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Posted by DeMak on April 08, 2003 at 21:36:30:
In Reply to: what size colony for 50g rat breeder tubs? posted by ross2k on April 08, 2003 at 20:56:55:
:Anyone else have any thoughts? These are the red and green christmas style 50g rubber maids.
How many gals. or qts.(or liters or pecks) is only part of the equation. I think its more helpful to think in terms of floor space and litter changes. I keep no more than 1.4 breeders in sterite tubs (either 66 qt. tall or 32 qt. short) that have 2.6 sq. ft. of floor or .5 per rat. At this level, sometimes litter changes are nessecary mid week. Thats a drag, so I usually keep 1.2 and 0.3 (or even 1.3 , 0.1 and 0.1 when two moms have litters of different ages). I put some 1"X2"s between then for ventilation and stack them up. I keep the moms with Big Daddy till the day after they give birth, then I move them to cages to nurse. If two births are close together, I'll house them together. If not I'll house them alone. I think when the litters are more than a couple of days apart, the first litter gets most of the milk and the second litter is stunted. I have NO records to prove this, it's just what I think.
As for growing out, I would use a low container like the 32 qt. sterite (6 1/2" tall, 16" wide and 24" long). I don't remember how many I've kept in these, I know it was a lot. The same kind of sq. ft. idea applies, but allow that each rat has much less body mass than your breeders. If your breeders weigh 500 - 600 grams and your growing out to 250 grams, them maybe 10? Maybe more in the beginning. Seems to me I had 12 mediums in one with no harm. Just watch and keep them clean, they do poop alot while they're growing.
Let us know how it goes.