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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 2 rats who very unexpectedley delivered babies, 1 littered last night and 1 sometime this afternoon - I can't actually "see" the babies but there is a lot of squeaking going on in there!

Anything I need to do?? I've made sure they have food and water but do they need anything because it's so unexpected obviously we've not been feeding them up or anything.......

There were 4 other girls in with these 2, 2 possibly 3 of them are pregnant do I need to put all 4 girls into seperate cages do you think or will they be okay together??

I've run out of cages (for now!) but can sort that out tomorrow if necessary. Anyway if someone could help that would be wonderful I never had rat pups before :?
 

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Hey Noami,

Rat babies are a bit easier to deal with than mouse babies. Unless the mums are underweight or very young you don't need to cull rats as they're much easier to find homes for than mice. They're also bigger so easier to handle and mums are generally far more relaxed about you handling them. I handled mine every day from day one. Feed the mums lots of chicken, cat food and bread and milk and they'll be fine.

The other girls should be fine together, might be worth splitting them into pairs though because rat litters absolutely stink and four adults + at least two litters might be too much for one cage, unless you cull the litters to about four each.

Sarah xxx
 

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Hey Naomi!

yes Sarah is right you can leave them together or split them, they won't mind too much.

If they have littered in together you probably won't be able to tell unless they have very seperate nests who's babies are whose. You can give them an even number if you like so that they are raising the same amount. Rat mums are quite good about being moved as long as it is only the once really.

If any of the other does start to look distressed or start fighting then remove them but otherwise they should just carry on regardless.

You need to give nursing mummy a really good diet, like Sarah said again lots of protein and yummy things. I give nursing mums a mash of Vitalin dog food, cows milk, bread and then add seaweed & garlic powder, I keep giving this until babies are taken away from mum. You don't have to go to this length, you could give wet cat food in the trays, tinned sardines, tinned baby rice, EMP bird food mixed with warm water.... any of these are good, try what is best for you :)

I wean baby rats at around 5 weeks old, sometimes I leave the girls in with mum for an extra week.

Hope this helps

Lisa x
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
okay that's all brilliant THANK YOU guys :cool: I was worried I may have to cull the litters and am hugely relieved I don't have to *phew* the babies are making A LOT of noise :lol:

few other questions, the Mum's aren't "tame" and they don't even seem to like me very much, would I be better off trying to remove them from the cage before checking on the babies - do you think they'll bite me??

Sorry I am a BIG wimp :lol:

when (roughly) will I be able to clean them out - they smell already but I can put up with it if I have to ;)

thanks again
 

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I remove mums from the cage when i'm checking litters, I like to keep my fingers intact lol, rats bite a LOT harder than mice!

I usually remove them to a small cage/tank and then do checking over.

You can clean out after a week or so, I try to put the nest bedding back in and clean out the rest. I'm afraid rats are not as particular as mice so you cannot just clean out the toilet corner, I clean out the whole cage, keeping the nest as intact as possible. If they have got the babies in an igloo or house I just take that out with babies in and clean out the cage then put them all back.

Seeing as mums are not tame I would handle the babies as much as you can, although they will learn much of their behaviour from mum. If they are very flighty at 3 weeks old then wean at 4 and a half weeks and spend lots of time socialising once mum is removed
 

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Aren't the rat pups huge, Naomi!?! I have rat litters in the house again after years and after all the mice, the pinkies are HUGE! Very easy to sex, though, I must say.

If the Mom's are not tame, I would definitely remove them before handling the babes. Rat Moms can be vicious, even when they are normally nice-tempered, they tend to be very protective of their babies...much more so than mice. My normally very sweet Siamese doe thinks she wants to amputate my fingers if I'm anywhere near her kids. If I take her out, she's fine as normal. Likes her pets and scratches and will cuddle. She's gotten me good a couple of times before I got smart enough to remove her EVERY time. The pups are the cutest sweetest things. Come runnin' as soon as I walk in the room!

I also supplement with canned cat food, Gerber Naturals baby food (they really like the chicken and gravy and the chicken and apples, among others) and I also mix up some Naturals whole wheat baby cereal for Moms and pups (older pups, obviously, but did this for moms while nursing, as well) and also sometimes mix a jar of baby food (instead of the water) with the dry cereal mix for a special treat. It makes kind of a paste that they really love. My one doe has 10 pups (just turned 4 weeks) and my other 6 (just turned 3 weeks) and they're all doing great. I did not reduce numbers and everyone is healthy, fat, and happy. Rattie mums seem to be able to handle larger numbers much more easily and with less stress to their bodies than the mice.

Hope that helps a little. Good luck! Can't wait for piccies! What do the mums look like?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
hey yes they're enormous :lol:

one Mum is a hooded I think and the other one is himalayan, they're both dumbos and very pretty and the himi is getting more friendly.

I've been working almost constantly but I'm off tomorrow so I'm going to try getting the Mums out so I can have a proper look at the babies, and take pictures ;)

I am worried they're going to bite me but I'll just be gentle and take my time, should be okay. Oh and I think I've found someone to "foster" 2 of the other girls from the same batch who are quite proably also pregnant!!

Any ideas how I'm going to re-home the babies?? And I do intend on handling them and doing my best to tame them up before they leave me........
 

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Hi Naomi

did you take these in as rescues? sometimes if thats the case and you got them from RSPCA or Blue Cross then they will take the litters back or some of them and re-home them via the rescue centre

I know a lady who recently got a doe from her local RSPCA and it had a litter and they took back all the bucks.

you could advertise the babies one here :) and ask around family and friends

if you start to get stuck with loads pm me with details and I'll see what help I can find for you
 

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I really love ratties, almost as much as mousies. The babies are so adorable. Someday, if and when I get tired of mousing round. Rats take up so much more room...but they're almost as smart as doggies. Baby bictures would be nice. :)
 

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Unless the litters are very large, the Mum should be able to manage pretty well. I use a little extra dog kibble in my mix than 10% to ensure pregnant and nursing does get enough protein. I also feed any mums with babies twice a day, usually once on something milky, either bread, baby rice, weetabix etc, and once on fresh fruit/veg (lots of brocolli and curly kale) and some fish or meat most days too.

I always handle my rat babies ery early, and the Mum's never seem to mind. I have certainly never been bitten, even by my most protective mums. If they don't like it, they usually just cover the litter over once I have finished.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
unfortunately I have been in bed with a horrible cold the last few days so I've hardly seen the ratties, good news though a good friend of mine (who lives nearby and helps with lots of the rescues) is fostering 1 Mum and her whole litter aswell as the other 2 females that we're not sure weather or not they're pregnant.

so I just have the 1 Mummy with her little so I'm hoping to be able to devote lots of time and attention to the babies as they grow, they will be MUCH easier to re-home if they're tame.

thank you for all your kind offers of help, I will certainly be in touch in the next few weeks if I get stuck.

I'm just off to see the babies now so hopefully I'll manage to get some pictures :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
FINALLY here is Mummy rat.......she's a bit jumpy and leapt out of the cage as soon as I took the lid off but I caught her and (thankfully) she didn't bite me ;)



And this is her litter - I think there's 11 but I didn't get to look closely por Mummy was all over the place and I really don't want to stress her out, they're a week old today so some of them looked a little furry



ear placement look like dumbos to me but I never seen such diddy ones so someone will have to let me know.......
 

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Very cute babies! Yes, some are dumbos, Mummy rat looks like a dumbo to me?

Are you sure they are a week old though? They are usually much hairier by a week old.

Really don't worry about getting bitten, rats very rarely bite, in fact, I have never been bitten by one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
midori said:
Are you sure they are a week old though? They are usually much hairier by a week old.
well I just checked and they were born last Friday the 2nd so yes today they're a week old, but they Mum is really young could that be why the babies are possibly under developed?

I'm worried now :(
 

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Don't worry. Sorry, didn't mean to worry you.

Just looked closely at the photos and you can see their fur is just coming through, so don't worry. 11 is a largeish litter too, so development will be a bit slower, especially if Mum is young.

They are gorgeous, try not to worry too much, they'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I did think they looked a little furry to me but when I posted the picture I was also confused as they look totally naked bless them, there could be more than 11 I will take your advice (about not being bitten) and have a better look at them, just going up to deliver fresh vegetables and scrambled egg now anyway ;)
 

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They all look dumbo, and some pretty markings in there so hopefully you will easily home them. Mum looks teeny bless her, is she very young? Rats are very good mums so as long as there is plenty of good food coming like you are doing then she should raise them all easily.
 

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they look exactly right for babies that age to me, they are very pretty with all those different markings.

Rats are slower to develop than mice, I have to keep reminding myself of that now with my mouse litters as they seem to me to develop so quickly & before I know it they are running about and eating!

I have also found that most of my mouse mums are a little more chilled than rat mums too.

She looks as though she is doing really well for a young girl with loads of babies, well done Naomi x
 
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