One of the difficult and often frustrating parts of breeding is that hopeful moment when the female gains a bit, then stops. Unfortunately, this has happened with our most recent pairings. I have updated a few of our albums but wanted you all to know that since the pairings we had did not take, we are mixing it up a bit and doing our next planned pairs. I was not planning on them until spring/summer but am so excited to work with these pairings and their offspring.
As a smaller breeder I take my time focusing on improving our lines with around 4-6 litters a year. If you are a pre-approved adopter on our wait list, nothing has changed except the timing of our litters. I will contact you as soon as we have babies available for you. If for some reason the wait is too long, I encourage you to contact a local rescue and let me know if you would either like to be kept on the list for future ratties or be removed so I can let the pre-approved adopters after you know.
If you would like to be added to our wait list, please realize that the wait is 6-12 months.
Did you know that a Mama rat can get pregnant again right after giving birth to her babies? If the male rat is not removed from the cage PRIOR to birth, the female will deliver another litter 3-4 weeks after her first one arrives. (this could mean 25+ babies for mama) This does not give her a chance to recoup from the first litter beginning to wean and means more babies will need to find a loving home, which is not always easy.
I often get emails from new rat owners telling us they just adopted from a pet store or from a 'breeder' where they got two rats but think one is the wrong sex. I can pretty much guarantee that the female is pregnant if she is over 6 weeks of age. This is not an ideal breeding age (females should really be closer to 4-6 months/300 grams to give them the optimum health and successful litters) No matter how much you want to have them enjoy each other's company male and female rats cannot play together. (unless the male is neutered or female spayed) When rats breed they only need a few seconds, yes seconds! I often encourage those with two babies different sexes to take one or the other sex back to where they got them and get one of the correct sex as a companion.
Of course sometimes we also hear that someone adopted two females (correct sex) but one or both are pregnant and deliver 1-3 weeks after joining the family. This is not something everyone is prepared to deal with after just adding new rats to the family. Most important all babies need to be sexed correctly, especially by 4-5 weeks of age. Though the males are not always able to, they sometimes can breed their mama/sisters by 5-6 weeks. If this happens the whole crazy cycle can start again!! It is not always easy to find good homes for 'the oops! litter' babies.
What happens when people can't find homes for the babies??? This is were many rescues have stepped up to help the new rat owners and those that have gotten overwhelmed with 'oops! litters' Right now a great rescue in British Columbia has a plethora of babies. A social worker brought in two mamas and their new babies the end of November 2017. Unfortunately, the mamas had already been bred again prior to joining Small Animal Rescue Society so they have BABIES!!! LOTS OF BABIES on the way! in need of good homes.
Because we have such amazing support in the rat community Best Friends Rodent Rescue in Washington is also helping in the efforts to get the SARS babies home. What a great way to start the new year - with an new furbaby or two! Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if they have a sweet baby or two to join your mischief.
If you are not close to British Columbia, don't be discouraged there are so many rescues out there with babies and lovable olders in need of furever homes.
I had no idea July 22nd was Rat Rescuers' Day!!
I received this a link to an article, This Animal Rights Activist Reminds Us That Rats Need Rescuing Too Basically it is a write up about someone that has worked and adopted lab rats. From reading the article, I do feel compelled to mention that I would not pay to rescue a feeder from a feeder breeder/pet store and consider them a rescue. In the life of that one rat you are rescuing them from a fate that is rather sad (I also understand that all creatures need to eat) but you are also lining the pockets of the store/feeder breeder to just supply more feeders that will have that same fate.
The one thing that upsets me, as a rat mama, is seeing all these posts on facebook with tiny 2-4 week old babies that people pull from the bins. These babies need to stay with their mamas to get the proper nutrition and mental development that happens within the first 5 weeks. Do not buy babies younger than 5 weeks, it will hurt them in the long run. Here at our rattery, I do not like for our babies to leave until 6-8 weeks. We had a family emergency and needed to let a few go at 5.5 weeks but I felt so terrible not sticking to my own guidelines. Knowing they were all healthy and VERY close to our 6 week mark made me feel a bit better but still wanting them to have as much time as possible with the rest of our mischief to learn how to behave from the adults. All the time babies can get, learning how to be proper ratties from more mature rats the better. Being at least 125 grams at 6 weeks will give their overall system a bit more protection from the stress a new home can cause them. Right now I have 2 girls snuggled up in my neck wrap waiting for their adopter to show up, they are 194 grams at 6 weeks! They will have a GREAT start in their furever home!
Now back to Rat Rescuers' Day! If you are local to Oregon, Washington and British Columbia there are some great places to adopt/rescue ratties.
If you are interested in adopting Lab rats please keep in mind many do have serious issues due to their treatment and the testing they had to undergo. Also, unlike rats you can get from a rescue/or breeder these rats also do not have the same immunities. Think of a child starting preschool or kindergarten. Their poor systems are hit hard by the multiple viruses they are exposed to. Quarantine is not an option it is a MUST! You do not want them to join your mischief only to become ill from a nasty virus.
Our Crazy Rat Adventure Blog is small glimpse into our little menagerie. We never intended to, but we ended helping others fall in love with the little vermin.