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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so I haven't been on here for a while because I haven't had rats for a while. I love them of course. But my last three passed at about the same time and I just didn't feel up to rushing back into rats after that. Anyway, last week I became aware of a female rattie that had been returned to a local petstore where I know one of the employees. She had been brought back by her owner because according to him she had become impossible to handle and viscious after giving birth to a recent litter. He brought her in as soon as the babies were weaned and according to my friend at the store was handling her with gloves and cursing at her when he brought her in. She was cage territorial and not as sweet and receptive to people as the young baby ratties in the store so the store owner was about to put her in the feeder bin if she wasn't sold soon.

So here I come to the rescue. Lila is a lovely gray and white rat with a mask and blaze. She doesn't like it when you reach in for her but will come out to you on her own and is then quite snuggly. She seemed pudgy to me but had apparently been fed dog food and recently given birth. I had a cage already that was large enough for three male rats, so I took Lila and two of the younger rats that she seemed very attached to as cage mates all was going well. She did have a burn on her tail and had obviously been bred far too young as she was still quite small and youthful.

Only problem? as the days go by on better food she got fatter and more firm not less! So great on top of mistreating her misfeeding her and breeding her too young this jerk also allowed her to be exposed to a male too soon after her first litter! awesome.

So of course I was concerned for her giving birth again so soon. I stayed up with her. But she didn't drop them until right before I left for work this morning. I had time to check her out and she seems fine, no bleeding, already eating, etc. I barely glimpsed the babes and they are huge and squealing loudly, but I don't even know how many there are, didn't even get a chance to count yet.

So great, I wanted to ease back into rats and rescue this poor mistreated little girl and her cage mates and now I have God knows how many rats in my house. I really do have the worst luck! Oh well, I'm really happy Lila made it through okay. Her breeding days are definitely over!
 

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WOW.. Im so happy you saved her.. Sounds like she had a rough beginning of her young life... Le me know how the litter goes.. im verry curious.. i wish you were closer.. I am looking to expand my family in a few weeks.. My little Hector boy needs some friends... Good luck to you!!!
 

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I'll keep my fingers crossed that she didn't have too many.

It's stuff like this that makes me wanna kick a fool. The whole disposable animal mentality is so heartbreaking.

I can't take any of your babies, but I'm about 3 hours south of you in Birmingham and if you were to find others on my way to take them, I'll be happy to help you with shuttling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I really appreciate that. I may very well need help placing these little guys. My husband tried to count before he left for work. He says they were moving a lot and mommy kept stepping in very protectively but he thinks there were about 11. That really surprises me because the two i could see well before i left looked huge, like they were already 3 or 4 days old instead of just a few hours. i think with that many big babies she will definitely need feeding help so I'm picking up syringes and formula from my vet this afternoon.
 

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What kind of rat's are they? Can you take pickures? Maybe just maybe storyseeker can help with transportation.. Im in tampabay florida... We are looking to adopt new babies soon.. Hector need friends...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I have no idea what they will look like because I have no idea what dad was and at this point the babies are just little pink jelly beans with big white milk bands. Mommy is white with a gray mask and hood and a blaze on her forehead, very pretty actually with very soft shiny fur. I haven't taken any pics of her yet because she's been a bit jumpy and I kinda wanted to let her settle in, but I will be taking some over the next couple of days to show her beauty and to chronicle the progress of the growing ratties. If we can work out transportation, you can have as many as you want! How does 11 sound? Everyone I know is getting a rat in their stocking this Christmas!:)
 

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Tonya and I will be more than happy to adopt 2 or 3 of the babies. So make sure you play with them so they know humans are friends!! Which i know you will. I just have to figure out transportation..

If I come all the way to you its a 12 hour one way trip 24 hours total, if we do not stop.

If Storyseeker can help.. She can maybe meet you half way.. thats a 4 hour round trip.. then meet me somewhere in the middle of birmingham and tampa... if she is willing.. that may be too much to ask of her... I will PM her.
 

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It's a long drive, but if you guys are serious I could theoretically help with that transport.
If luvboyrats could meet me as near B'ham as she can manage, I could possibly go down as far as Marianna Fl. but for sure I can meet as far south as Troy Al. or Enterprise, Al.-which is the fastest route to I-10. Timing and such is going to be the thing as I'm working around my schedule and don't want to break quarantine with my boys by keeping them at my house and might need to figure out an overnight place.

jamesReid, I've got the 6 boys at my house. I wouldn't have more than that, but I can honestly say that with proper housing, right at 6 is about a perfect max size for most folks. Large enough to ensure self entertainment, and small enough to enable me to spend all the time I want with each of them, and afford proper care.

And generally speaking, as long as you do proper "intros" before the babies are 12 weeks old, you should have easy introductions with any new baby boys you bring in. After that, it can be done, but emerging hormones make it more challenging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I could bring them all the way to Birmingham if we could possibly do it on a weekend. That wouldn't be a problem at all. And don't worry they will be well socialized because I am going to do some supplement feeding to help my poor young mommy and because rattie babies are one of my main joys in life!
 

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When were they born? (Calculating delivery dates)


Edit: Oh wait...today. Missed that first read through. :D

Monday October 24th they'll be five weeks old and should be completely weaned (And sexually able to reproduce).
 

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Okay...looking at my calender. I can be free the weekend of the 22-23rd. A nudge early, but still doable maybe?

I'm unavailable for the following Halloween weekend, but It looks like I'll be free Saturday November 5-6th when they are 7 weeks old, and then I am possibly free again November 19-20th when they are 9 weeks old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I should be able to do it the weekend of 22nd, 23rd, or Nov 5, 6. Either is fine. Typically I have a no adoption before 6 weeks policy but if James has experience with babies and is comfortable with it I can make it work. I really appreciate your willingness to help!
 

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I've replied to James's PM. Looks like we'll be able to work something out. Schedule and chaos willing.
 

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I'm lucky, in my area for some unknown reason rats have been easy to place in homes.. Good homes, too, not weirdo homes. Your story reminds me of my surprise mouse litter I had a couple years back. Fun stuff. I had no idea what I was doing.
 

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Hey guys.. to be honest no I do not have experience with babie rats. Hector is our first rat. So if it would be better we can wait the extra week. Lets shoot for the nov 5-6 week that way they will be 7 weeks old. That sound like a plan? And also.. I will give you guys gas money to help out.. not that im rich by any mans.. but I think its great you guys are willing to go to such great lenghts to get these babies good homes!
 

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Does luvboyrats have an extra cage to separate the baby boys into at 5 weeks or just after? The girls can stay with mom forever if they want. Poor little girl, no wonder she was bitey...hormones can make the nicest rat instinctually protective. :(

With 11 bubs your little momma should do fine with the feeding since she has 12 nipples, but make sure she gets a ton of nutritious foods, and add a good protein source like eggs, fish and chicken. My nursing rescue moms get a good staple (Harlan or Mazuri 6F), the protein source, lots of veggies, Ensure and baby cereal. Avoid fruits because it could cause diarrhea. Sometimes little momma's will get diarrhea just about a week after birth, then you can put her on the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast) or you can try unsalted soda crackers to help her tum sort itself out. You also may want to add probiotics to her diet (a little live culture yogurt is good).

Start socializing right away. With pinkies just keep them out for a very short while as they cannot regulate their temp with no fur, and will get cold easily. I often just hold them in my warm hands. Let mom out to run while you are doing this every day and continue your work with her, as the babies will look to her for her reaction once their eyes open. Once they have fur continue with the socializing, and do things that you would do with an adult rat to prepare them for being handled at the vets or looking over by their future owners. For eg. pretend to look at their teeth, pull gently on ears and tails, put the baby on its back, dangle it, touch it all over. Well socialized babies are more likely to be confident happy adults and this will keep them out of shelters or from being rehomed hopefully. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well good news and bad news lilspaz, my husband didn't count them all. When I got home last night there were actually 14 not 11, so she has two more babies than nipples!

The good news is she's doing an awesome job. Observing her, she seems to be taking lots of breaks and eating well. She doesn't seem to be sore or anything and is getting around well and she's already a bit sweeter again. I got some formula and tiny syringes to help her out with feeding, but so far I've done assisted feedings of the whole litter 3 times now, and I haven't seen a single baby yet who didn't have a prominent milk band, so she's doing great with them. Best mom I've ever seen actually. At this point I'm just doing light feedings a few times a day to keep them from running back to her as often so she can have chances to rest.

I do have cages to separate boys from girls, etc, etc. I actually used to breed and rescue rats way back when so some of my mommy rat knowledge was a bit rusty, but it's all coming back. I have put her on the higher protein formula food and we actually are already doing gerber baby rice cereal mixed with off brand ensure as well as occassional fresh foods, but not a lot, because I did have a mom one time get awful diarrhea while nursing and I do not want to repeat that adventure!

So far everyone seems to be doing remarkably well for the size of the litter not to mention size of the individual babies. They are all 1.5 inches long and strong, already moving around a lot and screaming their fool heads off. There aren't really any runts to speak of and like I said everyone has had a big milk band every time I've checked, so what a great mom!
 

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Ahh she should shift-feed then, and have some bubs off to the side...I annoyed my first mom by constantly putting them back in with her. She must've sighed and thought "what a stupid but well-meaning human" LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That's exactly what she's doing. She keeps them in three or four smaller groups all the time. And she moves them around one at a time sometimes. It looks to me like she's trying to count and keep up with them and make sure she's still got every body and every one is fed. She really has her systems down and is even working in frequent breaks and meals for herself. All in all I'm pretty impressed! She really is a very attentive and efficient mom! Very loving too, she snuggles and bathes them often! I'm really not sure I've ever seen a better little mommy. At this point I have to be careful when I first reach in to the cage with her and the babies, but once she's out she's back to being her usual sweet cuddly self, so I think once she's done protecting babies, she'll be a great pet rat!
 
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