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Feeder rat

Discussion in 'Feeders' started by Jem_Scout, Sep 20, 2004.

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  1. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    I have 3 rats in this tank (30 L) 2 females and a male.
    I think one of my females is pregnant, she's getting huge and her nipples are showing more and more each day....the other female I'm not quite sure yet but seems to be gaining weight.
    The problem is with the male. He was hit/scratched in the eye. It was like he was poked in the eye and didn't want to open it very far and it had like tears/watery like....so I wiped it out/off with water three times a day for 2 days and it seems to be ok. It's wide open and bright today with no tears or water by it.
    Did one of the females poke him in the eye because she is pregnant? I moved the male to his own tank for now to keep an eye on him...just in case one of the females is being mean to him.
    Is this the right thing to do with him?
     
  2. Jay DeMore

    Jay DeMore Elite Member

    It was probably an accident but moving him just to be safe seems like the best thing to do.
     
  3. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    WHOOHOOO WE have babies!!
    Maybe she DID fight with him a bit huh?
    The other Female rat is on the other side of the tank so she won't disturb the mom giving birth. There are 3 little pink babies already and she still looks just as fat as before! lol
    I'll leave the male seperate for now.
    Any tips I need to know at this time?
     
  4. Lyn

    Lyn Elite Member

    I am watching and waiting too

    I have a rat thats due to give birth Wednesday or there abouts...can I leave the other non pregnant female with her? or should I give them privacy...they seem to tussle at times...Lyn
     
  5. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    I was going to ask that to Lyn (great minds think alike ;))
    The other one of my females seems to be leaving the mom alone, but I don't know if that's because the mom rat ran her off or what...They say to just leave the moms to do their job and not disturb them and try to check on the babies right away...24-48 hrs (I read).

    Bitis? Anyone? lol
    I was just up in the Rat room to check on mom through the tank and she has the babies tucked right up under her so I can't see the babies. She seems to still be in labor...when do I start to worry about her?
    Eeks!! Now what do I do?
    A worried Jem here....
     
  6. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Ok, first things first, you must leave the males and females separate - otherwise the male will continuously breed with the female, not giving her time to recover from this birth. Also it is best to separate both the females too, and leave the mother and babies on their own - the females may fight, or stress each other. It is possible to leave the female rats together, as the other may leave the mother rat alone, but there is the possibility that if the other female is pregnant one may steal the other's babies.

    You need to separate the babies at 4-5 weeks old,. the females can be left with the mother, but the males are sexually mature by this age and will attempt to breed with the females.. it is easy to tell the difference between the sexes! :D
    If you are wanting to take some of the baby rats to feed now, then only take half of the litter away, otherwise you could cause emotional stress to the mother. Give her a break of a few weeks after this before you breed her again - she can in theory be bred again immediately, but this is very bad for her physically and will dramatically shorten her lifespan.

    Don't touch the babies, unless you are intending to take some of them for feeders.. you run the risk of the mother rat rejecting or eating the babies if she smells your scent. If you do need to touch them at all it is best to wear gloves to start with so you don't get your scent on them. When they open their eyes and start moving around (usually by 10-14 days) it should be ok to touch them then. The mother will wean the babies on her own.. provide her with extra food and water - a mixture of good rat food, and human foods - fresh fruit and bread dipped in milk is particularly good for feeding mothers.

    I think that's about it.. ask away if i missed anything! :)
     
  7. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    So far the other rat isn't bothering the Momma. I think she's pregnant too though. I'll keep a closer eye on them and seperate if needed.
    I'll let the moms rest between litters and I'm not planning on taking any babies right away. Thank god I cleaned the tanks yesterday huh? How and when should I clean the tank again? Tomorrow morning? A few days? When it needs it? (usually every 3-4 days I clean them).
    Can I leave all the ADULT breeder boy rats in the same tank even tough they will be moving in and out for breeding purposes only? Will they fight if I do that?
     
  8. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    The males should be fine together, as long as there is plenty of space for them. Males get much larger than females and will need a big tank, though they do not usually fight.. all rats will have a scuffle at some point, this is normal and develops the relationships. If there is a problem, and some of your rats don't get along, then you will need to house them in a different cage.

    Do not clean the mother and babies' cage for at least a week! You shouldn't need to clean it so often anyway. Once a week is perfectly adequate for rats, sometimes longer is fine. It depends on how many rats are kept together, what they are fed.. sometimes our rats need cleaning every week, other times we can leave them a few days longer. However, it depends on what you are keeping them in - there are glass tanks available for keeping rodents in, and these will need cleaning more frequently than cages. When you clean the cage with the babies in i would suggest wearing gloves to transfer mother and baby to another cage while you clean, so as not to "scent" the babies and so as not to disturb them too much. The mother may be a little hostile towards you, and you must clean and transfer as quickly as possible so as not to stress her out. If your other female is pregnant i would suggest separating her.
     
  9. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    All of my rats are in glass tanks. I clean them often because I can't stand the smell IF they get too stinky! lol That's why I don't have mice...I would be cleaning those cages daily! LOL EWWWWWW Mice are just gross!
    The males "mark" their territory like a male dog right? That would mean the males tank would need cleaning more often than the females.....
    I promise to clean the Mommas cages less often ;)
    I was reading about 'litter training' rats...just how easy is that to do? It would be easy to change the litter pan every other day ;)
     
  10. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    I don't believe that it is actually possible to litter train rats.. it is obviously increasingly difficult the more rats you have. I have 6 females, and to litter train them would be impossible. Rats produce two types of poo - one that is re-ingested for digestive reasons, and the other that is complete waste product. I have noticed that our rats seem to go to the toilet more in one corner of their cage than in the others, however throughout the week the whole cage quickly becomes a toilet! I believe the females also "mark territory" as well as males. The glass tanks are not as desirable as cages, mainly due to the fact that the amonia builds up very quickly and your rats will need cleaning much more often than rats kept in cages, a) because of the smell and b) because of the risk of respiratory infections. However, as i said, you should leave the mother and babies alone for a week. Only go in to provide food and water, and when you do clean them wear gloves.
     
  11. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    Then my cleaning shedule isn't too bad (every 3-4 days)? I have the ceiling fan on low in there in the day time and off at night. It basically moves the air around and through the cages (kinda lol)
    Does the mom need any extra warmth while she has babies with her?
     
  12. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    No, rats don't do well in heated conditions. They are best kept, at the highest, room temp, but obviously sometimes it can't be helped that the temp get slightly warmer or cooler. The fan circulating air is a good idea, however don't let the air get too dry, rats need moderate humidity, and things such as air conditioning and central heating can dry the air too much that it can cause respiratory problems.
     
  13. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    Nope no AC allowed in the Rat room...I figured they would get too cold if I left the door open with the AC on. Besides,the dogs and cats can get in there if I leave the door open and I don't need to stress the rats out.

    Can I feed the rats the stems and fruit peels that are left over from feeding the Iguana? I know to go slow with meats of the fruits and veggies but I didn't know about the stems and peels being fed to them.
     
  14. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    I'm not sure about peels and stems.. best to feed them good quality fresh fruit and veg, along with meat, bread, and other bits of human food that are left over on your plate. Although rats are scavengers, so will eat pretty much everything! Remember what you feed your rats your snake will in effect be eating too. DO NOT feed male rats oranges or orange juice or peel - it can cause cancer from a hormone that male rats posess,. females can be fed oranges. :)
     
  15. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    Thanks for all your help Bitis :)
    I'll feed them the better parts of the veggies, just not the stems and the fruits of course. I knew about the oranges but thanks for the reminder :)
    This is what I feed all the feeders:
    Gerbil and Guinea pig food
    A bit of Med size parrot food, it has dehydrated veggies and fruits in it (like for Sun conures)
    A bit of Old Roy Dog Food for their protein.
    And I change their water daily (with immatation vanilla drops in it for the smell ;))

    I'll add bread and milk (2% ok?) to the Mommas food list but need to know how much is ok and what kind of bread ie: Wheat, White, Rye, Corn etc....
    Anything else I need to feed her to make her pups nice and healthy?

    And do I need to watch out for red dyes in EVERYTHING I feed the rats or is that just what I need to watch out for in the dog food (and make sure it doesn't have any).
     
  16. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    You can tell me to shut up anytime now! :p
    I'll pick your brain until I'm satified otherwise! ;) LOL
     
  17. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    LOL :D Pick away! :p

    Regarding the red dye,. i believe that is just in certain dog foods. The commercialised food you are feeding is wrong,. you should not feed rats gerbil and guinea pig food, just as you should not feed chinchillas rabbit pellets. Each of these foods have been specifically designed for each individual species of animal, you should only be feeding a commercialised rat food. Unless the food says "suitable for all small rodents" or "suitable for gerbils, mice, rats etc".. we get a dry rat food. Same goes for the parrot food - not suitable for rats. Certain other foods are not good in high quantities - foods like chocolate and nuts. The milky bread - feed any type of bread you want. Obviously wholemeal bread is the best as it has had none of its nutrients removed, but you can feed any bread - white, brown, wholemeal.. i am generous with the foods i feed our rats, and for a mother rat who was feeding do not be tight with food. You can also toast the bread, which our rats really love, but for a feeding mother soak bread in milk to help with her milk supply. Also cheese is great for protein and fat, although do not feed too much. If you can put a cuttlefish bone in the cage for the rats to chew on, which will increase their calcium intake, however our rats often just pull it off the bars and throw it around in the sawdust, covering it in wee! :p
     
  18. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    Ummmm ok I need to find a place that has rat food.....
    PetCo didn't have it unless it was in the "bulk" bin and I didn't see it. Anything else they can eat in the meantime or can they finish the rest of this food up?
    Another excuse to go shopping ;) lol
     
  19. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    We have 8 babies :)
    Cute little wigglers too :p
    Momma rat is such a good mom and that's a relief for me! lol
    I had hubby pick up a few smaller bags of that Kaytee Rat food but the prices are unreal for that little bit! I'll be calling the Co-ops and feed stores to see if they have any or can order me some.
    I called PetCo and they sell rat food in Bulk for 3.99 A POUND!!!! Forget that!! I'll find it somewhere else :p
    Thanks again :)
    Jem
     
  20. venus

    venus Founding Member

    Hey Jem, what type of Rat food are you looking for?
     
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