Author Topic: Personal stories about breeding  (Read 129552 times)

Offline MammaKim

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #175 on: August 07, 2009, 10:27:08 PM »
I have never bred, but did end up with an unexpected litter. 

I went into a petstore where someone had just dropped of a PEW that was bought for snake food, and the snake and rattie become buds.  She was so sweet, gentle and cute, so she came home to be a cagemate to my female that we had.  The girls never made it into the same cage.  Within a week, this sweet PEW got a very large belly and gave birth to 11 rittens.  All of them pews.  I had no clue what I was going to do with them!  All the babies were doing great, they all survived, they were fully furred and eyes open.  So cute to watch them explore!  Then the unexpected happened.  We had gone shopping or something - I dont really remember...what I do remember is walking into the room and discovering a masacre.  This very sweet little rattie, who had raised these babies for quite some time, had killed all but one, and that one she severely mangled.  It was unbelievable.  I was afraid to put my hand in the cage, but knew I had to get the lone survivor out as well as clean the mess that she was continuing to create by throwing the bodies all over her cage.  She was not eating them, she was simply killing them - aggressively.  I was horrified.  I checked and double checked to be sure her conditions were good.  She had plenty of food, water, a clean cage, toys, etc.  I knew I had to get the survivor out, but the mama was crazy!  She hissed and growled and was trying t get that baby no matter what the cost!  I had to wear a glove to put my hand in the cage.  The baby ended up going to a friend of mine who nursed her, and then she became a class pet for her sons class.  The female I gave away.  I just could not feel any affection for her after that.  I never want to see anything like that again.  What was a very sweet little girl ended up being a mass-murderer!

Offline Schrute

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #176 on: August 15, 2009, 06:42:24 PM »
I'm so sorry that happened to you, MammaKim, but I'm glad you were able to share your stories with others that might be thinking about breeding irresponsibly. Anything, even the most unexpected, unlikely scenario, could happen.

Offline Phalaeo

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #177 on: August 25, 2009, 03:19:59 AM »
There are many, many rewards to being a breeder but also many aspects that should be considered if one wishes to start a rattery.  It's a lot like opening a nursery or restaurant.  Just because it is something you like does not eliminate hard work.  I work in horticulture and I can't tell you how many retirees come into nurseries and ask for applications because "they love plants".  Telling them that the job requires you to be on your feet for 8+ hours unloading shrubs from an 18 wheeler in 90 degree heat persuades them otherwise.

We started the rattery in 2008 and are just on our second litter as of August 2009.  We found a mentor in Serendipity Rodentry in Delaware, roughly one hour away.  Both Serendipity and Paper Heart have been very generous in allowing us to use their rats to start up our lines.

Considerations-

Here's a cost breakdown for our first year:
Cages (3 large Martin's, two maternity cages)= $500
Water bottles (Edstrom Valve)= $60
Rats= $20 each (we have 9 at the moment)
Food (bulk Harlan Teklad)=$55
Bedding (aspen)= $15-20 per month
Web hosting= $25
Breeder's Assistant software= $70
NARR membership= $25
Hammocks and Igloos=$125 in one year

Time (not including cleaning cages and daily tasks)-
Web design (Yahoo site builder)= 100+ hours
Picture taking, editing, and uploading for website
Filling out registration forms for NARR
Record keeping of birth dates, pedigrees, etc. for each rat by hand
Having to input information like birth dates, pedigrees, etc. into a program because you realized that it's better
Emailing and tracking wait list, contacting adopters and arranging pick up
Drive time (for us, two hours there and back) to pick up rats
Research on genetics
Sending your information to sites that list breeders and ensuring the info is updated and correct
Contacting other ratteries for questions
Posting litter info and updating it in adoption forums

It's a lot of work to run a rattery properly.  You do it for the love of the animal and you don't enter into it thinking that it's a money making enterprise because the costs are double or triple what you plan for, especially when there's an emergency.  It's a lot to digest and I don't want to dissuade anyone by posting this, but it's good for people to hear what's really involved before they jump in and get burned.

Currently ratless, but looking for two males
Pittsburgh, PA

Offline SlaveToBadTaste

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #178 on: October 05, 2009, 12:40:40 AM »
independenthis counts as as a breeding story? It's not exactly first hand, although I was involved quite a bit.

My high school biology teacher (I don't mean any offence, he is an amazing teacher, just not an amazing rat owner) decided to get some rats to breed for the class to watch and learn from. I have no idea where he got these poor little creatures, but breeding them was not a good idea at all. Besides not having nearly enough out of cage time, a few handfulls of students were very unkind to the mom and pop, banging on the cage, poking with pencils, etc. He did at least know to sex them right after weening, so that much was done right. After they were weened and "taking up too much space" I adopted one (sigh, yes just one...parents and poor information ::)), and another student took the rest to give to the pet shop she worked at (a small independant one owned by caring people). My poor little guy (Grungie) was not at all used to being handled, and bit me a few times. I had only had him for a few weeks when he died unexpectedly. I found out from the other girl, who was still hosting the other ratties until there was cage space at her shop, that every last one died during the same week. The daddy rat became plagued with shaking spells and died not long after. The poor mama rat remained in her abusive, neglected 'home' for the rest of the schoolyear. I worked out a schedule with the girl that had tried to save the rest of the babies and we each stayed after school every other week with leather work gloves cleaning her cage. Luckily pine and cedar beddings were too expensive, and she mostly lived on free shredded papers from the office. After the semester my well meaning teacher said he was going to set her free, although she had never seen the wild and had to lean on the sides of her cage for support to walk. I ended up taking her in just to give her a quiet, clean, peaceful place to spend her last days. She was much to old and abused to be tamed, so mostly I just let her be. We would have had her put down, but she seemed to enjoy playing with and chewing her toys, so we just let nature take its course. Considering how poor of health the parent rats were, it's almost a blessing that the babies were spared so much suffering.

This whole thing was so ill constructed. Seeing the little pinkies was absolutely adorable, but I think a documentary would have been suitable.

Offline Cauliflower

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #179 on: November 05, 2009, 06:06:14 PM »
I posted here recently about my 2 "girls" I had just got from a breeder. They were 5 weeks old when I got them and soon discovered one was a boy. I separated them up but my girl had babies shortly later (3 weeks ago in fact, when she herself was only 9 weeks old) I was gutted. The one who turned out to be a boy was never very friendly and always hiding. The girl who had been friendly started biting just before the babies were born (we didn't know she was even pregnant) When I came down and found her in her hammock with 9 babies I had the shock of my life. I swore ALL including mum and dad were going to be rehomed and rats were not the pets for us. We quickly rehomed the boy and I reluctantly kept the girl even though I was totally akward with everything, but obviously didn't want to disrupt her family until they were old enough to go elsewhere.  We hadn't even had time to bond with our girl and now she had babies and was biting. Well over past 3 weeks our girl and her babies have gone from horrifying me to amazing me. 2 days after they were born I decided to cut down her hammock as I was concerned the babies might fall out. I was totally taken aback by mums maternal reaction. She squealed in distress and frantically grabbed the babies and moved them. She then built a nest about a foot high around them and bit me anytime I attempted to get near. She squealed whenever I opened the cage to feed her as though terrified I'd touch her babies. I couldn't wait to get rid of them all. Now, only 3 weeks on, after a lot of patience and careful handling, I have the most beautiful, friendly mummy rat and 9 georgous little bundles who fight to get on my hand when I open the cage. Mummy rat actually tugged on my trouser leg last night when out for a play, and when I reached down she placed a little escapee in my hand. I'm now in a complete dilemna as I have advertised everywhere to find homes for the babies and no-one wants any. The SSPCA have said when they are 5 weeks they should be able to take them, but they too have been trying since they were born to find homes and can't. I've had only 2 people ask about them and I've found myself questioning them about how they will care for the babies. I'm also horrified that in only 2 weeks time my lovely babes have to go. They are sooo friendly and mum has been so good that I just want the very best for them. I may be buying more cages soon.

Offline chl0et

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #180 on: December 06, 2009, 05:06:52 AM »
First let me say I will NEVER breed, I would rather that be left to people who have the time and passion towards finding long lived lines and bettering the fancy. Do you guys know what breeders REALLY do? They have the responsibility to make longer living and healthier rats. So, that the future will have rats not living 2 years, for your heart to be broken from such a short little life... but 4...5.. even 6 years! Its not all about colors and ears its about the health and welfare of the rats of the future! the more you taint the ratties of today the worse you make the rats of the future!~

I've never bred my rats, but I've witness ratty birth and let me say... its difficult.

My rescue Mischa gave birth to 9 ratties...

I CANNOT stress enough how difficult it is to find GOOD homes for her litter. First of all do you know how upset I am to screen adopters and discover they wish to breed my babies? Rats aren't little breeding tools... and if you love them as much as you say you do you should think twice before putting them in such a  situation...

I had to keep three of the girls, two of the boys... and screen potential adopters.


Because, I really do CARE where these babies go to. Do you care what will happen to YOUR rats babies once they're born? They're not puppies... or kittens.... no ones going to pay you to take them off your hands... so if you're thinking of making a quick buck you're wrong. They'll most likely end up in a shelter if you can't keep them... and people like me who help in rescues cant stand to see people bring more little lives intothis world when others are sitting waiting patiently for someone to love them and give them just one chance.There's always a rescue somewhere, don't breed... leave that for the people who wish for a better tomorrow for the rat species as a whole. ;)
"We can do no great things. only small things with great love"~Mother Teresa

Offline Rana

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #181 on: December 07, 2009, 05:05:25 PM »
I have one-and-a-half accidental breeding stories, but only one with rats.

The first was with a gerbil that I had when I was about eleven. I knew I wanted a girl, because boy parts freaked me out. They even told me at the pet store that she was most likely pregnant, but I decided to get her anyway. She was indeed pregnant, with I believe twelve babies. None were stillborn, and the only one who died was from being accidentally dropped by my sister. She was also a biter, most likely because she was pregnant or nursing the entire time I had her. The babies at least got handled every day, so when they were given to the pet store (No one wanted gerbils that I could find), they were social. I gave the pet store the mom back as well, she was still a biter even with handling and I was too young to really be as patient as she needed. 3:

The half story is from my two first rats, Kaylin and Olivia. They were rescued from some sort of bad situation. The only thing I know for certain is that they were housed with their two brothers for what the store (One of PetCo's adoptions) said was six months. I knew they might be pregnant, and sure enough Kaylin started ballooning... But she passed the three-week mark without babies, and the weight just gradually dropped off. I think she reabsorbed the litter, because I could find no signs that she ever gave birth. Right now she's cuddling away with her sister in a hammock so finally, a happy ending!

One day in the future I would like to breed, but that's only when I have the job and money for it. Most likely I will have to wait until I'm retired, and I'm okay with that. :3

Offline pisces_chick

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #182 on: December 17, 2009, 02:17:22 PM »
 had no intention of having a rattery..

here's the link for the full story...

http://www.goosemoose.com/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,99999999/topic,4064224.0/topicseen,topicseen

after reading all these horror stories m very nervous..and f the past week i've been crying myself to sleep because im so stressed about the situation


Offline RubyRattery

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #183 on: February 08, 2010, 06:36:38 AM »
Wow...so many horror stories....I can understand why there are so many rescues in America.
Down here it is a little different, you still get the same idiots breeding "for the fun" of it.
I do bred, but rarely, and we do not have any of the diseases that you guys have. The only problems we really have are Myco and Tumours. Myco probably has a 50% hit rate i would say, as far as tumours, about 30%-50% of females get them as they age. Our average lifespan is about 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 years. I had a rescue boy end of last year....he was 5 when i got him! i could not believe it. He had NO myco symptoms, no tumours, even no back leg paralasis! Whenever he was free ranging he would always try to jump over to the girls area (he was quite the athelete). He is exactly what all breeders should be aiming for, life span of 5, and as healthy as a rat can get! Unfortunetley he passed away on new years eve, im pretty sure it was old age, although it was very hot that day (we have air con) and i was doing everything to keep him cool.
I know he was definetley 5 years old as the lady had him ever since he was 6 weeks old, she purchased him from a pet store, which is even more outstanding.
I discourage people i hear from through emails etc. from breeding, some of them are so rude, some of them actually understand and really have a hard thing about what they are considering doing.
Over all, i think anyone who CAN rescue SHOULD rescue, after all, i think i read it in Jorats(?) Signature.
Until there is none, rescue one.
So true.

Offline Critter Crazy

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #184 on: March 04, 2010, 01:38:47 AM »
I can't say I've had particularly bad luck with rat litters, but I'll give my story here for reference.
I'll try to keep it short as possible.

I have a friend who is a feeder breeder, & she gave me a single female rat, then later gave me 3 more rats. Holly (Black mismarked Berkshire), Floss (Champagne mismarked Berkshire), Pearl (Argente Hooded) & Rico (Black mismarked Hooded)

Holly was the first rat Ė she was a tiny ball of black fuzz, with white socks, a stripe down her belly, & a fascination for hair & TV. But, she was the only one, so my friend got me two more: Rico & Floss.

All 3 were snugly rats, I often had the girls on my shoulders, & Rico snuggled in my bra. Now Rico was originally meant to be a girl, but his balls dropped, & I didnít want him to go as snake food, so he stayed.
I only had a basket he could live in, but he would have no friend, & I figured it would be cruel for him to be lonely.

After 3 months, I got my first two litters Ė 11 babies in total. I removed all the babies, & gave them to the friend. I didnít see much to it.

Then I got Pearl, who wasnít a snuggle rat. She had her first litter same time Holly & Floss had their second Ė it was bad. The entire litter was scattered, hadnít been fed, & Pearl was distressed. I put her litter with Flossís, as Holly was busy with her own bubs. I gave the bubs a week, & then dropped them off at the same friends.

Now, in total, I had 9 litters Ė 3 per female - over a 12 month period. I didnít worry, as the bubs were being killed humanely, & I wouldnít have heaps of them.
At one stage all 3 girls gave me 33 baby rats, which is when it all changed. I decided to keep 5 babies. I sexed them, something Iíd never done before. But I was confident, & got it right Ė 1 boy, 4 girls.
The boy was a Mink Berkshire, the girls 2 Agouti Hooded, 1 Black Berkshire & 1 Dove Berkshire. I kept the Dove & Mink, the others found pet-only homes.

I loved watching them grow & play, eventually getting another cage to house Rico & his son, who I named Seth. I named the Dove girl Sophia, & she was a velveteen coated rat, rather rare to find here.
Pearl had her last litter, & I didnít have another litter till Seth & Sophia were 13 months old, & I paired them to each other, resulting in a beautiful litter of 8 Mink & Dove baby rats.

Iíve been given a lot of rats over time for various reasons Ė age, boredom, neglect, & so forth, some being sickly or poorly cared for their entire lives.  Iím lucky in that my lines are healthy, producing well developed & long lived rats, which are handled from day one. 
I only breed 2 or 3 litters a year, & none go to snake food anymore. I have room for 50 rats, & currently have 15, some of which are pushing 3 years :)
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Offline KieruNatsuki

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #185 on: March 21, 2010, 09:36:50 PM »
I have a bit of a story, although it's not really mine to tell.

It all started with a friend of my moms taking in about 25 rats from a summer camp that ran out of room. Since I already had two of my current girls (my third was a baby at the time) and I have always had a passion for rats, I took them in and offered to foster them. Everything was going fine, a few were placed, but I was running out of money and couldn't feed them all or give them all the attention they deserve. So a few went to a petshore (ugh I know) and my mom kept 2 boys and 2 girls. Why? Because she wanted to try giving live to her two pythons. I swallowed my objections (she is not a very nice person usually and i'll admit I'm afraid to stand up to her) and I let it happen. She put them all together. Not knowing much of anything about rats, she ended up with one female getting pregnant directly after birthing one litter. Three litters in total all at one. I believe the litters were roughly 9, 11, and 15. So 35 plus the original 4. 39 rats she didn't have the time or the knowledge to tak care of. Some babies went to the snakes, but only one would eat live. Maybe 7 were placed by myself, all females. Their conditions were horrible. Stuck in uncleaned tanks with no food or water, about 5 per 10 gal tank. As a rat owner iwas disgusted. I did what I could to care for them, but with college all day and no job/money it was hard. About a month ago I finally contacted a rescue in my area, RatChick in Philly, pa. She was wonderful. Genuinely worried about the rats and very willing to help. My mom was fine with it and we were trying to set things up to drop the rats off (at this point 15 boys and 3 girls) but my mom kept procrastinating and not answering the rescue's calls. The rats were getting worse. Last weekend things were finally set up to drop them off. We finally dropped them off today. It was a bit of an adventure. RatChick was awesome. She's was very kind and had a gorgeous home, two beautiful rats on her sofa. All she did was try and offer some knowledge on keeping/breeding rats and my mom flips. It was all I could do to get her to not call the cops! For no reason! Anyway, before this turns into a rant about my mom, i'll just end with how heartbreaking it was to watch those rats in such conditions. Breedings by amatures just does not end well. Just thinking about the pain they went through, and the trouble RatChick will have to go through to give them the lives they deserve, it's so upsetting. And it all couldve been avoided if my mom had not bred in the first place.   

Offline ratbaby#1

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #186 on: April 13, 2010, 11:49:23 AM »
The rats that i had and had accentental litters were just fine and they all found wounderful homes and i am sorry for those of you who have had a rough time with accetental litters and had sad stories.  :D :(
I'm a proud owner of 9 rats, 1 cat, and 2 dogs, 4 mice and here they are:
Rats:
Inky, cheez-it, blaze, squirt, brownie, Baby girl, Daisy, egg nog and peanut butter.Mice: Batman, skittles, cupcake, and twilight
Cat:
Salum
Dogs:
Besose-boxer pitt mix, Baby girl-jack russel terrior.

Offline Stacy M

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #187 on: April 13, 2010, 07:32:03 PM »
This thread is supposed to be about negative experiences with breeding rats/byb/accidental breedings.  It's not to scare people out of becoming breeders (I think we all want good breeders to be out there improving the health of the rats) but to show what CAN happen.  All too many times, people have no idea that things like this are a possibility, or that it "can't happen to me."  That is why there are all negative stories here ;)

Offline ratbaby#1

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #188 on: April 14, 2010, 11:41:20 AM »
I know it can happen to everyone. I once lost a baby rat right after birth and i was so sad.
I'm a proud owner of 9 rats, 1 cat, and 2 dogs, 4 mice and here they are:
Rats:
Inky, cheez-it, blaze, squirt, brownie, Baby girl, Daisy, egg nog and peanut butter.Mice: Batman, skittles, cupcake, and twilight
Cat:
Salum
Dogs:
Besose-boxer pitt mix, Baby girl-jack russel terrior.

Offline Kelsey

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #189 on: July 06, 2010, 07:27:33 PM »
I thought I would share my story about Daisy. I bought her from someone off of Craigslist. I believe Daisy herself was from an accidental breeding, but I'm not positive. Anyways, I couldn't believe how fat a rat she was. At one point she was so fat my sister, friend, and I began to wonder. We googled pregnant rat images and I knew she was pregnant right then...it looked like she had swallowed a tennis ball! I was so excited for Daisy to have babies...it was going to be so amazing to watch them grow up! One day when my sister, friend, and I were playing with the rats in our dorm room, my friend noticed a spot of blood on her leg. We were concerned, but assumed it was Daisy going in to labor. Sure enough it was, and we put her back in her cage to wait. Right after that she just stayed fluffed up in a corner and was just not herself at all. I voiced my concerns to my mom over the phone, and she just said 'pregnancy is hard'. I had my doubts but I waited maybe a day. After there was no progress, I booked an appt with a vet. X-rays were done and the vet told me she was definitely pregnant and trying to give birth. She sent me home with Daisy and told me if nothing happened overnight, then to bring her back in. So of course nothing happened, and Daisy was brought back to the vet. She was given I think 3 injections of something to help her pass the babies. The first baby, I was told, was immediately attacked by Daisy. They took the baby away and kept it warm, but sadly it passed away. I came home with my rat and her 2 new babies. Unfortunately Daisy was young and wasn't made out to be a mom...she just didn't know how to take care of them, and even with me trying to hand feed them, they died. I don't know if they were so stressed from the long delivery or what happened. I buried the babies outside my college dorm in a garden (thankfully nobody saw me!). When I peeked in to her cage the next night, I saw a stillborn baby lying in the hammock. I buried that one too. So all in all, it took Daisy the span of a few days to pass a mere 4 babies. None of the babies survived, and I think I am so lucky that Daisy survived...I was really worried about her! My sister is always saying "You should breed one of your rats!", but I never will. Watching babies grow up is always tempting, but so many things can go wrong, and my rats aren't even breeder quality, not to mention there are so many needing to be rescued out there. I'm one of those people who would never to an e-spay. So anyways, rescue or buy from a breeder!



Offline zoink03

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #190 on: July 07, 2010, 06:36:19 AM »
I had thought briefly about breeding rats, but after reading this, I don't think I ever will. I love my pet store "feeder" rats. Thanks for your stories that confirmed what I already suspected: much goes into responsible breeding.

Offline Stacy M

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #191 on: July 08, 2010, 12:20:12 AM »
I had thought briefly about breeding rats, but after reading this, I don't think I ever will. I love my pet store "feeder" rats. Thanks for your stories that confirmed what I already suspected: much goes into responsible breeding.
That's great-I think everyone should know about all aspects of breeding before they start.  It's certianly not for everyone, and "feeder" rats should never be bred regardless.

Also, Kelsey, thanks for sharing your story!!

Offline Melissaratmama

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #192 on: July 14, 2010, 09:23:32 AM »
Before i began i must say breeding rats just for fun is wrong! My experiance: at the time i had 2 males and two females. Are electricity went out and it was cold. We were leaving and could not take our rats so stupid me put all four together. We had no power for 4 days everyone in our area didnt either. We lost our whole tank of fish. Anyway i ended up with one litter of 13 black and whit hoodeds and berks and a litter of 10 dumbo rexes and one hairless and one doudle rex in many colors. Lucky for me they all found homes and were all healthy. Ill never ever do that again. Although babies are adorable unless you wanna deal with keeping all the unwanted ones and taking full responability for their health care..dont breed ur rats.
Mom to : Percival the ferret, Maggie the dog, Sophie the kitten, and Gabby the cat. Holding memories of the many rats of my past ...

Offline RayN

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #193 on: October 02, 2010, 03:02:03 AM »
My very first experience with rats as pets was an accident in itself. I'd never thought of them as pets, though I grew up with a mini zoo so I didn't have anything against them either. I was about 11 or 12 and my family was staying with my cousin's family to help my aunt with some health problems. My aunt had 6 kids (3 were already moved out) and 3 boys were staying with my brother, my mom and my dad and I all in a HUGE house. They lived on a ranch, and it was a massive ranch house. It had 6 bedrooms, and 4 bathrooms, and all the rooms were massive, it also had a "den" next to the living room, it was down 2 steps, and the biggest area in the house.

My aunt played favorites big time with her middle boy. They went to the mall together, just the 2 of them, to get him some new soccer gear. They came home that evening with the boy having a rat of his own and 2 mice for the 2 other brothers, my brother and I to "share". My mom never played favorites and right away said "Nope. Everyone in the car, you all get to pick one rat each." So off we went to the mall to get pet store feeder rats. I wanted a girl and my brother wanted a boy, so the clerk handed us what he told us was a boy and a girl. My Evie(eevee) girl later became Stevie as it became obvious she was a he. Luckily I had my rat alone in my room. But my cousins on the other hand, had all of theirs together with my brothers. My brother ended up with a boy too, so when we eventually moved out his Milo and my Stevie got to live together.

Within a few months when we went back to visit they had an entire wall dedicated to the rats and their cage, and the youngest boy had become an expert at sexing(telling the genders apart). I don't know what they ended up doing, I know they were very capable of taking cage of all the rats physically, I'm sure they didn't get the attention they needed, but food, water and even a vetting was readily provided. And when we left they had 2 massive home built cages with the boys and girls in each. I don't know the entire story, I'm sure they lost some and had heck figuring it out, but I do know they ended up with over a hundred rats at one time.

My brother and I were very lucky to have gotten boys, and Stevie lived to over 4 even though he was always small and sickly, and Milo lived to be a whopping 5 and a half. My mom was going crazy when he was 5, saying the pet store said no more than a year and half. lol

Anyways, I didn't understand very well then, but now anytime I think about maybe having babies I just remember that WALL of rats at my cousins house.

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Offline Koley

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #194 on: November 11, 2010, 10:39:01 PM »
wow yall have some horror stories, i bred for 7 yrs never had an issue with my breeders and minmual pup deaths.

Offline mrshaymes

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #195 on: November 15, 2010, 01:42:46 AM »
Wow! Some of these stories are so awful, and now I understand the hesitation from members in the states. In Australia, in my experience, rat breeders are very experienced, kind, and usually quite loving and clean. I mean, there are always bad stories, but I've had many many good experiences.

I've breed one girl, intentionally. I consider myself a breeder, but not as most people see it. I have 10 rats, 5 girls and 5 boys. I only want to breed my very special girls to continue the line. I bred my beautiful girl Boo, she comes from a very good healthy line from another breeder, with a boy from the same breeder, and my darling produced 5 very gorgeous babies. She was a wonderful mom, absolutely no bleeding at all, and the babies grew to be plump and healthy: 4 boys, 1 girl. I kept all 5 because I fell in love with them :) I'm so happy with my decision, they are my babies and love to kiss, lick, snuggle, and pee all over me. They are always right at the door, and they even leap off it to get on my shoulders.

Now, I won't have baby rat lust and go for less handled rats. I don't plan to get anymore so I can enjoy my gorgeous kiddos for a long time.

 :heart: :heart:


Offline MaatAset

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #196 on: July 24, 2011, 12:15:19 AM »
Wow.. reviving a (dead?) old thread, but I can see it's been going on awhile.  I wanted to throw my story in not necessarily just as a warning about breeding rats of unknown history, but making sure you have the resources to take care of the animal you adopt.

I'd had pet rats as a kid, but around the time I was nearing the end of my junior year of high school, a rather antisocial biter and just going through generally being a self absorbed teen, I decided that was it for me and once my pets passed on, that I was done having pets to look after.  Fast forward about 5 years and I'm nearing the end of my second year of college.  I'm a handful of months away from moving into my own apartment (and out of student based housing) and feeling lonely and missing the experience of having a pet.  I knew, being a broke and busy college student, that dogs were definitely out of the question and I'd never grown up with cats so they were a bit of a mystery to me.  I fell back on what I knew: rats.  Out of curiosity, I looked for shelters or rescues.  If I was going to get a pet, it wouldn't be for another couple months until I was in my new place.  Lo and behold, the local humane society had one lone female rat.  She tugged at my heart strings and I did not like the idea of her being there and all by her lonesome.  So, I hopped two buses (did not have a car at the time either  ::)  ) and made the trip to the shelter to meet her.  Course, I loved her instantly and wanted to take her home, so I adopted her.  Poor Rosie had to endure very warm outdoor temperatures in her cardboard box, and since I missed the bus, a long walk to catch the second bus.  Finally, and after an additional adventure where I lost my keys, she was home with me safe and sound.  I hadn't had time to get her a proper cage yet, so I made one out of a very, very hard plastic drawer (one that I couldn't even cut through with my sharpest knife), and some wiring over the top.  I figured it'd do temporarily until I could get a decent one.  Rosie and I bonded pretty well.  She generally preferred to have me leave her be, but when she wanted attention, she'd run by me to say hello when I had her out.  I got the impression that she was aware that I had saved her from a horrible situation and was grateful for it.

About a week and a half after getting her, I arrived back to my student apartment one day to hear an alarming squeak, the likes of which I'd never heard a rat make before.  I ran to the make-shift cage thinking she'd hurt herself and cursing myself for not having gotten a proper cage yet.  Imagine my surprise when I found 15 little pinkies!!  I was absolutely shocked.  I hadn't even prepared properly for the one rat.  Also, she hadn't even really looked chubby to me.  I made plans to go out that following weekend to make sure I got a decent cage for her.

A day or two later I came back from school and went to my walk-in closet, where the little cage sat, to check up on Rosie and her babies and further imagine my surprise when I discovered no Rosie and only about 5 pinkies in the cage.  Rosie had managed to do what I couldn't, and tunneled a hole out of the corner of the thick plastic drawer.  Thankfully, my experiences with having rats in the past told me not to panic.  So, I sat down on the floor, near the cage and quietly waited.  Rosie came hopping, calmly as you please, across the floor.  I waited and watched her.  She tunneled back up into the cage, took hold of one of the babies in her mouth.. and this takes some imagining, it was really quite impressive.  The cage sat on top of about a 2.5ft tall set of plastic drawers in the corner of my walk-in closet.  The hanging clothes were pulled back maybe a foot, or slightly less, away from the drawers (I have plenty of lovingly nibbled objects and I learned that lesson already).  Rosie took her little one, tunneled out her escape route, walked across the set of drawers, leapt onto the hanging flannel jacket, scaled it like a mountain climber, got on top of the rod the clothes were hanging on, and pulled herself onto the shelf above the hanging clothes that lined the closet.  She disappeared behind one of my boxes.  I got my chair and very carefully pulled the box out to discover all of the babies sitting in a little nest made of tissue paper.  Thankfully I had decided to count the babies!

Needless to say, I hatched a temporarily inescapable cage, and begged a friend to take me out that night to get a real cage.  All of her babies did well and I kept two of them myself.  Sadly, I tried to find homes, but being relatively inexperienced in such matters and not knowing about resources like this forum, I ended up taking the rest to PetSmart when they were about 10 weeks old.  I have no idea what happened to the rest of em and I desperately hope they went to good homes.  To this day I shudder to think of what happened to them and I feel really bad about my bad decision (taking them to the pet store).

So, I never had any intention of breeding, but I ended up totally unprepared and having a preggo rattie.  And to stave off comments about lone rats, I'd had EVERY intention of finding her at least one suitable mate before I adopted her, but was just waiting on getting a proper cage.  So, I ended up with two good pals for her (two of her daughters) and I kept the three of them.

As for health, no idea about the others, but all three eventually developed mammary tumors.  The first was one of the daughters, Solaris.  The vet told me that her heart actually stopped at one point during the surgery, but they were able to bring her back.  She recovered swiftly.  Sidra (the other daughter) was the next, and made it through surgery just fine (although we had an additional, mostly funny story where the end result was her removing her stitches and basically having her paws taped together).  Solaris made it to about 1.5 years old, then developed pneumonia.  It was very heartbreaking for me because she was my little baby.  She was very shy and didn't really like anyone to hold her but me, though she'd put up with it without much fuss.  She held on and fought, but eventually she was having so much trouble breathing that she was darting around her cage in panic and I had no choice but to leave her with the vet so they could put her in a ventilator chamber to help her breathe.  To this day it tears me apart because she ended up dying within 2 hours of me taking her in.  I'd have rather she died at home with me, than in a scary place with strangers when she never really liked anyone but me to begin with.  Rosie finally developed a mammary tumor as well, though she was well into her second year.  I didn't think her age would be very amenable to surgery, so I just focused on keeping her happy while I could.  Sid never redeveloped any tumors, she eventually died of what I believe was just old age.  I just woke up one morning to have cheerios with her as always.  She ate breakfast with me and seemed fine.  A couple hours later she was gone.

That was my only real experience with any sort of breeding.  I have pretty much always adopted (mostly rescues) and have had no end of these health disasters.  The tumors being most prevalent.  With one of my current girls having an inoperable tumor, it's making me decide that I think I really would like to get some young'uns from an experienced and reputable breeder for a change.  Not that they wouldn't get sick either, but it'd be nice knowing where my pets came from for a change.  Still, I've had no regrets with the girls I have rescued.  Most of them were older and I suspect that none but more diehard rat fans would have taken them.  A shame really because they've all been such amazingly sweet pets.

Offline ratatastic

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #197 on: July 28, 2011, 07:51:48 AM »
sorry this was a repost xo
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 08:00:43 AM by ratatastic »

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Offline cncst

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #198 on: July 29, 2011, 03:18:07 PM »
I have two tragic stories about accidental litters. My first started when I was only 16. I bought a little girl rat, named Gidget from a pet store. I have had many pet rats before, but it had been years since the last one. I remembered how great the rats I grew up with were and wanted that experience again. Gidget was very cute, but her stomach seemed larger than I remembered rats stomachs being in the past. I asked the clerk if there was any way that she could be pregnant and they ensured me that she wasn't (I had my suspicions still.) Gidget and I bonded for about three weeks. She spent most of her time snuggling in my sweat shirt, eating out of my hand, giving me kisses when I called to her. She was absolutely wonderful. Then, one day I looked into her cage to play with her and noticed that she had 11 little pink babies nuzzled against her. She was an excellent mother and very protective with everyone besides me. She had 8 black hooded rats (some Dumbo, others standard) a beige boy, a completely white/red eyed girl, and two hairless. I loved them all dearly, and they all bonded really well with me. I gave the female hairless and another hooded female to a family friend, they are still living and are very happy. I immediately separated the boys from the girls. My five boys were the sweetest, happiest boys I knew. My girls were very aggressive. I couldn't even put my hand in the cage to grab their food dish with out them trying to bite me. I eventually had to take them back to the pet store, including my baby girl Gidget, because of their aggression. I cried for days, knowing that I had betrayed my babies. I kept the boys for another year until their health started to take a turn for the worse. They all began developing respiratory issues and large tumors started to form all over their bodies. I was only 16 and didn't have the money to take 5 rats to the vet to have them removed or helped. Every day I would cry holding my babies, knowing that they were in pain. One by one, the lost movement in their hind legs and stopped eating. I couldn't bare watching them all suffer. I knew that they didn't blame me, they still gave me kisses and cuddled me, but it hurt to see them that way. I watched all five boys pass away. I had to watch them all suffer from the depression of losing their brothers. It was the worst thing that has ever happened to me, and I still can't forgive myself, even though I did not breed Gidget.
I waited to get another rat until this last winter. I found her on craigslist and instantly knew I wanted her. Her name is Cairo and she is the greatest rat I have ever known. Until just a couple months ago, it was just her. Then I decided to pick her up a friend from the pet store. Her name is Sniff and she is very nervous still, but a sweetheart. I recently rescued two male rats and have kept the boys and girls separate until all hell broke loose. I was letting my girls roam and play while I cleaned their cage. They really enjoy this and I never have any problems. Until now. While I was in the other room, my small girls squeezed themselves in between the bars of the boys cage. The moment I walked in, I realized what they were doing and tried to separate them quickly. I have been worrying that they were pregnant and my suspicions have been prooven with Sniff. Her stomach is now very large (she even has the mommy nipples), she is being sluggish and not acting herself. I am praying that Cairo isn't pregnant, but she is larger and it will take a little longer for her to show. I am hoping that I can find safe homes for the babies and that now that I am older, I will be able to provide the funding for vet visits.
Rat babies take a lot of responsibility, and if you can't provide that, the heart break of losing them is overwhelming and hard to forget.
Chico<3 Indigo<3 MiniCat<3 Cairo<3 Sniff<3 Babies<3 and FuFu<3

Offline Tekozi

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #199 on: May 29, 2012, 09:44:07 PM »
One of the little hairless rats i adopted from a local pet store (over 10 years ago ) ended up being pregnant. Not even a week after bringing her home she had a bunch of little pinkies one morning. sadly they were all dead. she was kind to them, but they were either still born or she had no milk. I know hairless females are often unsuccessful mothers. It was so sad, they were so cute and tiny  :'(