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So uhh.. Lilly is about to pop.

1721 Views 12 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Vladina
HELP! Turns out that my new girly Lilly is pregnant. I have her in my room where she can have peace and quiet, time away from the cat, screaming kids, music, etc. She is in a 50 gallon aquarium right now with three hidey houses, food and a water bottle, and Carefresh bedding. She has made a nest out of Kleenex and is starting to spot... there is a little dried blood in her nest. Does this mean she is starting labor? I have never had any of my pets have babies before, so I am quite nervous (and also quite mad at the woman who told me the rats were in sexed cages). It shouldn't be much different than when I had MY kids, but I honestly don't remember too much of either of those times (except that it hurt like a mother******). Any and all advice, encouragement, etc. APPRECIATED!!!!
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Yikes! Yes, I would love to see that woman get a talking to about keeping rats in different sexed housing..hmpph!

I wish I had some advice for you but I have never experienced having a pregnant ratty before either. But I still wanted to let you know you have great support here on the forum from many who HAVE experience with it. Sounds like you are doing all you can for her, and giving her some quiet and peace for the birth. I am sure you will get some great advice on this soon from the other members.

Good luck to you and Lily and I hope all goes well with her and the new babies. :)
It's great that you have her in a separate tank now. Make sure to give her plenty of food and water, as always, and also give her some extra bedding (oh, I see you gave her kleenex--that's good, as is paper towel or any other soft material that she can rip up). Most rats don't need any sort of help with the labor process, although it doesn't hurt to check on her from time to time. Try not to handle her or startle her, though, as she could get a bit nippy if she's scared/in pain.

Once the babies are born, you'll want to make sure she is feeding them well. Once fed, they should have little white milk bellies--a band of white that you can see in their stomach (their skin is semi-transparent as pinkies). I would leave her and the babies alone for at least a day or so, but really, you can start handling all of them pretty much right after that. Just make sure to always wash your hands well before and after handling them, and also be sure to take pictures! :)
Like they said! Also, offer her extra protein too, like bits of boiled egg. Rats are good mothers, but other than being too young and inexperienced or over crowded, the number one cause of cannibalism of the babies is lack of good diet and enough protein.
I give them boiled egg twice a week and chicken once a week anyways, along with fresh veggies and their usual staple diet so she will be lacking for nothing. I have also been giving her little bits of wet cat food for the last day and a half, a half a teaspoon in the morning and a half last night, and she will get another half tonight as well. Anything else that you guys think I should do? Will the 50 gallon be an adequate amount of room for the lot of them?
You're doing just fine! And the 50 gallon should be plenty of room for mom and babies. Has she given birth yet?
No, there are no babies as of yet, but a little more blood in her nest last night (maybe the size of a 1/4 of a penny) and she is starting to look pretty pear shaped. Is it common for her to spot a few days/a week before she gives birth? She's not looking AS round as I would expect her to be full term. I just thought she was starting labor because of the spotting in her nest. To my untrained eye there might be a few more days to a week to wait guys. I hope not though, I just want to get this out of the way and start seeing little babies. >.<
Can you take a picture of her belly? It might help to see what she looks like... I know lilspaz posted on here a while back with some photos from full-term... wonder if I can find them...
Oh, actually, I just found one that I had posted last year. Hopefully this will help:

Are her nipples protruding yet?
Thank you for that link! That helped a lot. She is not that big yet and her nipples haven't started protruding, I'd guess that she will look like that in about a week. I will get a few pictures of her after supper though, upload them and let the rest of you decide, since this is my first litter of kittens.
Alright, it was a bit difficult keeping her still but I got the best pictures I could, both front and side view. For everyone who saw my other thread, you'll notice the difference in her tummy, even when looking at her back.

Lilly from behind, last night during intro time.

This was the best I could get from a side view.

I have been thinking about moving Minnie into the 50 gallon aquarium with Lilly and putting Mercedes in the Rat Mansion, because she is getting along so well with Cocoa and Grace. I have read a lot of stories about more than one rat being in a "nursing" cage, with everything turning out fine. I want real opinions on that though. I was thinking that, since Minnie is only five or six weeks old, whichever of the babies we decide to keep can stay in the tank with Minnie until they are all old enough and big enough to go into the Rat Mansion, and move Lilly in when the babies are about six weeks old. What do you guys think? Plus, that way when I sex the babies I will have an empty cage (where Mercedes and Minnie are right now) to move the boys into. Or, if there are more boys than girls, leave them in the aquarium and move the girls over. However it works. You guys know what I mean. Opinions?
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BUMP! I went to give Lilly some cuddles tonight and I swear she has gained half a pound since last night, picking her up she felt SOOO heavy compared to usual. I had a really hard time getting her to let me see her tummy without hurting her but it looked to me like her nipples were starting to protrude, and her belly is feeling hard. Should be very soon guys! I threw some more Kleenex in tonight and she immediately pulled it all into the hut she has started her nest in. I think I am going to run back upstairs now and change as much of the bedding as I can without disturbing her nest so that the babies will have a clean, nice smelling home to come into. I anticipate having pictures to show you guys in the next 24-48 hours!!!!
Wow, this must be exciting for you. :)
Good luck to Lilly and I hope all goes well with her babies! Keeping our fingers crossed!
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