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So on craigslist, there is a post about someone looking for "rare" and "unique" rats to breed so that she can sell them as pets. She has no idea about genetics or genetic related illnesses. It's obvious that she has not researched. She wants to "get her hands on" the downunder gene and the double rex gene. She wants rats of any size, "breed" or gender and states that they will be used for breeding. I've contacted her stating that she should really research before breeding, but she wouldn't listen to me.
 

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People do simple math 2 rats+food=unlimited income potential. As a former commercial banker, I actually built several business models and ran them up to tens of thousands of rats and most showed some early income potential, then they worked their way up to break even and finally ended in catastrophic financial disaster.

To be perfectly honest, if you can sell rats for about $200.00 each and had a huge market, (we're talking about thousands of rats per year) you can do pretty well for yourself. It could also be done if you inherited a rural farm, had a large family and didn't mind all working for minimum wage.

If rats really were profitable they would be coming from China... If the Chinese can't figure out how to make rats profitable, I can't see that it can be done here...

Our breeder actually breeds expensive fancy snakes, and when he has a few surplus rat pups, he'll part with them to pet rat owners at a premium. Oddly the guy knows his genetics, he loves to breed stuff and he's got skills most likely learned from breeding snakes... He really does breed exceptional rats with wonderful personalities. He says his daughter likes to play with them.

Marsupial Rat Ferret Muridae Grass Wood stain Grass Hardwood Wood Table

Imagine, a guy that breeds rats like these... and he's not doing it for profit.... it tells you something.

If people would really do their numbers correctly they wouldn't ever get into BYB.
 

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That breaks my heart :( First if they had done any research they would know breeders and where to get rats from, they want to breed rats of unknown origins, and they do not even have a specific line in mind :( I would love to slap some sense into them.

I doubt most BYB of rats get into it for the money. I think they are like omg babies are cute or they want to be I guess "popular" or "a special snowflake" by breeding interesting rats. In their mind they rationalize it.

I am in alot of rat groups & breeder groups, and I see it all so often. People often have one of two excuses- babies are adorable and it would be "fun" or they want a special kind of rat and somehow think they can magically create special rats without any knowledge or research. I also find (sadly) that alot of the BYB sell them on the very cheap side, because it isnt easy finding homes for them.

I hopefully imagine most of these people drop out fairly quickly once they realize how expensive it is to breed and/or when it doesn't go as planned, when they cant find homes for them, or they end up with all black babies instead of the color they thought lol But sadly far too many people try.

To sell quality well loved pet rats there is no way you can ever make a profit.
 

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I almost don't fault someone who wants to breed a couple of rats to create interesting offspring. Although not likely to produce anything new or exciting, as long as they started out with reasonable rats, they are likely to produce a litter of reasonable babies... With some effort they might be able to find homes for their litter and likely they will lose interest in trying it again. Or they might do some research and learn to breed responsibly...

The story about the lady looking for different kinds of unique rats to breed strikes me like someone that's looking to do it at enterprise level scale. Hubby is building racks in the spare bedroom while she looks for breeding stock. In a couple of months she'll have dozens if not hundreds of pups and unfortunately that's about the time she'll realize what a mistake she made and the rats will suffer for her poor judgment. Rats aren't Amway products, you can't just leave them in the garage for years while you and your whole extended family use them up yourself.

In a couple of months expect to see lots of cheap rats and rat racks for sale on Craigs list.
 

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I agree with RatDaddy's take on this... This is also how it sadly happens a lot with snakes..mainly BPs, people get into it thinking they can make loads of money, buy a lot of equipment and expensive snakes, then can't sell the babies and end up getting out of it in 2-4 years time. Most people that I know breed along the lines of RatDaddy's breeder... they have snakes, which require food, they desire to produce their own (even at a financial loss) so that the rats are treated humanely, etc. But then end up getting into breeding rats for traits and temperament as well. They still don't usually make a profit and most sell the "pet rats" to cover the cost of food and bedding for the colony.. and break even at best. And most of them will discourage you from breeding simply due to the huge time and money commitment rats require.

Personally, I don't have a problem with hobby breeding as long as people are working to create healthy animals with good temperaments and they keep their animals in good conditions. I believe it is mostly the people that get into it for the money that have animals in horrid conditions, breed unhealthy or bad tempered animals. I would much rather buy a pet from a hobby breeder than from a petstore (mill-produced animal).
 
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