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Posted by patricia sherman on April 12, 2003 at 11:05:42:
In Reply to: Lesson I learned for a beginner breeder! posted by kylle345 on April 08, 2003 at 16:46:18:
:So the lesson I learned from this was to........NEVER PEEP ON THE RAT!!!
Especially when they're birthing their first litters, the mamas do require privacy. I lost more than one litter when I was new to this because I didn't give them a hidey-place.
Over the past couple of years, I've rarely lost any newborns. What I do, is place each expectant mama into her own birthing cage a couple of days before the babies are due. These cages are kept in a dimly-lighted location. I use cardboard or folded newspaper as dividers between the the cages, and I cover the tops with cardboard (or stack a second cage above). So each girl has a very private and darkened retreat where nothing can disturb her.
If a first-time mama that has privacy still kills her babies, she only gets one free pass. If she kills her second litter, she's history.
For your girlie, I'd say to immediately re-breed her, and it will only be less than four weeks before she births again. After she has her babies, leave her alone so that she can bond with them for about 24 hours. Once you've done that, you'll be able to handle them and her without risk of her killing them. Once she's raised a litter, she'll be much less anxious when she births subsequently, because she'll have learned that you aren't a threat to her when she's feeling vulnerable.