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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!! I'm here to introduce to you my first pet rat!

Her name is Louna! I work at a pet shop for the summer (what a bad idea...) and saved her from being snake food! I got her at 5-6weeks old 2 weeks ago, and I'm conserned she may be pregnant! (of course our pet shop does not seperate males from females who are meant as food, we have other cages for fancier colored rats who are sold more money and just as pets)

She was the only non-all black rattie with her sister, who also got adopted as a pet by 2 really nice ladies. I saw her sister again yesterday, and she looked smaller and thinner (though they are feeding her horrible pet shop food with corn and peanuts and millet in it...) I feed her suebee's and some good quality dog food without corn, but it might be a bit high in protein (22%) could that be what's making her grow big?
I'm used to seeing thin rats because obviously the pet shop does not provide them adequate food, they're fed hamster lab blocks, and if I'm not the one working, my coworkers forget to feed them. I don't recommend anyone supporting a pet shop.
I was wondering how having babies could influence her behavior and rats in general? what happens if you take babies away right when they are born? (we sell frozen pinkies and I really wonder what it does to the poor mother who had them)

I also wanted to know what you guys used as bedding? I'm using those horrible cylinders that seem annoying to walk on but at least make lest dust than shavings... what's the BEST thing out there? that absorbs odors but is comfy for her?

thanks in advance! I'm greatful to have found this forum :) I'm a wildlife rehabilitator, but we never keep rodents long enough to know anything about what they look like pregnant! and we never get rats... wild mice sometimes, but never rats!


i need 20 posts to put up pictures! so I'll answer a few threads and come back to post photos of Loulou!
 

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Welcome to the forum! Can't wait to see pics of your new rattie. :)


The high protein will make her gain weight, but if she is active she will burn it off pretty fast. It's normal for young ratties to grow fast. My 3 1/2 month old female that we kept from a litter is almost as big as her mommy now!


If you remove pinkies at birth, the mom will just go back to normal and her milk sacks will dry up. Some rats will be protective of their babies, but if you have a good bond with her or if she is extremely friendly she won't mind you handling them, even while she is giving birth. I just had 2 mother rats abandon their babies shortly after birth and had to move the babies in with another mom who gladly took them in. And those 2 females were happy to be away from their babies. One of them cannibalized all of her babies except for 2. O_O So she was better off without them anyways. lol.


A good bedding is CareFresh. Or Aspen. Don't ever use pine or cedar because the acids in them irritate rats immune systems and cause severe respiratory toxicity. I personally use Aspen because we have so many rats and go through so much bedding that it is cheaper than using CareFresh. We buy everything in bulk and can't find anywhere that sells CareFresh in the bulk sizes that we need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thank you SO much for the answers! I think she may just be getting a bit big.. I hope because she's really young to get babies! And also she wasn't fed everyday at the shop, and not a lot, so now she eats a lot compared to before!

And thanks for the bedding, I think we have something similar to care fresh and I'll check for aspen. Would Hemp bedding be good too?

hopefully I can post some pictures later today!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
so here are some pictures finally!

Here is Louna! I love that you can tell her size from the computer mouse haha




she's a broccoli ADDICT, that and raw (hard) pasta




here she is from profile to check out her big belly:




and from another angle where it's a little more obvious haha:
 

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welcome to the forum! i hope you enjoy it here (and stay to post lots more pictures of your adorable rat!)

to me she looks like she could be pregnant, but i've never had ratty babymommas. there are a few people who breed rats on here, so someone will be able to tell you for sure, although a vet will be able to tell you for certain.

a guitar player? if you leave an accoustic guitar on the floor they'll poke their heads in the sound hole, but but if they step on the strings while they're doing it the sound goes and hurts their little heads. you can see their little headache faces, it's so cute. after that they don't really bother with the guitar. however, my rats steal my picks, so keep them in a tin or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
hey! haha thanks for the tip ;)
It's actually my boyfriend who is the guitar player, I tried but I'm horrible at it! considering there's 3 guitars in the house, I should really take the time to practise especially that he's a good teacher!
I'm an artist, she likes to steal my pencils.

Oh I hope she's not pregnant, her poor little body! She doesn't seem to be getting bigger though in the last 2 days, perhaps a good sign? And if she was pregnant she'd be at least 2 weeks along.
 

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Well if she is preggos, I hope you can find the time to read this site:
http://ratguide.com/breeding/

Ive noticed with most young rats, about 4-5 are born still born in first births or die to the mother being overwhelmed.

Im not sure if you can, but before she gives birth, scout out a lactating mother with a young litter already. Maybe even from your old store.
In any case I would try to make a deal...make a request to
A.) take the mother and her litter home and BRING THEM BACK TO THE STORE AS PETS.
B.) Bring in your own cage and set it up so that they wont use the lactating moms and your girls litter as pinkys in a backroom or something.
This way if she does abandon her pups and all fails, you have maybe one who can raise them.
Also, if she has a large number of pups and within a while you can tell she is just not getting it (scattering, stepping on them, not feeding on time) I would also go ahead and maybe take 4-5 of the pups or the whole litter and try to get the foster mom to accept them.
 

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If you suspect that she could be 2 weeks along, this next week is when she should really start fattening up. Rats are normally pregnant for 21-23 days and don't start showing until they are around 14 days into the pregnancy. Although, if she has an extremely small litter, she might not get fat at all. It's rare, but I had a female give birth to just one baby. I had no idea if the pregnancy took or not, so I was just prepared anyways. And all of a sudden there was one little baby with her, lol.


You say that she was basically starved at the pet store, so maybe she's just over eating from previous lack of nutrition and is getting plump. Hopefully...


I went and looked at the rats that I have that are about her age (8 weeks old), and they all look fat like that too. So hopefully its just her full belly. :)
 

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Welcome to the forum! Your rat is so pretty! Good luck if she is actually pregnant :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
she's actually stopped getting bigger, I think she really was overeating to compensate from the store where they would get fed sometimes only twice a week! She's eating less than before, I think she was scared it wouldn't last, poor little rattie!

If she is pregnant however, luckily a siamese rat at the store just had babies, so she could probably help out :)
 

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I was thinking my new rats looked pregnant as well but i have had them long enough now that i know they are not. I think growing rats just get a chubby little belly for a while so I'm guessing she is not pregnant. Your rat is very cute!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
:) thank you!

It's been 3 weeks that I have her now, so had she been pregnant I'd have pinkies already!
She just had a chubby belly like you said! she's slimmer now, she grew a lot! and still is :)
 

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Hmm she must have just been fat! Does she run on a wheel or something??
 

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WOW! lol my mice are fat too, but they definitely aren't preggo :lol:
 
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