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Hi, new to the forums here! My first four rattie girls were rescues, and a total delight. But after losing them all to the usual rattie health issues at the usual rattie lifespans, I'd like to try finding a reputable breeder who will give me the best chance at healthy, longer-lived pet ratties.

I live in the DC area, and I haven't been able to find breeders in surrounding states who seem really serious about breeding for health and longevity. When I find a decent-looking breeder, it seems like, at best, they may be willing to change course due to poor temperament. But I don't see any indication that they're changing course when health issues keep cropping up in the parents/grandparents/etc; or any evidence that they're thoroughly tracking the health history of their pet placements; or that they're having professional necropsies done with any regularity; or even that their rats are living particularly longer than 2 years, on average. (Note, I'm not a breeder myself so I don't claim any expertise, and I don't mean to disparage any particular breeder. This could totally be a goal that any given breeder is working on behind the scenes, that just won't bear fruit for years.)

Anyways, does anyone have any recommendations for breeders that are successfully breeding for health and longevity? It seems like breeders like this were more common a decade ago (if old forum posts and the breeders' old, dead websites can be believed), but none of those ratteries are still operational. Did the whole idea of breeding for health and longevity just turned out to be too big of an ask, outside of a lab research setting? Am I being bamboozled by marketing to think that there are some breeders out there who are actually consistently breeding rats that tend to live healthier, longer lives?

Please let me know if you have any relevant experience or recommendations. I'd prefer a breeder in Maryland/Virginia, but I could drive anywhere that's within a day's drive (round trip) of DC as well. I might even consider using a transporter if there's a great option outside of daytrip distance.

Thanks for your time!
 

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Hulu, Dibs, Sprout, & Mochi
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This is a list of breeders I have only used Rocky Point Rattery though and she is a great breeder
 

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Willow, Comet, and Spark
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I live in the Maryland/Virginia area as well. I recommend the Blue Stone Siamese Rattery, Flower Patch Rats, and the Standing Stones Rattery. There's also a list of breeders here, but not all of them are experienced breeders- Breeder Directory (2)

I do recommend looking at rescues before breeders though. By adopting from a rescue, you are helping rats out by giving them good homes. Also, rats from rescues usually come to you in good health (good rescues treat the ill rats before adopting out) There are also usually many rats in rescues, so you're sure to find rats you like- in terms of friendliness, age, markings, etc. I recommend taking a look at the gRATitude rat rescue :D
 

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Cloud and Dew (Pearl Merle and American Mink, both with Irish markings)!
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I live in the Maryland/Virginia area as well. I recommend the Blue Stone Siamese Rattery, Flower Patch Rats, and the Standing Stones Rattery. There's also a list of breeders here, but not all of them are experienced breeders- Breeder Directory (2)

I do recommend looking at rescues before breeders though. By adopting from a rescue, you are helping rats out by giving them good homes. Also, rats from rescues usually come to you in good health (good rescues treat the ill rats before adopting out) There are also usually many rats in rescues, so you're sure to find rats you like- in terms of friendliness, age, markings, etc. I recommend taking a look at the gRATitude rat rescue :D
OH MY GOODNESS now I‘m just scared! I also live in that area(!), and my girls are from Standing Stones Rattery. I completely recommend Hannah, she breeds for good temperament and she was transparent about the rats‘ health, for example some rats in her Mischief got sick, and some died. 😢 She suspended the pickup date for a couple weeks to make sure that Cloud and Dew had not gotten the illness. Standing Stones Rattery is in Richmond VA, so it’s a drive for people like me who live in Northern VA, but I still recommend picking up babies from her. It’s totally worth the drive!
 

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Willow, Comet, and Spark
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OH MY GOODNESS now I‘m just scared! I also live in that area(!), and my girls are from Standing Stones Rattery. I completely recommend Hannah, she breeds for good temperament and she was transparent about the rats‘ health, for example some rats in her Mischief got sick, and some died. 😢 She suspended the pickup date for a couple weeks to make sure that Cloud and Dew had not gotten the illness. Standing Stones Rattery is in Richmond VA, so it’s a drive for people like me who live in Northern VA, but I still recommend picking up babies from her. It’s totally worth the drive!
Oh my gosh! That's too creepy! 😂 I live more near Maryland, but still!

I've never adopted rats from Hannah myself, but I've talked with her and looked into her rattery and it looks fantastic :D
 
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