I have personally been fascinated by genetics for many years. I waited almost 5yrs to be able to get my first mice to breed, back in April 2019. I founded KaiZen Mousery that year, but had a little breeding experience when I was younger, before my genetics knowledge. I always had a drive to someday breed mice, as I was a hands on learner, growing up.
I started off with 3 girls from Petsmart. One of them turned out to be an amazing mouse for a pet store animal. She was hardy, lived almost 2yrs, had multiple litters without losing condition, amazing personality, and her line never got sick. She was a miracle for someone just starting out, the way I was. It wasn't long, however, before I found another breeder in my area, and even partook in a transport later that year and got my first well bred show type mice.
I had always wanted Tri-Color, and also wound up with a show type Siamese buck. I wasn't into most c-locus varieties back then but I seemed to be a magnet to them. Now, Jan 2022, I work with almost nothing but c-locus varieties. My pride and joy for the last few years have been my Texel. I had always wanted to breed Texel, despite how challenging the variety can really be. I managed to get pretty well known, even outside the USA, as the breeder who's "Texel keep their curls as they age". Texel are well known for losing their curl by the time they're 3-4mo on average. I immediately wanted to change that stigma and worked diligently to produce Texel who kept their curl well into old age. Below, as you can see, I eventually achieved that goal with the 2yo Texel posted in the photo below.
I have a long way to go with my Texel line still. I want to start working on length of the coat, while keeping the curls, as well as their type and health. I have bottlenecked the line in the last 2yrs trying to solidify the modifiers for the curls. I think I have successfully gotten those modifiers to be quite prevalent, so I will be working hard to achieve my other goals for this project.
Recently (Dec, 2021) I decided to let go of a handful of my mouse projects in lieu of making time and space for rats! I have wanted rats for over 7yrs, to date. I always loved the idea of having pocket puppies and that is what I want to breed: Rats who live for your attention, want to be with you and interact with you at any moment and can be handled safely in every way possible (as close to child proof as I can). I will not be focusing on varieties with my rats, the way I do mice. My main focus will be health and temperament, overall. Despite breeding both species, I plan to have 2 very different methods and ideologies surrounding both groups of animals. They may be very similar, but I do believe they require a very different approach when achieving the various goals you have for each project.
Here's to KaiZen Mousery finally making the leap into KaiZen Rodentry! A goal that was envisioned years ago, but had to be patiently waited out. I am so happy to finally be here and cannot wait to get started into the wonderful world of rat breeding!