Author Topic: "Maternity" Cage..  (Read 947 times)

Offline Shayna09

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 85
"Maternity" Cage..
« on: May 29, 2011, 07:22:31 PM »
Hey everyone. I'm sure not many of you have read my introduction, since I'm new here, so I'm going to recap.

I recently (around two weeks ago) rescued a six week old dumbo black saddle female (Minnie Mouse) and a solid tan fancy female (Lilly) from absolutely DEPLORABLE conditions. Well, it has recently come to my attention that not only is Lilly pregnant (I had suspicions when I rescued her, I wasn't sure but I have since been proven right) but my itty bitty baby Minnie Mouse is also expecting. I'm very angry about that, as she is so young and small, I am very nervous about her labor and will have my vet on speed dial.

I have never had any experience breeding any sort of animal (except for accidental chinchilla babies when I was thirteen) and I had no plans to take it up, so this is the best I could come up with on such short notice for a "maternity tank". I was just wondering a) everyone who has experience in rat breeding (or accidents), is the cage a suitable nursery? b) can the two girls live together while raising their babies? Lilly is due to pop any day now, but Minnie we just realized was expecting last night, so I would say she has at least another week or so to go.

They are getting along perfectly fine, always snuggling together and grooming each other but I am still worried that it might not work.

Suggestions, advise, and ideas very welcome.



^^ This is the best I could come up with for a tank, I BELIEVE it's around 50 gallons but as I got it for my bearded dragon years ago it wasn't rated by gallon.



^^ This is the felt nest the girls have made - they master crafted a tunnel through the felt to lead into the Cheerios box and that is where they spend most of their time now, Lilly especially.



^^ These are the chubby monkies you will find if you lift the Cheerios box up.

Offline applecavy

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 5150
  • Think adoption first! :3
Re: "Maternity" Cage..
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2011, 07:42:53 PM »
You really do want to separate the mothers, they may end up quarreling over babies, and accidentally hurt or kill them.

Offline Shayna09

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 85
Re: "Maternity" Cage..
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2011, 07:47:42 PM »
Alright, I will get on that. Thank you for your advice. I have heard a fair amount of conflicting information on the topic, lots of people who have said multiple mothers is better than just one because they can share feeding time, etc. and a few people who have said it never works.

I will have to get my butt on craigslist and find a cheap temp. cage.

Offline applecavy

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 5150
  • Think adoption first! :3
Re: "Maternity" Cage..
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2011, 08:45:33 PM »
You could always make a bin cage!

http://www.hamstercentral.com/wiki/How_to_make_a_custom_bin_cage!
(copy and paste the whole link)

Mothers really don't need to share feeding, they are very capable of caring for large litters! Biggest surviving I've seen is 14.

Offline Shayna09

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 85
Re: "Maternity" Cage..
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2011, 09:39:48 PM »
I could... but I won't.  :P I just put my hospital cage back into commission. It's not too big but it does the trick. =) If she ends up having more than 5 or 6 babies I'll probably end up going the bin cage way, unless I find a goooood deal online.

Offline BostonRatLady

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 1981
Re: "Maternity" Cage..
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2011, 10:31:47 PM »
I apologize if this has already been covered some place else, but is your black female a HW blaze? If so, make sure to monitor her babies extra closely for MC.

Pet's name: Gerald

My current rats: George, Pumpkin, Alfie, Valentino, Franky, Buddy, Olivia, and Dash

Offline Shayna09

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 85
Re: "Maternity" Cage..
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2011, 10:58:53 PM »
Hey Boston... I have no idea what any of that means, wanna fill me in? I'm not a breeder nor do I know anything about genetics, basically all I know is she is a black saddle dumbo eared female.

Offline applecavy

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 5150
  • Think adoption first! :3
Re: "Maternity" Cage..
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2011, 11:07:24 PM »
HW= High White
it's a marking that is closely connected with MC
MC= megacolon
an always fatal genetic disorder that messes up rats digestive tracks and causes constipation.

Rats with blazes on their heads are almost always High White marked, so their offspring and siblings have a higher chance of passing on megacolon.
Little baby rats with megacolon pass away from it either around 4 weeks of age (weaning time, I guess) or it can be late onset, where it occurs between 4 and like 6 months.

Is that helpful?

Offline BostonRatLady

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 1981
Re: "Maternity" Cage..
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2011, 11:34:05 PM »
@OP: Sorry! I was writing in a hurry!  :)
@Applecavy: Thank you!

Pet's name: Gerald

My current rats: George, Pumpkin, Alfie, Valentino, Franky, Buddy, Olivia, and Dash

Offline Shayna09

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 85
Re: "Maternity" Cage..
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2011, 11:37:02 PM »
Yes, that does help - I do know what megacolon is, I just didn't connect it with your abbreviated "MC". I have no idea what a high white marking is though, you could write an entire paragraph on it and I would still be clueless. I have quite a few photos of Minnie from different angles, would you like me to post them so you can decide if she is HW?

Offline applecavy

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 5150
  • Think adoption first! :3
Re: "Maternity" Cage..
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2011, 11:59:37 PM »
Surely, post away. I won't pretend to be an expert, but I will gladly take a look.

Offline Wheeljack

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 4614
Re: "Maternity" Cage..
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2011, 12:11:01 AM »
What country are you in?  I've never heard anyone call a rat 'saddled' before but your rat looks blazed banded and if you are in North America you can be nearly certain she is carrying high-white.  Not all high-white animals will develop megacolon, but it is something to look for as the babies develop.

Once they get past the prime age for early-onset MC, you'll need to let whomever adopts her babies know about the lifelong risk of late-onset MC and what to watch for.

Offline Shayna09

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 85
Re: "Maternity" Cage..
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2011, 12:14:02 AM »
Surely, post away. I won't pretend to be an expert, but I will gladly take a look.

That's fair enough. :)







@ Wheeljack: I'm in North America.. British Columbia to be exact. Everyone here says saddle, hooded, dumbo, etc. I will warn all of the adopters.

Offline Wheeljack

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 4614
Re: "Maternity" Cage..
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2011, 12:22:41 AM »
She's adorable!  That picture of her hanging on the branch is too cute  :heart:

From those pictures she could be an undermarked banded or an overmarked berkshire--hard to say without actually knowing the genetics of her parents.  I wouldn't panic about MC, but just keep an eye out for it in the babies and let the adopters know it's a possibility.  Late-onset is nowhere near as common as early-onset, so no reason to stress out too much about it.  Just being aware of what to watch for is all you need to let the adopters know.

She's really tiny though, poor little thing being pregnant when she's so young herself.  I'll keep my fingers crossed both girls have easy deliveries with small litters.

Offline Shayna09

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 85
Re: "Maternity" Cage..
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2011, 12:34:35 AM »
Thanks Wheeljack, that was pretty helpful. Hopefully everything turns out okay with her and the babies. I know what to watch for when it comes to MC and I will be sure to let everyone else know, hopefully no one shows any signs of it though.

I don't know anything about her background, she was a rescue. I am so mad at the woman who I got them from. First of all, her rats were in "sexed cages". I had a sneaking suspicion that Lilly was preggo though, and I was right. However, I didn't even think about it with Minnie, she was so little all I wanted to do was get her out of there. They were in a 15 gallon aquarium with nothing but food and water. I'm sure that Minnie got pregnant by one of her brothers or her dad, that seems to be the only thing that makes sense. But she is adorable, you're right about that! ;D We called her Minnie Mouse (The Rat) for a reason... compared to the rest of our girls she looks like an itty bitty mousie!!

I appreciate you keeping your fingers crossed for us! I am v. v. nervous about Minnie having to go through labor. She is just so tiny.