Breeding rats is not just a case of putting
a male in with a female. While there are many things you need
to consider before breeding, I think there are 3 main rules:
Are the parents healthy, friendly, and free
You should never breed rats that are aggressive,
unhealthy, or have any deformities such as odd-sized eyes,
club feet, kinked tails etc. Only experienced breeders should
breed manx and hairless rats, as they have special needs.
Aggression can never be "bred out" of rats, so even
if you have a stunning rat with fantastic bloodlines, she
shouldn't be bred if she is known to be nasty to humans or
Will I have time to properly handle and socialise
Rats that are handled from birth are
more comfortable with humans
If you are careful, you can handle baby rats
from birth - just be careful to distract the mother first,
as some mother rats can be very protective of their babies.
It is a myth that mother rats will kill and/or eat her babies
if you get your smell on them. A mother rat will only do that
if the baby has a severe deformity, is stillborn, or if she
is so undernourished from the pregnancy that she is forced
to eat the baby to save herself. If you are able to distract
the mother to handle the babies, it can be very beneficial.
By handling and playing with the babies, they
will be used to humans from day one, and make much better
pets. Rats that aren't handled early, or are mishandled or
hurt by humans, will either be very timid and frightened of
humans, or may be aggressive.
Will I be able to find good homes for all of
This is VERY IMPORTANT. If you don't know where
you will home your babies, or you assume that you can send
them to the local pet store,
When I breed my rats, I always make sure that
people want the babies first. I will always have several people
waiting for my babies at one time. If I can't home all of
them, then I am prepared to keep the rest - I am a responsible
breeder. I won't send my babies off to bad homes, and I don't
send them to pet stores. Pet stores, although it is illegal,
DO SELL BABY RATS FOR SNAKE FOOD. Even if the pet store is
responsible, and refuses to sell rats for snake food, snake
owners can easily pretend to want to buy a rat as a pet, and
get away with it. "Live feeding" is illegal in Australia,
but it still happens. I refuse to let my babies become food.
Remember, breeding rats is not something that
you do for fun. It needs careful planning, and a lot of work.
still interested in breeding rats? continue
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