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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-11-2008, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Breeding Rats and Mice

Heya,

I'm looking to start breeding rats and mice. Does anyone have a good guide and/or tips for me?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

~ tenebrosity.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 10:00 AM
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Don't start breeding rats and mice. Once you've done a lot of research, you have a good vet, some extra space, and some free income, then breed rats OR mice. If you get that down maybe you'll be able to branch out into the other but it's a huge responsibility so don't get ahead of yourself.

Also be very careful about where you get your rodents from. Many of the rodents in the pet trade have very undesirable traits and diseases that can be passed on. Never breed unless you can say for sure that there are strong healthy rats going back 3 generations in a line.

My next tip would be get everything like your supplies, some extra cash, your vet, and a few potential customers lined up before you breed. You don't want to be stuck with a pregnant mommy in a vet emergency and no good vet. Or stuck with a whole litter and no one who wants them. You have to be prepared to keep all unwanted babies yourself to ensure that they don't go to petstores and end up as snake food!

Finally do all your research about which markings can be a warning sign for megacolon, normal gestation periods, signs of pregnancy or labor gone wrong, care of babies (you may end up handfeeding every two hours. I have.), care of pregnant mothers, etc before you start. Good luck. Let me know if I can help!
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 10:22 AM
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As pets or feeder animals?
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 10:26 AM
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DO NOT BREED.
If you are really serious about it,then make sure you do all the research you can and then some.Also do not put male and female pet store rats (or mice) together.


There is alot more to breeding then adding a male and female.




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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanilla_Rat View Post
There is alot more to breeding then adding a male and female.
Exactly! There is soo much to know and to be prepared for, and soo many things that can go wrong.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 06:17 PM
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good advice would be just don't. if you ask for information on breeding then you generally haven't done enough research.

if you were really serious, i'd probably get in touch with a breeder (after doing copious research) and ask if you can help them with a litter or two first so you can learn from what they are doing. this would probably give you someone to call when you need help with your own litters and maybe a good breeder rat or two so you'd know they'd be healthy.


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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-14-2008, 01:54 PM
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You can google it. And get books on the subject but I do recommend alot of research. Also make sure you a fully prepared for the responsibility and you can find or provide homes fro all babies (ranging from either 1 or 28 per litter) But if you were to breed then I would find a reputable breeder with good lines already established. Alot of petstore rodents are inbred and may carry some bad recessive genes that can pop out in the babies. Also another thing is that even most "show" breeders do not make money on their animals at all. And eventually suffer some heart ache losing first time litters & what not. But if this is something your heart truly desires then read & read and find different breeders and ask question. There is a fun mouse forum you can google search with some great breeders and they have alot of information.


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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-17-2008, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for those who said not to breed because I'm asking for information, and thus- not serious. Great advice.

Those of you who did give constructive advice, I thank you.

Needing to find homes would not be a problem, as I do indeed for most of the young to be feeders (I own reptiles), but the founders will definitely be pets- and I do indeed to give them the best possible life.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-17-2008, 08:56 AM
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I don't understand why you would want to breed feeders at all. I thought i was giving advice for breeding pet quality rats. Take it from me there's no point in that. I have bred rats. And I have owned large populations of reptiles. I promise it's cheaper to buy the frozen thawed rodents in bulk than to breed them yourself if you're being careful about your breeders' health and quality of life at all. Think about it. To ensure the health of your breeders you have to wait until after they're 4-5 months old to breed. Then they are pregnant for 3 weeks, raising babies for six, and then you have to give them a couple of months in between to recover. You can only safely breed them about 3 times in their lives, and you have to stop breeding them all together after 1 year of age. At that point you still have to feed them, clean cages, provide vet care, etc, etc for the remainder of their lifespan which can be 2-4 years, so you're still paying for this animal significantly after it has stopped producing for you. And it never produced more than about 36 babies tops to begin with. Now how is that a cost effective way to get reptile food?

Plus how do you figure you can have breeders that are pets and then feed their babies to something? Every time you breed an animal you potentially risk their life. Now taking that risk so that you can continue a healthy line of quality pets is one thing but doing it to keep a food supply is another thing. How can you say an animal is a loved pet if you will risk its life to feed another pet? Also, as a pet your animals will trust you, how could you not feel like you were betraying that trust if you took the one thing your pet would be willing to die to defend and fed it to something? I think you have a lot more thought to put into this.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-17-2008, 10:16 AM
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I breed for feeders as well, and keep the breeders as pets.

I'll PM you because while I'm new too, I've learned a lot recently about raising feeders/pet.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-18-2008, 07:05 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the PM CapriceCritters.

luvboyrats, I realise the implications of owning pet rats as well as feeders. I never intended for all the founders to be pets, and I have no problems caring for the adults until they die of natural causes.

However, I have talked to many a large reptile keeper, and even worked in the Australian Reptile Park, and they definitely suggested breeding is much cheaper than buying (especially when feeding large olive pythons 4-5 adult rats can get to $25+).

Can I just ask, for absolute curiousity's sake; how is risking my rat's life and feeding their babies to reptiles any different from a pet store risking their rat's life and freezing their babies to be fed to reptiles? I assure you, any baby of mine would get a much better life than those at the store.

Last edited by tenebrosity; 11-18-2008 at 07:10 AM.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-19-2008, 11:33 AM
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Actually...I really want a snake in the future and would breed my own feeders too.This way I KNOW the feeders will be healthy and the parents would get wonderful care too.


Plus it would be cheaper...at least around here! Even bulk frozen rodents here in Newfoundland are quite pricey.


I love my rats and want only the best for them! And if I had a snake,I would want the best for it as well,therefore meaning home-bred feeders.Not all feeder breeders are horrible! I know this,because I know/knew people with heaps of snakes who bred their own feeders,but the breeders were well loved and cared for.




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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-19-2008, 12:22 PM
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I don't think all people who do it are bad people. I just think you're asking for expense and heartbreak. If you intend for your breeders to be pets and you're going to own enough and breed often enough to keep your reptiles fed you're eventually going to get very hurt when one of your breeders/pets dies in the act of producing more food. Can you handle that? That's just nature it happens. The more you breed the bigger the risk is that it happens. I can tell you from experience that if you have an animal suffering or dying because of your decision to breed, even if it is to advance the line of pet quality rats etc, there's some heartache and guilt involved in this. How will you feel when you eventually have one with complication that suffers and dies because you chose to breed it for food? I personally couldn't do that. I own snakes and rats, but I would feel like I was betraying the trust my pet had in me and placing the value of one pet over the other if I risked my rat's life to produce food for my snake. And you are, every time you decide to breed for any reason, risking your animal's life.

And I guess maybe it depends on the area that you're in and how much your local feeders cost, but here it would not be cost effective. I can buy pinkies here for under a dollar, full grown feeders for $4. When I'm breeding animals I have trouble breaking even when I sell them for $4 a piece because of the extra food for mom, bedding and food for babies until they're the right age, possible vet costs etc. So how are you going to break even on a litter by saving a few dollars per baby on food if I can't by selling them for $12.

Also your argument about the commercially available feeders is a good one. Those animals aren't treated well. But there's nothing you and I can do about it. There will always be reptile owners that buy feeders from commercial suppliers so as long as that's true why risk the life of your pet rats for breeding purposes and why bring more animals into the world just to die etc, etc, if somebody else is already doing it?
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-19-2008, 12:43 PM
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Well ONE pinkie here is $2.99! I have not seen it cheaper anywhere else.I was seeking out pinkies for my geckos before and that was how much they were (both rats and mice!).And live or dead.


There is a supplier that sells cheaper,but I been hearing bad stuff...so I would avoid them anyway.




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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-19-2008, 12:45 PM
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Not to completely stray off topic here, but how exactly can you own pet rats and love them as your babies, and then feed a snake? Not that I think it's wrong or anything... Snakes have to eat too. But I could never have one type of pet that ate another type of pet I owned, and be able to feed it. How do you manage?

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