Ethically Raising Rodents
The concept of ethical breeding is a topic not often talked about. We started breeding our own mice due to the high volume of pinkies our hognoses were eating. It wasn't our intention to breed them long term, just until they were eating less frequently. We noticed a trend of rodent breeders feeding horse feed to their rodent colonies, keeping them on softwood shavings and in poorly ventilated rack systems. Because of this, we chose to continue breeding for our own needs.
Horses are herbivores and have much different dietary requirements from mice or rats who are omnivores. Like reptiles, rodents also have very sensitive respiratory systems and are prone to Respiratory Infection, usually caused from keeping them on softwood (pine, cedar) bedding. Overcrowded mortar bins, stacked on top of one another, with little natural light, causes mice and rats a great deal of stress, on top of contributing to RI.
We keep our mice in smaller colonies, in well ventilated cages with aspen bedding that's changed 3 times per week. We keep our few rats in Critter Nation cages, handle them daily and let them out to explore. Our mice and rats are fed Teklad 2014 blocks, one of the best on the market; as well, they get eggs, mealworms, pasta, veggies throughout the week.
We believe you are what you eat; we don't want our reptiles eating anything less than healthy, ethically raised food. We feel that top quality should start with what food goes into your reptiles.
If you have questions about starting your own breeding colony, or would like info we haven't covered above, feel free to connect with us on our Contact page.