Author Topic: Personal stories about breeding  (Read 134965 times)

Offline Chaosbadgerling

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #150 on: June 09, 2008, 04:02:53 AM »
Breath honey.

It would be best for you to post out independantly of this thread.

While there are some bad stories out there, there are also some good ones.  What's done is done, we just hope you don't do it again.

Offline redgingerkisses

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #151 on: July 24, 2008, 11:36:43 AM »
Breeding doesnt always have to end in tragedy. As long as you get your breeders from and non-commercial breeder you should be good. If possible asks around in your group of friends to see if anyone knows a breeder. I adopted mine from a friend who breeds and they are wonderful. I had one die at the young age of 2 years but the rest lived until 3 or 4 or are still living! My baby Roxy is going on 5. She is very slow and blind but still sweet and healthy. Roxy was one of my first litters. I have a thing for adopting the pregnant ones from my friend and my uncle (also a breeder). Once the babies were weaned I took them back to the pet shop my friend works with and they were all adopted on the same day! There were 7 and all went to what I hope are great homes. The one went to a 'regular' and she took kyle (breeder friend) that came in last week and her rat is still going strong at 4 years old!

Offline cheerio

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #152 on: July 28, 2008, 02:09:00 PM »
Yay! You sent babies to a pet shop. Probably not the best thing to post, as one thing we tend to discourage here is due to most pet shops not being where ratties belong in the first place. Well planned litters belong with waiting lists and open arms awaiting their arrival. Mistakes happen, good homes can be found, and pet shops should not be considered an alternative. This goes to show that there are those that still continue to breed without a care in the world for their "pet", the pups, or their customer. I received a baby from a very poor "breeder" who worked through a pet shop. He had to be brought back immediately. He had severe respiratory problems, and I'm sure passed them on to all in the immediate area (as the small animals are all kept together, in small, useless tanks). This was such a sad experience, and all because they just "threw together" a male and female to see if they could get babies and make money. Breeding should be done with papered animals with a lineage, so as to show respiratory, and other illness patterns, as well as socialized behaviors. Without it, the babies born can add to those pets needing homes and requiring extra care due to illness and other issues. Breeding rats shouldn't be done because they're cute, or because everyone wants a baby. It should be done to promote the health and standard and socialization of a particular breed. Kudos to those who do this and follow up with their contracts etc, to those who turn to pet stores to "adopt out", I'm sure that you'd get a fast "adoption" line at your local reptile store... just think twice about the homes they may or not be provided and that you are responsible for that. There are hundreds of rescues available, and if you can rescue more, open your heart to them, don't breed unless you plan to promote the standards, not just a male and female you got from a friend or family who can breed and you know that they're just good rats....
« Last Edit: July 28, 2008, 02:13:05 PM by cheerio »

Offline redgingerkisses

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #153 on: July 28, 2008, 02:44:09 PM »
The pet store my friend works with is a very small shop. They depend on breeders for their animals. Well they always have some animals, stray kittens, fish and the like but with puppies, ratties and many other things, they keep a list of people looking to adopt and when there is a litter availible they call to tell them they are ready. The ratties go faster at this store than anything else, lol. My friend Kyle could adopt them out on his own but he helped the store open and they advertise and all that good stuff so he knows his ratties and mice will find good homes faster than doing it on his own.

Offline Jayen

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #154 on: August 11, 2008, 05:19:57 AM »
The first time that I bred was in november last year with my first Rat, Psi (who unfortunately succumbed to heat stroke in february his year while I was moving house). She was the largest, most friendly rat I had ever seen - she was even bigger than my male who was the largest male I had seen.
Psi had a whopping 15 babies in her first litter, but lost one in the first week. Psi's second litter was an even greater surprise with 19 baby rats, and my other female had her first litter of 11 at the same time.
I have since had 8 other litters born to my other younger girls, all successful and ranging from 11 babies to 15 babies, however I had one girl who got a kidney infection and I treated her with antibiotics whilke she was pregnant which resulted in her giving birth prematurely. I hand fed the 7 babies that she had for three days before they all died due to my own failure to check them in time on the third night.
She is now pregnant again, and although her kidney infection has returned, my vet has assured me that it should be alright not to treat her until until next week when she gives birth as it would be better for the babies to treat her while they are feeding.
I now breed twice a month for three local pet shops so I always have buyers for my babies, and every now and then I will keep one baby whose colouring I think is unusual or different from what I consider normal.
The only problem my rats have is that they get colds in any weather below 22 degree's. I've had them checked out and treated them with antibiotics and everything to no avail. They don't have myco or rat flu or any other respiritory illness, they just sneeze constantly every time the temperature gets below 22, but once they are put into a room that is over 22 degrees in temperature they stop sneezing altogether. Even my pet shops can't explain it when they suddenly stop sneezing after a couple of days in the warmth. It only starts once they hit 4 weeks and get weaned.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2008, 05:23:04 AM by Jayen »
|The Girls: Thowra, Serenity, Speck, Gingi, Trixie, Izzie, Keelie| |The Boys: Hughie, Lucky, Toy Boy| |Babies: 11 topaz/argente mm hooded|

Offline Fiishies

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #155 on: September 09, 2008, 12:06:27 AM »
Ok here goes.
I have had rats for years and they have always been boys, since girls are harder to come by.  So we decided to give girls a try.  We adopted Honey and Baby and they loved each other forever etc.  Honey passed a couple of months ago and it broke my heart.  In the meantime we found a boy in the mall who was full grown and caged in a teeny 5 gallon aquarium!  So we saved him, adopted him a friend, and kept those two together.  Baby is almost two years old at this point.  I have three books that i bought that all say that rats go barren at 18 months of age, and of course i believed them.  Baby and the boys were together for almost 6 months and getting along great with no sign of pink eepers at all, so i thought i was in the clear.  Until one day when SURPRISE!  There was a single baby inside one of the tubes, milk belly and all.  There was no sign of any other babies and mom was curious and bright as always, no distress at all.  I was floored.  She allowed me to handle the baby as i moved them into a nursery cage and has never given me a problem with holding it or her.  She was a great mother and first class baby butt licker, and the baby is doing wonderfully at 11 days presently.  He looks just like his daddy and we have dubbed him Squishy.  Even though things turned out, i was still horrified that my fragile aging baby girl had to go through this.  So let this be a lesson...don't believe everything you read!  There are so many things that could have gone awry with this situation because i believed these seemingly credible books that obviously held false information.  I am just happy that there was one single baby and that i still have my little momma rat.

Learn from my mistake!! :eek:

Offline Nekojin

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #156 on: September 14, 2008, 06:40:36 AM »
Well, this is more of a positive story than a negative one. I'm expecting to get yelled at for the decisions that me, my partner, and my flatmate made during our rat's pregnancy, but we've had spectacular luck and I'm happy with the result.

We had three rats before we bred - Tea and Coffee, six-month females from Jansens, and Sugar, a three-month from a small pet shop that bred their own rats, and owned their own pet rats at home. After we decided to breed, we arranged with the pet shop to borrow a male rat (Sugar's uncle, as it turned out) and set up a breeding cage with Tea and Amsterdam in it.  I'd looked up as much info as possible online, and I'd also talked to the two owners of the shop about it - they assured me that their rats were healthy.

The servicing went well - we bred Tea as she was a little more sociable - and Tea gave birth on the morning of her 24th day after intro with her boyfriend to ten healthy pups. Coffee and Sugar were kept away from the boy and neither were knocked up. Seven girls, three boys. We kept three girls (Squiggle, Fog, Princess) and gave the rest on to the pet shop to find homes, as per the lending agreement. They were absolutely NOT sold as feeders, and I believe they were mostly sold in pairs.

Out of the three rats we kept, we have two remaining. Sugar unfortunately passed away to unexplained causes (No distress, no squeaks, just there one second and gone the next) but Fog and Princess are the healthiest and friendliest of our five rats. They love cuddles, and while Princess is on the small side, she has displayed no health issues in the nine months we've had her. Fog is on the large side, but again, no problems.

I am aware that we were incredibly lucky to get through what was a moderately well-prepared breeding with no serious accidents - but I do believe that we did well by our girls, and by our temporary boy. We looked on as many sites as we could find, asked the shop owners for help, and (with the aforementioned dollop of luck) I think that also contributed to our positive outcome.

Offline Schrute

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #157 on: September 14, 2008, 10:21:23 AM »
So, you bred pet store rats, and then sold them it a pet store. That sounds like responsible breeding to me!  :doh:

Offline Fiishies

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #158 on: September 14, 2008, 01:20:00 PM »
I don't think it was quite that bad.  Can we not bash everyone who comes through here with a happy ending?

My little Squishy is 19 days old today and he is doing great.  He's nibbling my earring from my shoulder right now =].  However, i do not plan to endorse breeding or try again based on my experience.  So we all have something to learn.  THE END!
« Last Edit: September 14, 2008, 01:26:00 PM by Fiishies »

Offline Schrute

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #159 on: September 14, 2008, 05:30:21 PM »
No bashing, only sharing of opinion. Just like you're supposed to do on a public forum.  ;)

Offline Nekojin

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #160 on: September 14, 2008, 08:20:49 PM »
Gee, I'm sorry for trusting people.
The impression I got from the shop we gave to (Gave, we made no money) was that they were effectively breeders themselves who liked to get outside blood for their rats so as to prevent excessive inbreeding. They also ran a small vet clinic, and Tea was checked out before we bred her. I don't believe that any of my babies went to awful people, because the owners of the shop owned pet rats themselves, looked after our rats when we moved house, and only let us get Sugar because she wouldn't be alone. I think they had enough people sense to screen people a little.

I understand that pet shop rats in general may be bad to breed, but (As Tea shows - she is over a year and a half old and still no problems whatsoever) they aren't all the mangy fleabags that everyone seems to make out. Tea, as far as I can tell from two books, four websites, and my own common sense, does not have genetic predisposition to disease, myco, or ongoing problems. She may have predisposition to tumours, but no one (Not even breeders) can reliably tell that until they get them - which is after breeding age. Amsterdam, the dad, was also prime breeding age, and visibly healthy. I do not believe they would have let us continue if we had faulty rats. Especially as they also kept one of the girls we gave them, and homes had been lined up for most of the litter before they even arrived.

In general, pet shop rats may be lower quality than bred rats, yes. But bred rats can often be bred by irresponsible breeders (Just as well as pet rats!) aiming for a perfect "look" and forgetting about the health problems that might come with it. (Examples in dogs are daxies have back issues, labradors are prone to joint problems, persian cats are prone to respiratory issues, and oriental cats are prone to ear problems.) I'm sure these people were respectable breeders with pedigreed animals.

The point I want to make is that not all pet shop rats are the scum of the earth when it comes to genetics. Not all bred rats (Most, yes, but not necessarily all) are the pinnacle of success. There are pet rats at or near breeder quality out there. I am not telling everyone to go buy some feeders and breed them, but if you have a few decent pet rats and you've done all your homework, and you're ready to look after anything that misfires, then I don't see what the problem is.

I am not trying to argue that we didn't have a better chance of success with breeder rats - it would have been more certainly a positive outcome, yes. But I am trying to get people to see that not all pet shop rats are created equal, and while two feeder rats bred together are likely to give a bad result, and two bred rats are likely to give a good result, it's more of a gray area with non-feeder pet shop rats. It can go either way.

We got lucky, yes. But I do not regret trying, and I do not regret getting Princess and Fog out of it. I don't intend on breeding again in a hurry, but I don't believe that I should be flamed quite so much for something that turned out well. Surely, on a rat-happy board, more people would like to see successful litters, regardless of stereotyping the parents?

Offline Schrute

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #161 on: September 15, 2008, 06:39:16 PM »
In general, pet shop rats may be lower quality than bred rats, yes.

What does that even mean? The point is, why even breed all of these rats to be sold in pet stores whenever there are so many homeless rats out there that nobody even knows about???

As far as your argument... why would someone want to get outside their bloodlines and possibly taint bloodlines that they know to be good? You're not going to know if these rats are predisposed to tumors because, as you said, they won't have them until their beyond breeding age. It's just really bad practice to breed rats unless you absolutely know their genetics 1000%.

As far as screening at a pet store... pet stores do not require applications, or do home checks. I never believe what people have to say about "pet store screening" because all you have to do is answer a few questions correctly, and voila! It's really easy to do.

What you'd said about purebred dogs and cats having health problems... that is true. Which, again, is why it is not a good idea to breed. What don't people understand about NOT bringing more animals in to this world when our shelters are filled to the brim?

I personally am not thrilled to see any litters... successful or not. Let me note that it's totally different when someone rescues a pregnant rattie... then I'll be more than happy to look at their pictures and comment on their litters. I would agree that I am not the only one that is not happy to come on here and see intentionally bred litters. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I know that I am not the only one. People are not happy to see more and more rats, and other animals for that matter, come in to the world when animals that have already been here are put down every single day. It really makes no sense.

It's such a huge pet peeve of mine when people throw out words such as "attack" and "flaming" when someone expresses an opinion that is different from theirs on a public forum. Isn't lively debate, and sharing different schools of thought, what public forums are for?


Offline Nekojin

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #162 on: September 15, 2008, 11:44:59 PM »
Everyone tells me - whenever I mention that all my girls are pet shop rats - that I should have got breed rats, and such and such, because they're better, because you know they'll be healthy. Everyone says that you should only ever breed if you're bettering the species, by making them healthier and happier, and such. So, I simply concluded that everyone believed that pet shop rats, with a higher likelihood of issues, are seen as lower quality and worse to get.

Maybe I should mention that I live in New Zealand. I don't really know many other people with rats, and there is a lower demand for rats than in other countries. We have next to no reptiles in the country, I believe, due to strict restrictions, which means few or no feeder rat mills. As such, every time I've visited my local animal shelter (SPCA) there have been no rats, mice, or guinea pigs up for adoption. I think that there were two rabbits, once. But nothing smaller. I have never seen any advertisements for unwanted rats, heard of unwanted rats, or seen unwanted rats, apart from one or two wild rats in parks. As such, I doubt our girls were taking homes from other possible rats.

I understand I would have been better off breeding rats from a breeder, as they're more likely to have better genetics. But I also wanted to point out that not all pet shop rats will automatically be genetically predisposed to all sorts of nasties. (As far as I can see, it's actually terribly bad practice to sell sick animals, as you'll end up losing all your customers...) As ours show, they're still perfectly healthy at nine months. If I were to breed again, I would breed bred rats, but I do not believe that it was a mistake to breed this litter in particular.

As for the screening, what I mean is I do not think they would have sold the rats as feeders, or to anyone who was obviously looking for rats on a whim.  It gets rid of the worst people.

If no one who cared about rats bred rats, the only people who bothered breeding would be the ignorant, selfish people who were doing it for kicks or to get lots of rats really fast, to sell as snake food. Only being happy for a litter if it's a rescued litter seems a little...odd...to me, but each to their own. I personally disapprove of litters that are bred by accident (letting rats out of the cage together, or such), litters bred with obviously inappropriate rats (Too old, too young, not healthy, bad nature) or rats bred when they're never going to find a home.  If I had thought for a moment that our rats would not find homes in a short time, then I wouldn't have bred them. As it was, every rat that we gave them had a home within two weeks, and I believe half the litter went home within the day. I don't think that would have been the case if we were taking homes from other rats.

It's not so much that you disapprove of breeding totally, whereas I'm more selective. It's that you came across as disapproving directly of my litter (And therefore coming across as thinking that half my rats never should have been born) and me. I apologise if I read you wrong, but that's what it came across as, and that's why I was irritated.

Offline Fiishies

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #163 on: September 16, 2008, 09:21:08 PM »
Seems to me like you have to be in some exclusive club to have babies (accidentally or not) and for other people to accept you for it.  :P

Offline libertatis

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #164 on: October 10, 2008, 01:49:54 AM »
Reading this thread has made me realise how lucky I've been.

I've never had the desire to breed any of my animals. Possibly because I'm extremely tokophobic.

But I never realised how lucky I've been to never bring home a pregnant female. I guess there's really something to be said for getting your animals from good sources.

Yes, I've gotten all my rats from pet stores, but all but three of them have come from a very good, locally owned independent pet store in my town that is really quite good. The owner has rats herself, most of the staff is extremely knowledgable about all the pets there (or if the person you're talking to doesn't know about the animal you want, they'll call over someone else who does). They get all their rats from several local breeders, and seem to sell consistently healthy, friendly animals. All my rats from there have lived to a ripe old age, and I've never had an unexpectedly pregnant female, thank God. Also, they charge more money for their rats than most places to keep people from buying them for snake food.

Anyway. Just wanted to point out that not all pet stores are terrible. It's unfortunate that so many are, but there are some good ones out there. It's only been until recently that I've become aware of how many rats end up homeless and need rescue, and since then, have decided that all my rats from now on will be rescue rats, but not all pet shops sell horrible, in-bred animals. Some really do care about selling quality animals to quality homes.

I never, ever plan to breed my rats. Not only do pregnancy and childbirth terrify and disgust me, but I just can't imagine how I would feel if something went wrong and I lost the mother. I don't think I could forgive myself. If I ever have the time and resources, I might consider rescuing a mother with young babies, because rattie babies are painfully cute and it would be fun to watch them grow up (a lot of hard work, but fun), but that's as close as I'd even consider coming to breeding.
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Offline Hotaru

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #165 on: October 13, 2008, 12:33:04 AM »
I got a pet shop oopsies, myself. I've since started going to another store, that I trust much more.

Although it wasn't planned, and it kept me up quite a few nights, worrying about the mommy, everything turned out alright. I had actually read nightmare stories about breeding, ending in the death of the mother, or most of the babies. That's what scared me the most.

But, as I said, everything turned out fine. Marissa, the rat momma, when through her term fine, popped out nine healthy little black hooded rats, and I found homes for all of them, except two, who went on to be some of my favorite rats. I expected some behavioral or health problems, their mother being a pet shop rat, but they lived long healthy lives. They were two of the only rats that trusted me enough to allow me to roll them over and rub their bellies.

While I got some of the best rats of my life out of it, I would never hope for it to happen again, or purposely breed my rats. It caused way too much stress on me, worrying about them, and the moms. Breeding is best left to the professionals.  :BlueDumboBigEyes:

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Offline Jennicat

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #166 on: October 13, 2008, 07:05:41 AM »
Quote
It gets rid of the worst people.

I have to say that that sort of reasoning really bothers me.  You don't have to be a bad person to mistreat an animal.  The latest rat I took in off of Craigslist had a family that loved her dearly.  They spray painted her cage neon pink (shudder) because they wanted it to be pretty for her.  They got her the most expensive rat food they could find, they said.  They bought her the cage with the most levels, and they fed her the best treats.

Unfortunately, they were pretty ignorant.  The "best food" was a seed mix, the cage was less than 1 cubic square foot, she had to have been saturated in paint fumes.  They had her on pine.  Now she's wheezing away with what's most likely lung scarring problems (like my dear Phedre) and her nice cage with all the shelves gave her bumblefoot.  She had a filthy little washcloth that they had bought just for her (it was pink!) covered in blood from the burst wounds on her feet.

Being nice does not mean you are a good home, and in some cases is worse because the suffering of the animal goes on and on and on.
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Offline Nekojin

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #167 on: November 07, 2008, 04:33:14 PM »
Perhaps I should have been clearer about "the worst people". It was meant to include both the people who deliberately abuse their pets, and also people who don't bother to find out what they'll need to do to look after their new pet properly. Doing this to the extent of a little extra fat in the diet is not too bad. Doing this to the extent of living in painty pink hell is (or should be) criminal. Pets are like kids, in that they depend on you almost exclusively to look after them. Neglect this bad is awful, and any responsible pet seller will make sure that the people taking their animals have at least a basic understanding of the need for space, breathable air, and food worth more than cardboard.

The reasons that they (the shop I was talking about) were so happy to let us take Sugar (She'd been a maybe on the phone, he said we could "come take a look") were that we had our rats (Tea and Coffee at the time) with us, and they were happy, healthy, alert and friendly with them. So, by the fact we had rats, the chances of her going to snake food is virtually nil. We had rats, therefore she wouldn't be by herself. Our rats were happy, therefore no deliberate mistreatment, and they were healthy, so the bed-and-breakfasts must have been of okay quality. They were alert, therefore probably not ill, too. If we had not met their standards, I suspect they would have simply decided that they really did want to keep her themselves, and apologised for the trouble.

Offline Drache

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #168 on: December 24, 2008, 03:50:52 AM »
I've lost track of how many litters we have had here at the rescue, between the rats who were surrendered already pregnant and the ones who had just given birth.

Most of the time, everything turns out okay. The mom gets bigger and bigger, builds a nest, has the babies and breaks them out of the placenta one by one and waits to nurse them until the last one is out. She might become territorial and nippy for a few weeks but when the babies start popcorning around the cage at all hours she will look up at you as if to say "please! Get me away from these little hooligans!" And then you separate them at about 5 weeks. Every once in a while there will be a stillborn baby or two, or one who just totally fails to thrive.

All in all I can say my "breeding" experience has been "good" in the sense that most of the babies and moms survive. But as a rescue, adopting them out is often a nightmare.

And as a rescue person, I don't hear back from many of my adopters so I don't really know about the lifelong health of the babies born here. The ones I have kept for myself usually average about 2-2.5. But I did have two who ended up being just over 5.

Story 1:

The PEW mom who had 22 PEW babies, mostly males. It was impossible to adopt them all out. I ended up keeping 5 of the males their whole lives because PEW and MALE are pretty much a doomed combination. NO ONE wanted them.

Story 2: We had a beautiful red-eyed mink variberk who came in already pregnant. She was very healthy, super sweet, and her pregnancy seemed to progress nicely. Until the day she went into labor. I checked on her and she had built her nest and was starting to breathe heavily. Half an hour later she was laying on her side panting and blood was pooling out of her vagina. I knew something was wrong. I immediately packed her into the carrier and put her in the car. On the way to the vet clinic, she alternated between jumping at the roof of the carrier and gasping for breath. She lashed her tail back and forth and started to whine. She started jumping harder and harder and right as I pulled into the parking lot at the clinic, I heard this thunk/crack. I looked over and she was dead. She had broken her own neck by throwing herself at the side of the carrier. I asked the vet if there was any way to save the babies, but he just shook his head sadly and said they would probably all be dead already. Since I didn't have a nursing mother available and I couldn't realistically make the time to handfeed a litter at that point, I didn't push the issue.

Story 3:

We got in a dalmatian rat. She was white with black eyes and three white spots on her back. According to the woman who dropped her off, the dad was a pure white odd-eye dumbo. I knew about megacolon already and immediately feared for this litter. They were born on Sept. 13th while we were evacuated from Hurricane Ike at my grandmother's in Brenham, TX. She gave birth to 10 babies, with one being stillborn. They all seemed to be doing fine until they turned about three weeks old and it became obvious that several of them were failing to thrive. They had tiny pointed heads and huge bellies that kept swelling and swelling. Their eyes were sunken in, their limbs were bony, they were pale and listless. You could see them wanting to keep up with their healthy siblings and just being totally unable. Every day they got worse and worse. A few of them died before they were even old enough to separate from mom. I ended up having to euthanize 1/3 of the litter because of the megacolon. Anyone who had done the tiniest bit of research into rat genetics would have likely been able to avoid this problem.

Story 4:

Whenever we have a litter here, we usually separate them from the mom at about 5 weeks, and then separate the boys from girls at 6 weeks to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

We had a litter here and we followed that guideline to the day. I adopted out a pair of baby females from this litter. The new owner called me two weeks later and reported that one of her girls was really fat. She ended up having her own litter at less than 8 weeks old! Luckily, the mother and babies did very well (minus the one who was stillborn) and all are already adopted (except the BEW dumbo I am greedily keeping). But I will forever feel guilty about inadvertently having an oops litter!

Story 4:

The elderly female who had a litter of 8 and seemed to be doing fine, until the next day when I walked in to find that she had completely slaughtered the litter, and everything in the cage (including her) was absolutely covered in dried blood and....pieces.

I still plan on breeding responsibly someday.

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Offline paulandashia

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #169 on: January 24, 2009, 03:21:24 PM »
Ok, here is mine.

For as far back as I can remember, I have awlays, ALWAYS wanted Rats, but my parents wouldn't hear of it.

Allmost 15 years ago (eeeewww), when I was 17 and moved out on my own, I finally decided I was getting some.
I drove to the ONLY petstore in my area that sold them, and got 2 beautiful Fuzzies that were housed in the same tank.
Being young, ignorant, and inexperienced (and not having any internet, or resources to know any better at the time besides what they told me at the Petstore), I was thinking they "won't breed" so young, and I would have them "fixed in a few weeks".  They were about 10 weeks old at the time.

A week and a half later, I ended up with a littler of 9 gorgeous multi-colored babies.  5 Females, and 4 Males.

Even though I never planned on breeding, I was thrilled, and watched the babied grow like weeds.

At about 8 weeks of age (which I STILL thought was WAY too early for the girls to get pregnant, as they were less than 1/2 the size of their parents) they all went to their new homes.
I decided to re-home the mom, and kept one of the males as a companion to his father, and a Lady took all the girls (including the mom), and another the remaining 3 boys.

4 of the 6 girls were (SURPRISE) pregnant, and soon, she ended up with a total of 31 babies (on top of the 5 females she already have.  She was overwhelmed, couldn't find homes for any of them, and ended up letting ALL the rats "loose" in a local Park (IDIOT!!!), which ended up on the News, and the rats were hunted down and killed without mercy.

My father and son duo were about 2 months apart, and lived to be a tad over 2 years of age, as they were, unfortunately, (per the Pet-Stores recomendation) being fed a "rodent-food seed-mix" that I was aquiring at the local pet-store.  Thankfully, both passed peacefully in their sleep.

I haven't owned rats since, until now.
I love all my babies, but have done my research, and have only males now.

I LOVE all my boys. :)

(Although a few months ago, a pregnant female DID make her way to my house, but all the babies have found homes with RESPONSIBLE owners, who constantly stay in touch with me).
Happily Married Mom to: 2 Humans, 2 Dogs, & 8 Ratties

Offline Paige84

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #170 on: March 11, 2009, 01:36:58 AM »
First off, I'd really like to say how impressed I am with most of the established members. There were some stories that on other forums would have brought some really nasty comments but from what I've seen, the confessions, if you will, were handled really well. Perhaps I missed something off the thread but from what I've read I'm impressed.

Onto my story! It starts off positive but I promise there's a negative aspect.  :wink5:

I didn't breed, but I was landed with a pregnant female and left responsible for her for the lack of better options. The mother was a sweetheart throughout her pregnancy and trusted me throughout the entire experience. When the peeping started I couldn't help marveling at the wonder of the whole situation. Suddenly there were pink, beautiful babies. All were alive and well, no baby was sick or died and the experience of watching them grow up was rewarding and I felt lucky to witness it.

Rehoming the ten babies wasn't a challenge, though I was very lucky. Though the mother wasn't anything "special," her offspring were all sorts of various colours, patterns, and coat types. I highly doubt things would have ended so happily if they were plain or identical and in years since then I've yet to see more than a couple of litters that matched mine on that "fancy" level. I advertised on the internet ahead of time but only received responses when I was able to report these sought after colours and rex coats. One woman showed a keen interest in one particular baby and I was happy. I screened her as best I knew how and felt sure she was a true rat lover and would offer the baby a good home. She changed her mind, but that turned out for the best because as it turned out, what I learned months later, was she bred irresponsibly and intended on breeding that baby. She's still breeding and active in the rat community so I won't mention her name, but I almost unknowingly let a baby go that would contribute to the problem of so many rats with no homes. What I mean to point out there is sometimes you can try your hardest and you still can't know for sure where your babies end up, short of physically checking in on them over their entire lives. People can answer every question correctly but may still breed your babies or give them away to someone who doesn't deserve them months later. Rats don't live very long but it's amazing how people can change aspects of their lives in just two years, particularly if they're students.

So, the negative aspect is pretty clear there assuming you do care about the well-being of the offspring. It's a firm belief of mine that you are responsible for any life you bring into this world and it's extremely difficult to keep tabs on every rat you breed, ensuring they live long and healthy lives with responsible and loving people.

I did keep tabs on most of the babies, some people lost touch. The ones I was keeping track of lived pretty long lives considering they came from what I can only assume was a rat mill of sorts. No tumors, no illnesses until the very ends when it was somewhat acceptable to fall ill and succumb to a sickness as old animals tend to do.

There was one minor mishap with one of the babies (he was wounded by another rat after being weaned) and the wound was of a nature that I'm not sure how he would have done if he were in someone else's hands with less of a handle on how to treat delicate things like that, and dedicate the hours to do so. So again, I was lucky in that it was something I could handle, but it made rehoming him a challenge because by the time he was healed and ready to be adopted out, his brothers were all gone.

The entire experience was very much worth it for me because it made me aware of so many problems out in the rat world like backyard breeders or breeders who think they know what they're doing, and a general sense of how things work in the rat world. Though I was not responsible for the pregnancy, I was responsible for the babies by accepting the mother and it was, dare I say it, a fun experience though a little harrowing near the end when I had to part from them to what I could only hope were the best homes available. I'm happy I didn't suffer through birthing problems or deaths like many of you did and some people can dodge that bullet but none of us are really safe from the question, "How do I know these babies are going to be in safe hands their entire lives?"

Offline Rmv1983

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #171 on: April 08, 2009, 10:03:21 PM »
In March if this year, I brought home a feeder bin dumbo eared berk. I had intended on getting her e-spayed, but the day before the vet visit she decided to have a litter of four. Luckily for me the litter was small, and Oreo suffered no complications. She raised (and is still raising) her bubs. I was lucky nothing went wrong, and that finding homes for the babies was easy (considering my mom is keeping Oreo and her two daughters). I fear that is she had a bigger litter that rehoming would have been more difficult and I would have been stuck with several rats. I would never breed on purpose, but it is a wonderful experience watching the bubs grow, although I never wish to have a pregnant female again.

Offline masterpockets

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #172 on: May 09, 2009, 07:50:18 PM »
Like others i would like to state the i never intended to breed or have any litters. 

We had just saved are little girl from the pet shop she is missing two fingers and is basically blind in one eye but anyway we started to notice she was getting bigger and bigger and until we realised she was pregnant. we did everytihng we read to do we seperated her from are 2 other girls we gave her a variety of different foods that would help her and the birth of her 13 were perfect except one was missing a leg. they did fine they were healthy and active. we slowly started to ween them from mom and at about 6 weeks we seperated males and females again they all looked healthy. one day i came home from work and noticed one had died i was heartbroken i had already grown attached. i took out the babie and placed the others in a new cage while i cleaned theres out and every one else looked healthy. i was wrong. as the next couple of days went by i lost a for more males and a for more females. i decided that enough was enough i seperated the ones that looked ill from the healthy looking ones. it didnt help. i continued to lose them until only 3 were left one female and two little bits both the runts. they all looked healthy and i decide to be extra safe and took them to the vet. the vet said they were healthy and i was excited. until the next morning i seen the one of the boys crawl out of his house and collapse i pick him up and tried to hand feed and give him water. i wrapped him up be he was cold. i sat there for 3 hours until he died in my hands. shortly after that the last female died. the one boy is still alive and is healthy and big. momma is fine and so are our other two adult females. when we went to the vet for a necropsy he told us he had no idea why they died. needless to say we dont go to him anymore

Offline shakou

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #173 on: June 25, 2009, 03:10:26 PM »
I don't really have anything tragic to relate to in my personal experience of rat breeding. I had a couple accidental litters with some of my pet rats a few years ago and I think the worst that came of that experience was trying to find them all homes. But I did, and all was well with the world.

However there is a very sad story that happened to my friend's rat years and years ago. And the thing that really get's me angry about it was that it all should have and could been prevented with common sense by the adult involved. When I was just a kid, my best friend and her 2 sisters adopted rats from a friend of their mothers. My friend got a male who she named George, and her sisters each picked out a female who they named Koko and Beauty. Right from the start George was a BIG boy. Infact, he grew to be the largest pet rat I have ever seen. I don't know where exactly my friend heard the rumor from, but somehow she had heard that if a male rat doesn't mate, his testicles will get so large they will explode o__O I knew even at that age it was obviously a sick myth and I tried telling her that. But she wouldn't listen, and to make matters worse, her MOTHER believed it too and let my friend breed George with BOTH Koko and Beauty, his SISTERS  :doh: Needless to say, they ended up with a TON of inbred baby rats, most of which they ended up giving to a pet store. But some they found homes for. My friends aunt, who lived next door, ended up taking a few for her children. Not even a year later, ALL the females ended up developing tumors that grew to be the same size as them and died. The end.

Offline fenshae

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #174 on: July 12, 2009, 01:25:20 AM »
I bought Velvet and Nicodemus in '06, my second pair of rats after losing my first pair (rescued feeders).  They had been housed together at the pet store I bought them at, and I made the decision to buy them both and have Nicodemus neutered, and if the female was pregnant, so be it.  Nicodemus died during the neuter (due to the vet staff being incompetent and me being naive and believing them when they told me not to feed him the night before surgery) and sure enough, Velvet started getting tubby. 

She had 8 babies, 2 boys and 6 girls.  As soon as I realized she was pregnant, I started calling people and putting up a waiting list for potential owners.  Being a college student, I knew plenty of other people in the university who would've been delighted to have a dorm-friendly companion, and i had quite a few sad people when I only had 8 babies -- a lot of people went without rats since I required them to go out in pairs. 

I kept two of the girls, and adopted out the others in pairs to three of my friends, all of them previous rat owners.  There were no complications at all, and all eight babies grew to be healthy, happy adults; every one of them lived to be 2+.  The last of the babies died a few days ago at the ripe age of 32 months. 

Would I purposely breed another litter?  Probably not.  But I don't think the occasional "backyard litter" of ANYTHING is worth the witch-hunt that it always seems to spawn.  Sure, breeding is best done by responsible breeders with an eye toward the breed standard, and there's more animals than there are homes....these are lovely arguments, and quite true, especially in bigger cities or places where rats are more popular as pets.  (where I live, there are no breeders or rat rescues in the STATE, much less my city; the options are the usual pet chains and the occasional ad from -- gasp -- a backyard breeder). But are people who occasionally breed their own (rat/dog/cat/rabbit/etc) the terrible, irresponsible people that "pet fancier" enthusiasts always make them out to be?  Not necessarily.  It IS a two-way argument and I really wish the other side had some representation around here.
We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty. 
--Mal, Serenity