Pregnant feeder-mouse musings...

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Sunny Side Up, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    It's been interesting to observe the mice I raise to feed our pet corn snakes (now numbering 4, all caught around our house). I wonder if these domestic white mice are as different from their wild relations as our laying hens are from their wild counterparts. If all the generations of selective breeding in white mice, probably favoring fecundity, has changed the way they carry their unborn, and the number of pups they will bear at one time.

    When I see my mouse mamas before delivery I wonder how they would ever manage in the wild in that shape. They look like Jerry the Mouse in the cartoons when he's swallowed a light bulb and changes into that shape. Their sides get so swollen and you can see the pups wiggling around under their fur. And they can bear a dozen pups easily, sometimes more. I guess they carry out to the sides rather than out in front of their abdomens, otherwise their feet wouldn't touch the ground.

    Do wild mice get like this when they're pregnant? Do they swell out so far? Or do they retain a slimmer profile and bear smaller litters? I wonder if the white mice, being raised in safe confinement, can now afford to grow bigger. And if breeders have favored the mouse Mamas who can bear the bigger litters, even if it makes them so bulgy, bulky and slow.

    Sometimes I think I'll hear a big kaboom! and find dozens of pinkies flying all over the patio coming from an exploded, exhausted Mama mouse.
     
  2. theOEGBman

    theOEGBman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2007
    Central California
    Sounds like mine! I raise them for Corns too, and one rat. I dont know about the wild ones, but the domestic sure do get massive, dont they? Do you have any pics of yours? I used to raise the pink-eyed whites but I've gotten fancies since then. I just had a litter of 9 born a few days ago, and they're already showing color! [​IMG]
     
  3. Aneesa's Muse

    Aneesa's Muse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 8, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    The side carrying of the pups is due to the way their uterus is shaped ..with multiple "horns" on each side. As for the wild relations, I would just assume they stay within their nests and let the other colony members bring food back to them while they are in the "waddle'y" state [​IMG]
     
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    That's what I've been wondering, if pregnant wild mice (as Dave Barry says, "that would make a good name for a rock band") get as bulgy and carry as many pups as these domestic ones do. And if they do, is it because they have an organized social structure where their mates or other relations would bring them food during their confinements. I think such a bulgy mouse would be an easy target for an owl or a fox.

    I started my mouse ranch with a couple of feeder mice I got at the pet store. I was fortunate one day to find black mice for sale, so I began with a black male and a couple of white females. The black male is still alive, and one of the original white females, plus four other daughters, one white, one black, and two grey.

    I don't want them to look to pretty, then I'd feel too bad watching them get eaten. We find them interesting and sometimes amusing to observe, and consider their finest quality to be the $$$ they save me in buying feeder mice from the store.
     
  5. theOEGBman

    theOEGBman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2007
    Central California
    I don't want them to look to pretty, then I'd feel too bad watching them get eaten. We find them interesting and sometimes amusing to observe, and consider their finest quality to be the $$$ they save me in buying feeder mice from the store.

    I've quickly realized how true that is, haha. I didnt want the white ones because I wanted something nice to look at. I figured if I was going to breed them, I might as well have fun with the colors. The problem with that is that you want to keep a lot of them! They definitely help save money though, so it works great.​
     

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