Author Topic: Personal stories about breeding  (Read 138187 times)

Offline aquajen9

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #125 on: April 12, 2006, 06:13:59 PM »
As a UK breeder, there seems to bea lot less open pet shop rat breeding, because it is so frowned upon. There are always people, who are misinformed, or just  :-\ well... who will breed from rats from pet shops, but in general the majority of breeder in the UK who aren't breeding for pet shop 'stock', are breeding from Pedigree rats.

I've had 8 litters, and have two more matings planned tomorrow actually  :)

I keep a waiting list for the babies I breed, I only breed from rats with known backgrounds, and who are the healthiest, and friendliest. My rats are pets first and foremost, and I rehome all my babies to prevetted homes, with contracts, stating various things. (more info on if anyone wants to know :) )

However, my sixth litter, went pear shaped. The mating was planned out very carefully, and we decided to mate my doe, Orion's Haven Liatris, to my mentors buck Shunamite Taras. They were a perfect match, they were mated, and Liatris took.

Day 21 came, and went. Day 22.. Day 23... Day 24... at this point, she started to bleed. And so, I waited.. 4 hours later she'd given birth to what was 9 babies. 7 were still born, and 2 alive. The two live ones were very bruised looking. After 2 hours, they'd not fed, so I fostered them onto my other doe who had a litter a couple of days old. But, they had no chance. I stayed up with them for hours, and kept an eye on things, I took out some of the foster mum, Auriga's, own babies, and kept the warm and fed them myself, in the hope it would give Liatris' two a better chance. But within 6 hours, both babies were dead  :'(

Liatris went through a long series of blood tests, to try and find out if something had gone wrong because of a virus, but everything tested clear. To this day, I don't know why they didn't survive, perhaps a baby had gotten stuck in the passageway, and caused several to die, and the two who were alive, to be too battered and bruised to survive. But, it was a heartbreaker.

I'd urge anyone wishing to breed, to get a mentor. And to breed from rats with known backgrounds (Pedigrees). It isn't easy, it isn't cheap. I spent a lot of money on bloodtests, a lot of people might not have done. But I needed to know that she, and my other rats, were safe. Breeding isn't something that should be taken lightly, in any cases.

Offline Aja

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #126 on: April 17, 2006, 04:17:06 PM »
Wow, I guess I can write in this thread now.

I did NOT breed. A rescue I got came pregnant. I wasn't expecting it at all, and then one day she just looked huge- and I realized, CRAP, she is pregnant!!!!!!!!

The babies were born fine, healthy, 9 of them. Thats the easy part.

The difficult part is being ETHICAL in deciding what to do with the babies. Sure, it would have been all too easy to take them down to the petshop--- to become feeders, 5 minute pets (when a child begs for a pet, so they get them a rat so they shut up, and then the rat gets terrible care), to become god knows what. It was extremely difficult to find homes for them, I advertised from the day they were born, and didnt release them until they were 8 weeks old... and I still wonder about the ones I gave away too.

4 went to an expirienced rat owner- I see him usually twice a week
2 went to two college girls
I kept 2 girls because I could not find them homes
I kept the only boy because I did not want him to be a solitary rat.

I do not want 6 rats. It is expensive, it is time consuming, and frankly, it gets a bit smelly in here no matter how much I clean their cages! Don't breed unless you are completely dedicated to EVERYTHING that comes along with those cute little pinkies.

Offline ArcticSilver84

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #127 on: May 02, 2006, 01:00:51 AM »
I would like to share my story as well...I am still fairly new to the rat world so when I got my first 2 rats (a brother and sister) they were 5 weeks old. The person I got them from told me that they didn't need to be separated until they were 5 mos wrong, I believed her because she was a "breeder" so I figured I had time to decide whether or not I was going to get them each a friend of their respected genders or get the male neutered. So I went about my days researching vets that neutered and seeing how much that was etc. Now mind you they were born December 2nd so I figured I had til about the beginning of May to decide. Well it took my girl (Expresso--shes all black with a white tummy and feet as is her brother puck and the father of her babies) a little over 3 mos from the time I got her but she got pregnant...I however did not know that because she didn't get any "fatter" than her brother so I was shocked one morning when I woke up and went to the bathroom and as I was getting ready to take a shower I glanced over and noticed my male (puck) cowering on one side of the cage in a corner while on the other side of the cage all the bedding was pushed up against it and falling out...I was thinking no it can't be and then I heard the chirping I was like oh no. So I went to investigate and sure enough there were some pinkies suckling on momma. So I tentatively put my hand in the cage and she came right up and licked me (shes a sweet heart) so I counted the babies...8 total born but one was dead. So I set up an aquarium I had and put her and her babies in (she had 5 boys and 2 girls). She was a good mom and immediately built a nest everytime I cleaned the cage. She would let me hold the babies. Eventually the babies grew fast. She had 4 black babies with white bellies and feet 2 boys and 2 girls whom I named Rocky and Bullwinkle for the boys and Connie and Carla for the girls. She also had a black self who I named Houdini because he can escape any place I put him to run around in while Im cleaning the cage. She also had a PEW and a Tan whom I found homes for they are boys and I tentatively named them Peanut butter and Fluff. So they are 5 weeks and I separated them from their mom. I will probably end up keeping all the other ones except the 2 I found a home for because the lady that was interested in the wanted them all which could only mean that she wanted them as feeders, so they will be mine unless I can find a suitable home for them. In terms of health though everything is so far so good, I read online and did everything they said to do to take care of a litter. They are all healthy happy little babies that LOVE to ride on my shoulders and sleep in my hair lol. But I will never Breed or accidentally breed again. In due time I will eventually have all my boys fixed starting with their dad who doesn't get along with the new buddy I got him when I had to take the mom out or his own sons he just beats them all up so I after he heals from his neuter I will put him back with his sister because he still gets along with her. So I guess this story isn't as sad as a lot of the ones I have read but I just wanted to share my story with all of you. Eventually I do want to become a breeder but right now I just have all 10 of my babies (5 boys and 5 girls) as loving pets.

Offline ollie_763

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #128 on: May 22, 2006, 05:22:03 PM »
are there any happy stories? this is making me realy depressed. :'( also because i want to get another male or two i now dont have a clue where from because of all these really sick rats got from stores and breeders, please cheer me up  :'(
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Offline SR&P

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #129 on: May 22, 2006, 08:07:51 PM »
That's kind of the point of this thread, to show all the things that can go wrong with a litter, even when they are carefully planned or accommodated. It helps people decide whether they really want to breed. Ollie, if I were you, I would contact a responsible breeder and ask to be mentored.
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Offline vbeberness

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #130 on: July 06, 2006, 10:38:29 AM »
I too have a new littler of six beautiful squeakers. I bought them at a pet store. The mom had given birth that morning. I was interested in a female friend for my rat at home. I fell in love with "Maggie". But as pet stores go... they were kind enough to sell me the mom, but could not take her home for four weeks obviously. So I would stop by and feed her in the morning and evening some nutritious veggies. Then the pet store talked about how they could sell the "pinkies" as feeders!!!!!!!! :mumum: :angry4: :angry5: :BangHead: :argue:  To make a long story short! I have Maggie and her babies here at home now. I will keep them all!! I love rats anyway. I am home with them all day and they get much time out to play.My litter seems to be doing well so far. The mom takes wonderful care of her babies.              viki

Offline mayflower

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #131 on: August 04, 2006, 01:14:48 AM »
I've had a variety of experiences with breeding, particularly in recent times.
My first ever litter was a careful planned and researched affair and I was pleased that all babies found proper forever homes and we didn't even have to consider the pet store (big arguements between my mother and I over that one, over time she has come to see things the way I do: Pet stores + baby rats = NO).
That one was a good experience, everything went well, the babies had gorgeous temperaments and were healthy and robust.
My more recent experiences, however, have not been so rosy. Of the three litters I have dealt with in the last year (well more like between september and january), two were straight out rescues, and the other one came as a result of a woman breeding one of my males to her female without asking me while he was boarding with her. I'm not sure which of the circumstances makes me angrier, though i think it is the last, in that she knew what she was doing, and she never even asked - she just assumed I wouldn't mind. At least in the case of the rescues it was a result of ignorance.
The first two litters were 3 days and two weeks old when I got them. I rescued the mother of the 3 day old babies from a store that was breeding their females back to back despite health issues in the line not to mention the stress for the poor mothers. I'd managed to get them to remove the male, but the damage was still done. I took her home, but went back two days later after a friend informed me that the mother that had been sharing her ridiculously small tank was too old and unwell to nurse her two week olds babies - the mother I'd taken was fostering them. So they came home with me too. I had trouble finding homes for them, but in the end, I managed it. But along the way, I lost two of them. One died when he was only 10 days old. When he was about 8 days old, his mother stopped nursing him. I tried to nurse him myself, to no avail. He died in my hand two days later. The other was Spot, a girl from the older litter. There was epilepsy in her line. Her brother had two fits that we know of, she also had two, unfortunately the second one was too much for her body. She also had other things going on in her poor wee body. At the age of two months, we said goodbye to her. Her brother (the only male) was neutered and remains with me, as did the mother I was able to take home. The #$^$&^*@#s at the store would not let me take Bud's mother home, despite being able to offer her a better quality of life. The poor thing was confined to a small tank, after being bred back to back for god knows how long, and she had a tumour as well. Not that the SPCA did anything.
It was a heart breaking time in my life.
The third litter, which my boy fathered, should never have happened. If the woman had asked me if she could breed him, I would've said no. He was too young for us to be certain of his health and temperament and suitability to be bred. By the time I found out, it was too late. He fathered 16 babies. Some are doing better than others. Some have had respiratory problems, as did their father a couple of months after they were born. Some have had minor aggression problems. Their father turned out to be the kind of male that ends up having major issues due to his hormones, and became rather aggressive to rats and people. His brother also had the same problem and was neutered. His father had stress issues that I am aware of (and yet the person who has him is breeding him despite all this :( ). Had she left well alone, that boy never would have been bred. There's no way I would have allowed it. There wouldn't be 16 young rats with potential/existing health or temperament problems. I have one of his daughters... never before have I encountered rats that are so incredibly difficult to bond with! Even a biter that I recently adopted has bonded with me in less than a week! After 7 months I am still no closer to her than when I first brought her home permanently. Her father passed away after I had him neutered. He woke from the anaesthetic, then went back to sleep to never wake again.
I worry every day about those rats that I found homes for. I worry that someone will ignore my request that they DO NOT breed from them and that they will further weaken the already damaged lines we have here in New Zealand, that they will put them through hell and bring suffering upon them.
So far, three of the homes I found for various rats since october have ended up not working out. One of them rehomed her rats with my consent, but failed to advise me properly of health concerns for the rat she had adopted from me as company for her existing girls - something that we may have been able to resolve before it got as bad as it did. Another rehomed hers after promising to me that of all her rats, she would never rehome the youngest girls, including the one she had adopted from me. I only found out that she had rehomed her by accident when she slipped up in conversation. it took a lot of work to get out of her that she had rehomed her and where she had gone. The third home has suddenly, 5 months after adoption, said that she no longer has time for the rats, nor can afford them.
I despair of breeding sometimes. It is just so damn hard to find a decent home for the babies, one that will treat them right, care for them properly and keep them, instead of giving up on them when the 'novelty' wears off. Yet at the same time, if those of us here in NZ who know how to breed properly don't continue the healthy lines, eventually our healthy lines will be so tainted that one day we may no longer have pet rats here in NZ.

Offline Chesterroo

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #132 on: November 07, 2006, 11:35:37 AM »
I think that no breeding should be done unless it's by a professional.  First off there's so many rats out there with no good homes. And way too many end up dead in a snake's belly.  Second, I rescue rats, and work at a no kill animal shelter.  I took in this female from a cruelty, who lived her whole life in a cage full of males. She undoubtedly was pregnant, and being a hairless, and constantly being humped by the males, she was all scratched up. I decided to keep the litter, rather than euthanizing them, which is what we normally do with new born babies, of any species at our shelter, because at the shelter, in the stress the moms stop feeding and there are no foster homes so the babies all starve. So euthanizing is better for them than starving.  But these little snobs all grew to be great babies, there were 9, 6 girls and 2 boys.  All got homes, and I kept two.  Another male I had was neutered, and now they all live together in a  R-695 cage. Happily. But these babies were a lot of work.  They got out of almost every cage I could get them in. And ate me out of house and home! But it was worth it to save these lives, but with all of the work, finances, and for the fact that they took up the homes for 9 other rescue rats, who are already here, I would never do it again.  I actually think that no animals should be bred unless they are by a responsible, and registered, pure bred animal breeder. There is such a surplus of animals in our world, we really need no more....
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Offline mayflower

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #133 on: December 29, 2006, 06:04:53 AM »
My post relates to temperament, health and breeding, and why it is so important to not breed a rat with poor health or bad temperament... ever.

There are two cases that I have dealt with.
First there was Beau. I had gotten him because of his exceptional markings as a hope to continue to develop the line in NZ as we have such limited varieties and his was unique. He was around 3 months old when I got him and initially he was boarding with a friend of mine. She knew that I was hoping to be able to breed him, and while I was away on holiday... it happened. I got home to find an email along the lines of 'I hope you don't mind, but I put him in with one of my girls the other night!'. Well by then it was too late. Most disappointing was that I had pointed out that I did not want to breed him before he was a year old. Had it been up to me, he never would have been bred.
His litter turned 1 year old this christmas.
Once he came home from boarding, he always seemed very neurotic, no matter how much time I put in to him. Then Beau developped temperament problems in about march this year. Knowing that one of his brothers had also become badly tempered and was a problem for people and rats, and neutering had been successful, I made the decision to neuter him when he failed to improve in temperament. Unfortunately although the surgery went well, he woke up from the anaesthetic and then went back to sleep again... and never woke up.
His offspring, of which there were 16, all found homes with a lot of effort on my part. I have one of his daughters and she is one of the most neurotic rats I have ever encountered (with the exception of Gecko, who will be mentioned later). She has also developped a tendency to bite first and ask questions later. Several of her siblings were also bitey when young and can still be temperamental.
Beau's either father or brother (we're not sure what to believe from the pet store), Apache, was adopted by someone else in the country. He sired two litters, which personally I didn't really approve of given what we know of the family. And this is why.
Apache showed a tendency towards a nervous disposition. His offspring have also developped this. One of the boys, though less than a year old, looks very elderly and has always been very shy, nervous and uncertain. Apache had also barbered himself in the past. He has since developped a urinary infection. There have been other health problems within the line.
The temperament of rats cannot be outbred, and health issues only get passed on to future generations.

The second case involves a group of interbred rats from a pet store. The thread I posted about Screech (Vicious Rat - help desperately needed) partially documents this family. Screech seemed like a nice little boy. Unfortunately he is genetically aggressive. While he seems fine most of the time, for some reason he is prone to bouts of aggression. Dangerous levels of aggression.
His daughter, only a few months younger than he is, due to repeated breedings, is following in his footsteps and has begun displaying the same type of behaviour. We're not sure anymore that it's genetically hormonal behaviour, as Tardak (chemical castration) combined with Screech being neutered (the behaviour started 4 months post neuter) have failed to improve the situation. I am starting to wonder if it is in fact neurological or so severe that neutering and Tardak simply aren't enough to combat it.
Both Screech and Shadow have a nervous disposition. Gecko, Shadow's sister, and Kahli, a daughter from an earlier litter, also both have nervous tendencies. Well Gecko's is hardly a tendency... it's just who she is. She is simply neurotic and cannot be allowed to free range in some areas because she is impossible to recapture. She runs from her own shadow. Kahli is also a very grabby rat and I have fears she may become worse.
Due to a pet store's indiscriminate breeding, I now have a damaged finger and two severe bite wounds still healing. But worst of all, several rats are unable to lead a proper life because of the damage resulting from poor genetics that were allowed to be continued. They may be able to live reasonably happy lives, but never what they could be.
The above links are to my website. The first one shows the damage to my finger and the second one includes a further indepth case study of the above.

In addition to this, there is my "Drury family".
These rats came to me from a south auckland pet store who had been back-to-back breeding their females and inbreeding them to all hell. Thankfully when I gave them hell about it, they removed the males from the females' tanks, but by the time I discovered it was happening, the damage was done.
I adopted a female and her babies as well as the other litter that had been in her cage. The mother of the second litter was no longer able to nurse her babies and the mother I rescued was fostering them. Her name is Mum.
Mum's litter (her second since she was sexually mature) consisted of four babies. At the age of 10 days, despite my efforts to nurse him myself for two days, including sub-q liquids, one of the little boys died. The other three were fine, but never developped to the sizes that one would expect a rat to grow to. They were all stunted, particularly their poor mother.
In the other litter, which was two weeks older, there were 8 babies. Half of them flourished and did quite well, the other half were always smaller. They were all rehomed (with the exception of two that stayed with me) before I discovered that their line carried epilepsy.
ALL of these rats have a highly nervous disposition. Both Mum and the boy from the older litter, Bud, have suffered resp infections and Mum has aged very prematurely and I struggle to keep weight on her. While both have come a long way, particularly Mum, it is still noticeable that they are nervous rats - particularly Bud. Spot, my little Spottiebot, never flourised no matter what I tried. She sustained a small bite wound behind her ear and scratched it in to a huge sore overnight. All efforts to heal it and prevent her from making it worse failed for nearly a month. She lost weight and I couldn't get it back on her. She became more comfortable around me and was happy to play. She suffered two epileptic fits in front of me, and one evening I found her dead in her cage at the age of only about two-three months.  She had suffered a seizure greater than what her body could cope with. Bud has also suffered at least one epileptic fit. Some idiot wanted to buy him off me to try and breed 'pink eyed minks'. I told him where to go and chose to keep Buddy boy and have him neutered. He's never been a big boy, but has finally started to put on more weight and lives happily with a group of other rats who he adores.
Related to these rats, I know of two rats who developped cataracts at the age of only 9 months. Bud and Spot's mother had a tumour when she birthed them. The... nasty people... at the pet store refused to let me take her as well. She was their 'special rat'. Fools.
A friend also has a relative of Mum and Bud. I think from the timing of it all that he is one of Mum's sons from her first litter. He was rescued from a woman who no longer wanted him because he wouldn't bond with her. He is still far more nervous than Mum or Bud, but has also come along way.
They are all worried little ratties and it breaks my heart to know that it needn't have ever happened.

Please please please do not breed unhealthy, young, or ill tempered rats and please don't bred back-to-back!
I am going to the SPCA tomorrow to find out how we can put a stop to pet stores breeding rats and mice themselves and to make sure that rats at least are sexed properly in stores. New Zealand is reaching a crisis point with our rats. Life expectancy and health and temperament are all deteriorating because of bad breeding. We cannot import any more blood lines, and at this rate, soon we may no longer have rats at all.  :'(

Offline Chaosbadgerling

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #134 on: January 21, 2007, 11:26:16 PM »
I haven't ever, and never plan on breeding my girls.  Even though in Townsville, australia where I am I don't think there are any breeders.
My girls are both petshop rats and while the petshop are careful they still don't keep track of the litters after they are sold at 6 weeks.  I still go in and give them updates on both my girls but they tell me I am a rarity.

This is something however something that one of my overseas friends posted at another forum.  Please, before you even try breeding, read this thread and look at the pictures of what happens when breeding can get out of control and people don't care for their ratties.

Offline Sun of Samsa

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #135 on: March 23, 2007, 11:56:43 PM »
Being very new to the wonderful world of rat ownership, I have no plans to breed them, if ever at all.

Back in late September/early October '06, I was starting to feel my maternal drive kicking in, and desperately needed something to take care of. A classmate of mine was hiding two female rats in her dorm room. On a geology field trip one day, she told me how great rats were as pets, how they would run up and down her arms when she opened their cage. My heart melted, and there was my first mistake. A week later I set out with my now (very, VERY understanding) boyfriend to search the city high and low for a pet store that sold rats.

After a full day of searching, I finally found a store that sold rats. I was under the impression that these rats were being sold as pets; hairless were kept in one tank, small and large both separated and all marketed under the title of "fancy." What should have tipped me off was how crowded these tanks were. Small 20 gallon tanks filled with at least 10-15 rats of various ages. But I was all gooey-eyed, and picked up two females. If the small living quarters didn't tip me off, the fact that one of my females, Darwin, was brought out from "the back" as a special sale because she was dumbo-eared.

My other girl, FitzRoy, was very skittish. My boyfriend noted that her nipples were very swollen, and we panicked because we thought that might mean she was pregnant. We watched her carefully for two weeks, but no change in her behavior or abdomen. (I now think that when I bought her, she recently had a litter taken away from her; I went back to the pet store not long after I bought Darwin and FitzRoy to find a dozen small rats in the cage I had gotten FitzRoy from, with nearly identical markings, and all looking like they were much too young to be weaned.)

Darwin, on the other hand, was getting plump. I admit I was giving these girls way too many treats, so I cut those out almost completely when I noticed Darwin's quick weight-gain. I moved the rats from my dorm room to my Aaron's apartment (that we now share). I told him to make sure not to spoil them while I wasn't there, because I feared for Darwin's health. To make this long-winded story short, about three weeks after I took the girls home, I happened upon an article about pregnant rat behavior. After I processed the info, I ran to the nearest phone to call Aaron. Before I told him what I had found, he said, "Darwin's building a nest." D'oh.

Darwin had approximately 16 babies, at least 4 of which "disappeared." I suppose Darwin ate them, there being not a single trace anywhere. Being inexperienced, I had no place to keep FitzRoy except in that same cage. Darwin didn't mind, and FitzRoy kept her distance. When the babies grew up, FitzRoy gave them a lot of attention and let them sleep with her when Darwin was overcrowded. I was lucky on that part. I admit that having the babies was fun. They were cute, they didn't fuss much when they were picked up, but they were getting EXPENSIVE. Their age inversely correlated with the money in my wallet. I called unnamed pet store and told them the situation. They said something along the lines of, "Congratulations, you have free pets!" Haha. I said I couldn't keep them, and no one I knew would take them. Okay, bring them in at 7 weeks and we'll take them.

So, at 6 weeks (after I had the boys separated from the girls-- by that time a friend had given me a 30-gallon tank to house the boys) I called the pet store. I mentioned the accidental birth-- to which I received verbatim the same "Congratulations, you have free pets!" I stopped. Obviously this wasn't something the pet store was unfamiliar with. I said I have 10 dumbo-eared rats I'm bringing back, as per the earlier phone agreement. The woman on the other end asked if I couldn't keep them, because they were full of rats at the moment. My heart was breaking, because I knew what that meant. I finally was able to convince them to let me take the babies I had raised, cared for, played with, for no compensation whatsoever.

Giving the babies back was a traumatic experience. I watched the store attendant take the box of boys and the box of girls, and dump them both in the same tank that I had bought FitzRoy from. I cried right there in front of the tank, because of everything that implied. These babies I had raised were just profit for them, and they had no concern for their health or wellbeing whatsoever.

I know anyone who is thinking of breeding wouldn't wind up in the situation I was in, which I was wholly unprepared for. Raising kittens is very expensive, and very time-consuming. My cages had to be cleaned at least once per day, which ran up extra costs for bedding. I went through many 5-lb bags of rat food over the course of those 7 weeks. Not to mention the overpowering smell after coming home from a day of classes. I didn't mention my boyfriend had a roommate when he was so nice as to take the rats to his apartment.. his roommate left after that experience, and for other reasons as well, but he asked repeatedly that my boyfriend get rid of the rats. I'm still heartbroken over this whole experience, to think of the 10 boys and girls that may or may not have found good homes. I fear for Darwin, FitzRoy, and the two boys I kept from Darwin's litter, Gollum and (Big) Ben, because of all the health complications I'm sure unmonitored breeding will result in.

Offline a1issa

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #136 on: March 28, 2007, 06:27:03 PM »
I just read this thread for the first time today, and I take offense.  Nowhere in the title, "Personal Stories about Breeding," nor in the first posts, is it communicated that this is just a conglomeration of testimonials about breeding-gone-wrong intended to fear-monger people into not breeding.  It would have been nice for there to have been forewarning that the following stories would be disgusting, traumatic, and generally awful.  Or was the intent of labeling the thread so benignly to lay a trap?  Instead of disuading someone who wants to breed, in this case, you've managed to genuinely offend someone who is interested in vicariously experiencing breeding through the experiences of others... so that I can avoid the potential of creating hideous birth defects and health problems, yet still see how cool it is to watch babies be born and grow into furballs.

Why doesn't someone label this thread for what it is?
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Offline queenbellaloca

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #137 on: April 05, 2007, 06:49:40 PM »
A while back my boyfriend and I decided we wanted baby ratlets. So we put my baby girl Francesca with our manrat Sir Lix-A-Lot.
A month later, I checked in on my sweet girl, and I witnessed what I thought was the miracle of birth.

Was I ever wrong.

As soon as she started popping them out, she started... you know. "Disposing" of them, for lack of wanting to describe it in any other way...

Well, she did that for a little while, and then she just stopped. Entirely. There were still little babies in her. She slowly started to deteriorate. Barely eating, barely moving.. I'd pick her up and she would just cuddle with me. I really thought she was going to be a goner.
We took her to the vet [the next day, she started giving birth at some god awful time in the morning], they gave her some Baytril. She slowly started popping out more babies. She was not expected to live.

Needless to say, there were no live babies. The only positive thing that had occurred through this whole ordeal is that Francesca survived. She is stull with us today, as crazy as ever. But never again will I ever attempt such a foolish thing.  :doh:
Owned by: Snowflake
In loving memory of: Skittles, Ripper, Leonidas, Bender, Francesca, Sophie-Angel, Monkey, Sir Lix-A-Lot, Fat B*st*rd, Isabel, Tohru, Squeak, Radar, Templeton, Harley, Squishington, Harry, Shigure, Kyo, Yuki, Skinner, O'Reilly, Emily & Soot.


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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #138 on: April 27, 2007, 04:20:04 PM »
Why doesn't someone label this thread for what it is?
Heh...its labeled exactly how it should be. These are personal stories and they are about breeding. All we are doing is shareing the stories you dont hear about because they are sad or depressing. Who want's to hear about those? Sadly they must be told to educate.

Now here is my story. I warn you, It is pretty disturbing.  :(

I have owned rats all my life. I had two litters from pet store rats that turned out OK, though im not sure what kind of lives those babies wen't on to live. I thought I knew alot. So when it came time to breed my favorite rat of all time, Jade, I was feeling good. She had a great personality, so did the boy she mated with. I thought it would be alot of fun. Everything was going good until yesterday.

I looked in Jade's nest and saw some blood and a pink thing. I instantly became excited. Then I realized something was horribly wrong. It was just a head, I thought it was deformed and Jade had probably killed it. Later I learned she did not kill it, it was just the result of a horrible birth defect. Jade seemed fine so I didn't think to much of it.

A few hours later she gave birth to two basically clumps of horribly deformed baby rat. She was in labor and there was quite alot of blood. I figured I'd give her a few hours, to give her a chance to give birth to something alive and normal. Nothing happened. Jade began to through herself around the cage in distress. I called my mom and told her we needed to take her to the emergancy vet. I had to wait til my mom got off work.

My mom was waiting in the car when she got home, I wen't to pick up Jade to put her in the box. She was cold, but alive. Instantly I broke down in tears, knowing she was dieing. We where no more than a few miles from the vet when she died. I have never felt so guilty in my life. The ironic part, the day before I read an article on how bad it was to breed pet store rats.

We paid the vet $25 to have her ashes blown across a field behind their building. What I have learned from this horrible experience...Wanting a cute litter of babies just isnt a good enough reason to breed. Breeding a pet store rat is a huge risk due to horribly common overbreeding and inbreeding. Had I known this sooner I never would have bred.

RIP Jade

Offline Aimee

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #139 on: May 07, 2007, 10:43:28 PM »
If you want to breed you should definitely research it and hookup with a knowlegable breeder, and have a good rat vet on stand by just in case. Those two can help you if anything goes wrong.

 I have had around 10 litters myself. My very first litters weren't well informed,but I could either breed or get them from a petstore. The rats I bred were always friendlier than the petstore rats.
 I have never had a doe die in childbirth or anything childbirth related. All my rats have been great mommies. I have had one litter that was skittish and aggressive despite socialization from birth. They were from petstore parents. I have only had 3 babies die, and they were the result of megacolon. My first rat to get a tumor was from a breeder. I have never had a doe attack or kill her own babies or the babies of another rat. None of my does have had any problems making milk. I have had problems with people I sell rats to. One person thought I was a rescue and she was rescueing. Even though I told her I was not. I have also had people tell me they will update me and then I never hear from them again. I have also had great people adopt rats from me.
I consider myself pretty lucky to have no major problems thus far.

Offline Dearpie

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #140 on: May 08, 2007, 12:03:24 PM »
I just read this thread for the first time today, and I take offense.  Nowhere in the title, "Personal Stories about Breeding," nor in the first posts, is it communicated that this is just a conglomeration of testimonials about breeding-gone-wrong intended to fear-monger people into not breeding.  It would have been nice for there to have been forewarning that the following stories would be disgusting, traumatic, and generally awful.  Or was the intent of labeling the thread so benignly to lay a trap?  Instead of disuading someone who wants to breed, in this case, you've managed to genuinely offend someone who is interested in vicariously experiencing breeding through the experiences of others... so that I can avoid the potential of creating hideous birth defects and health problems, yet still see how cool it is to watch babies be born and grow into furballs.

Why doesn't someone label this thread for what it is?

Because as a whole, this community discourages breeding by the general public for whatever reasons, leaving it to the experts.  This thread sums it up.  I guess we expect and encourage members to read ALL areas of the forum.

Also, please note the :( icon in the original post.  That would indicate sad things. 

Offline thewolfplush

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #141 on: July 25, 2007, 07:25:01 PM »
I havn't bred rats myself, but I got a rat from a poorly-bred batch and the outcome was horrible.

I adopted Z-Reaper from a rescue. Being the fact that she was from a rescue, I assumed they had screened for temperament and health. They charged me $35 (unspayed) for her. I did hold her, check her health and she seemed fine. She was curious and inquisitive and very athletic. I figured she wasn't too keen on me because I was a stranger, and socialization would take care of that.

Introductions went smoothly. Everything was fine. She got along wonderfully with my black dumbo, Vandal, and my Himi, Chaos. But she was always a bit 'off' - stared into space, was very quiet, and bit. A lot. It took a good 2 weeks to make sure they were fully introduced. I spent a lot of time with her during those weeks, and since I was working at a place that let me bring pets, she had plenty of socialization. I took her to a vet to make sure there was nothing medical about her behavior, and she was given a clean bill of health.

But the biting still continued. I attributed it to a 'human' thing and developed a hand movement that would gently push her away and keep my fingers out of reach. I can't count the amount of times she's broken skin and drawn blood. She wasn't afraid of me, she was never put in a terrifying situation in my care. She'll take food from my open palm and crawl up to my shoulder, and let me pick her up out of the cage. But she still, randomly, bit. and bit hard.

Then one day I returned home to find my sweet Chaos ripped to shreds, Vandal hiding on the upmost level of their cage, terrified, and Z-Reaper covered in blood. This wasn't a normal 'things got out of hand' fight. The way Chaos looked is something I will never go into detail here because it was horrifying. I had to scrub the cage clean after. I suppose that would give an idea to the extent of the damage caused.

I immediately returned her to her quarentine cage and continue to work with her on her biting and socialization. I can't be attached to her or even LIKE her - I adored her at first, but now I can only resent her. Chaos was nothing but good to her - she even let her have the first pick of the fresh food, best spot on the hammock. For a good 3 months they got along wonderfully. I figured it was because Z-Reaper was the 'baby' that Chaos doted on her. Chaos was always the sweetest girl, very nice to everyone - humans, rats, and other animals. I feel horrible for feeling that way about an animal, but I can't help it. She still bites compulsively. If anything, without a rat companion, she's gotten worse.

I'm trying to rehome her, but I don't know if I can, in good concience, rehome a biter and a killer. I know it wasn't Vandal because Vandal was not covered in blood and has since taken exceptionally well to her new sister, Kami, who is helping her get over the shock of Chaos' death. Vandal, the typical piggie rat, would barely eat her favorite food for about a week after Chaos died. She didn't play. She didn't run on the wheel. I'd give her fluffystuff and bedding and she didn't nest with it like she used to. I'd take her out and she'd just sit on my shoulder instead of explore like she usually did. I'd peek in on them at night and Vandal would be at the spot of the cage Chaos died, Kami grooming her gently. And no matter what I did, nothing could help Vandal for that whole week. It broke my heart even more to see Vandal like that.

I can only assume Z-Reaper is from an unwanted pregnancy. I would like to send her back to the adoption agency, but I am so angry with them (perhaps unfairly, I admit) that I'm afraid to contact them for fear of losing my temper. Moreso, I don't know if they'll adopt Z-Reaper out to some unsuspecting person and I cannot live with myself if someone else's rat ends up like Chaos. At the same time, I know it's unfair for Z-Reaper to be living in a cage by herself, but I'm terrified to get her a cagemate. So I just spend a lot of time with her, even though she bites me and I resent her so much. I try not to show it, but I think she can sense it. I really have to talk myself into a happy tone of voice and giving affection before I even look at her.

We're at a standstill here and I honestly do not know what to do.

I know this isn't a breeding story - but it does prove what happens beyond 'I had too many babies and I couldn't find homes for them all!'. The rats people breed end up in someone else's home, with someone else's rats, with their kids, their families. Please, please, please be responsible when you breed rats, if you do at all. I just thought I'd give a good home to a rat who needed it and instead, I lost one of my precious girls. Please don't let another rat end up like Chaos. Don't let another rat end up like Vandal, who misses her sister dearly. Whatever you do, please be responsible! I cannot find the words to stress this enough.

Offline Trisnic

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #142 on: August 16, 2007, 07:46:54 PM »
Amazingly I have never adopted a pregnant pet store rat despite adopting 8 girls in the past from pet stores.

However my sister did, she adopted a pair of girl rats of a pet store and one ended up having a litter of two.  The first baby died within days and the second one died within a week.  I remember going over there after school one day to make her feel better.

I did breed my rats once.  It was around 7 years ago and my hairless girl Peaches had reached 8 months old.  A picture of Peaches is still at  Peaches was a wonderful pet and I decided to breed her with one of my nice boy rats, Smokey.  Smokey was a blue rex.  The problem was that even though both rats had great temperments I had no idea of the background.  Another problem was that my rats had myco and even though I had tried to treat it it was still around.  At the time (7-10 years ago when I participated) everyone on the rat lists and rat forums were saying that most rats came with myco and there wasn't much you could do about it.

Anyway so Peaches had her litter and I gave her a nesting box.  I woke up in the middle of the night to chirping.  I went to check it out and saw that Peaches had some babies with her.  She was a friendly rat and allowed me to check them right away.  Well, she gave birth to 11 but 6 of them were stillborn.  I remember pulling out dead baby after dead baby out of the nest and feeling horrible about it.  That is the one time I wished that I knew someone with a snake or lizard who ate baby rats as I ended up flushing the stillborn babies down the toilet.  I felt bad that these babies grew and then just died.  Well the 5 babies started growing up and getting hair.  I had three beige hooded rex girls and two standard black hooded boys.  Then, for seemingly no reason, two more of the babies died.

The remaining two girls and boy grew up and I had quite a bit of fun with them.  I ended up asking if anyone wanted to adopt any of them and one person adopted the boy.  I know that she gave him an awesome life (she is the lady from the lost Golden Boy story and she even mentions the little boy in her story).  I had grown quite attached to him.

I kept both girls and named them Fuzz (for Peaches Fuzz) and Toffee.

Peaches died from a small tumor that must have been cancerous as it did not grow large before she died.  She was around two years old.
Fuzz was a wonderful pet but she died at only one and a half years old.  She just wasted away and I have no idea why.
Toffee died a few months later from something similar.
Smokey died from myco.  He lived until he was two.

At my peak I had 12 rats.  I haven't owned rats now for around five years because losing them one by one was so devistating.  I am just getting back into rat ownership.

In a way I would like to breed again but if I did I would make sure to get pedigreed rats from good stock.  Genetics are very interesting to me and I love to research things like history etc.  At the same time homes are hard to find and anyone willing to adopt my babies could get them from another breeder around here or they could rescue them.  Plus if any of my babies went to a bad home where they were abused I would feel so guilty for putting them there.  I can't see myself doing this for a long, long time to come.

Offline spazrats

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #143 on: August 31, 2007, 03:34:06 AM »
My ups and downs of rat breeding  :BlueDumboSmileTongue:

Sandra Beasley and the SPAZ Rats

Offline hidechan

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #144 on: November 08, 2007, 06:46:46 PM »
I will never breed rats, there are too many unhomed ones out there in the world, but accidents happen, and my life mission is to care for them when they do.

I adopted my latest girl already pregnant.  I already had 3 girls, and intended to adopt 2 more girls.  I had one girl pass away a few months ago, and 1 of the remaining 3 was getting on in years, so I wanted more energetic company for my two 1 year females, and mothering little ones has kept my oldest girl on her toes and young at heart.

Well, when I was told (well in advance, I'd like to say!), by the rescue, that one of the girls I promised to adopt was definitely pregnant, and the other may be, it wasn't even a thought for me to cancel the adoption.  The rescue only had me adopt the definitely pregnant female, which I thought was very responsible of them, and they had several other foster homes for extras to go to.

She came from a place where she had been kept with her brothers (25+ rats), and she became pregnant at barely 3 months old.  I felt so badly for the poor little girl, being made a momma so young.

I researched like mad how to care for a pregnant mom rat and the subsequent little ones so I would be prepared for the best and the worst.

So, I couldn't have been more excited!  I waited on pins and needles for Ashes to arrive.  I was hoping that she wouldn't pop before she got to her forever home.  My husband was less enthused.  It brought me down a peg to think of him not being as excited as I was, and I thought it might sour him against Ashes (he loves rats in general, I just wanted his interaction with Ashes to be as positive as our others had been).  But, I kept on!  I built a nursery cage, with a lot of swearing ^^; and when she finally arrived and I held her in my hands, tummy all wiggly with babies, it was love at first sight.  My husband too fell for her sweet face, and I knew then there would be no problem.

Barely 24 hours after she arrived, she gave birth.  I watched all but one born, and it was fascinating.  After 1 hour, our baby Ashes had 11 squirmy pink things to care for herself.

She seemed to be a wonderful mother, cleaning and nursing with no qualms.  All the babies had thick, full milk bands, and everyone seemed very comfy and happy.  My biggest fear was that some would not survive.  I was already so attached to the little beans, I just wouldn't be able to stand it.

I was already prepared to keep all the babies, regardless of gender.  I purchased a total of 3 proper cages of different sizes (some to connect together, some good on their own) on top of the large one we already had (for our 3 original girls, which could house 2 more eventually), and the nursery cage I planned to turn into a 2 level monstrous cage once everyone was big enough and weaned.  My husband was more inclined to have some adopted off (from 3 to 15 rats in one day is a little overwhelming, I concede).

Ashes developed into a very protective mother.  I received my first nip when I went in to add some food to her bowl, and I knew that it would be more of a chore to handle the little bubs.  After consulting with the rescue she came from (she was previously very sweet, and several of her sisters turned into nippy moms, so I knew it was just hormones and fear (both of which can be worked through)), we developed a great tag-team system (my husband would don welding gloves and play defense, and I would pick up and cuddle the bubs) and handled the babies every day.

To my absolute delight, they all survived their first week, and from then on I feared not at all for their survival.  They were all growing at about the same rate and showed no signs of illness or distress that might concern me.

Almost right away I advertised the bubs for adoption on various websites and lists, getting moderate success in contact, but most of the potential homes fell through and only 2 little girls out of the 6 are to be adopted out.

I researched deeply how to determine sexes, and established the genders of the babies as soon as they showed, so that when they are weaned, I'll be able to split the genders and prevent any of the girls becoming pregnant accidentally.  I do not want to create a situation similar to where Ashes came from.  They are all wonderful miracles and I love them dearly, but it is up to us who know to be as responsible as we aught.

The babies are almost 3 weeks old now, all have fur that should, and two have none but are beautifully colored.  My husband has already fallen in total love with our two black berk boy babies, and I'm head-over-heals for our two hairless girlies.  All together we will be keeping 9 out of the 11 babies born (6 girls, 5 boys), and 2 of our hooded girls will be going to a wonderful home when they are old enough.
Ashes is less worried when we take the babies out to play with, and it has been 4 days since she last nipped the welding gloves.  We're not quite ready to try handling her without protection, but I don't think she is a naturally nippy girl and will rediscover her wonderful personality in time.

We already intend, 3 years from now, to adopt another accidentally pregnant female, if possible, and keep all the babies born.  Though, it is not something I would recommend to anyone, unless they are prepared to keep every single one of the babies that are born as well.  It's impossible to depend on having any adopted out, even if people express interest initially.

My opinion is that it is not morally responsible for anyone to intentionally breed rats currently, reputable breeder or not.  There are so many accidentals and homeless rats out there already who need love and homes, every new rat just keeps pushing the others down the line.  I can understand breeding lines, genetically speaking, but drastically reducing the amount of litters reputable breeders produce only makes sense.

So my story has a happy ending, and I only wish more could be; some of the stories posted here have been truly horrific.
The moral really is to be responsible and careful.  There isn't much more one can do.
Proud Momma of Flower, Ashes, Lilly, Silver, Coal, Char, Cinder, Silk, Chips, Dip, and Cheese.

Offline Peep

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #145 on: December 12, 2007, 06:05:34 PM »
I have a happy story :) (well it hasa  sad part :( )

I have a cottage which constists of 24 small cabins scattered along about 120 acres of land. We have staff members because we run it a little bit like a resort, and the staff stay in the "staff house" which is a run down old place with mice and chipmunks and everything else you can think of getting in and out as they please. One of the staff members brought her rats-Princess and Butch. They had babies. I came up to my cottage (and mine is the one right next to the staff house. My dad has a good boat with waterskiis and stuff so they staff usually hang out with us) I got to know one of them pretty well and one time I came to her room and I saw the rat. I'm a sucker for animals so I was like AWWW. SO CUTEE.
then I saw the babies (her bf took butch away) I wanted one soo badly. I played with them from everyday for two weeks. She put up a sign and for everyone to see. Every one got adopted, except two. One was the runt of the litter, who escaped and got caught in a mouse trap (very gruesome, he was too big for the trap, I won't go into details :'( )  and the other one who died an hour after birth when one of the other guys dropped her/him. :'(
But so far, everyone is healthy and well. :)

Offline RWS

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #146 on: December 14, 2007, 05:54:21 PM »
I thought I'd post about the stress of breeding.

My first litter was from a rescue girl who I knew would be pregnant. I had her for 2 weeks before she gave birth to 9 lovely babies. Being a young mum of 9 weeks herself, she was not the best mum in the world (though fed them etc) and bit me if she got the chance. Finding homes for the bubs were easy - they were well socialised and there is always a demand in my area. However, they turned out to be a bit pratty temperament wise - not terribly bad, but not the best pets ever either. So some guilt there.

My second litter was well planned, best parents I could get, etc etc. The litter is so far a really big sucess. However, I find it hard not to be a bit paranoid - watching mum and dad for any signs of illness, dreading that something will go wrong etc, etc. Because that is one of the problems. You never really know if all your bubs will be healthy despite your best efforts.

The other problem is dealing with all the enquiries from people wanting babies from you. Fortunately a large number of unsuitable people won't wait for a litter as they want a rat 'now' and when you have a litter there is already a list. But trying to figure out if some stranger is going to treat your babies well, love them and care for them, keep in touch and not breed from them without asking - it's sooo hard. It really can keep you up at night, wondering if you've made the right decision.


Offline MsMagpie

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #147 on: March 16, 2008, 01:28:11 AM »
I guess it's time to share my story too.

I got a call from work that a rat had delivered babies in the store, and they wondered if I wanted to take them home. Of course I said yes, I was really in no way prepared to care for a mom and babies, but nothing I could do would be worse than the alternative.

I brought home mom, who thankfully was friendly and sweet, and four little babies. I gave myself a bit of a crash course in their care and we were off. Sometime during the first week one of the male babies disapeared. I panicked and turned the whole room upside down. We never did find him so I could only assume mamma ate him. Then I panicked again and ran to the store to get some formula and feeding stuff in case I ended up having to try and hand raise the rest.

Also during that first week I was informed that the only reason anyone noticed the babies was that mamma was being humped by her cagemate (they are supposed to be seperated by sex). It turns out that on my first run I was being dealt back to back pregnancies! It soon became very obvious that she was indeed pregnant again.

I fretted over the calander trying to decided when to try and wean the first litter, when mama would be due again, and always, what am I going to do with all the babies? Is mom going to have a safe delivery? What if a pup gets stuck? What if a million other complications that are more common with pregnancies so close together?

The first litter was weaned successfully and I started posting adoption ads for them. Soon mamma had her second litter of twelve. By the time I found them in the morning several were already dead, but I could see at least two were still alive. I started giving mamma some formula and hoping for the best.

In the end all twelve died and I had to pry them out from under mamma a day later because she simply did not want to give them up. On the one hand I was relieved to not have to find homes for twelve more babies, but on the other hand I couldn't help feeling like I'd done something wrong and that I was horrible for it.

Mamma is now living happily in a home where she will never have to bear rittens again, the surviving boy found a great home and the two surviving girl babies stayed here with us.
Adopt a rat today!

Offline Sola

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #148 on: May 01, 2008, 07:06:29 AM »
I work in a petshop and had a surprise litter, the mum gave birth to 3 babies and was well in herself.

It seemed to be going very well, except she had a tiny little runt, one middle sized and one huge baby. All survived to 3/4 weeks old, then they started to get resporitory problems and I went on holiday. When I came back they said they found one dead then mum killed the other two. Mum was completely healthy and happy with other rats and people, she had no resp problems like most rats in petshops have so I have no idea why this happened. :( They were lovely little babies.

Again I know of someone who took in a big agouti rescue, all the rats rescued were agouti and most were pregnant, one of the mums suddenly turned on her 3/4 week old litter, I think killing one before they had to be removed. There was no reason for her to do so.

Offline s.bates77

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #149 on: June 03, 2008, 11:21:09 AM »
 ok well i am on here to she that after reading all of your post i don't know what i am going to do we just got into rats about 3 to 4 months ago an now we have a pergnat rat has we speek an if i would have known all of this i would have not done so an now i just want to know what to look for signs of trouble she is so big an i don't want to lose her an we r keeping all of them got cages for all we love them an i just want to keep them healthy an let them grow to be lovely parts of are family please if anyone is willing to talk me through this an i will take good with bad advise i know we did worng now just help me to know how an what to do she should be so close to brithing now i don't know thank you for giving me a chance to say sorry an i hope it all works out ty