This article is from the Spring 1997 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
Colors & Coats
Q Could you provide information on how I could get a Long Hair fancy rat? If you can’t, can you refer me to someone who could provide this information. Brandie Bushwitz, FL
A I would like to have that information myself! As far as we know, there are none. If there were, several breeders would love to get hold of some! There have been unsubstantiated rumors that they exist in the laboratories. If they do, they are a well kept secret.
Q Is the common Cream a chinchillated Chocolate? How can I separate the chinchilla gene from the Fawn? Cross the cream to chocolate and inbreed the F1? Stan, WA
A Cream is chinchillated yellow (i.e. Fawn). The easiest way to separate the chinchilla gene from the fawn is to breed Cream to Black, then inbreed the F1. If you use Black Tan as the outcross, you can produce Black Fox (chinchillated Black Tan) as well as Cream Fox.
Q I’m not 100% sure, but I think the restriction gene plays a part in the American Berkshire/Cap-Stripe pattern, it would account for the widely varying patterns, and the fact that I can get one variation or another from almost any mating as long as one parent has the markings. I’m still working on this idea, but for instance, a Berkshire with a blaze and lots of white could be Hre-H, a cap-stripe with heavy color Hre-h, and a patched or well-defined cap-stripe Hre-he. I could be wrong, it’s just a theory. With Hre supposedly being a homozygous lethal, it might account for why I get more stillborns when I double up on my cap-stripe or patched marked rats. Would you consider up to 25% or more babies born dead or dying at birth unusual, in healthy young rats that aren’t being bred a lot and in most cases not involving any significant inbreeding? Chris Faron, Millers Creek, NC
A It’s interesting to hear of the higher incidence of stillborns with your cap-stripe rats. The lady that was working on Capped-Stripe rats here several years ago was the only one at the time breeding them, and I can’t remember if she had the same problems as you are having. It could be a genetic condition as you suggest.
Q I now have a litter with a little white female that has a very symmetrical blue or blue agouti patch on each side of her head (like a Dutch mouse) and a single blue spot in the middle of her back, she’s really cute. One of her littermates, I think, is a pink-eyed or red-eyed blue, he’s a very light blue with a slightly beige cast, and a white blaze. What do you call a red-eyed blue —a pink-eyed one is a silver, right? Chris Faron, Millers Creek, NC
A The pink-eyed Blues (Silver) are a totally different color than Blue—an off-white
color with a blue cast in the coat. Your light blue with a slight beige cast sounds different. We don’t have
anything for a red-eyed blue. Judging by the photos, your rats with the dark eyes look like Powder Blue or Silver
Blue. Your red-eyed blue is very interesting.
Q I have 2 tailless mice and they were born that way. Is that really that odd? One has not even a stub for a tail (her name is Mighty) and my other has a stub (her name is Bootiky). I bought them at the same pet shop and they are sisters.
I was thinking, if we put our heads together, we can make a new breed with my Bootiky and Mighty. We need to get the right male with the right genes and we could pull this off. Please write me and tell me what you think. Jacklyn Holt, Enid, OK
Tailless mouse owned by Tina Shahroody.
A Yes, Tailless mice are very rare. Once in a while we hear about one. In a trip to Northern California last November to the Rat, Mouse & Hamster Fanciers show, there was one shown by Tina Shahroody. She has a line of mice that produce Tailless. They look just like the rats with a rounded rump.
It would be very interesting to breed one of your mice to a male mouse and see what you get. Most likely you would not get any Tailless; however, it could happen. Your chances would be increased if you went back to the same pet store you got your mice from, and found a male that looked similar. If your breeding did not produce any Tailless, then you should keep one of boys from the litter and breed him to either his mother, or to your other Tailless mouse. This works for Tailless rats, so it should also work for mice. If you do breed your mice, please let us know what happens.