How To Show
FMBA 2022 Appalachian Show in TN. Show boxes with ribbons.
FMBA 2022 TN Award Table
Allison judging the mice
FMBA 2022 TN: BIS
Brindle Doe, Shima
FMBA 2022 TN: BOS
Blue Buck, Ao
Norris Park State Dam
FMBA 2022 & 2023 Appalachian Show Venue
Plan your trip as it is very likely at least several hours away. If you need to stay overnight, consider looking up the website for the venue (often a state park) and see if there are cabins available. You might also find other breeders going that want to split a cabin! Just make sure you're able to cover the entire cabin cost or get payment in advance. Emergencies happen! There are also pet friendly hotels in the area of the show, but they may not be as close to the venue.
Pick out which mice you would like to show. Keep in mind that the entries make the show! The more mice present, the more there is to judge and learn from. Just make sure that you choose mice that are FMBA standardized varieties.
Keep in mind that ALL animals entering the show venue need to have been quarantined for 30 days before the show and will be health checked for symptoms of illness. If any illness is found during this 30 days, no animals will be allowed to attend. This is done for the safety of all the mice attending. FMBA QT
If you do not yet see an event page yet, keep an eye out. It will give you information about when entries open. You cannot submit entries after the deadline. You cannot submit entries in person at the show. Entries are $3 and renting a show box is $2. Show boxes are small, but not tiny, Kritter Keepers. They do not need to be name brand, but need to appear similar so that the entries are anonymous. You can also rent a table for $30 which comes with 10 entries.
Keep in mind that novice breeders (those who have attended 3 shows or fewer, and no top honors) will have more leniency with entering a mouse as the wrong variety. It can be reclassed at the show. If this happens with an experienced breeder (3+ shows or top honors), the mouse may be disqualified! Make sure to read up on the standards and ask questions if you're unsure which variety to enter your mouse as.
Prepare Transport Cages
A transport cage should be as chew proof as possible. If you are bringing your own show boxes, is not not recommended to transport them in the show boxes.
(Show boxes should be filled with fresh white paper bedding. This is done to make the entries anonymous and to avoid potential wood allergies. The mice only need to be in their show boxes during the show. A show can last anywhere from 2 to 6 hours, or possibly more for very large shows.) Paper bedding starts to smell rather quickly and is not ideal for transport or long term cages due to this. Extra supplies are important to have as well.
- Hydration & Food
Since water bottles leak in moving vehicles, other forms of hydration are necessary. Cucumber slices are the most common, but carrots and agar gel can also be used.
Also make sure to bring adequate food for your trip.
Show Day: Submitting Mice
Shows usually starts in the morning around 11am, but be sure to double check. You should arrive at least 15 minutes earlier than this so you have time to submit your mice.
- Health Check
You will need to bring your mice into the venue and have them individually checked at the health check table. If a mouse does not pass health check, none of the mice in that bin are permitted to pass. It can be helpful to spread your mice out into more cages if you are concerned about this. This is done to prevent mice that were exposed to illness from entering and spreading it.
- Setting Up Show boxes
Now you can check out your rented show boxes if you did not bring your own. You can get your entry tags from the Show Secretary and attach them to the cages. There are empty areas and tables where you can setup the boxes. You should bring your own white paper bedding, but in case you forget, there is likely extra available. A single slice of cucumber is also needed for hydration.
- Submitting Mice
Double check that the labels provided match the mice in the boxes. Once they are completely done, you can set them on the submission table.
The Show & Awards
You're now free to talk to other breeders until the show starts! Once it does, take a seat and watch the judging. At smaller venues, questions that do not identify which mice are yours are welcome, but it should otherwise be quiet during this time if you are seated near the table. The show is open to the public, but usually not many people show up. Judging is what takes the longest amount of time.
The mice are separated into 3 classes based on the varieties present. Within those classes, you can win 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Best in Show (BIS) is awarded to one of the 1st place mice. Best Opposite Sex (BOS) is also awarded, along with Best Opposite Age (BOA). If you want to learn more about the judging and placement process click here.
Once judging is finished, placements are announced and awards handed out. The show secretary has the information that identifies which mousery submitted an entry, but the judge does not.
The after Party
Many times after a show is over, most who attend go out to eat lunch or dinner at a nearby restaurant together. This certainly isn't required, but is a fun time to socialize with fellow breeders and mouse enthusiasts.