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Re: Couple questions on rat breeding.


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Posted by Sonya on April 05, 2003 at 19:49:26:

In Reply to: Couple questions on rat breeding. posted by nodaksnakelover on April 05, 2003 at 12:45:10:

All three were scared and nervous and only the male has settled down some. Anyhow, they had their first babies. The first female I never even knew was pregnant. She had two, as far as I know, and takes good care of them. The second female was a week behind and got huge but only found two babies from her, also being well taken care of. Questions, the older two babies are female, should I raise them up to a certain age before breeding them to a male at all? I plan to handle the babies a lot, at what age can I safely wean them and start this so they are tame rather than wild like their parents? I'm hoping the wild female's second litters are larger. I'm assuming the second female ate most of her litter keeping just the two, I'm chalking that up to her extereme nervousness. Sad to see rats so nervous! Though they too seem to be getting better. Thanks for any info given!
:Russell Keys
:


If it were me I would think that they likely had more pups but either were too stressed with the move or what not and cannabalized down to two. I personally would let them raise them to weaning at 4 weeks (wean them and offer oatmeal and breakfast cereals {just not frosty coated sugar bomb types} from about 2 weeks on.) With only 4 pups they ought to be monster sized for you. Handle them well and they will be more calm and trusting and then if you want to raise the girls to be breeders too then I would separate them from the male until they are about 3 or 4 months old (depending on size) Then breed them. The other moms will likely do better with second litters 'cause they will have settled.
If the moms will let you, without biting, I would handle the pups every day. I have a pair of 'rescue' girls that are totally skittish but I dump them out of the nest box and handle the babies every couple of days. (they bite if I just reach in) I am hoping to keep a couple of the girls too and so I want them handleable. The others are going in the freezer at two weeks anyway as I am only feeding that size.
Sonya



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