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Posted by DeMak on April 03, 2003 at 21:51:32:
In Reply to: Super producing rats!!! posted by kylle345 on April 03, 2003 at 16:50:07:
I think for those of us who raise rodents mostly for our own use don't have much use for 'super' producers. There is only so much lab chow that a mom can turn into milk per day. I usually get 12 to 15 per litter and that seems to be about all mom can feed. I breed intensively, with moms being bred on the post partum heat. This means that moms are nursing one litter while gestating the next litter. Even this seems close to the limit and I give time off sometimes. At four weeks my rats are strong healthy fuzzies, just what makes my snakes happy.
I think it easier to pick good healthy stock. Look for clear eyes, smooth shiny coat, healthy skin under the coat and cool dry nose. Don't accept any scrawny, twitchy, sneezing animals and don't bring any new animals into your colony once you have it set up with out keeping them in a seperate place in quarrentine.
Then feed good chow (or dog food or seed/grain/etc. mix), not to hot and not to cold, keep them clean (I have switched over to alfalfa pellets per Satori's suggestion), clean water (I still use individual bottles because of my layout), and cull, cull cull. If someone is misbehaving, not producing, or is sickly, CULL them. Don't wait.
Have fun, sorry if I ranted...