The Fun Mouse: About TFM:
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NOTE: We are NO longer breeding.
I enjoy all colors, markings, coats, patterns, and types of mice.
Here at The Fun Mouse I work on different varieties which I strive to improve with every generation. Nothing listed here is to take president over another as I breed for the entire mouse, with health and temperament being of the utmost importance.
I focus deeply on Rex, especially Satin Texel, and strive to improve lasting curl. My long term goal is to convert the majority of my mousery to Satin Texel. It will take many years to do so since I don't breed strictly for coat, but rather the over all mouse. This is why you will find a lot of Satins, Standards, Fuzzy, Angoras, and combinations there of in my mousery.
I focus a lot on Piebald and breed it into every breeding program here at TFM. I strive for higher marked Pied, though I presently have a long way to go with this goal. Right now my Pied's are under marked (a good mousery is always willing to admit their faults and what they strive to improve ).
Piebald plays a large roll in my TriColor program as they are made with Pied markings. I focus more on the darker TriColors as they attract me more. The lightest I tend to go is Coffee, while I focus more on Mock Chocolate and Burmese. I strive for distinguished, well clumped markings of even proportions.
The c-diluted (Coffee, Burmese, and Mock Chocolate) non-Splashed/TriColor mice from my TriColor program are taken and bred into my Fox program.
I would, eventually, like to breed Blues into this program, for Blue Fox. This is a distant goal, however.
I focus heavily on Silver and Blue, both in Tan. I strive to improve color consistency, removing the mealy coloration they sometimes have. Lilac is a beautiful side effect of my Blue and Silver goals.
Brindled is a large focus here at TFM. Years ago, when I first got into mice, brindle (Viable Yellow Avy) was one of the first I ever bred. Additionally, Miss Dainty, the mouse that all my mice are named after, was a Viable Yellow Brindle. Therefore, brindle holds a deep spot in my heart as well as my mousery. Through the years I have found Brindled (sex-linked brindle Mobr) to suit my fancy better and thus moved onto them years after a brindle hiatus. I enjoy many colors of brindleds yet find myself gravitating to non agouti (black) brindleds. I do breed other colors into my brindleds, however.
I also focus on body type, per Club standards. I strive to improve body type, equally focusing on the over all mouse. I am currently working hard to improve type with texel (texels often have a hamster type by nature). In a very short time I've made great strides to improve their type. I do not, however, breed my mice to be as large as possible. While those are adorable in their own respect, part of my appeal to mice is their small size. If I wanted larger animals, I would likely choose a different species to have as pets. With all that said, my mice are larger than what you would generally find at a pet store.
Other Mentionable Mentions
I do not focus on Fuzzy. However, I do make an effort to keep it alive in my mousery and will specifically breed it from time to time. I love all types of Fuzzy, from nearly hairless to very thick coats.
I would love to focus more on Merle and Roan. However, among the other goals, I haven't found the time to focus as much on them as I would like. Therefore, I can not call Roan and Merle a focus, but would like to focus more on them some day.
Unfortunately, I've given up my Silver Argente and Blue Agouti lines. Sorry to those this disappoints. I give them up because I am only able to have so many focuses and still give my mice the time and dedication they deserve (and I deserve with them!).
I love them and would love to see someone else pick up where I left off.
Goals and breeding practices
While I breed for the over all mouse, I breed for health and temperament first and foremost. At the same time I breed for coat, color, markings and type. All breedings are planned with goals for the over all mouse. I set high standards and will not place together any breeding that doesn't have well set, over all goal, and can help improve mice as whole. Breeding, when done right, will improve the line with every generation. Every breeding I do is planned with the most care. Breeding goals are always set high and done with knowledge of genetics and understanding of mouse standards set forth by honorable clubs. Several generation breeding goals are always planned as well. Here at TFM, not all mice are bred either. Mice are not toys, nor breeding factories! They are loving, caring, PETS that deserve respect. If I didn't love them as pets, I wouldn't have them. It is my strong opinion that people who don't love mice (or any animal for that matter) as PETS not only shouldn't breed them, but they shouldn't have them either! Some mice in my mousery are 'pets only' and never bred for an array of reasons.Some are never bred because a perfect match doesn't come along. No breeding will be done before its time, nor made just because it can. Each breeding is done to better both mice and improve the line. Doing so takes the right pairings. Some mice are never bred because they don't live up to my standards to improve mice as a species. Not all mice are meant to be bred. Some are never bred because I simply never planned on breeding them. As stated, I love them and their presents is all I need to enjoy them :). I state all this to illustrate that I will always breed for health and temperament first because they are, in fact, loving pets and that I strive to improve mice as a species, in all aspects.
I feel that tracking the health of my lines is one of the most important things to help insure quality mice that live the happiest and healthiest life possible. I make health tracking a *top* priority. In that, I believe that communication and openness are of the utmost importance. All breeders need to work as one to achieve ultimate goals, especially where health is concerned. I divulge *everything* known about my lines. You will easily find that openly on the site, in pedigrees. I will not breed mice that are unfit to be bred health wise. It doesn't matter how rare the color, pattern, coat, etc that may pop out. A mouse that is less than healthy yet rare is no different than any other mouse unfit to be bred. With that said, I do believe in breeding things out, *within reason*. After all, NO line is completely clean and lines will always need improvement.
I practice selective breeding and have a good bearing in genetics. I do a lot of out-crossing and line breeding. I am very much against casually inbreeding of close relatives and always have been (this does not shadow the fact that sometimes there IS reason to inbreed in some cases but only when it is well thought out from all aspects and not done for poor reasons such as convenience, pedigree, etc). A partial roll model for my breeding methods stem from rehabilitation centers that try to preserve and better wild life/endangered species. They have countless years of research and know how to breed for the best quality animals. After all, their goal is to preserve species and make them strong. In doing so they do NOT inbreed unless they are forced to (as in, there are only 2 animals of species left and the only way to continue the species is to mate the siblings together). Generally there isn't a need for that with mice. Inbreeding also causes what is known as 'Inbreeding Depression' which I try to avoid with a good balance of out-crossing practices. Vigor due to outcrossing is backed up by labs. One of many examples can be quoted from UNC Laboratory Animal Division in response to outcrossing in relation to other forms of breeding (such as inbreeding), "The result is a maximum amount of genetic differences. This mating scheme usually produces more vigorous animals and larger litter size.". Carefully planned and well thought out outcrossing is in the best interest of the mice when it comes to health, hardiness, longevity, etc.
I do not breed all my lines separately. needto be kept separate. I am able to cross many of my lines together (such as using Coffee for both my Fox's and Tri's). Part of the reason for breeding many of my lines together is to out-cross. Having many mice and being able to breed them across lines helps widen my gene pool greatly, which therefore helps keep the diversity I feel is very important for the health and well being of a mouse. However, there are some lines I keep very separate as they can interact with each other, causing undesirable results.
I don't discuss much about temperament on this page as my mice are well known for being friendly and often referred to as "jello mice." My mice often win the Most Friendly category of shows as well. I smother them with love and make socializing them a priority. I do so not only because it is important for them, but it is important for me as well. I enjoy being with my mice and I feel it's important for me to know their individual personalities. This is often overlooked yet it is incredibly important for many reasons. Knowing their personality helps a caregiver detect if something is wrong far before someone that doesn't interact with their mice as much (even subtle changes in personality or behaviors can indicate health problems). I also just enjoy my time with them. As I've stated several times above, my mice are my pets first and foremost. I love them dearly and love spending time with them. To see my mice and how tame they are, check out my Mouse Movies (link in the Mousery menu).
To learn more about my ethics and practices, take a stroll through the Mouse Information pages (the Ethics page applies the most, but my beliefs and practices are not limited to that page).
All of my mouse pedigrees are out there for the world to see. Everything is tracked and disclosed freely. At The Fun Mouse I hide nothing and hope to set a good example of other mouseries around the world. If you have any questions about my mousery, breeding practices, or anything else relating to my mousery, feel free to contact me via the Contact Me link.