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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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great idea, maybe, I think, what do you think?

Okay so around my area, loads of people buy rats. When we got Figaro we were on a dumbo waiting list for a while! And you can never find anything weird like hairless. Everyone wants them there are huge waiting lists, but you can't get them. I wouldn't have Boris, except his hernia made him undesirable (not to me So everyone wants rats, everyone loves mine. I already have homes for all the babies from my rescue rat's accidental litter (previous owner left her with male not me) Anyway, though, there are no good sources, just commercial petstores and breeding mills with half dead rats. So anyway for a while I've been thinking, wouldn't it be great if there was a real ethical breeder here so that all these rat lovers could see what rats can really be like when they're not sick, poorly bred, etc. But I couldn't because the only one who's lineage I can identify is Figaro, so breeding of the others not good.

But I have been contacted by two different very good AFRMA member breeders this week. One has dumbo blazes, one has 2 unrelated lines of dumbo rex and dumbo double rex (mock hairless). I don't know. I know it's a huge commitment to intentionally breed, but we have some extra money right now. Genie, our current pregger girl is doing really well. I've done so much research and have some moderate rattie experience now + finally a great vet. And all of those dumbos plus my Figaro should make for an excellent breeding project of healthy outcrossed lines. I just keep thinking it's a lot to jump into, but wouldn't it be great if we could show people in this area what rats are supposed to be like?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2008, 06:20 AM
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it is a nice idea, but i know nothing of proper responsible breeding other than to know the genetics of the breeding animals. someone more experienced should come along

"If you can't change your fate, change your attitude." - Amy Tan
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2008, 10:32 AM
 
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well despite our disagreement i wish you the best of luck and i hope u r prepared as you know i breed mice and i spend at lest 500 bucks on food and treats every year but i do like to spoil them with lots of fruits and nuts and seed and stuff like that pluss the lab blocks. but im sure you are not thrying to breed multiple colonies so if youre just dooing one set then you should bey riding the gravy train
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2008, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Well, it's more something I would do to give others in this area an idea of what these awesome animals can be like and also an alternative to just increasing the profit of these mass suppliers and petstores just to end up with a poorly socialized, sick, or even dead rat.

I really expect to lose money on it, and would be ecstatic to break even. In the past I have been a breeder of reptiles, and no matter how big my projects get, they're always pets first. When you do it like that you always end up spending more time and money than is really reimbursed by the adoption fees of your babies.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2008, 07:02 PM
 
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i get what u r sayin i did have to drive all the way to texas from florida to purchase my mice from an old friend that i really trust just to make shure that mine are helthy with clean bloodlines.
TOTALLY WORTH THE DRIVE
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2008, 08:48 PM
 
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Well if you read my "breeding" thread then you know my stance on the subject. However what you are proposing is basically what I have been talking about, breeding for the right reasons and with the right knowledge. Personally I would wait until Genie's babies are placed so as not to overwhelm yourself. Also it gives you the oppurtunity to see what it is like to raise a litter and you can decide if it is for you or not. Really it sounds like you have the bases covered! Also, another benefit of getting the rats from a good reputable breeder is (although you may have to pay a bit more for breeding rights) they should be more than happy to mentor you along the way. Basically you just need to take some time to decide if this is truly the right desiscion for you, and of course to do your research. It sounds like your doing those things so I guess the final step is just for you to decide. Honestly I have given the issue some serious thought myself in the past, I inevitably just decided it may be just a bit more than I can handle but there are plenty of people out there who do it and do it well, and I truly feel you could be one of those people. So, I say if in your heart you truly feel this is what you want to do and you feel you can handle it then go for it! Make sure you to keep me posted, and let us know your final descision.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2008, 11:57 PM
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I have to admit that I kind of just skimmed through this thread.

All I have to say is if you want to breed maybe you should learn with an experienced breeder first. Just ask as many questions as possible and learn as much as you can about genetics. I know people that seem to know everything about rats but they will still say that they don't know enough to breed. It is a HUGE responsibility and it actually costs A LOT. You don't get anything back from breeding anything. You can't sell your pet and expect to make back what you put into it. Rats and mice can have litters of up to 21 pups. divide that in half and that's let say 10 males and 10 females. The cages that are made to hold 10 rats are VERY expensive. You throw in there food costs and vet costs and you might be in over your head. Like I said it's a HUGE decision and isn't one that should be taken lightly. Yes I know you want to better the breed and you want to inform people about how rats are great pets but there are other ways to inform instead of just breeding.

*Missy*
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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You're all definitely right. The only reason to do this is I want people here to have access to healthy pet rats instead of trying them and giving up because it's so difficult and expensive to keep breeder mill rats alive. Plus they're not always good pets while they are alive because of poor breeding and socialization. As a former breeder of reptiles, I know you're definitely correct, if you're doing everything you should for your animals there is no such thing as a profit margin from breeding. Frankly anyone who tells me they make money doing it makes me very suspicious about the care of their animals.

You're also right about waiting until Genie's are all placed. I'll actually probably wait a little longer than that actually. First of all I want to see all the stages of the process so that I'm not kidding myself about any of it, second I never want more than one litter at a time. I've decided that I should at least have one a couple weeks old and mostly placed before breeding for another (I really don't need a house full of squealing unplaced litters of rats.) Also, the moment there's no demand I'll stop breeding, so why have more than one litter?

Both of the breeders I'm dealing with are very reputable and very kind. They're aware I'm planning on breeding on a very small scale and they're not asking any fee for breeding rights, just the opportunity to impart all the knowledge they can about their lines and their methods. They've been very helpful. Luckily, even if I do decide to obtain rats from them I will be getting babies, so I will still have plenty of time to learn lots more.

You're also right about the complex genetics. That's why I'm going to breed for temperament and health first and then traits like dumbo ears, hairless, and rex coat. These are all simple recessive or simple dominant traits, unlike the very complicated genetics that go into some colors and patterns. It gets ridiculous! That's why I've decided to just breed dumbos, dumbo hairless, and dumbo rex if I breed anything at all and to leave the blazes out of it. Blazes are gorgeous no doubt, but those high white markings can really get dangerous if you don't have the knowledge and experience to match them up safely, and right now I just don't. Maybe someday, but it would be irresponsible for me to do it and risk megacolon right now.

Right now, for me it's just an experiment in seeing if I can handle it. I've gathered a lot of info. I have access to really great rats. The only question is can I breed rats and care for and place the babies and still have time to socialize them all as pets, play with them, and really enjoy them the way I enjoy the ratties I have now. That's something I'm not willing to give up. I guess we'll just have to see what happens with our current litter. That should tell me a lot about how possible it is for me to handle this and everything else in my life.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 09:12 AM
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i think you'll do just fine

"If you can't change your fate, change your attitude." - Amy Tan
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 11:54 AM
 
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Honestly I think you are being very mature and responsible about the whole thing. I truly feel you will make the best decision no matter what you decide that is. Also I don't think anyone atarts out saying "I want to breed high white, possum faced dumbo's with a blaze!" (If that's even possible LOL) Those things can only come from time and expierience, and even then there is trial and error. I think making health and temperment your #1 priority is an excellent idea. I am also glad to hear you have the support of the breeders you plan to use, which is definately one of the most important things. Obviously they have faith in you! I know I tend to only focus on the negatives of breeding and the terrible things that can happen, but the truth is it can also be a wonderful and rewarding expirience! Noone can promise you that nothing will go wrong but the more knowledge you have the lesser the margin for area. The rest, of course, is up to nature. It's people like you who give me hope lol! Even if you decide not to breed, just the fact that someone "gets it" is comforting!
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Really though, there is so much that goes into it. I'm really still not sure. Watching Genie go through the pains of labor and realizing there was nothing I could do to make it better but try to comfort her and wait it out with her was really hard. It really made me think, as much as I love them all, could I handle it if one of them really suffered or even died because I chose to breed them? It really is a huge decision. I'm sure my husband and I have a lot of thinking to do before we're really settled on it.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 08:02 PM
 
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Just don't rush, take all the time you need. Don't let anyone rush you into making a descision you could regret in the future.
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