Well I finally did it and setup a small mouse colony. With the Canadian dollar in the toilet it is becoming less financially advantagous to buy my whole prey in the U.S. and bring them across the boarder.
It's just a small colony (1 male and 3 females). I figure that I should get about 2 breeding cycles in before I run out of what I have in the freezer. That should keep me ahead of the girls appetites. If this works out, I may start a small rat colony as well and then I will definitely have enough.
I plan on using CO2 to euthanize them. I did some research and was relieved to find out that CO2 acts as an anaesthetic to kill then and that they don't suffocate to death. They just go to sleep (though there can be some muscle spasms when they actually die).
Anyhow. Here is my first mouse tub:
Here is the video on how to make a euthanization chamber using vinegar & baking soda to generate the CO2. Apparently this is the most accurate way to do it as you can adjust the formula to the size of the chamber you intend to use.
WARNING: Rats are put to sleep in this video!!
Last Edit: Sept 28, 2014 7:02:39 GMT -5 by bitbyter
I also setup a calendar on my phone with all the relevant dates:
1. When to start checking for pregnancies (~14 days after copulation) 2. When to remove the male to his bachelor tub (17 days should be good) 3. When to start just spot cleaning the tub instead of full cleanings (to keep the mom's from getting spooked). (~14 days after copulation if you have pregnant females) 4. When to start listening for babies. (~21 days) 5. When it's ok to start visually checking for babies. (4 days after birth)
Then the dates of how long to wait before starting full cleanings again (without disturbing the nest(s) and when to remove the offspring. These last two dates depend on when the babies were born.
I hope it works out for you! I love the idea of being able to raise my own feeding animals if I keep adopting carnivores. Even if they're just little mice or rats it's important to me that they're treated well before they're killed.
Yeah, I'm tracking costs involved as well because the main reason I am doing this is to save on having to buy whole prey in the U.S. and then bringing them across the boarder. With our dollar the way it is, it has put a serious crimp on my savings over buying here in Canada. We'll see how this works out.
Last Edit: Sept 28, 2014 14:59:01 GMT -5 by bitbyter
Post by Jeremy's Boggle on Sept 28, 2014 12:05:47 GMT -5
We have the ability to raise our own meat animals here. Right now I'm not sure how well I'd deal with it and being the only adult home most of the time it isn't the best time for me to take on more responsibilities.
I'll be following how this goes for you as saving money is always needed here.
Well I'm am pretty sure at least one is most likely pregnant already. Romeo got straight to work within 10 minutes of being introduced to the females. I'm going to check for plugs later tonight when they are awake.
Just a brief update on my mouse colony. I moved Romeo out into his own bachelor pad today as two of my females are very obviously pregnant and the third looks like she is as well. With two about to pop in the next week or so, it was time to move Romeo out on his own:
Last Edit: Oct 14, 2014 11:18:10 GMT -5 by bitbyter
I have a sneaking suspicion that one of the females has given birth. I think I hear quite squeaking last night and I haven't seen on of the females for a while. I think I briefly saw her this morning and she looked a lot skinnier than the last time I saw her. Will be checking for babies on Saturday evening.
I have babies!! I had a quick peek tonight and I'm guessing the litter is 10+. I just lifted the hide long enough to confirm and then put it back so as not to stress the mum. Will be doing a count on Monday evening most likely.