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Rat Breeding

Discussion in 'Feeders' started by Semanticprison, Apr 11, 2008.

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  1. Semanticprison

    Semanticprison Active Member

    (Pardon me if this is the wrong place to put this post, I didn't see a section for it)

    Now that my reptile collection has gotten large, Im beginning to think about setting up a rat rack and breeding my own cricks/roaches. Be glad to hear any advice anyone has on these subjects. Currently I make a weekly trip to the store to pick up all the various rats and mice I need, and order 1000 crickets every 2-3 weeks for my other animals. How much work and initial cost does it take to set up a cricket farm and a rat rack? And are roaches really that much easier, as I've been told in the pet store? My gf hates the thought of me breeding roaches, she hates the cricks as is. And as far as the rats go, do you feed them fresh killed or is there a humane way to kill and freeze them when they are the right size?
  2. titus

    titus Elite Member Premium Member

    I don't breed rat's but I do breed mice for my snakes I have 3 groups of 1,4 and that feeds my 14 snakes most times. Every now and again I need to buy feeders. So mattering on how many you need it could cost you very little. I tried my hand at breeding crickets and they stink way too much to keep inside unluss you have a grage or shed you can heat and keep them in I really don't know if you would want to try.

    I feed my mice fresh killed most times. You can use a method where a stick or something is placed behind the head and pull the tail this severs the spinal cord and in lest than 5 second their dead and can be frozen this is by far the quickest and in my eyes best way to FK mice/rats.
  3. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    I moved your thread to the Feeders forum ;)

    Unless you really don't have many snakes (like one), breeding your own rats will help cut down on how often you need to buy them, but I don't think it will eliminate the need completely. You just won't be able to breed enough and let them grow to feeding size without needing to buy a few in between cycles, unless you have a rather large rat colony. You also have to consider if you're really saving money by housing the rats, buying them food and bedding and having to clean their cages at least every week. But if it winds up being worth it, then go for it.

    As for preserving vs feeding fresh killed, I don't see why you can't just kill them and then freeze them. Personally I just put them in a sturdy plastic bag and then whack them against a hard surface, usually a counter-top or the floor. It sounds brutal, but really they're dead before they even know what happened. It's all over as fast as you can swing your arm. Just make sure you swing hard enough to kill them instantly, but not so hard they explode or burst out of the bag.

    Breeding cockroaches is way better than breeding crickets if you ask me. They're easier to breed, they breed more readily, they're less smelly, less noisy, they don't die so easily, and they don't lay eggs (though some species lay oothecas). Plus the nymphs are already "cricket sized" when they're born, so you don't have to wait for them to grow up. There are a number of cockroach species you can choose from, and different ones have different pros and cons. My personal experience is with Madagascar hissing cockroaches. I recently put some pictures up in the Invertebrates section that you may find interesting. This page will give you some info on breeding them:
    Hissing Cockroach Husbandry ( care sheet )

    Now keep in mind that although hissers can't fly, they can climb. It's not usually a big problem if they have better places to hide and climb (like egg cartons), but you still may want to put a layer of petroleum jelly or something around the edge of the enclosure near the top. You can also order Insect-A-Slip from BioQuip Home Page Has Moved..., which will work better. Or you can use neither, and hope none get out :p Other roach species can't climb smooth surfaces, but they trade that with the ability to fly.
  4. Ipanda

    Ipanda Elite Member

    I breed rats, not for snake food anymore. If you use 2-3 females, and have ample room for litters, you can get in a cycle where a litter is ready to feed every week. Its alot of work, almost more than its worth.. You have to keep things really clean, or you can wind up with unhealthy feeders. If you want to pm me ill give you more details, there is just too much to write here lol
  5. goldrockin_froggie

    goldrockin_froggie Well Established Member

    i have a full room of rats, mice and snakes, i use to whack the rat adults(too many nose bleeds) but now i place on a flat surface, apply the back side of a clever or a screwdriver while grabbing the base of the tail and pulling while neck pressing. they kick sometimes but no nose bleeds. i also buy those sturdy plastic shelves from WM and add tanks to it, i have it all figure out. ok to PM me
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