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Posted by DeMak on April 05, 2003 at 19:36:44:
In Reply to: Couple questions on rat breeding. posted by nodaksnakelover on April 05, 2003 at 12:45:10:
Do you want blue hooded rats or pet rats or feeders? If you want feeders, then I'd give them 1 more litter apiece. If production doesn't go up to 8, minimum, then I'd start over. 2 pups a month per breeder just might not be worth it. Personally I think its too much work and expense to go through for 4 pups. Many of us getting 10 to 15 per month with pet store rats. If you want pets or blue hoodeds then you may value the pups differently. Give them good chow, clean water, 50 to 70 degree temps and keep then clean, they may yet come around.
As for weaning, 4 or 5 weeks is generally OK. These may grow quicker since there are so few (more milk per pup). Search back in the posts and you will find several discussions on how old a rat should be before breeding. I generally go more by size, since I am just now starting to keep any records at all. Normally I would say you can handle the pups, rats don't generally eat their own. I'm not sure in this case, since you suspect them already.