Dorian and Basil
Meet Dorian and Basil! They are approximately 3 1/2 months old. They are brothers. I rescued them from a girl on Facebook who was trying to offer them up as snake food. My dad sent me her ad on Alpena Buy, Sell & Trade, a local sale page on Facebook. She was charging $4 each and said they were 7 weeks old. I wrote to her asking if she had two males I could purchase. While I waited for her reply I scrolled further down the page looking at other things people had for sale. Some guy had posted that he was in search of feeder mice for his snake and I saw that the girl had replied to his ad with, "My baby rats are about the size of mice..." Ugh! I knew I had to rescue at least two! Finally she answered me and said she had two males available. I arranged to go to her apartment that night after work to pick them up. Her apartment was jam packed full of all kinds of animals, from rats, to dogs, to cats, to birds. It smelled very bad. I picked out two males and as I turned to go I almost stepped on a tiny kitten. Sheesh! I felt bad about leaving the rest of the litter, but I knew my cage wouldn't hold more than 2. About a month later she advertised yet another litter of babies. This is apparently what she does. I can't rescue them all, unfortunately.
Anyway, I got them home and they seemed very friendly. I put them in their new cage and they wandered around sniffing and exploring everything. Then they set in to stuffing their tiny faces and gulping water like crazy. That's when I realized I hadn't seen any food or a water bottle in the aquarium the girl had them in. I hope that was just a display tank and that she fed them and gave them water any other time!
I was reading The Picture of Dorian Gray on my Kindle at the time, so their names came to me pretty easily. Basil is a dumbo and Dorian has normal ears. I thought Basil was tan was I got him, but he has grown into a very obvious gray, even though the camera always seems to show him as more tan. Dorian is very black. He has a blaze marking on his face and Basil has a white star on his forehead and a random gray spot on his belly. Both have white bellies. Over the last two months I have watched them both explode in size. At first Dorian was smaller than Basil, but he has recently begun to quickly catch up. I'm not sure if they're done growing yet, but I can't imagine them having too much more to go. I haven't weighed them, but in my hands they feel like they could be close to a pound, especially Basil. They are very mellow and friendly. Every time they hear me come into the living room they are always clinging onto the bars to greet me.
The cage I have for them now won't work much longer, even though it seemed pretty big when I bought it and pretty big when they first got here. They are quickly outgrowing it, so I am keeping my eye out for a much larger cage, preferably at least 2 story. I do know about pine and cedar being toxic, so I use aspen bedding. I am thinking of checking into the various litters they make now, though, since this aspen doesn't stay clean for long. At the rate things are going now I am going to have to go to Tractor Supply and buy one of those gigantic packages of bedding they have so I can change their cage every 2 days, lol.
On to the pictures. Here is when I first got them. They were so little!:
About halfway through:
Cute. Yep Basil is a Russian Beige. Some will go silver some will get a very light tan with some silver.
Actually, I would be wary of her. Obviously, but if her house was over ran with animals in bad conditions I would actually call the police, or animal control. She sounds like she Might be an animal hoarder, or a worse version of a breeder mill. I mean how bad was it?
She had a whole room by itself filled with aquariums of rats. There were several cats and dogs wandering around, and 2 or 3 large cages with green parrots in them. Maybe not hoarder bad. I've seen episodes of Hoarders with animal hoarders on them. It wasn't THAT crazy. It just smelled like she didn't really change the bedding much and like the dogs and cats had a lot of accidents. What bothered me the most is that she's breeding these rats with only $$$ in mind, not caring if they go to loving homes, or into a snake's belly.
Woah Woah Woah. She doesn't care if they are going into a snake's belly? Wow, normally people like that breed for feeders. So She's not breeding for feeders Or for pets just to make money? I don't know. I mean. Did anything smell fishy in there? Did she or any (or all) her animals look sick.
The Definition of hoarder is when you can not take care of a number of animals that causes the animals and the person or people in the house health to be serverly compromised (to be more prone to becoming ill due to the conditions of the house/area).
So yes technically having One animal if it does that is classified as hoarding. I mean, did it look like it would fall under that catagory?
I didn't stick around long enough to see if any of them were sick. From what I saw, none of the animals my eyes did fall on looked out of the ordinary. It was this girl and her boyfriend living in the apt., which was pretty small, with the animals. As far as I can tell, she's only breeding for money and doesn't care where the babies go, as long as she gets the money, since she offered them to a snake person.
What sweet little ones! So happy they made it to a wonderful home!
What adorable little guys!! I have all dumbo rats--love those floppy ears. I am SO glad you rescued them! Don't they just make the best pets!!
I found a 'Luxury Rat Pet Home' (28.5 in L x 17.5 in W x 31.5 in H) at my local Petsmart. Don't know if you have one there? It is 3 levels--plastic ramps and shelving that snaps in. It also comes with a water bottle, food bowl, and hammock (plastic...I place a fleece blanket in it). And--a wheel but I would not use it. It is metal and mine had a piece of sharp metal sticking out. I don't use a wheel and won't unless it is plastic or wooden. I have added hammocks, tunnels, etc. Anyway---I digress---the point was--It was around $88. Oh--and the bars are just 1/2 spacing. It also has a deep pan in the bottom that clips onto the cage--AND has locking castor wheels. Anyway--the cage calculator says it hold 2-3 rats. I have my 3 girls in it right now. I plan to add more levels since there is a wide door on the top (as well as 2 on the front). It would not be hard to attach more levels, and for the price---I think it rocks!! I didn't find this one online. I found another one and called my store to be sure they have it. The one online was apparantly one they haven't carried for a while in the store--this is an almost identical model. I'm getting ready to go get another this month for my solo dumbo boy that I saved as I plan to add another male or two It would be perfect for your boys.
I've been using the paper pellets from the petstore. I don't notice the rats smelling as much, but I personally don't like the smell of the paper. I always smell it! I read on-line that the colored pellets don't smell as bad, but unfortunately, they only come in smaller packages and not as cost effective. I also read to freeze it for 48 hours to kill mites that can harbor in it. I have shredded paper down for my male that I just got as the paper pellets were still in the freezer. Since my girls are always scratching, I took the mite thing seriously and froze it all. I am watching them closely and may need to have a vet visit soon.
I hope this info can help I have learned so much on this forum. Some great advice to be found. It's my 1st time in years to have rats. I adopted 3 female dumbo dalmations that had been rescued and treated for RI--just 2 weeks ago. And--3 days ago I went back and got a little dumbo male dalmation. I'm already looking for a companion for him.
I certainly hate the conditions you described concerning the 'breeder' you got your rats from. I hate those stories, but your two little guys will have a blessed life because of you!!
Welsome to the forum!!