Author Topic: Personal stories about breeding  (Read 97340 times)

Offline Raa

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #200 on: June 21, 2012, 10:01:30 AM »
 Thought it might be worth mentioning that bad things dont only happen in unplanned litters. Ive been breeding for just over a year (but have had rats as pets for 18) and have had a few weird things happen.

 The first litter I had was a bit of a mess. I did all the right things, sourced from the best breeder in my area and knew the line (had a 4 gen full pedigree and partial back 6 gens which is about as good as it gets in Aus). Alaska was paired to her brother and things developed nicely. She poped 17 squeakers. I went out for a few hrs and when I came back we were down to 15, I also noticed that she had maimed some of the babies. About half had half tails and the runt, who I kept, had half a foot missing. Other than that things progressed normaly untill 4 weeks old when one of the babies dropped dead unexpectedly. Thankfully all the ones I know of are still happy and healthy but thats only about 5 of the litter. The three I kept both had to be euthanised for resp issues at about 6 months.

Aura the runt


 Harlow was from the above litter. She seemed so healthy and a realy good weight, 220g by 12 weeks, so at 4 months old I paired her. Things went well untill 2 weeks, the babies realy struggled to thrive and by 6 weeks all but three had either died or been PTS. Two were PTS at 12 weeks when resp finaly hit them. There is only one girl left and she suffers from the occasional resp flare up, has never needed meds, and is tiny but otherwise OK.

 The third and final story is just one of those things :(. A little background info first... Gabe is the product of the first outcross from a line that has been purely inbred for 5 years, he has produced hundreds of babies and grandbabies buth inbreed and outcrossed. The doe I used, Bubbles, Father is the same I think that line is into its 3rd generation of crossing back to him? Hard to say as the friend who owns him is a feeder breeder... So I had no reason to suspect anything would go wrong. Bubbles pregnancy progressed smoothly, much to my releif after discovering an umbilical hernia on her a few days after pairing her (yes im an idiot but it realy is tiny, cant even get it to show in pictures). The babies were born quickly, only 7, when I checked on them one was clearly deformed. It had no eyes and its face was smooshed in, like that of a persian cat, it was alive at the time but when I checked on them 15 minutes later it had passed. Bubbles is a bit of a dippy mum, perfect with her human but a little to eager to get away from the little life suckers :P A few days later there was a dinty bub (dint in its head).

 Thankfully these are all minor issues, but it goes to show that even with the best planning and the best intentions the raisin can still hit the fan.

Offline buzzy3013

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #201 on: October 07, 2012, 08:06:47 PM »
At 12 years old I  began to breed, I am comming up on my 2nd year of beeing a breeder, and so far so good my oldest male Zeus is over 2 and going strong. I did end up having to give almost all the bays o a petstore one litter was all placed to good loviing homes, however, the litter of albinos were all sold a feeders... :-\

Offline betuana

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #202 on: October 08, 2012, 12:34:45 AM »
A story of how the best plans can go heartbreakingly wrong...I'll share my story of BVR Tabit and BVR Adam Young.

After years of research, decades of owning rats, and a long time of being involved in the rat community and getting to know some excellent breeders, I got started with my breeding program. My first litter however has been an ongoing heartbreak.

Both parents are from a very well regarded, responsible, ethical, and respected breeder. Both have pedigrees that go back for MANY generations (checking NARR right now I can trace pedigrees for both back to 1996, and this litter was born in February of 2012, so some 16 years worth of pedigree, and there are notes on health, etc for at least the past 10 of those for many of the ancestors). Both parents came from lines with good health, no significant problems, etc. Very sweet rats, who had shown good health through their lives when they were paired, were both well built with good conformation, etc etc. Everything seemed set for things to go well.

Breeding proceeded in a very normal fashion - I hand bred them, meaning I monitored Tabit for a heat, when I found her to be in heat I paired her and Adam in a temporary caging where I could monitor and record pairings, and they were left together about 12 hours or so overnight, then separated. She was weighed daily at the same time to monitor her weight gain, and gained on a relatively steady and normal scale when compared to pregnancies tracked by others.

Then her due date came. And passed. And another day. And another, she looked like a balloon about to burst, I had felt movement, but no signs that she was planning to go into labor anytime soon. We were preparing to take her in the next day for an emergency c-section, as a failure to deliver could put her at serious risk, and could even kill her if she had some problem preventing delivery, when finally, between 24 and 25 days after pairing (2-3 days overdue, especially for her first - and only - litter), she gave birth overnight to 12 squeaking, squirming babies. She was a wonderful and attentive mother to them, grooming them, sitting over them to keep them warm, retrieving babies who squirmed out of the nest, all the while being very sweet and happy to interact and take extra treats and bedding from me, offered to help boost her strength.

But I noticed throughout the day that when I'd peek in and get a look, I saw no milk bands on the babies. I checked her a couple times but felt no swelling to indicate she was producing milk, and no real signs of any suckling or grooming around her nipples. The line has no history of lactation problems, and nothing to indicate it should be a concern, and after talking to my mentor and others it was the general consensus that sometimes it takes them a few hours to start nursing, and that there shouldn't really be any problem.

However, clearly there WAS something wrong. Tabit, who had been so gentle and loving and careful with her babies during that first day, clearly knew there was a problem. Overnight she quietly removed all traces of her litter having ever existed, and I woke in the morning to a mama rat who seemed a little stressed out, and no babies at all in the bin. On exam it was clear she still was not lactating, and had no mammary development whatsoever. My first litter was completely lost.

Tabit's maternal instincts were still present, and when her buddy had a litter a few days later she desperately wanted to go help with the babies any time she heard them squeak. It was heartbreaking to see how much she wanted to take care of them, but with such an unexpected disaster, we decided it was best not to risk breeding her again and losing another litter. There was no real reason that we could find as to why she didn't lactate, and what other problems may have occurred, and it was definitely not something we wanted to pass down to more rats.

But the tragedy doesn't end there. Tabit, who as a baby survived an attack by an older, unrelated female when she first came here (during intros), who lost the ability to open one of her front feet as a result of that attack (though she adapted and still ran in her wheel, climbed, held food, interacted, etc like any other rat), and who had to undergo surgery to remove an abscess and repair some damage from it, with repeated exams, intensive at home care, etc, the poor girl never got a break from bad luck. She developed a tumor a few months later at just 9 months of age. Early for tumors, which are also uncommon in her line (and certainly not seen in a rat so young!), but assumed to be a basic benign mammary tumor, it was removed before she was 10 months old. A spay was considered, but the $600 price tag was prohibitively expensive, especially with more than that amount having already been spent on previous vet bills for the poor girl.

Within 2 months, the tumor was back, in the same location - which indicated that either it had not all been removed (and therefore was likely NOT all removable, as it was in her inguinal area near several vital structures such as her urethra, major blood vessels, etc), or that it was malignant. After consulting with several vets, we decided to keep her as comfortable as possible while we could. The tumor kept growing, and a disturbingly fast, and increasingly fast rate.

In the meantime, we lost Adam's brother (and tragically the father of our 2nd litter - bringing to us concerns about their longterm health) to an extremely aggressive and fast progressing respiratory problem. And another brother of his was lost just a couple weeks later, and several states away (having not been together since they were much younger) from nearly identical problems. Both around 14 months of age. Adam started showing signs of respiratory problems as well. Though there were some respiratory issues in older rats in the line (not uncommon for rats), issues at this age was unprecedented. Though we pursued aggressive treatment with both Adam's brother (who spent time in an oxygen cage at a vet, visited an emergency clinic in the middle of the night, etc), and followed through with very aggressive treatment with Adam (nebulizing, anti-inflammatories, theophylline, antibiotics, etc), Adam ended up dying at home when he was around 15.5 months of age - with his necropsy showing much the same issues as had been seen in both of his brother's necropsies.

A day later, we ended up having Tabit euthanized as her tumor had grown to such a size that she was having extreme difficulty in moving (though she still tried), was showing discomfort in urinating and defecating, and was getting sores and showing early signs of some of the tumor tissue starting to have necrosis due to size. She was only 14 months old. It has been less than a week since we lost them both, and is still very painful to walk in the room and not see her eagerly climbing the door for attention, or him leaning out of the hammock to get scritches. We are still waiting on histopathology results to let us know if her tumor was a benign mammary tumor, or something worse.

We still face an uncertain future with our second litter given the health of their dad and uncle - though they and their mother seem to be doing well at this point, only time will tell if they too will add to the heartbreak we have already experienced with our first litter.

We lost our entire first litter. We lost both parents to unexpected causes at a very young age. The breeding was done with tons of research, pedigrees, information, data, support, mentoring, and more behind it. The circumstances under which it was lost were bizarre and not previously recorded in that line with many years of documentation. The health issues experienced by both parents were similarly unexpected and unusual, especially given their young ages. And perhaps the silver lining of losing the first is that they aren't alive and at risk of developing the same health problems experienced by their parents. Our second litter may be in jeopardy from similar issues - we can only hope that their father did not pass down his respiratory issues to his offspring. Only time will tell.

So yeah, hopefully this story helps people realize that even many years of preparation, even more years of experience in ownership, many years of research, building connections, etc, having rats from some of the best lines, with extensive documentation, having a support network of several experienced breeders, etc, will not exempt someone from having serious problems, and having to potentially face heartbreak, tragedy, losses, and concern for any that survive that they may be in danger as well. Not saying that someone who has done their research, taken their time to learn, to prepare, to gain as much experience as possible, to find good lines and good people for support, etc shouldn't breed. I certainly still plan to try to move forward and work to try to improve the species by trying to breed healthier, friendlier rats. But it is very important that anyone considering breeding be prepared that things do not always go as planned, and instead of cute, fuzzy, happy babies they could find themselves faced with heartbreak upon heartbreak upon heartbreak. If thats not something someone wants to deal with, its probably best if they don't get involved with breeding. You need to be prepared for the bad as well as the good.

My poor first parents, BVR Adam Young and BVR Tabit.

Offline SqueeHazard

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #203 on: October 26, 2012, 08:07:51 PM »
Well, my first litter was planned.
A standard ear and a dumbo, one from a breeder and a lovely one from both a mill/breeder background.

Used to keep the line going but to improve the genetics.
She ended up having 6 beautiful babies no sweat.
They all went to good homes but I decided to keep two of them.
They're much more people friendly and they are doing very well today, three months later c:
Mama recovered fine, and the two little boys love their dad <3

Offline kitsu

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #204 on: December 03, 2012, 12:27:27 PM »
I never intended to breed. I adopted what I thought were two female rats from a pet store - one pink hairless dumbo and one white and gray fuzzball, named Pinkie & The Brain. Turned out Pinkie was a boy (his balls didn't drop until it was too late), and The Brain got pregnant.
Great, they aren't even fully grown themselves and she's pregnant. I'm freaking out, reading up all over the place about what to do extra for her; Pinkie and her were still very close but I knew as soon as the babies were born he had to be taken out in case she got pregnant while breastfeeding...I still wanted to keep him, and had made an appointment for him to be neutered.
12 babies were born at some point in the wee hours of November 1st (4 weeks ago). Some of them are "hairless" pink with giant ears, and some look just like mama. Neither parent had pink eyes, but a few of the babies do (I need to find a good resource for rat genetics as this was fascinating for me, I've worked in cat rescue for five years and their coloring always floor me). For some reason the first day they were born, I was sitting at the cage giving mama some yogurt treats when daddy (who had scratches on him which worried me, I figured she attacked him?) jumped up and bit me on my face. No idea why, as he had always been the "sweeter" of the two, but my husband immediately took him to petco to surrender.
Fast forward two weeks, I'm attempting to line up homes for these baby rats (so far zero luck, my friend works at petco and promised they wouldn't be feeder rats but that was before we found out the following), starting to play with them, handling them, getting to know their individual personalities, and petco calls.  Turns out Pinkie had "rat bite fever" and they advise me to call the small animal vet I had planned on getting him neutered at. Vet says it's very rare & dangerous to humans, but was vet was vague about if the babies/mama were guaranteed to have this "rat bite fever" - instead suggested I bring in all 13 and have them all tested. Yeah, and how much will that cost? Sigh.
Now I'm wondering if this could be true. I'm immunosuppressed and if there is possibly a way for me to come down with something, I do. Dad bit me in the face, it was a really deep wound, and it is still healing, but I have no symptoms of this supposedly "rare" disease.
Now it's four weeks and the babies are all hearty and healthy, and last week started eating solid food (first just the yogurt bites, now cereal treats, carrots, apples, and watermelon). The "hairless" ones (they have peachfuzz like their dad did, though eventually he was pretty bald) tend to be on the smaller size (not sure if that is normal) and the hairless ones also tend to have the giant dumbo ears daddy had and be males (I think, some have tiny balls dropping but it's hard to tell what is what), while the ones I am sure are girls are all MUCH bigger.
My husband absolutely does NOT want to keep all 13 of these rats. I just ordered them this cage: http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12458305 and am going to have to split the males and females up next week (I will be blocking the cage bottom/top) to prevent another "oops".
I'm afraid if they do have "rat bite fever" they'll just end up getting put down if I surrender any, but I'm also concerned if I keep them all it will be far too much work for me, they won't get the kind of attention they need. I also would need to have all the males neutered, as I don't think it feasible to separate them for life, as well as there are a few "pairings" in there of best friends who I think might be different sexed.
Basically, I wish I had made absolutely sure both were female and taken them to the vet straight from the pet store.
Attached are some photos of them as they grow. Before you complain about them in the tiny cage - that was because I was cleaning their big cage (which is rapidly becoming not big enough hence me buying the $225 giant cage from petsmart). Oh, and yes, I have three cats, and the one in the picture seems to think he is a mama, as he likes to come over and attempt to lick the babies when I'm playing with them.




Pinkie and The Brain the day they came home

The day the babies came!

2? weeks old Dumbo1 (there is a Dumbo2)

2? weeks old Dotti (turns out Dotti is a boy)

3 weeks old - cleaning the cage

3.5 weeks, they love climbing! they hang out on the shelves and hang at the top of the cage all the time.

Offline kitsu

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #205 on: December 04, 2012, 01:25:33 PM »
So after being PM'd by a member of the community (thank you BigBen) I got back in touch with the vet (vs talking to who I now will refer to as The Evil Vets of Petco) and apparently most rats test positive for this, it's not a big deal for people or rats unless there are symptoms, and as long as the mama and babies are healthy I shouldn't worry (which they are!). So yay, I don't have to worry about the babies being sick or not being able to find them homes because they carry some Evil Super Rare Deadly Disease. So all in all, this accidental breeding experience has been good (knock on wood, and not that I will EVER let something like this happen again, I made an appointment to have their sexes VERIFIED by the vet this week), and the babies are starting to come to the cage door and sit up asking to be picked up when they see people instead of hiding behind mama...now to only find homes for them...and complain to petsmart about how long it's taking them to send me the big cage.

Offline gawgeouspaws

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #206 on: January 28, 2013, 02:47:29 AM »
While this thread looks rather lifeless (that's a good thing, less sad breeding stories to share) I have something I want to toss in. A lot of people have these accidental litters because they've got an intact male and an intact female in the same household. Rats are very resourceful -as we all know- and if they feel like mating, they will find a way to get in done. My policy is:
No boys with balls allowed. (you can tell I have only girls)

I wouldn't mind a boy if he'd been neutered, heck, I wouldn't even mind a boy if my girls were spayed. But they aren't yet old enough for the surgery, and so that means No Boys With Balls Allowed.  :yelcutelaugh:

I guess the same thing could work for you if you have boys, you could change it to:
No girls who haven't had their spay allowed.  :yelcutelaugh:
My babies:
Henrietta *Henny* ~ black hood * dumbo ears
Penelope *Penny* ~ brown hood * standard ears

Offline Ratgirl61

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #207 on: April 06, 2013, 11:33:39 PM »
I have read a lot of stories about breeding rats and people ending up with a lot of heartbreak and trouble finding the rittens homes. I originally had 2 females and I should have been happy having just them two but then a 16 year old girl that used to be my neighbor called me and said she had a male dumbo rat and a nice cage and she couldn't keep him because she and her mom were moving to another state. Well I took him in. I had the male living in the upper section and the females in the lower section. Well, there were times I would take all 3 of them to our king sized bed and let them run around while I sat there and watched and played with them. One time I had to go to the bathroom real quick which was just off of the bedroom, so I did and when I came back I saw our boy breeding with one of the females. At first I thought, Oh No! Then I thought it might be kind of neat to have baby rats and I could probably find homes for the babies and since rats dont have long life spans I thought well I'll let the younger female rat to continue to breed with my male rat. Well then I went to a rat support group and told them about it and I was warned that I didn't know what I was getting into. So I stopped letting the male have access to the females. Well I think my one female is pregnent and it has been a couple weeks. I saw the stories here and feel so guiltly and now if she does have babies I am seeing from the stories here that I am going to have problems and I am not a rat breeder and who is going to want baby rats from someone who is not a rat breeder. I have learned my lesson but now am hoping my female isn't pregnant!
Ratgirl 61

Offline lessthansign3

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #208 on: April 20, 2013, 02:03:03 PM »
Ah, the accidental litter. If you have enough female rats, it's bound to happen someday, right?

I was a good rattie mom, and I adopted Gertrude from the now-defunct Minnesota Valley Humane Society. She was living in my bedroom in quarantine, and one night before bed she put her little paws up on the glass of the quarantine tank (it was all I had at the time for QT, all of my other cages were being used) I noticed she was rather... rotund. Her nipples protruded a little more than normal as well. We hadn't yet taken her for her complimentary vet visit, so it was a couple days later that we got it confirmed - there were little babies in her belly. And, about a week after that, eleven more PEWs were born into this world.

Because they were PEWs, of course, nobody wanted them. I adopted one out here on Goosemoose, and I kept one for myself and named him Hamlet. The rest went back to MVHS, who I assume found good homes for them all. I hope, anyway. It was all I could do - I was fast running out of room for all of these babies, and well, it was partially *their* fault for adopting out a pregnant rat, even though there was no way they could have known Gertrude was pregnant. She was knocked up before they got her and she didn't show until I'd already brought her home. My assumption, because her former home said she came from an accidental litter herself, is that she was kept in with her brothers for too long.

After that, you'd think the story was over, right? Not entirely. You see, because I kept Gertrude's son, I got to see poor genetics and probable inbreeding at work.

Gertrude died suddenly around two years old. I have no idea why she died or what she died from, and I have a lot of pets so I can't really afford to have a necropsy performed each time I lose one, unfortunately. That money is better spent on the living - especially considering what my vet charges. All I know is that in the morning she was climbing the bars, happy as can be, and in the evening she was lying dead on the floor of her cage.

A few months later, Hamlet died, also of mysterious causes. He, too, seemed perfectly healthy, and then all of the sudden one evening he was walking strangely, he convulsed, and he died. He was about a month and a half shy of two years old. He was my <3 rat, my neutered boy, my big squishy love - and here he was, gone before his time and I can only guess that he inherited a heart condition from his mother. That's my best guess, considering a similar condition runs in my own family and my mother just had a valve replacement last year and my grandpa will likely be having one himself. Perhaps something similar was wrong with Gertrude and Hamlet, and once they reached a certain age their defective hearts just gave out. I know had my mom not had surgery, she would have died before her time, so it's something to consider.

So, although this was not a purposeful breeding, it was proof that genetics matter. You can't just throw any two rats together and hope for the best, because you won't know until later what sort of genetic surprises lay in store for your rats' futures. If you want to breed, understand the genetics first, and start with rats that have proper pedigrees and known bloodlines. That way there's far less risk of producing babies that mysteriously die in the prime of their lives.

I still miss Hamlet something terribly, and wish there was something more I could have done for him. Maybe I should have shelled out for that necropsy on Gertrude, but I guess I didn't think about the same thing happening to Hamlet. Still, I hope to never experience any of that again - the pregnancy, the bunches of baby rats I can't find homes for, and the unexpected deaths of two wonderful rats.

Offline E-marie

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #209 on: May 12, 2013, 07:34:11 PM »
I go to is petstore who breeds their own rats. :( They say they "make sure they don't go as feeders" I asked another employee, who said they breed just to stock. :(
I had a small part of me wanting to breed, but I don't have money or time, and I don't have the knowleage.
But after hearing they put in rats just for color I REALLY wanted to help. What if they breed a fatal litter?
I haven't done this yet, and probably won't, but I want to hear your opinion.

What I was thinking is that I would take the pregnant mom to make sure all goes well. They know me, (I try to supervise, they actually listen to me)
I'd be able to take her to the vet, and take her pups too. Then sadly I'd give them back. Actually after writing this I know I can do that. I can't let my rats go down a snake.
Ok nevermind, but if you think there's anything I could do can you tell me??

ETA: the one person I talk to a lot takes a pretty male and a pretty female and says: These pups would be gorgeous. I smile and say "Yeah... Do you know their parents." She looks at me and chuckles "Why, what does if matter?"  I mumble "everything." But I'm shyish and don't want to talk back. UGH!!!!!
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 07:40:25 PM by E-marie »
Mom to:
The rats: Lilly, Shadow RIP Daisy, Star, Peanut, Amber, Ruby
The dog: Bella RIP Molly
The gerbils: Bam-Bam and Ginger RIP Pebbles

Offline Stacy M

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #210 on: May 12, 2013, 07:47:08 PM »
No, don't take the mother and babies.  You'd still be supporting the breeding of rats, and they will just pick another female rat to breed more litters.  It's a sad situation, which is why I suggest not going to petstores that sell animals.

Offline Ratatata

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #211 on: May 26, 2013, 12:32:30 AM »
My litter was planned. I was a mere 9- year old.
Of course, I "knew everything about rats" at the time, and was so excited to get a male for Heidi. So I bred them, pairing them for a couple hours a day for a week. Heidi swelled up, and a day before her due date gave birth to 13 healthy babies, one runt. They all did pretty well, one died unexpectedly at about 5 weeks. I sold them for pretty cheap through craigslist, lots of my friends adopted a few as well.
Nothing terrible happened, but I wouldn't want to experience it again anytime soon... now that I'm older, I would be way more stressed. I was very lucky to have an easy time breeding rats.
Currently volunteering as a foster home.

Be profound: The cup is useful because of it's emptyness.

Offline Raa

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #212 on: May 26, 2013, 04:45:40 PM »
 I don't understand why people backyard breeding to 'educate' their kids don't make friends with local breeders. I would much rather let someone raise one of my planned pairings then have them go out and get some petshop rats. A friend of mine is raising a litter for me, she wanted some bubs from the same background as one she bought off me, and we're both loving the experience.

Offline dpishlo

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #213 on: June 04, 2013, 05:44:28 PM »
I don't understand why people backyard breeding to 'educate' their kids don't make friends with local breeders. I would much rather let someone raise one of my planned pairings then have them go out and get some petshop rats. A friend of mine is raising a litter for me, she wanted some bubs from the same background as one she bought off me, and we're both loving the experience.

This is a great idea! My boyfriends daughters classmate was asking about if they could get a couple of our babies for a genetics project over the summer for a senior project next year. My boyfriends daughter said no but the girl plans to get some from somewhere.

Offline Raa

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #214 on: June 06, 2013, 04:24:16 AM »
While this thread looks rather lifeless (that's a good thing, less sad breeding stories to share) I have something I want to toss in. A lot of people have these accidental litters because they've got an intact male and an intact female in the same household. Rats are very resourceful -as we all know- and if they feel like mating, they will find a way to get in done. My policy is:
No boys with balls allowed. (you can tell I have only girls)

I wouldn't mind a boy if he'd been neutered, heck, I wouldn't even mind a boy if my girls were spayed. But they aren't yet old enough for the surgery, and so that means No Boys With Balls Allowed.  :yelcutelaugh:

I guess the same thing could work for you if you have boys, you could change it to:
No girls who haven't had their spay allowed.  :yelcutelaugh:


 The issue isn't entire males and females kept in the same house, its usualy human error. I have had up to 40 rats of both genders kept in cages similar to FK's for 3 years and am yet to have a whoopsie litter. If you are carefull whoopsies don't happen.

Offline Amaterasu

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #215 on: September 25, 2013, 09:36:23 AM »
My breeding story ended up with 8 dead babies trapped in the mother. A few days before it happened, I had this gut instinct that something was going to go horribly wrong. And it did. She was in labor for several hours, had a baby stuck in the birth canal. I had this feeling that the babies died a while ago, and the only thing I could do was save the mother, Charlotte. I was actually able to help her push out a baby at home (was still born..), and it was huge. Too big for her little body. I'm pretty sure her babies were bigger than average. I'm so lucky and grateful that my vet was willing to accept a deposit down on the surgery, and full payment the next day. After the surgery, she was so skinny it was scary. She is looking a lot more healthy now. I do feel really horrible about this, but one thing I can feel good about is that I was able to save her life in the end. Though it must be really heart breaking for a rat to lose all her children :BlueDumboBigEyes:
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 09:45:13 AM by Amaterasu »

Offline gawgeouspaws

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #216 on: October 02, 2013, 02:15:29 PM »
While this thread looks rather lifeless (that's a good thing, less sad breeding stories to share) I have something I want to toss in. A lot of people have these accidental litters because they've got an intact male and an intact female in the same household. Rats are very resourceful -as we all know- and if they feel like mating, they will find a way to get in done. My policy is:
No boys with balls allowed. (you can tell I have only girls)

I wouldn't mind a boy if he'd been neutered, heck, I wouldn't even mind a boy if my girls were spayed. But they aren't yet old enough for the surgery, and so that means No Boys With Balls Allowed.  :yelcutelaugh:

I guess the same thing could work for you if you have boys, you could change it to:
No girls who haven't had their spay allowed.  :yelcutelaugh:


 The issue isn't entire males and females kept in the same house, its usualy human error. I have had up to 40 rats of both genders kept in cages similar to FK's for 3 years and am yet to have a whoopsie litter. If you are carefull whoopsies don't happen.

I suppose. I just find it all too risky. Don't get me wrong, I would love a big squishy man, but only once the girls have been fixed and/or if he's neutered. Having intact rats of opposite sexes in the same house is something I wouldn't want to risk. You'd have to be careful, and you wouldn't be able to let the boys and the girls mix for play time. When everyone's fixed, everyone can play together and have out of cage time together. It's more of a personal choice for me, especially because I have little sisters, and I can definitely see one of them (the youngest) making an honest mistake with a boy and getting my girls pregnant. I plan on spaying my girls soon anyways, because spaying lowers the risk of mammary and pituitary tumors, which I don't want to encounter later on.
My babies:
Henrietta *Henny* ~ black hood * dumbo ears
Penelope *Penny* ~ brown hood * standard ears

Offline Kibafang90

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #217 on: November 16, 2013, 08:58:15 PM »
I hope more people read this before they get pets or breed!
I myself would never breed anyways, never had any desire to bring more life into this overcrowded world.
- Performance dog!-  Train hard, play hard. ;)


Offline Azusanga

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Re: Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #218 on: June 26, 2014, 12:31:42 PM »
I guess here's my story.

I got two rats from a pet store, impulse buy. Checked them at the store to make sure that their genitals were identical. I'd owned females in the past, but they were adults when I got them. I had no experience with young. I got them an appointment with an exotic vet, and was told that Leroy was a girl, and Lennon a boy. I immediately separated them, monitoring Leroy closely. After a month, no change, I got two big squishies for Lennon and a dainty little champagne hooded for Leroy.

One day I notice something unusual. I notice that Lennon is a bit bigger that before. And I notice... Nips. Mitherfacker. The vet missexed my darling rat. I put her in a tank I had, and filled it with bedding. I switched her onto oxbow young, and watched. Two days later, 11 pups were squeaking their mad heads off. Lennon happily allowed me to handle her and the pups just minutes after birth, and I cleaned the birthing nest. Lennon ended up being a terrific mother. All of her babies survived, they all thrived and are growing, growing, growing. I kept one, Titan, who looks similar to his father. A friend was able to take two babies in. But I had to surrender a majority of my mischief, and few (no)  people showed interest in them on forums, Craigslist, and local listings. I had to bring them to a shelter, where I don't doubt that they'll be adopted quickly. The shelter staff loved them and spent most of the time I was there cooing over how tame they were. But I wish the vet hadn't messed up. I wish the litter had never happened. It was a great, but incredibly expensive, taxing, time consuming mistake.
Males:
Sparta, Spice, Titan

Spice is Titan's daddy.