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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
 
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Question for those dedicated rat peoples

I had a thought pop into my head earlier, don't know why and its totally random.
It is NOT something i have known to happen as of yet to any rat, but something i found to be an interesting question for rat lovers.

Ok so a rat happens to get pregnant by a sibling or father, i dunno maybe someone bought 2 suspected same sex from a shop or something (yeah i know its hard to miss those plums but this is theoretically) and obviously results in an inbred litter (bad times)

As dedicated rat lovers like yourselves, my question to you is.

Which would be more cruel, to allow a litter of inbred babies that are possibly born with underlying problems, to live and be homed under strict order they are not to be bred?

-or-

to cull the whole litter as soon as possble to prevent and further problems or accidents, but leaving to new mother babyless and possibly stressed at losing them so soon, yet iradicating the problem before its too late?

I know its random, but its something that just popped into my mind when i was giving my new pinkies a snuggle yesterday (they aren't inbred, lol, just sparked a thought)
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 07:20 AM
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Culling is euthanasia or killing soon after birth...your better option if mom is pregnant in the first week or so is an e-spay. Its only the last week that the embryo's are anywhere near viable and only the last few days that they could live outside of mom, say if she had to have a C-section.

But on the topic of inbreeding. Most rats tolerate inbreeding very well as a species, so its not automatic bad health, temperament issues or deformities. BUT you cannot tell the careless breeding that created this family in the first place (feeder breeders, BYB's, etc) so you never know when issues may crop up.

If you are in an area that is full of homeless rats, then your best bet is an e-spay, which is better for mom for her future health and doesn't add to the mounting problem. If not, you can let her go to term, pray for no emergencies in labour or the nursing stage, and rehome the pups.

No rats with unknown lineage should even be considered for breeding no matter how nice that individual is. There are NO guarantees that your rat will pass it on or they are just special.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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Good answer, i never thought if irradicating the problem before its even arose.

I wasn't aware rats weren't so affected by it, they seem so delicate as a species in captivity.

I've known mice to inbreed, i've had an inbred litter myself after aquiring a pregnant female who was kept with siblings, it doesn't seem to affect them though.

I have heard of people that inbreed purposely, or is that linebreeding? one of the two, selecting family members to aquire certain parts of interest, but in my opionion thats totally wrong.
And i can see how easily it can get out of hand, i have ermm... about 11 enclosures of breeding rodents and each are a group of females to an unrelated male. I couldn't even begin to imagine trying to line breed, it would be too confusing and would soon get out of hand! and especially for trying to just get a certain colour or something, just not worth the risk at all.
I suppose its each to their own in those situations, some people put their life into it.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 01:15 PM
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It's really a crap shoot as to how affected they are by it. I just took in a quartet of babies from the local shelter, around 2 months old.

One died spontaneously, we're waiting on necropsy results, and so far one is showing neurological problems and having problems using 3 of her 4 limbs. The other two are so far fine, but how many were in the litter besides these 4 that have already died?

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-21-2009, 11:45 AM
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that always pops into my head when i'm snuggling my rats too. just think what if my rats where bred by family that would make me cry i could never choose they both brake my heart.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 09:36 AM
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I will add for Jennicat, that the wee neuro girl died as well, so 50% of the family died

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 11:39 AM
 
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With my first rats ages ago, two of the females were in a cage of rats that the pet store people said were all siblings. I found out once I got them home that they were pregnant. All of the babies (21 total) seemed to be healthy and matured well. If the pet store people were telling the truth about the cage being all siblings (and they were all roughly the same size/coloring) then they would have been bred by their litter siblings.

You'r situation might not be that bad...except needing to find homes for a bunch of rat babies. Breeding animals in a way that we humans would think of as “incest” is a common and legitimate practice. It can have bad results…but it can also have desired results.

Also, rats from an inbred background are, I think, more likely to be safe to inbreed. Because if generations of rats had been inbred and all of the sick/damaged rats culled from the litters then the remaining rats would all have pretty clean gene charts eventually…with the bad stuff having reinforced itself and been culled.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 11:40 AM
 
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With my first rats ages ago, two of the females were in a cage of rats that the pet store people said were all siblings. I found out once I got them home that they were pregnant. All of the babies (21 total) seemed to be healthy and matured well. If the pet store people were telling the truth about the cage being all siblings (and they were all roughly the same size/coloring) then they would have been bred by their litter siblings.

You'r situation might not be that bad...except needing to find homes for a bunch of rat babies. Breeding animals in a way that we humans would think of as “incest” is a common and legitimate practice. It can have bad results…but it can also have desired results.

Also, rats from an inbred background are, I think, more likely to be safe to inbreed. Because if generations of rats had been inbred and all of the sick/damaged rats culled from the litters then the remaining rats would all have pretty clean gene charts eventually…with the bad stuff having reinforced itself and been culled.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 03:44 PM
 
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I breed rats and have bred for almost 2.5 years. Fancy rats are relatively new in South Africa, having arrived here only 3 years ago. 18 rats were imported, and of each of the colours/types were there was a male and female, most of them were iblings. So basically most of the rats of any specific colour here are inbred in some way or another. Myself and the other 2 breeders inbreed our rats, but only for 2 generations, then we add another rat from a different line to 'open up' the line. It works well for us and so far, we've had no health issues doing this. If anything, we've strengthened our lines because we're breeding good quality animals to eachother, securing the good traits in the lines. Our rats only breed from 4 months and upwards to ensure the best health, temperamants and colours are used in the breeding programs.

None of us cull as we don't believe it humane to kill off kits when it was't their choice to be born in the first place. Why should they suffer for human decision?

Next year, we're importing more rats from new lines to widen our gene pool.
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