Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Northwest Indiana
Six-week-old rat is pregnant
I adopted two sibling female rats after a petshop employee's own pet rats had an unintentional litter and was giving them away free (this is a fish store and does not usually sell rats at all). Ginger is a beige hooded standard-eared and Jade is a black dumbo with a white belly. They were only probably 5 weeks old and Ginger especially is very affectionate already while Jade is more timid.
But late last week, Ginger's stomach was noticeably round. Figuring she was just eating well, I didn't think much of it because she was so young.
But it grew rounder and rounder and as of today she looks as if she has swallowed a peach and I know she is pregnant. I know this will be hard on her at only 6-7 weeks old. I figure she'll give birth within a week now based on her swelling.
So, I am wondering how to minimize problems. Do I have to remove Jade from the cage? I have nowhere else to house her except in my main cage with my three adult females which do not like the new babies at all. The two little rats are so inseparable and so young still I was wondering if they could stay together through the process?
Also, how many pups are likely for such a young rat? I once had a litter of 14 babies and know even more are possible and do not think little Ginger could ever manage that many.
I've given her lots of extra protein in the form of dogfood and cooked chicken to help with the drain on her body and she so far seems okay, but I'm worried about once she starts nursing. Will she be able to care for the babies, being just a kid herself?
And what's worse is that she is carrying the high-white genes. Neither she, nor her mother whom I saw at the shop, nor Jade have any high-white markings, but the litter had only four males that could have impregnated her. One was beige and white like herself, but two of her brothers were black and white with blazes and one was completely white with just a black patch over one eye.
Last edited by Hidden Walrus; 12-08-2012 at 02:04 PM.