Family getting larger. Several questions.
Okay, I posted last week that I thought that one or both of our girls that we rescued from a friend (not a friend after what I saw) may be pregnant. Lucy the PEW had been kept with her six week old off spring, and Genie our black berk had been kept with adult males in one big cage!
Anyway, this week it's obvious, either one of those alien thingies from the movies is about to burst out of Genie or she is very preggers. But the only sign I've seen so far is the pear shape and weight gain. She's not defensive or aggressive, she hasn't groomed hair away from the nipples, she's still climbing and jumping, and she doesn't appear to be nesting, though oddly enough Lucy seems to be nesting for her. Lucy has been gathering every thing soft into one spot, storing food in the nest instead of eating it and trying to get Genie to store some instead of eating it all. She even used her teeth to cut down the hammock Genie loves and added it to the nest, very odd.
So here are my questions. One, how long do we have before babies? Two, should we separate Lucy and Genie or leave them together because Lucy appears to be helping? (by the way they have flipped eachother on their backs a few times to prove dominance but no real fighting). Also, should I be worried about Genie's maternal instincts since she's not nesting or preparing to nurse yet? The previous owner said that when she was younger she ate the baby of another rat. Does this mean she's likely to do this to her own babies?
Oh, also, I have been feeding them mazuri rat lab blocks and supplementing with puppy milk bones broken in half and two tables spoons of the soft canned puppy food once or twice a week. I've also upped their water. Lucy has actually lost weight because she seems to be storing most of the food for Genie, so I think Genie's getting most of it. Is there anything else I should be doing?