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Posted by sasheena on May 10, 2003 at 15:14:14:
In Reply to: back when i was using mixes.. posted by sartori on May 09, 2003 at 19:11:35:
Recently, about a month ago, I switched to ONLY lab blocks. Right before I made the switch I was producing 100 extra mice every three weeks and selling them to the petstores (to pay for bedding and food). My regular fancies were having 17+ babies per litter. Then I switched to ONLY lab blocks. One by one the litters all disappeared, until I was hard pressed to find ANYTHING to feed my snakes. With 40+ cages of breeders and less than 10 mouse-eating snakes, it would seem impossible to have such a drastic change. At first I thought it was disease, but when yet another cage had babies, I stole some of my hubbies bird seed and specially fed that cage supplements of bird feed, and scrambled eggs, and anything else I could afford... and they raised up the babies. But I continued to have catastrophic losses. A week ago I finally gave up on the lab blocks, and went out and purchased sunflower seeds, chicken scratch, and dog food. I have over ten new litters of mice that are thriving and that were born in the last week. I don't think I raised more than ten MICE to adulthood whilst on the lab blocks. Keep in mind that I should have had enough to feed my snakes AND sell over a hundred to the petstore. The only variable that changed was the lab blocks. I'm not saying the lab blocks themselves were bad, but in my recent painful experience, I lost probably $200 when you count the special breeders that got fed off to the snakes, the mice I never could sell to the petstore, the food I didn't pay for with selling mice, and the entire litter of hairless mice I was raising for the pet-trade, etc. it was a terrible waste, and I will never use lab blocks again. (besides, once I move it will be a 75 mile drive to the place where I got them, and the feed store is a 5 mile drive)
I think that some mice will do fine on un-supplemented lab blocks, I just know that mine do NOT do well on that. Could be I "spoiled them" by giving them such good food to begin with. But I'd rather waste a little in the bedding and have the mice thrive, than waste nothing, and get nothing.
44 lbs sunflower seeds $10
50 lbs COB or Chicken Scratch $8
50 lbs 16% protein generic dog food $12
144 pounds of feed, $30
Will produce probably 300 extra mice = $180 trade-in.... profit = $150 (then there's bedding and various and sundry items)