Recently obtained female, pretty sure she's preggers.

Breeding related topics, including the care of pregnant and nursing does, kitten questions and subjects like inbreeding and outcrossing.
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Recently obtained female, pretty sure she's preggers.

Post by felicitousmaximus » Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:57 pm

Hello everyone. I wanted to find a forum of educated rat fanciers to help me with our (my daughter and me) newest pet, a sweet tempered female rat. I'm a country girl, so I'm undaunted by the prospect of having a rat as a pet. They're clean, smart, and loveable. On a recent doctors visit, I happened upon a pet store advertising tailless rats, what they should've said was "we have rats whose tails have been cut off." I found our poor little girl in a ten gallon tank with docked and undocked rats of both sexes. She, despite having no tail, was the most curious and friendly one of all. Whereas the others tended to pick a corner of the tank and pile up on one another in what I could only assume was fear. She is what they call a Dumbo rat, with her ears on the sides of her heads and is what I believe is classified as Essex in coloration. That was on the 21st of this month. At the time I knew there was a possibility that she could be pregnant, but her personality won me over and I already know what I will do if she does bear a litter. My pressing question to you all is this, and being completely unfamiliar with rat behavior I'm dying to know. What does a doe tend to act like before any physical signs of pregnancy are obvious? I should add that at the time of purchase her nipples weren't visible, but now, eight days later are without a doubt discernable, albeit not completely exposed. And she is very calm in her tank, but once taken out she runs around like there's a hawk overhead and she can't take cover quickly enough. She has never bitten, never freaked out, never reacted in anyway to suggest that she feels threatened by us. The first night we had her home she fell asleep in my lap, now she acts as if she's being fed coca leaves once out of her tank. It may just be common sense to assume she is pregnant having been kept with so many males....I couldn't find another docked female in the tank. And I bought her because I didn't want her to be in a store that sold docked rats as "tailless", or manx rats, in a cage with a bunch of males knowing her babies would end up being feeders. I couldn't get all the girls, but I did get her. Basically, any insight into the behavior of gravid rats would be helpful, and I thank all of you in advance for your kind attention.
:baby: ?

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Re: Recently obtained female, pretty sure she's preggers.

Post by Caza66 » Fri Oct 30, 2015 6:43 am

What a bad start for your rat keeping. Glad you took you on but you have a task on your hands. I think gestation is around 21 days. later on she may start nest building, so it would be worth moving her to a low level cage in around a weeks time. She may also not want anything to do with you as she starts to concentrate on giving birth. There will be some weight gain so it may be an idea to start weighing her. Somebody else will come along shortly to give you some more advice. Good luck.
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Re: Recently obtained female, pretty sure she's preggers.

Post by cyber ratty » Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:01 am

First and foremost, if you are in the UK, please report the store to the RSPCA and to the local council - that is appalling cruelty. :cry:

Secondly, if she is not pregnant, please find one or two more girls from somewhere else to introduce to her as companions as she should not be kept alone (see the why rats need company article). If she has a litter, then keep a couple of daughters.

Thirdly, she needs to be in a barred cage not a tank. There are lots of examples of cage setups in this section.

Finally, there is no way to be sure whether a rat is or isn't actually pregnant until she actually births. There may be changes in behaviour, but it's not possible for you to tell as you didn't have her beforehand. There will be significant weight gain, but that is also going to be true for any young rat going through their growth spurt. In most cases, during the final week you will be able to see a distinct swelling up (often described as swallowing an orange), but some does hide it well, and a small litter will not show so much.

I would move her into a low (< 18" tall) barred cage without any shelves or hammocks, and provide her with lots of nesting material. If she hasn't birthed and doesn't look pregnant by the time you've had her for 23 days, then seek out some friends for her asap (ideally, have some lined up already just in case).

... and welcome to FR :D

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Re: Recently obtained female, pretty sure she's preggers.

Post by ElizabethW » Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:50 am

Best of luck with everything and welcome to the forum :D
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Re: Recently obtained female, pretty sure she's preggers.

Post by RedFraggle » Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:38 pm

Am guessing you are in the USA?
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