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Posted by cindy on April 25, 2003 at 19:51:14:
In Reply to: Hairless mice have the same problem posted by shannons on April 25, 2003 at 15:48:22:
...but a week apart is definitely a problem.
I got the first few long-haired mice from two short haired mice, a new, black male and an old, argente female. When he bred another new, black female, I got a few that were cow spotted. I had never had either of these before, so naturally found them much more interesting than my other more mundane mice. The first one I got was impossible to sex. I left it in the tub, thinking it must be a female, since the father never "whupped up on it", and I wanted to see if I could get more than one per litter by breeding it back to its father. In fact, the father ignored it completely, and never tried to breed it. I only got a few more long-haired pups before the older female had to be retired.
I finally determined the first was a male, and pulled him for breeding in another tub, with other, younger, long-haired sisters. They continue to give me long-haired black mice. (I should mention that I probably know less about genetics than ANYBODY else at this forum, so forgive me if I said something stupid.)
The pups look very thin haired until 5-6 weeks old, not long-haired, just really thin-haired, skin showing through all over, almost like they might go hairless later. They are really unnattractive until the fur fills in, then resemble hamsters more than mice. I honestly have never fed one off yet, they all get snatched up by students and teachers that want them for pets. I will be sorry to take my colonies down in a month, I'll probably never get one again. I wish I knew somebody in the midwest that might want them, rather than freezing them for snake food.
The cow spotted ones grow really slow, and look sickly until they are at least 8 weeks old. At five weeks, they are the size of fuzzies, only not as chubby. Their eyes open late, too, and they seem to be squinting or nearly sealed shut most of the time until they are about a month old. Most have more white (and fewer spots) on them than I care for, so I feed them off, and have only kept the nicely spotted ones. They are getting better markings the last two generations, but it is too late in the year to do much with them before I freeze them for summer food.
Sorry, as usual, this is more info than anybody wanted...