Author Topic: Personal stories about breeding  (Read 141207 times)

Offline kmw

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Personal stories about breeding
« on: April 10, 2003, 03:49:20 PM »
We had a thread before the forum went down where a few brave souls posted their personal stories about breeding.  I'd like to re-create that thread here, so that others may learn.

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Offline Marybelle

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2003, 04:09:58 PM »
I'll start.

When we first got into rats, and before we found this forum, we decided it would be a good idea to breed our own rats, as the ones we were getting from the petstores always seemed to be sick when we got them (should have been our first clue).  

We thought we had the perfect candidates. Katt was the sweetest thing, and she even purred when we held her.  She never had respiratory problems, so we figured she'd be a good candidate, even though she was a petstore rat.  The male was laid back, and one of the healthiest, so we figured we were doing good.  Katt had a beautiful litter of rittens, and we were thrilled.

We ended up keeping almost all the babies, as we discovered a disturbing lack of homes after we bred.  I'm thankful for that, at least.  We didn't put anyone else through this heartbreak.

As Kat got older, she started to waste away.  No external tumors, she just got skinnier and skinnier.  We gave her all the high calorie foods we could think of, and tried to keep her weight up and keep her happy.  Eventually, she died of cancer that just ate her away.

And then we watched all her kids die of the same thing.  Every one of them wasted away, even the 2 pound boys she'd given us.  It's not something I ever want to experience again.  We lost 11 rats in a 3 month period to this.  And to think, if I'd have just done more research and found more information, I never would have bred.  We had the best of intentions, but that just isn't enough.

Offline LittlePixie

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2003, 07:25:29 PM »
I work in a petstore. A lady constantly brings in rats, and claims she "doesn't know how to tell the difference between males and females". She got quite irate when I explained that GENERALLY, the ones with the large balls are the males.

The last lot she brought in included a pregnant [8-week-old] female. I took her home. She was very weak, and so thin aside from her enormous belly.

She had a litter of nine. One was stillborn. She didn't know what to do with the little ones, and scattered them all over the cage, with placentas and sacs often still attached. There was a lot of blood everywhere; all the bedding was soaked in it.

I cleaned the babies up, removed placentas and sacs, and changed the bedding.

Over the remainder of the day, I watched three more of the babies die. I watched it happen, and there was nothing I could do. Every hour or so I'd have to reach into the tank and remove yet another cold body. I had no way of knowing if any of the babies would survive, and even with the mother, it was touch-and-go if she'd pull through. Gee, that would have been a really lovely experience for somebody's kids.

In the end, five survived. They are all very small. The mother, also, survived, but I doubt she will ever grow any bigger than she is now. At six weeks old, after six weeks of advertising, I only have a home for one.

The miracle of birth indeed.

Edited, 12 October 2004: Gryphon died at the age of 1 year and 5 months from myco.
Egan died at the age of 1 year and 6 months, exactly a month after Gryphon, also from problems stemming from myco.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2004, 08:06:40 PM by LittlePixie »
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Offline LittlePixie

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2003, 08:03:34 PM »
There is also this:

If that doesn't discourage people, nothing will.

*Edited by Dearpie to say that this is a dead link.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2005, 12:18:38 AM by Dearpie »
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single rat."
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Offline anklebitr

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2003, 10:16:58 PM »
Ok that last link was just nasty.  Those poor little things.   :sad2:
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Offline gentlesummerrayn

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2003, 10:22:56 AM »
As I have done rescue work for years I cannot recall how many times I took in litters..with the people thought it would be so cool for their children to witness the miricle of birth and such only to be left with a dozen rats and no homes for them. Rats do make the best pets in the world...but not all of us should be breeders. It takes so much work and knowledge to do it right.

Offline DebW

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2003, 11:30:22 AM »
A little over a year ago, I allowed 2 rats in my classroom to have a litter (Eloise and Dexter)  Eloise was a double rex dumbo and Dexter was a blue standard fur dumbo.  I thought I knew enough about where they came from.  They had 9 lovely babies.  Three were hairless and the rest rex.  These ratties have great personalities.


Dexter and his brother Dewey died young.  Dewey had neurological problems.  The vet wasn't really sure on Dexter.

Claire just died at 16 months - pituitary tumor.

Claire and Daphne developed mammary tumors at around 14 months of age (young) Daphne's will  hopefully be removed next week.

One of the brothers I adopted out died very young.  Unknown reasons.

I love these babies to death, but will never breed my own again.  I'll leave that to people who know more about the health and backgrounds of their babies.
Deb and the wonderful memories of all the past fur kids I've known and loved.

Offline Wolfchan

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2003, 01:51:24 AM »
I never meant for Zylle to be pregnant, but an idiot co-worker of mine put her in the feeder bin and Voila!  Fifteen little squeakers.  I am keeping three, and three more have found a home with a WONDERFUL person a few hours away.  That accounts for the girls, but I have had no luck whatsoever placing the nine boys.  Next week they are going back to my workplace if I don't find homes for them.  I can at least guarantee that they don't go as feeders but I can't screen the potential owners... *sigh*

No health problems have developed yet in either Zylle or the litter, but I'm making my emergency vet fund bigger because I'm fully expecting them. :(
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Offline bonnie kljm

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2003, 09:39:17 PM »
i got my first rat when i was 12 and the pet store owner said it was definitly a male...little did i know. then about 3 months later i got another male for "him" and i noticed a big difference if you know what i mean then 2 months later she gave birth to 11 black hooded babies...i had to give 8 of them to ACC and it was heart breaking and 2 others were givin to a friend who unfortunalty couldnt keep them. but it was terrible because i didnt know enough and just made alot of stress because i had to worry if they were going to get good homes or not...sigh...regrets....
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Offline Mollicus

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2003, 06:13:32 PM »
After discussion with lots of experienced folks, I know now that what I've done was wrong, but here's my experience:

Back in October, I began my Science Research class. I thought it would be neat to breed rats to observe and determine genetics. I'd been keeping mice for years, so rats wouldn't be much different, right?

I got my three rats from the local petstore, who i later found out gets their animals from a mill.

My parents said I could keep them in my room until the end of the school year, and I'd have to find homes for them all.

I didn't think it was a problem, and asked around to all of my friends, and came up with about 10 homes.

I didn't do much research before allowing the female to breed with the males, and the research I had was from a bad source. ALWAYS, ALWAYS use more than one source... I ended up with 5 pretty babies, whom I handled as often as I could, but I didn't seperate them soon enough, and both females ended up pregnant when they were only about 8 weeks old.

I seperated them, but by then it was too late, the damage was done.

I had two girls pregnant much too young to be healthy, and my parents flipped when they had their litters and I ended up with 16 babies, 24 rats total.

I had overcrowded cages for a while, and it was all I could do to keep them all fed.

Both moms started biting every time I would get near them, and they could not be handled. The two friendly rats seemed to turn feral. It was difficult to handle the babies, but I did the best I could. To this day, they still nip, and it's going to take a LOT of effort to get them used to people again.

Once they were weaned, I found homes for many of the babes, and several adults, but not all. It took months to get down to 7.

Every single one of the homes I had lined up in the fall fell through. I had to start from scratch to find the homes I did, and I thank everyone out there who took one or more of my kids.

My parents don't want them in the house, have threatened to let them go, all kinds of things.

It's been REALLY hard, all because I didn't do my research. If I had known how hard it was to care for this many animals, i would NEVER have bred them.

Luckily, my parents are letting me keep two females, so I only have 5 to find homes for...

All I can say is that I wish I had done my research. I really do. I learned my lesson... and I will never jump full force into something like this..

And I'm very thankful to have found this board and all of these people who have helped me get through this whole mess!
« Last Edit: April 13, 2003, 06:15:50 PM by Mollicus »

Offline Urbanratgirl

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2003, 02:14:42 AM »
I have never wanted to breed, as much as I love rats, I figured I didn't know enough, there was too much risk.
Seeing and reading the stories, it reaffirms my belief that it is not right for me, thank you everyone for sharing your sad stories.
Lets leave it to the experts!
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Offline flambled

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2003, 06:55:18 PM »
I got 2 dumbo females and a dumbo male from a breeder about 6  and a half hours away.  That was the closest I could find any.   I decided I would breed them so I would have some after they originals got old, plus they were DUMBO and should be easy to give away.    One female turned out already pregnant and only had a few standard ear babies.  I kept 2 and the rest died.  The other female had several dumbo babies.  I couldn't give away any near by.  I ended up driving to Florida (10 and a half hrs away) to give away some (I think I gave away 3 or 4) and I drove to Lexington (4 and a half hours away) to give away (4 I think).  One of the females I gave away ended up having to get spayed due to medical problems (not sure what they were), luckily the person I gave her to was able to get it done and loved her dearly.  I haven't heard anything about the boys so I don't know their health.  I ended up with 3 left over.  One female and 2 males.  Both males got out one day and died the female is 2 this month and has had a mammay tumor removed about a month ago.  The father died at 2 years and a month.  The mom is still alive, she is 2 years and 4 months.  I was just sure it would be easy to place dumbos because every where I looked online someone wanted one.  All the homes I had lined up before they were weaned fell through.  I didn't give one single rat away near by.  While I am glad I have Rattilda (the female dumbo I kept) I will never breed again even if the rats come from a breeder.  


Offline maryz

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2003, 11:25:17 PM »
I did a lot of research and talked to a lot of breeders before I started breeding last October.   I picked a big gorgeous doe (RTR Tamara) and one of my favorite bucks (OSED Logan).  It was going to be the perfect litter.  I had the genetics all worked out and quite a few homes lined up.

Well, things didn't turn out the way I had planned.  Tamara gave birth to 4 babies, then her labor stopped.  She continued to bleed, so I brought her and the babies to the emergency vets.  They gave her two shots of oxytocin to start labor, but it didn't help.  She started to go shocky, so she needed a C-section.  She had another 8 babies in her and we were able to revive 4 of them.  Tamara wasn't able to take care of them, so I hand fed them, kept them warm and they each got a shot of sub-Q fluids.  The next day I brought them to a foster mom, where one by one they died.  They just wouldn't nurse.  Their foster mom kept them warm and tried to take care of them, they were just too weak.  Plus the vet mentioned that the doe didn't have colostrum in her milk anymore, so even if they didn nurse, they weren't getting all that they needed.

Tamara survived her ordeal really well.  She's gotten kind of fat, but she's healthy and  you can hardly see the scar on her belly.  She's as sweet as ever.  

I felt very guilty for a very long time about putting my girl through this, and for the loss of the babies.  Not to mention the $540 hole in my pocketbook.  But by talking to others, I realized that what happened was quite rare, and that there wasn't anything different I could have done.  There are stories of 'breeders' letting their does die rather than pay the costs of sugery.

I bred again in February.  Leda had two healthy babies and was a great mother.  Her sister had a single still born.  Again, that was hard, but Io got over the birth very quickly and was back to her old self in a couple of hours.  My third litter is nine big fat pups with a great mother.

Breeding isn't for everyone.  It can be so heartbreaking, not to mention expensive.  And you have to have the room and time for every single pup you have, just in case adoptions fall through.  But looking at my babies really makes it seem all worth while.  I just dread having to let most of them go to new homes.  I haven't had to face that yet.
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Offline ruthiechan

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2003, 12:29:47 AM » turn...

I had a friend in college who's rat had babies. The mama was from a pet store, and I'm not sure where the dad came from. Probably the same place. There was this runt that I fell in love with. She was so cute, but EVERYONE wanted her. So I offered my friend $20. Of course she said yes, and after getting the okay from my husband, Robert, I got him.

I mentioned to Wolfchan that I was getting this runt and that I was thinking about getting her a friend. At the time she was working at Evil Petco and she was able to give me the "nappy" (read: rex) looking rat for free.
Robert named them Yin and Yang. (The runt was very dark, and the other was white.)

Then, due to unfortunate circumstances Kathy wasn't able to keep Dexter anymore, and so I took him in, and bought Yin's brother, Cid as a buddy for Dexter.

All was seemingly well until one day, I picked my little girlie runt Yang, only to discover she was a he! His testicles dropped at eight(8) weeks instead of the standard four(4). I didn't separate them soon enough because I thought that Yin would beat him up if he tried anything, and a friend mentioned that he should be sterile. This of course was foolish on my part.

Yin had eleven(11) babies. Six (6) girls and five (5) boys. Seven(7) of them went to my family while I kept the rest. Things seemed fine for a while until slowly but surely the tragedies started to happen.

-Cid(m) at 6 months old had a tumor removed and was always getting respiratory flare ups. Later he developed a tumor inside his bladder that was inoperable. It made him lose all mobility in his hind legs and often he would urinate blood along with a grey and dark grey matter that smelled. He died at 11 months old.

-Yokiko(m) died of myco (possibly pneumonia) at 6 months.
-Katra(m) died of myco at 12 months.
-Toki(f) died of a pituitary tumor at 19 months.
-Jumper(f) had a tumor the size of two golf balls. She died of severe heart disease at 22 months.
-Squeaker(f) had a tumor the size of 1.5 golf balls. She died of severe heart disease at 23 months.
-Sniffles(m) had diebetes, an eye that hemorraged, and died of a possible heart attack (uncertain) at 23 months.
-Junior(m) had melanoma, a slight arythmia, and a tumor removed from his throat. It came back fast and he died at 23 months.
-Yang(m) had chronic bumblefoot and heart disease. He died at 26 months.

-Yin(f) has a tumor literally the size of another adult rat, another tumor above her bladder, and heart disease.
-Washu(f) had a tumor removed. She now has another as well as cataracts and possible heart disease or sleep apnea.
-Smoothie(m) has chronic bumblefoot.
-Ashi'taka(f) has had 6 tumors removed. Not all were mammary.
and last but not least;
-Ogre has had 2 tumors removed.

Some have had problems with abcesses, and ALL have had respiratory infections off and on all their lives.

Every single one had (or have) wonderful personalities and made great pets. After experiencing this heart break, which isn't over yet, anyone who isn't a knowledgeable and reputable breeder should NOT be breeding. I firmly believe that all rats deserve top knotch genes not the crappy ones that are perpetuated by mills, backyard breeders, and people who want "cute babies" and see the "miracle of life."

My poor babies did not deserve what they got. They deserved better...
"Fear is the opposite of faith." -Susan W. Tanner

Offline atombessy

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2003, 08:51:02 AM »
I don't have any personal breeding stories, but take a look at some of the pics of rats posted on this forum that are from real, dedicated breeders. Lonestar, for example. They are BEAUTIFUL rats. Not that petstore rats arent sweet and cute too, but the quality of animals that CAN be produced becomes apparent when real attention to breeding is done. Great idea for a link mods.
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Offline Katy M

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2003, 03:00:17 PM »
Oh, such a HAPPY post.  :(

Well, Me being the lovely unexperienced moron that I was just 6 months ago, I didn't give anything a second thought. My 6 month old male was in one cage (even then I knew I shouldn't keep him alone, but he wasn't one for appreciating company) and my 2 month female in another cage. I opened my Girl's cage to go fill her water bottle. I came back and noticed that the male had excaped. Didn't give it a second thought. I put him away and went on with doing whatever it was I was doing.
And my female never looked large, never changed her eating habits...

Then one morning I was laying in bed debating wether to get up or not, and I noticed a lot of squeeking in my girls cage. And even being a moron, I quickly concluded that those were baby squeeks, therefor she must have had babies. I got up and, indeed, there were 9 babies. It lookes like it had happened hours ago. Any blood in the cage was dry and chop was asleep, while 8 babies fed. The other, off a little ways, I figured was stillborn. I did know a good bit about taking care of baby rats, since I was, and still am, obsessed with learning everything about rats. I was more afraid of my mom being upset then I was of anything else. I took the day of school saying I didn't feel well and watched the babies and choppy for hours.

Choppy was not much of a mother, I didn't think. If she felt like getting up, she'd just up and run off, dragging 5 or 6 babies with her. If she wanted to lay back down, and all the babies were scattered from her doing this, she didn't retrieve them. Several times I walked in to find a baby cold and half dead becasue she was not going and getting them.

So, for a week, every 15 minutes, I'd go in and make sure all 8 babies were there.  At about a week and a half, I noticed they all looked malnutricioned. Choppy was to young and didn't have enough milk. So I started aiding Choppy by feeding the babies 8 times a day along with her feeding. Then at 2.5 weeks, I noticed 3 were simply dead. I removed them from the cage and checked on all the babies very carefully. They looked normal.

Then at 6 weeks, after everyone was seperated, another one was getting very very sick quickly. Within the hour she was to the point of not being able to walk, not opening her eyes, and hardly breathing. I didn't have the kind of parents who would take me to a vet at 10 at night, so I force fed her some water and held her close to keep her warm. I put a heating pad under her cage and put it by here, and watched her make no improvement.  I fell asleep during my watch at about 3 AM.

I wook up the next day at about 8, and was so afraid to lift my head up, just KNOWING she (Oh, her name was clay, by the way) would be dead. But I had to get up. So I looked, and couldn't see her because the otehr 3 rats were atop her keeping her warm. This was probebly the ONLY time I'd seen their mother acting like a mother, and the sisters actually acting like sisters. I still thought she was dead. I carefully pushed some rats off her. And to my surprise, little clay raised her head, annoyed at me for disturbing her, then got up ant acted as any normal rat would. She stretched and ran over to another one of the rats. I picked her up and played with her, and she was normal as ever. (BY THE WAY, if you know what could have been wrong, PLEASE tell me!)

And to this day I am having constant problems with the babies health. Since they had an inbred dad and an underage mom, they simply are not healthy. They are all drasticly smaller then they should be, and each of tehm has there own little defects. But I kept the 5 little babies and love them all dearly.

And, As a ncie little ending, all 3 of my boys are getting neutered soon!


Offline Heather

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2003, 11:48:06 PM »
I'm the worst one here. The whole thing started with Meeu, who I bought Feb 13 of last year and I knew she was pregnant. She had 11 babies, I kept one black self (Dante) and gave the other 6 boys to a girl at Petsmart. The 4 girls all went to a "breeder" whom I got Jinn and Zeke from later on. Carmelita got out into the woods and was never found, and the other 3 girls were so aggressive they had to be seperated because they almost killed a pregnant himilayan they were housed with until she had her babies. After that, I got Gracie from the girl.. already pregnant. She agreed to take all the babies, 6 of them. After that, Mala and Salem got out and she had a litter of 13 I think. Megan worked at a petstore where she found homes for her babies at, so I gave her Mala's litter when they were weaned. I thought it was the end of pregnant rats and babies but I was wrong. Gracie got in with the boys one day and ended up pregnant with 8 that time. While Gracie was still nursing her litter, Jinn (my little hairless) slipped through the bars of the crappy ferret cage I had seperated for the two sexes (girls on top, boys on bottom.. 2 solid shelves were bwtween them) and got Mala and Meeu pregnant. Together they had 26 babies. Mala had 9 and Meeu had 17. Kim was nice enough to take 3 boys, and 3 girl's from Gracie's last litter. I still had 22 babies (I kept Beans from Meeu's litter).. so I contacted everyplace I could and asked if they sold rats for pets, not feeders. I posted around for weeks but no one wanted them.. and at the time I had over 30 rats. I finally found a store that guarenteed to sell them as pets. They took them all in and I never seen them again.. as I've never seen the other rats I gave away (except the ones that went to Kim who lives like 10 mins away). It was the WORST experienece ever.. and I feel so horribly guilty I couldn't stand to look at myself for the longest time. :'(

Edit- I also wanted to add that I received some heartbreaking info awhile back and just forgot to post it here. The babies I took to the pet store that said they would be sold as pets, were infact, sold as feeders. I talked to someone who went to that store sometimes and said all the feeders were PEWs PLUS black berks and hoodeds.. just the type I dropped off at the store.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2005, 11:56:47 PM by Heather »

Offline DragonTamer

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2003, 05:15:48 PM »
I don't breed, and I never will.. but I have had experience with two "accidental" litters...

the first one, was with my second rat, Blueberry.  The father was my step-brother's rat, Digger, who always escaped from the tank.. since my step brother never closed the lid all the way when he was done holding him.  Anyway, the rat escaped, and got to mine..  I found them together and freaked out.  of course, a few weeks later, I had 7 babies.  

I kept one female to house with my girl, since the female she was housed with originally had died of cancer not long before this happened.  The second female, I gave to the special ed classroom at my high school.  what a mistake...  I finally started hearing about them swinging her by her tail, poking her with things, and abusing her.. and almost no one would actually HOLD her because she "bit".   So when I heard this, I took her back.  She was extremely afraid, but never ever bit me.   she just would sit in my arms shaking ...   Her mother and sister seemed to recognize her immediately, and started grooming (not power grooming, either) her, and they all slept together immediately...   Mimi died before her mother (Digger, the father, was a poorly bred feeder rat)... and both her mother and Ash (who was also ridden with cancer, while the mother just had a bit of arthritis and that was it) were put to sleep during that whole ordeal I had..  

the second litter I had, was a pregnant himalayan rat I bought from a pet store.  I had NO clue she was pregnant when I got her... but I wound up with 15 babies, one stillborn.  I kept two girls from this litter, gave one to a person I knew online, another Suebee helped transport, and the rest went to an absolutely wonderful woman I met online, who I later got two rescue rats from years later.  

Well... the mother bit badly, and constantly.  I handled the babies every single day, but they still wound up being extremely skittish rats, and one of them that I know of, wound up being a biter, as well...

I would never breed intentionally.. and my rats are absolutely 100% not allowed anywhere near the opposite gender..  the same goes for the mice.  trying to find homes for that many rats is next to impossible!  

Offline Noe

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2003, 10:30:32 PM »
Although I have never bred rats, I want to plead to anyone considering breeding their rats, to please think about it some more. If you want more rats, there are so very many without homes, who would be overjoyed to share yours. Remember that even if you find homes for all the rats you breed, those are homes that could have taken in rescue rats instead.

All the brave people who are sharing their stories here, are hoping that others can learn from their mistakes. Don't let them down.
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Offline jagu

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2003, 01:44:23 PM »
I thought I'd "share" my story here too as well, since I've recently had a new litter born, to one of my rats.  This has been the first litter for me & so far it's been quite a positive experience.  Having already owning several female rats (all from pet stores, including some I've "saved"possible reptile food) of various colors & ages & all mostly in very good health, I was interested when I saw an ad posted in a local grocery store several weeks ago, advertising that someone privately was giving away rats, so of course I had to check it out and ended up w/2 more rats (a male & a female) both approximately 5-6 months old.  The male, Tiny, (who was already named when I got him) male is a very hairy all black boy, and the female Nikki (whom I renamed from "Nokia", which was her original name & I really didn't care for it too much, so decided to name her something quite similiar to "Nokia") is a pink hairless female.  Since I already owned a younger female pink hairless rat, Bo (whom is absolutely adorable, both looks & personality wise) I couldn't resist getting another hairless one, and I also really wanted to get a nice healthy young male rat, for breeding purposes (BTW Tiny has a great personality, except for one small thing I'll explain about later).  Anyhow not too long after I got Tiny & Nikki, I decided to put them together, and after a couple of weeks, Nikki started to look fat, so I figured that she was pregnant.  I then seperated them and house Nikki in a special "maternity" plastic enclosure that I had (& really "pampered" the little mommy to be, by offering her extra food & a few "goodies", etc.).  Anyhow I work a night job PT at a group home (my shifts there are generally from 11pm to 7 am), and two weeks ago on the evening of April 7th/8th I worked and, after I got back to my apartment I went to sleep in the morning, to get some shut eye.  Anyway I woke up @ about 3pm to what sounded like baby birds,  and got all excited.  I went to Nikki's enclosure & she was giving birth to her litter!  So far she had 5 babies and over the next hour or so had 6 more babies, all alive at birth.  She appeared to be doing an excellent job, cleaning the babies, (& I know that this sounds gross) eating the placentas, and nursing right away.  I was thrilled and examined the new family and the babies all seemed to be really healthy, so I let them be for the next day.  However the next day one of the babies had died, so I have no idea what happened other than I suspect that it possibly had a birth defect (though the baby appeared to look fine).  Anyhow the rest of the babies grew rapidly. except for the smallest one which is really a runt, so I was quite worried about him (& I did sex the babies right away), and didn't know whether he was going to make it or not, but a few days later when I was away for several hours visiting a friend, I came home to find another baby (not the runt, but a good sized one)dead, but it was under all of the other babies and looked like maybe it had been crushed or suffocated or something as to put it bluntly, it was flattened out.  Anyhow the rest of the babies (now 9 total) are doing fine, including the runt (who though is still very small appears to be healthy & vigorous), and Nikki is a great mother rat.  They'll be 2 weeks old tomorrow and I'm not quite sure as to what to do with the litter (though I do definately want to keep at least one on the males for possible future breeding purposes to my other hairless rat, Bo, whom is completely unrelated to Nikki) and will try to find homes for the rest.  The babies are all dark and appear to be just getting their fur in.  Three of them have curly whiskers and one of the males seems not to be growing very much if any hair yet, so that's the one I'll probably keep.  There's a Pet Expo (where I got my very first 2 ratties, Velma & Daphne , over a year ago) nearby, that says that they would take the babies to sell them there, and then give me store credit for each rat I'd give them.  I also may let go of a couple of other rats, including Zoe (Bo's sister), who is a grey Rex, simply because I haven't had very much time to spend socializing her and she is a bit shy & "skittish".  I've also put Tiny with Bo, and hopefully she'll produce a litter too as well as I'd like to keep a male from her litter to breed w/Nikki, and then possibly give Tiny to Pet Expo too is well, since he's still quite a young rat.  BTW Zoe & Bo are both about 4 months old now.  What I basically want to do is try & get rats that are 3/4 hairless by breeding Nikki's & Tiny's male offspring w/Bo and breeding Bo's & Tiny's possible (yet to be) male offspring w/Nikki, and even though this may sound a bit complicated, there wouldn't be any inbreeding involved as I find that I really love my hairless girls (especially since they both have such great personalities, very, very friendly & loving) and would likr to possibly produce some young to share with or introduce other owners the joys of owning hairless rats.  As I had mentioned earlier there was a bit of a problem w/Tiny (& I sure hope that it isn't inheretid or anything) and that is even though he's a real sweetie who loves to cuddle & such and that is that he has a poop problem and deposits big stinky turds just about everytime I take him out, so I don't know what to do about it.  At first I thougt that maybe it would pass w/time, but since I've now had & handles him for almost 2 months, he still does it.  The place where I got him from though, I don't know if the former owners, handled him very much, especially since they had several other males all in the same enclosure, and they apparently had a favorite.  Well I've got to get going now and I can't think of much more to say, but I just thought that I'd share my fairly positive story (so far) about my first litter of baby rats!


Offline jagu

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2003, 02:36:11 PM »
Sorry about that last post there as I apparently got unexpectadly & rather harshly flamed for it, in what I thoght would be a positive posting.   :'(

Offline jagu

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2003, 02:37:02 PM »
Not here on the MB's but in a chat.


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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2003, 02:39:00 PM »
« Last Edit: April 21, 2003, 03:05:22 PM by Anna »

Offline jagu

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2003, 03:04:17 PM »
the rats I bred are not from any pet shop.

Offline jagu

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Re:Personal stories about breeding
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2003, 03:05:47 PM »
or maybe I'm just too innocent to know everything  :sad2: