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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: November 26th, 2015, 11:40 am 
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So i managed to get ahold of a very young pair of wee roborovskis. They honestly look like tailess kangaroo rats

Since they are being looked at as potential model organisms for ADD i think we will get along well.

I also realized my pair of rosy boas require more cleaning than the hamsters.

Also...is chinchilla sand the biggest gimmick or what?

I wonder ifbioactive would work in a sort of rotation system. Old sub goes into a bin with plants and microfauna for a bit beforebeing reused


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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: December 8th, 2015, 6:14 pm 
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The campbells pair have been mating...maybe babies soon. The female is a pleasure to work with...the male will bite but once removed from cage is fine. I think i will try holding back the tamest mf pair for the next generation. Hopefully pairing while young should mean no fighting.

Roborovskis so far smell very little. It is easier just to provide them water but i have come across a report or two of them doing well without so long as veggies and bugs are provided. Maybe not as xeric as krats though.

My main concern at this point is the social stigma of feeding off designated pet animals. Fortunately you all at fhf are fairly rational folk...googling this elsewhere produced nothing useful


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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: December 10th, 2015, 6:04 pm 
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For me, social stigmas have no weight or meaning, but I like to take care of animals and by nature include their mental well being and pos/neg living experiences in what I care for. Because they have complex nurture and pairing behaviors comparatively to domestically bred Swiss websters I am not inclined to block out their stresses and use them in a breeding for food format.

They usually express haphazard behaviors in a short time when used for feeders, especially a small culled group. Despite claims on the internet I have never seen real proof of a permanent feeder colony presenting with continued productivity.


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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: December 10th, 2015, 7:32 pm 
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It may have something to do with the fact they haven't been domesticated long enough for any real change to evolve in their behaviors. They are still close enough to the wild phenotype, to react similarly to any other un-domesticated wild mammal under serial reproductive and rearing duress.

When bred in systematic, large numbers, the young aren't culled until weaned, so the behavioral impact is lessened.


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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: December 11th, 2015, 10:20 am 
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I'm not trying to be a Debbie downer, actually I always wished more people would take the zoologically correct interest in keeping small mammals (and birds) that you have done with your guys.

The way you have described wanting to keep them surpasses how they are usually kept as pets in cute plastic set ups, or austere breeding and lab settings even.


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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: December 14th, 2015, 5:25 pm 
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Kelly: Campbell's have been in captivity a pretty long time.

I think i will be mostly using weanlings anyway.

I came across a water deprivation study involving gerbils and Ords kangaroo rats. The gerbils proved much more resilient than this particular species of k-rat. Basically all the krats died after about 20 days. Gerbils in cages without wheels lasted over 45 days without water. Due to encouraging activity aheels decreased the time animals could survive without water.

In another study on gerbils breeding was found to be inhibited by only offering lettuce 1x per week for moisture. If the female of the pair received water(water made available 1x per day) the pair would breed successfully even though water deprived males showed smaller testes, scent glands, etc.

My takeaway is that gerbils and robo hamsters are pretty darn good at being desert rodents....i think itd be unlikely to find species much "better". But amount of urine produced is only half of the smell issue.


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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: December 14th, 2015, 8:30 pm 
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Ah, I didn't know about their history in captivity pre dates their American appearance in the 70s, I looked it up just now and read about China having them. Still they present much more feral than feeder rodents.

Your interest in water, is there a particular reason why it would be of focus? In caring for robos and Campbells both, their water bottles needed refill regularly - indicating they were drinking and they received greens as well. I saw them drink, heard the little steel balls clicking in the nozzle.

Even truly arid animals are provisioned with an option of available drinking water. It is a prophylactic husbandry value, as animals instinctively seek extra water when compromised, fighting infections subclinical or active or when injured or stressed. Nursing mothers especially should have the option to drink water. Animals in the wild lick condensation in morning and nightfall from flora and terra detail.

A constant water source can help prevent a mild problem from becoming worse and its the very least we can do. There are some things that translate from habitat to captive situ that filter through a rationale of prevention, as in the wild a compromised animal quickly becomes prey, or just dies and becomes part of the nitrogen cycle. But when we are keeping them the goal is to sustain health and life as optimally as possible. If not for their benefit than for our own ends.


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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: December 14th, 2015, 9:01 pm 
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If you are keeping them in storage bins and find the hanging water bottles a quandary you can melt a hole for the nozzle in the side of a bin and probably a couple pinners for the U, bending the ends out to accommodate the angle.

But remember lab bins are entirely steel grid on top, drilling a bunch of holes in the top of a plastic lid, no matter how many doesn't duplicate that open dynamic and will result in hot hamsters, respiratory distress and mortality.


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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: December 15th, 2015, 1:56 pm 
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Kelly: The interest in water in regards to these guys is in response to some earlier comments on how nice it would be to have some low odor desert rodents. I think gerbils and these roborovskii hamsters may be about as good as you can get in that regard. It does seem people disagree a good amount on smell levels of these creatures...one petstore employee was adamant rats were the least smelly rodent and placed hamsters only slightly below mice.


I have actually been using a water dish for them. This was suggested by a petshop and at first I balked at the idea-thinking the hamsters would quickly soil it. But the water stays quite clean of even shavings.


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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: December 15th, 2015, 4:18 pm 
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That's interesting Joseph, about the water. They really are such nimble guys, acute to their surroundings. I have watched 2 even 3 running on the same exercise wheel simultaneously, popping on and off deftly with beautifully coordinated timing, even if inadvertent. I love animal skills.


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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: December 16th, 2015, 1:35 pm 
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Kelly: I'm not sure how frequently water bottles leak/fail(seems to me they could if an animal pushed something up against them).

I think a good watering solution for hamsters would be something along the lines of a chick waterer. Heck even a tupperwater with a hole cut in the lid and a net pot inserted would work. Providing these were both put on elevated platforms they'd be just as clean as waterbottles.


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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: December 16th, 2015, 5:02 pm 

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Quote:
If you are keeping them in storage bins and find the hanging water bottles a quandary you can melt a hole for the nozzle in the side of a bin and probably a couple pinners for the U, bending the ends out to accommodate the angle.

I have done exactly that with water bottles. And cut out most of the middle of the tub's lid (leaving about 2" around the rim), drilled holes every 2" or so, running in a rectangle about 1" from the cut edge, & zip-tied hardware mesh on the inside so there was mostly a screen top.

Quote:
how frequently water bottles leak/fail

Above note aside, I absolutely despise water bottles for this reason. I prefer the reservoir & hose/valve solution. I dunno, maybe I never had very good bottles, but once I switched to hose & valves my "self-emptying" problems diminished a whole lot. It's a much bigger mess (e.g., 4 gal vs 8 oz flood) when & if the rodents shove bedding into the nozzle versus a water bottle ball-tip. But I've had lots of bottles just fail for no obvious reason. And, it's way less work filling a bucket than a bunch of bottles.

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a tupperwater with a hole cut in the lid and a net pot inserted

That's pretty slick, I might try that if I ever do dwarf hamsters again. But do you think they'd just demolish the tupper?

Quote:
I have actually been using a water dish for them

I would never, ever have thought of that working - thanks for the info.


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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: December 16th, 2015, 7:37 pm 
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A very important note is that Many water bottle brands fail, this is a sign of the times as it wasn't always such a regular problem. There have been some glass models that looked very promising, but the plastic screw tops that connect the nozzle leach air because of poor design or defect. The best water bottles had hard black rubber plugs, those were the old school kind that one could get years of use out of.

I don't work in the pet genre any more, and when I did never had a problem outing poor product, one brand that used to be the major water bottle brand has fallen into the cheap made leaker category currently. I know this because of dealing with the bottles in husbandry, and in dealing with returned merchandise.

Not all water bottles leak though, and unless the thread of the top gets scarred from over torqueing it, or screwing it roughly, if it doesn't leak first try - it won't leak later. Remember to be gentle to plastic thread. If it gets scarred with an irregularity, it breaches the vacuum and that's what causes bottles to leak.

The trick of melting a hole for a water bottle nozzle I started for people who bought live feeder mice. I would get them to buy a critter keeper so that the mice could have an other than dubious containment to live in, with water, bedding and food, in case their snake wouldn't eat , or if they were in the habit of "needing to feed it later" those were made of hard acrylic though, so to answer your question - Yes- I think rodents would work on chewing the tupp, but people just love to use those storage bins.

An unloaded glue gun melts a nice hole. Drilling acrylic ends up cracking it. In the case of Pen Plax containers, which they don't make big enough sizes for permanent quarters.


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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: December 16th, 2015, 8:10 pm 
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I too, am pleasantly intrigued by the water dish way.

Im glad you included it. Ive seen some scuzzy water bottles, so using a bottle is no gold seal of water purity. Ive known chinchillas to catch giardia from chronically unwashed bottles. (they put their little fingers on the mouth of the nozzle when drinking, seeding the supply of stagnant water in a perfect petri effect) you gotta wash those things.


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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: December 17th, 2015, 9:56 pm 
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Jimi: so far they dont seem to be big gnawers. I put some seeds in a folded tp roll thinking they would like enrichment...despite a good amount of chewing i ended up having to open it. Maybe they will prove me wrong...but they have plenty of other things to chew on. I throw all kinds of junk in there. No wheels though, i figure they can run laps if they want to.

The only possible thing i can think of with water dishes is if the water level is too low they cant reach it or will just fall in trying to drink(they dont like that!)....but if you are refilling the dish weekly this is a non-issue...im using a Tupperware so it holds enough water that i hardly notice it going down. Something next to the dish for them to stand on helps. I suspect the thingabobber i described earlier would solve this completely.

I also dont forsee hamsters(particularly robos) chewing out of bins as they have no edge to get started on. Maybe mice and rats are worse who knows.


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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: December 18th, 2015, 7:43 am 
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I keep feeling like the bad guy in threads like these. But I never see these discussions within the circle of those posting, but know that information has impact beyond it, and that many seek information to duplicate in their own practices.

And the practices that are most readily adopted are those that fit neatly in with human convenience. This is actually so true that it is a major tenet in marketing.

But the biological aspects in animal husbandry method are a separate kingdom from our appeal.

Instead of contention, a suggestion to research the role of water hygiene in husbandry is one of the most paramount problem and time saving tools (in the long run) a keeper can learn and use.


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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: January 11th, 2016, 11:33 am 
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Indeed. Finding the balance is crucial in captive husbandry.


The campbells have a litter of 6. None of my snakes are hungry at the moment-haha. I wonder if their is a way to select for temperament at fairly young ages. The adults can be pretty bitey in the enclosure.


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 Post subject: Re: small scale mouse breeding
PostPosted: January 11th, 2016, 10:11 pm 
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Yeah they are brave little furrballs. I like the way race up to speed box with their mittens. .

By virtue of your diet for them they are pimped out nutritious. I can understand the draw. Keep us updated. It really sounds like you are more attuned to them as a species, and not just mouse methoding them, you certainly could have better sustaining success with them than those less interested in their actual needs and natural history.


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