Originally Posted by RatGurl
Hi, Im new to the site and cant wait to start posting! I have four rats - two female Dumbos, a standard female, and a standard male. For the past few weeks I have been thinking about breeding one of the dumbos and the standard male rat. I realize it is a very serious decision to make and therefore I am taking my time and really thinking it through. I started thinking about it when some people I know started looking for rats but couldnt find a breeder or rescue and didnt want to buy from a pet store. I also am wanting one, or possibly two males to go with the one I have, because I realize how desperately he needs company. The male is 6 months old, and the female I thought about breeding is 5 months old. Both are in perfect health. The biggest worry I have is something happening to my female. And I wonder how much of a chance there is of her dying, or her health becoming bad. When an animal has babies, does it take away from their general health or lifespan??? Also, I was wondering, if I bred the dumbo with the standard, how the babies will come out...dumbo or standard? The male is white with a brown marking just on his face and the female is brown with a white underbelly and a white flash on her face, with white feet. What color would they turn out? As far as rehoming goes, I know that wouldnt be a problem, because I already have four, possibly five people who are wanting same sex pairs. As I said, im not going to do this until ive considered everything possible. I want to make a responsible decision, either way. If somebody could answer my questions or leave comments, I would appreciate it so much!
As far as age is concerned I would wait until the male is at least 9 to 10 months old so you can make sure that any agressive traits would already have shown before you breed him. Most breeders even prefer to wait up to a year to breed their bucks.
If you bred the standard to the dumbo ALL babies will be standard ear UNLESS the standard ear carries the dumbo gene, in which case you should have 50% dumbo and 50% standard ear.
If you do breed you must know that anytime a female gives birth there is always a chance of complications. I would suggest having a veterinarian lined up prior to her due date in case she needs a c-section. While this isn't too common it does happen and it is pretty spendy. There is also no guarantee she would survive or her pups, and if the pups did the babies would have to be fostered onto another doe or be hand fed, which is a very tedius task.
In order to know what the babies will look like you would have to know the background of your rats. Hence the reason why you should start with pedigreed rats from breeders. Anyone attempting to breed should have a basic understanding of genetics. The male sounds as if he is either a siamese of a himi, and the female a blazed berkshire. "Brown" is a pretty vague description so I couldn't tell you exactly what she was unless I saw a picture. There are many brown rats, such as agouti, mink, chocolate etc. If she is agouti, it is likely that all of the babies will be agouti if the father is agouti based himi. If he is black you should have some black and agouti, and if the mom also carries the siamese gene you should have some marked babies as well. But as I said, without knowing the history of the line you really can't say.
As far as wanting to add more rats to your household have you considered adoption? There are many wonderful rats out there who are looking for forever homes. Many are just a phone call away.