90% Sure Raisin Is Pregnant!!
Some of you may or may not know. But I have two hairless rats. A handsome male named Beaker and a beautiful blue female named Raisin. Around me hairless rats are very hard to find. Female hairless even more so. I have read and been told that female hairless rats make horrible mothers. They may not lactate, the may eat all the babies, or just the female babies, and sometimes they just want nothing to do with them. I am prepared for that though. I have several places I can get a pregnant and nursing haired female from to take over if Raisin has trouble.
Anyways. I have been waiting for what seems like forever for her to be old enough and big enough. She was old enough for a while but not big enough. Then she was old enough and big enough, but she would not take to Beaker. Well, it finally happened. I mated them on the first of August. Yesterday I saw the first signs, besides her belly growing some and her nesting. Her nipples popped out! I am 90% sure that she is pregnant. She is eating even more like a piggie, nesting in the rat igloo; Madeline and Sidney (Maddy’s last baby girl of her first litter) do not really bother her. She plays some, but mostly stays in the igloo. I have been watching her carefully and I really can not express how delighted I am.
I want to keep all the female babies because they are so rare. I already have a whole waiting list of people who want hairless rats. So they will all have homes, and if they do not, I am ready to home them until they can be adopted.
So my whole point of this thread is to ask some advice. I am a vet student, I have read more than I can put into words about rats, and I have had other rat litters. This however, is my first hairless litter. Madeline and Raisin grew up together. I got Raisin when she was tiny from a horrible pet store before they could put her in with the male hairless. I watched her grow up and I am very attached, so like all my rats, she is more than a rat who produced babies. She is my beloved pet. As excited as I am, I am worried too.
I have to go away for the weekend and will not be back until late Sunday night. There is no way I can not go, I need to take care of some school business that I have been putting off for a while. My parents are watching all my rats so things should be fine. I believe she will have her babies when I am gone. I am unsure of what I should do. My boyfriend said to bring her with us, but that is dumb. The hour car ride, the moving to a new cage, no familiar scents, it would increase her chances of a miscarriage or cause her to eat her babies. So, what I am wondering is. Her and Madeline are cage mates, they get along wonderfully. Madeline has already had a litter so she can help Raisin. But, I am wondering if I should leave Sidney in there. She gets along fine too and cleans Raisin all the time. However, she may get jealous and hurt the babies, if I take her out during the labor, Madeline or Raisin may get upset and hurt the litter. There are so many ifs, maybes, buts, etc. I do not want to put Raisin by herself, and I do not want to upset their little world by moving someone out. But I want her and her babies to have the best shot. My parents will watch them and let me know everything that is happening. So I could coach them over the phone. I could always come home if something arose as well. But I can not not go.
So, knowing all the facts, and knowing that female rats often help each other with the litter and that they are a happy little community that have lived together almost all their lives. What would you do if they were your rats? I know what to do medically and by the books/facts, but not what to do in my own mind. I need to be able to go away without worrying and feeling sick the whole time.