, I have built my entire colony with pet store animals to get to what it is now.(producing 5k to 10k of feeders a year). Takes time but it's possible

    Avoid adults and proven breeder simply because their prime for breeding is likely over with
    Deborah Stewart

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    Roux (01-07-2018)

  9. #6
    Registered User Roux's Avatar
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    Re: Best place to get mice or rats for breeding

    Thank you for all the replies and help! perfect type of information i needed.

    I have fed live, but i buy live from expos. I am trying to switch to f/t but i have 3 that arent feeling it yet. They are young, and i dont want them dropping weight.
    I would need a small colony as i only have 7 snakes, 1 being a calking.

    I like mice/rats, so it would be fun venture for me as well.

    Thank you again for the help!

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  10. #7
    BPnet Veteran Charles8088's Avatar
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    Re: Best place to get mice or rats for breeding

    Quote Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
    ...producing 5k to 10k of feeders a year).
    Deborah... do you sell your feeders, or are these all for your own use?
    0.1.0 Mexican Black Kingsnake (Tynee)
    0.1.0 BEL Ball Python (Luna)
    0.0.6 Hermit Crabs <--- my son's

    - Woma Python
    - Boa BCI
    - Russian Rat Snake
    - Eastern Indigo
    - Black Milk Snake
    - False Water Cobra
    - Thai Bamboo Rat Snake
    - Western Hognose
    - Rhino Rat Snake
    - Kenyan Sand Boa

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