American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the WSSF 2006 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.

A To Do List: Preparing for a Show

Following is one exhibitor’s list of things to do a week before a show.

So, what’s the week before a show like for those of us who insist on attending these events? Here’s a typical to do list. We’re not crazy—no, not at all!

Sunday before the show
  • Clean all cages: 6 rat, 7 mouse = 5 hours

Rat at Computer
  • Check over all rats and mice for scabs, broken toenails, any signs of illness, mites, lice, etc. (21 rats, 18 mice). Choose those to bring to show = 2 hours
  • Fill out and mail in entry form = 45 minutes

Rat bathing
  • Clean cages containing animals going to the show = 1½ hours
  • Bathe and trim toenails of rats who will be shown: 6 rats = 1½ hours

Rat writing letter
  • Recheck animals going to show = 45 minutes
  • Make pedigrees for litters of rats going to show to be picked up by new owners = 2 hours
  • Make signs advertising mice for sale = 20 minutes

Rat sweeping

  • Clean cages of all animals going to show = 1½ hours
  • Re-wash tails, check toenails, touch up dirty coats on rats going to show = 1 hour
  • Fill bottles with water and put in freezer (summer show!) = 15 minutes

Rat writing note
  • Recheck animals going to show = ½ hour
  • Make last minute decisions on substitutions, animals not going = ½ hour
  • Clean carrying cages, fill with bedding and food = 1 hour
  • Search out and pack water bottles = 15 minutes
  • Pack show paperwork, show boxes, pedigrees, signs, jacket = 20 minutes
  • Gas up car = 15 minutes
  • Make lunch if House Mouse Café is not open = 15 minutes

Saturday: Show Day!
Rat going to show
  • 5:30 A.M. Get up
  • 6:30 A.M. Put animals in carriers, load into car, get lunch and frozen water bottles, put in cooler and load. Don’t forget bag with pedigrees, etc.
  • 7:30 A.M. (Late) Leave for show
  • 8:05 A.M. Arrive at show, unload car.
  • 8:30 A.M. Help unload show stuff, sales table, etc. Set up show benches, unpack sales items, help hand out exhibitors rental show boxes
  • 10:30 A.M. Show starts!
Mouse with ribbon

So how much preparation goes into showing rats and mice? Well, by my count it’s about 19 hours (that’s in addition to working a 40-hour week for most of us). What do we get for it? If we are lucky, a few ribbons or maybe a trophy (as well as many hours of quality time with our critters). We’re not nuts, no way, not us! *

Best in Show rat

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Updated January 10, 2023