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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm new here. I have 2 rats that I bought from the pet store about 2 weeks ago, sold as feeders.

My dilemma is I'm 99% sure one of them is pregnant. I really need some help dealing
with this.

Her name is Lucky and she's approx. 8-10 wks old. When I brought her home I noticed her eating excessively. Since then, she's gotten very dominant and snappy with her cagemate Lucy. In the past 4 or 5 days, I've noticed her belly potting out. At first, the thought of her possibly being pregnant never crossed my mind. But today it all clicked, and the odd behaviour, overeating and big belly made sense. She wasn't separated from her male siblings at the store.

Should I expect her not to live through giving birth? Might she have premature and/or stillborn babies? Even if she does make it through allright, is she more likely to reject the babies because she is so young? Is inbreeding going to pose problems?

I'm very concerned and am very unsure what to expect. I have so many questions.
How can I prepare, what can I do, and what should I expect?

I've never dealt with a rat pregnancy, let alone the pregnancy of a baby.
 

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Post a picture of her so we can see. More often then not with these young rats, it is just them getting their little food belly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
No problem. She wouldn't let me hold her to show her belly from the front. I should say, her belly only got more noticibly large yesterday and it's hard and doesn't feel like fat. Over the past 4-5 days, I've noticed her belly getting harder and that she was losing fat but getting bigger. Her obsession with destroying things to build a nest has gotten worse. I have taken care of and assisted birth of pregnant cats and dogs when I worked at my local shelter. The belly has the shape and feel of pregnancy to me, but I could be wrong. Hopefully I'm wrong, actually!
 

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Hi :) at that age there is a good possibility that she isn't but she could be as well. She also looks alittle bit younger then that.

Rats are generally amazing moms, but being so young it could go wrong or be hard on her and she could lose babies.

It is very common for rats to put on a good bit of wait when coming to their new home. Also some girls just really like building nests. Also rats usually don't build their nest until they are about to have their babies, though with her being younger it could change things.

I can not tell from those pics. I like to take pics of the rat standing up, so if you hold a treat over her head to make her stretch up and get a good shot of her belly. Generally it is going to look like they swallowed two balls and one is on each side of them.

Imbreeding is no worries.

If she is pregnant you will want to feed her a bit extra protein, depending on what you normally feed her. And you will want to separate her from her sister.
Rats are pregnant for 19-23 days, usually 21. Once the babies are born you can check them for milk bands, a white line across their tummies to make sure they are eating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for replying! I've tried to get a good pic of her standing up, but shes not at the point of comfort with me where she'll take a treat from my hand. I tried for a good 5 minutes to hold her up but she kept wiggling out of my hand before I could snap a picture. She is a bit lopsided (left side bigger than the right), and her tummy looks like what you said, like she swallowed two balls, one on each side. Her belly has grown a bit in the past day and she has a bit of a waddle to her walk. I'm going to separate her from her sister for the next week or two, give her some extra foods and just see what happens. I want to be careful, in case she is. Like I said, I'm new to this and probably a little over-worried. My mom had 2 mice that were, unbeknownst to her, pregnant when she brought them home and she had a lot of problems.
 

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mice are quite different then rats actually. Not always but often mice can have issues or be not the best moms sometimes.

Rats on the other hand are usually really great.

Even young moms usually do ok. There ofcourse can be complications because of her age. And it does run the risk of her just not getting how to be a mom right. But generally u should have no issues and she will be fine.

Goodluck. You might have a whole bunch of rats soon! lol
 

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Yeah, you won't have to assist her in the birth, either. Just give her a nice warm place to nest, lots of nesting materials, a little extra egg for protein, fruits and veggies as always, and wait. Keep up the trust training with her, as it will make it easier for you to handle the babies if mamma trusts you.

And yeah, don't worry, I have never heard of a rat mom rejecting her babies. I have heard of problems with hairless rats not lactating, but that's not your situation.

Is she growing a lot faster than her sister? Pregnant rats have growth hormones that make them get bigger themselves as they gestate their babies. My momma as an adult ended up being waaaay larger than her female offspring as adults, possibly because they never had a pregnancy.

Read the sticky posts on this forum. TONS of good info in there.

Good luck, and keep us updated!
 
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