The Library of the
London & Southern Counties Mouse & Rat Club
A Basic Guide to the Show Bench Frank Prantl
I write this article from my personal experience mainly from the Self varieties for Mouse Fanciers with a basic knowledge.
When breeding mice, you the fancier should never mate brother to sister, because more often than not their litters seem to have all the faults of generations past. What one should do is mate father to daughter and son to mother. Better still, mate any of them to a distant relation of the same strain, to maintain the desired characteristics. This gives room for variation in type, because type is in my opinion, more important than colour.
Once a reasonable type is established then and only then the fancier should breed for colour. In this way one eliminates breeding a lot of wasters, which cuts down money, work and time spent on a product you really donít want.
I am a great believer in using two different types of mice from the same strain, to achieve a really good specimen for the Show Bench. For this, I donít have to breed lots of mice, I can do it with reasonably small stud.
I have found from experience one absolutely must mate best with the best. A word of caution Ė it would be a fallacy to buy two champions from different fanciers, mate them and expect winners - On the Show Bench it does not work this way.
From experience over many years, I have found mating a Satin to a Normal makes the fur shorter and eliminates guard hairs. Mating Silver to Cream will produce Blacks with pied feet and tail. These specimens are nearly always of excellent type and size.
These blacks can be mated back to either Creams or Silvers, without having any problems. This way I can constantly improve my stud of mice without having to outcross. I call this procedure "colour cross". This means that I do not use the conventional procedure of breeding Silver to Silver or Cream to Cream. This way of line breeding suits me nicely. If by chance I should have a mishap with my life stock, even my rubbish is capable of producing winners.
Every mouse breeder has his or her own way of stock selection. Which one do you choose? Yours or mine?
Frank Prantl 6.5.97
LSCMRC Web Page - Updated - 12th April 1999