The Information section contains the following articles on breeding related issues:
- Safe transportation of rats
- Socialising kittens
- Feeding rats for reproduction and growth
- Preparing for birth
- Mating and pregnancy
- Homing rats
- Deciding to breed
- Sexing rats
Q: One of the girls I bought form a pet shop last week has just had babies! Help!
A: Sadly this is not an uncommon problem with some pet shops. The main things to consider initially are:
- Making sure your little family are in suitable accommodation
- Whether or not to separate the girl(s) who haven't had babies
- Making sure their nutritional needs are met.
- Beginning to socialise the kittens.
Q: My two rats are healthy and friendly, why shouldn't I breed them together?
A: Many health and temperament issues can be hidden in the parents which will however affect the babies, and can condemn them and their owners to a lot of suffering. See the thread about the effects of irresponsible breeding for an example.
Q: Where should I buy my rats from?
A: There are pros and cons to buying your rats from various outlets if you are buying simply for pets:
A reputable breeder breeds for temperament and health and will handle the rats from a very early age, making them very well socialised before you even get them! They can also tell you the history of the parents and the rest of the lineage so you can get some idea of longevity and possible health problems, and breeders tend to be very knowledgeable about rats in general and would want you to ask questions. The variety of rats available through breeders is more diverse than that available in shops. However, you may not be able to find a breeder in your area, you may have to wait for your kittens to be born (though this does give you more time to find out more about rats!). They will also offer advice and support to you throughout your rats' lives.
Choosing a breeder article
Even as a first time rat owner, rescue rats can be an option. Anyone homing rats should take care to match you with suitable rats, and there are often baby rats looking for homes. Rescue rats, like pet shop rats, come with no history. However, many are well socialised and would make ideal first pets. Adopting rescue rats article.
While pet shops may seem an obvious place to get pets, there is a lot of cruelty involved in the pet trade and Fancy Rats does not endorse buying from them. Buying rats from a pet shop article.
You may also find it interesting to read the thread about a Visit to a rodent farm (with pics!) from the old forum, and My visit to a 'small scale' rodent farm on this forum.