ASF rats, yey or ney? Do any of you own them? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-03-2009, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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ASF rats, yey or ney? Do any of you own them?

So...about 40 minutes away from me there is a man who sells and breeds rats, mice, and ASFs (Natal rats). I contacted him asking for mice and he slowly talked me into AFSs.

Whats your opinions on AFSs? Are they good pets?

I just dont know about AFSs and what type of commitment were talking about. They dont like to be handled much but they do like to be petted and so forth. I dont know what type of pet ASFs are. With mice it is so minimal and easy. I take them for shoulder rides and watch them round and round in their wheels. They stink and are pretty nasty, but still. I love how you can just scoop them up and play with them. With ASFs I might not be the best person to own them. Ive never owned ASF rats before too. So I do have lots of questions.

Could they get Bishop (fancy rat) sick?

Is there something I should look for in picking them out?
Like sneezing, gooey eyes, big teeth?

Ive heard feeding them rat lab blocks, millet and bird seed mixes without sunflower seeds will work and it will keep them healthy.
Any recommendations?

From what I understand bird cages and tanks do well with them.
Im thinking about just going with martin again. Im still impressed from Bishops cage and i think all the metal is a smart choice for chewers.

Im thinking of the highrise cage with 1/2 x 1/2 barring.
I know they like to climb so a taller cage is a good idea.
Do you think theyll chew the bottom pan? Are any of these cages good?
A lot of guides say they dont chew anything unless the cage is smaller than they desire.

LONG POST WOW. Sorry. Im very eehhh right now. I think itll be easier once I see the ASFs in person and am able to interact with them too. If I dont think I can be the right owner for them ill just end up with mice. XD
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-03-2009, 07:47 PM
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I have never kept any but what I have read from people who breed them (their great snake food) they have almost no smell, but the downside is most people say they are no too friendly.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-03-2009, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Ive heard that too. :C
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2009, 04:39 AM
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There was someone on here who used to breed them...
From what I have heard they arent the freindliest but arent reall the aggresive type either
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2009, 09:49 AM
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They're not good pets, IMO. I suppose if you got them from a good breeder who'd socialize them really well they might not be too bad... but they're skittish and I've heard a lot that they are territorial and will protect their cages from people. I don't like 'em as pets and most people keep them for snakes, because finicky eaters are still pretty likely to accept them.

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NMGA miniature meat goats, Silver Fox and NZW Rabbits, Muscovy ducks, several breeds of chickens, fancy mice and rats in Michigan
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2009, 10:11 AM
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ASF rats have generally only been bred as a foodsource, not so much as pets, so the 'wild' streak has not been entirely bred out as it has in other types, they are not as easy to handle, they will bite sometimes, their nature does tend toward nervous/aggressive, and they generally aren't as keen to be handled. More a pet to look at in the cage......
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-2009, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm I see then! Well i guess its all up to when i visit that breeder if they look ok!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 09:31 PM
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I breed ASF rats (And Pygmy Mice) and have been breeding them both for many years. My first year or so of breeding the ASF rats was trial and error. I have a completely docile colony and they have been docile for years now.

Their needs are quite different from mice or rats...... as long as their needs are met - they do fine. They are NOT the "monsters" that most people make them out to be.

Poor diet - dirty cages - adding hides - and over breeding will cause them to become overly aggressive. When everything is in are they.

I have sold MANY of them as "Pets" The majority of them ARE sold as food items.......but even then - you want docile animals.

I would most certainly quarantine ANY new rodent before an introduction to your existing colony.
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