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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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I was thinking...

So, I'm going to new york for a week to visit my parents while my boyfriend is at his parent's house.
My friend who is wonderful with rats and who knows Louna is taking care of her while I'm away (at her house).

But I really want to get Louna a friend when i come back, and once I convince my boyfriend I will adopt. (it shouldn't be hard to convince him now that he loves louna, i mean what's the difference between one or two?)

But I was thinking, I can't get Louna's mom out of my head, in that little cage with the same male, pregnant 90% of the time, taken out by the tail because the workers are scared of her. She was very nice to me, didn't try to escape from my hands, didn't bite, was pretty calm.
I have no idea how old she is, i'm gonna ask today but do you think she would be a good cagemate for Louna?
Since they are mother-daughter, would they automatically get along or they've already forgotten each other and since the mamma's older it may cause problems to re-introduce her to louna?
I know I will have to work extra hard to earn her trust, she's at LEAST 6 months old since she looked like an adult already when I first saw her 2 months ago, but she could be more than a year old. But I really want to "save" her, i know another rattie will just take her place at the store, but i've become attached to the poor girl.

Do you think it would be a good idea to consider her as a cagemate for louna instead of a random other baby girly?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 01:41 PM
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I am no rat expert, but I think it would be good to get her mom to be with her. I don't know if they would bond automatically, but I think it would be worth a shot. Any rat experts correct me if I'm wrong...


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 01:53 PM
 
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I don't know about bonding immediately, But I do think it would be a good idea. I don't know if rats forget about eachother over time, but I'm sure that your ratties mom is conditioned to being around a lot of rats, so I would assume it wouldn't be hard to introduce them.

I'm inclined to think that rats are extremely smart and full of emotions, because last night I made some baby oatmeal for Bella to share with Bonnie and Sookie. (they are Bellas mom and sister) Bella hasn't seen them in a while because she has been really sick lately. The second that I put Bonnie and Sookie on the bed with Bella and the food, Bella refused to eat anymore, she just wanted to clean and groom her mom. It almost made me cry because I could see that she missed her mom a great deal. I wish she would get better faster.


So I think that Louna's mother would be a great idea as a companion. Plus it would save her from the damage that non stop pregnancies can bring about. But you also have to remember that if she is a lot older, she may not live as long as Louna and you will be wanting a new companion for her in a year or so. Maybe you could get her mommy and a sibling if they still have any.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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There are no more siblings unfortunately, I looked today and they're all gone
But with what you said, I'll definitely try and get her! I know she won't live as long as Louna, but that's ok, I can always get a new cagemate for Louna after.
I wouldn't want to introduce a stranger rat to the mamma because she's right now with a male and a female she doesn't really get along with, and I think she would really enjoy a break from an overcrowded cage (they are all three in a tiny 14x10 hamster cage).
That's why I'm concerned as whether she would recognize Louna or not, but I have a feeling like you that rats are very smart and she would probably remember somewhat.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 07:40 PM
 
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If she's in with a male, she is probably pregnant again... unless she already has babies again?! Are they going to let you buy her?
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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if it was anyone else, they would never let them because she's such a good reproducer and has lots of babies and doesn't have an URI even on pine bedding her whole life. But since it's me, they'll let me buy her. They have some siamese females who haven't sold (this is so sad...) so they have others they can use for reproduction if I take her away. I wish I could stop them, but I know that whatever I do they will continue to have a reproduction cage with one or 2 females having babies after babies.

She just had babies a week or so ago. She could very well be pregnant again since she's with the male. I'm leaving for a week on saturday, so I would only get her when I come back.. so the 24th the earliest? So she WILL be pregnant when I come back, that's almost 100% sure. I don't have the space to raise her babies if she does unfortunately, so I would have to wait till she has them and they take them away. Which anyway, they don't feed her properly so I think it's better for her health if she doesn't have to produce milk and I can get her on a proper diet. (they feed hamster lab blocs, and don't feed every day, and they give like 4 lab blocs per rat, but of course the one who eats the fastest eats the most...) ahhh I hate how they treat the rats!!!
I wish i could adopt them all and they would stop selling rats!!!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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I was just thinking, I started working june 6, and that day, there were baby rats that were hers (about 6 weeks old) in one cage and she had a lot of babies attached to her nipples in her cage, one of which was louna, and then she had those pinkies taken from her last week. And I'm almost certain she had others taken away before that. I'm sure there were some also between the 6 week-olds and louna's ... that's so many pregnancies in such a short amount of time :'(
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 09:25 PM
 
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Ugh, that poor girl. She is lucky to even be alive still.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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yes! she really is!
It breaks my heart. For all those poor ratties it breaks my heart.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 10:27 PM
 
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The easiest way I have found to introduce rats is to take 2 Ten gallon tanks - put a screen top on one cage and lay both cages on their sides. You use the screen top as a "Divider" and bungee cord the tanks together.

The animals will be able to "Get to know" each other through the barrier - you will be able to watch for any signs of aggression and you will pretty much know when it is safe to make the introduction.

I USUALLY give it 3-4 days like that then clean both cages completely and then put the animals together during a time where you will be able to supervise for several hours.

OBVIOUSLY, you run into the problem of "Where to put the water bottle?" They can be given chunks of GELATIN as a water source, use a bowl of water or use industrial strength velcro to attach the bottles to the inside of the tanks.

IF the adult female is pregnant (And she PROBABLY is) if you could keep the pups until weaning time......... I'm sure the pet store would gladly take them off your hands. To them.....it would be free money and free future breeders.

The only thing I would caution about would be introduction without quarantine. But that is an individual call and it seems not many people care to do it.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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I could take her in pregnant and they would take back the babies at any age, but it is 100% certain they would freeze them for snake food. If the eyes are still closed they just stick them live in the freezer, if eyes are open they kill them and then put them in the freezer. And I think I would feel too guilty about it, taking her home and then having her babies killed.

For the introduction, I was thinking to borrow a cage from the pet shop for a few days, and put the 2 cages next to each other and see what happens. And then put them on my bed with towels that don't smell like my rat already and watch to see they're ok.

but this is all hypothetical. I still have to convince the boyfriend! Last night he said I had one and I was lucky to even have one, and I'd never be allowed to get another... but he's not my father, and I'm allowed to do whatever I want!
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 09:58 AM
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WHO pays the vet bills? That's what matters most.

She will likely be very pregnant as the male can catch her on her the post-partum heat (within 24 hours of birth)...these are called "back to back" pregnancies and incredibly hard on a ratgirl.

You could always raise the next litter and rehome them yourself? Lots of us do that. I have a wee young one at home who is likely going to be giving birth today. Her babies will go to approved homes only.

Sorry LabRat but your method has a few flaws. Rats often will be territorial about their space and this has no relation on how they are to when they meet outside of their cages. Putting 2 aquariums together with the tops towards each other? NO airflow! Tanks are bad enough for circulation and ammonia buildup, to take what little they have away?

There are a ton of threads and forums out there who explain proper introduction procedures, I would go with one of them.

Meeting on neutral territory is always first, then semi-neutral, then you can consider cleaning that cage and trying a cage intro (with you watching carefully)

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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I pay the vet bills, but it's not at all a question of that. He doesn't like rats basically, he grew up in the countryside where they're only seen as pests. Now he thinks she's cute but he says it's gross if she walked on the couch pillow, or if she gets close to his food. And he doesn't see the "purpose" of a rat... so he's not really an animal person unfortunately. He had a dog growing up, but his parents took care of it. I mean if he wanted giant hissing cockroaches as pets I would let him, but I wouldn't want more than 1 or 2 of them in my home because they scare me.
.
I don't want to raise and rehome the next litter because I don't feel I have the necessary space to do it, I would really LOVE to do it because they are so cute and I could save them from being snake food, but I don't feel confident enough that I would do a good job or be able to find homes for all of them, and I don't think I can accept the strain it would put on my relationship (apart from the fact he doesn't like rats, he's perfect!)
And in the end I think it's not so bad if the momma doesn't end up nursing those babies and they're taken away as pinkies, it would give her poor body a break and I could get her all the protein and nutrients she needs!
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 11:14 AM
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Then you need to convince them to remove the male before she gives birth. then they can take the pinkies *cry* and you can take her without worrying about another litter being born Expect her to grieve for awhile...rats are very sensitive and emotional beings.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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I know they are, and it makes me so sad. But at least if I take her it would be the last time for her!

You're right, I really need to tell them to seperate her from the male before she has babies! Should be able to at least do that without any problems.
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