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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
well formost i live in newzealand where rats are never animal food ,
and ive noticed that most pet shops in my area are looking for rat breeders ect,

now im not gunna breed myself to much hassle
and i think that you should know what your doing before trying to breed
but its not all bad here because we dont feed them to other pets (because we dont have snakes ect)


just thought id let ya'll know its not always bad coz thats the vibe im getting here...
 

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Unfortuantely most of the people who come on here to talk about 'breeding' are horribly inexperianced with rats, and just want to breed because they think their pet has wonderful markings/temperment. Most of the time they're petstore rats who they have no genetic background on, and are likely to die at a young age.

Think of it this way.. it's like taking a husky/lab/shepard mix you adopted from the pound and breeding it to your friend's beagle/greyhound mix. There are too many what if's in the genetic make up of the babies, and you could end up with a litter of very ugly puppies that nobody wants. Add in the fact that shelter's are already overrun and you're only adding to the issue.

I only speak for myself when I say I'm pro responsible, educated breeding of pedigreed rats, although I'm sure most forum members would agree with me. I just think breeding is best left to those who have the time, resources, education and proper mentors.
 

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I couldn't agree more.
Pedigreed rat breeders work VERY hard just to insure that their rats lineages are good and they keep their rats in very good health, do you have the time or money or ressources to sustain a breeding facility, you have to account for all of the babies born and be able to financially support them all through whatever you may encounter. On top of all of that, giving them to a petstore is very irresponsible. You can never be sure that your rats go to a good home, because as much as some people might believe, the people at the counter aren't going to do a background check on the person buying from their store.. Especially if they're buying a rat. It may not wind up being fed to a snake, but that doesn't mean it will receive the proper care or live a happy life.
 

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the reason why the feel on the forum is that breeding is generally a bad idea is because there is a lot more to it then just being able to find homes and not snake bellies, though that is a major consideration.

as was said before breeding ethically takes a lot of work that most people that come here talking about breeding their rats don't really realize. even before conception there's a lot of reasearch that needs to be done. you need to know about genetics because with th wrong mix you can have babies dieing before they can even leave their mom or mother's that will kill their babies. and then there's a slew of other complications that can come up later in life with a heavy genetic background that needs to be taken into consideration.

once you have a grasp of genetics you'll discover that there is no way to check for those things just by looking and your cute and friendly pet store rats or unethically-bred rats.

after all that there's then the huge cost in doing it right. you have to have cages enough for up to a possible 20 more rats. you'll need to make sure that the males and females are separated by no later then 5 weeks into these cages as well. then there's the cost of feeding that many extra mouths. and the cost of any problems. a simple and common problem such as mites can become very expensive when you have to treat over 20 rats at once. and imagine if one got sick and it spread to the others. an ill rat in a situation where there is not enough space to contain it can spread like wildfire through a colony. and then there's the cost of time. how to handle everyone enough that no ill-temperment issues arise? how to handle everyone enough to get to know each and everyone personally so when an adopter comes by you can make the best match? and there's cleaning all the cages, and having enough toys and out time for everyone so they stay stimulated.

and that's just one litter. imagine if you had more? it can become VERY daunting. i've raised puppies and kittens from only a few days old without mothers and i've raised rittens with their mothers to help me. the kittens and puppies are MUCH easier to raise then rittens are. they all take time and effort but the kittens and puppies in my experience took less. and that's with bi-hourly feedings around the clock. and it was MUCH easier to find homes for the kittens and puppies too. they are a much more accepted pet then rats though rats seem to be on the rise. they aren't nearly as much a novelty as a rat is. though you have to screen all adopters and the screening can be quite lengthy it was infinately easier to screen the kittens and puppies then rats. very seldom did i have to turn away an adopter for a kitten or puppy and never were they returned but i've done both with rittens. people think because they're small they're easy low maintence animals, and they are just about anything but. once they realize that i got them back. people seem to have a better estimate of what work a dog or cat will have better then a rat when they compare it to reality.

so though the possible rats being bred in your area may not being going as food there is still a lot of work involved in raising and homing them properly. and most of it people don't realize when they start down that road. some people are great at it and others just aren't. but there are certainly ways to go about it in any case.

so basically, this forum isn't really against breeding completely but we believe in doing it right. you need to know your genetics, you need to make sure there is a demand, you need to have experience in order to recognize complications and to make sure you really want to commit to it all (this is why mentoring under a reputable breeder is always recommended first) and you need to have money to burn.

there's a lot into it and sadly we've found that most people don't think about it all. so we come off harsher then we would like to at times because we've answered the same question just the other day and we know there's nothing we can do. we don't mean to be harsh most of the time but emotions get the better of everyone from time to time.
 

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Another thing is... Are there already unwanted rats that need homes in your area? Why not help them find new homes, instead of creating new rats that either, 1) Take up the homes the homeless rats may have gotten or, 2) Create more homeless rats. Why not start a rescue in your area instead? It's the best thing I have EVER done, myself.

Is there supply and demand? And I don't mean a petstore... Any ethnical breeder would never sell to pet stores. An ethnical breeder will screen, adopt, keep who doesn't get adopted, etc. A "true" breeder wold never even need to sell to a pet store, as their rats will be in high demand (over time - any cute rats may go quick at first, but over time? Probably not once everyone who wants a cute rat has one.)

If you REALLY want to breed, there are ways you can do it "right". It's been outlined before (and probably already in this thread). We are not anti-breeders, we are anti-bad breeders. Which, I would take a gamble to say, any pet-fanciers would be. If you want the best for the animals, you'd want high standards for those who choose to bring new lives into the world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
in response to reachthestars-
i agree that you should be very experianced before breeding i just wanted to point out that in new zealand breeding is good more than not because mostly we are in a shortage of pet rats in my area and they will never be sold as food only as pets , i do agree in like the states you must have homes ect pre-sorted rather than them ending up as snake food.


and to Kimmiekins- there are not many un wanted rats in my area they do not get put in pet shelters (dont know why) i dont want tyo breed i just wanted to make note that in nz its not so bad because it seemed that many members were very anti breeding altogeather


oh and if breeder do not sell to pet stores , how do they get them ?? our pet stores do NOt breed there own in 99% of the cases they higher breeders to supply thm ,
 

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pet stores usually buy their rats from "mills," like puppy mills, or "breeders" that are breeding just to meet the demand of pet stores (rather than breeding to create good pets) they're breeding the rats for the profit, whereas real breeders breed to better the species
 

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Yes... They are breeding for money (they get paid for supplying the pet stores), where as ethical breeders breed for the good of the species (and do not make money, and often loose it). Often, people who breed for pet stores keep the rats in sub-standard conditions (overcrowded and small living areas, mixed sexes, sub-par foods, no handling) so they can keep up with the demand, while not spending much money.

As for rats not being at shelters in NZ, according to to Kiwi Rat Club, they sometimes are (along with owners trying to get rid of rats in papers and online). I am glad it's not a large problem like it is here. But I still wonder if more "mill" breeders are really the best step to take?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
wow i didnt know we had a rat shelter thing ,i wouldnt breed myself and i do see your point but im sure that all pet store rats arnt breed for just demand , i mean id sell to a pet store ,adn be breeding better rats but i guess there arnt many people who would go to that much trouble
 

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the problem when the rats go the pet store is that you can't track the line once they are bought so you can't know what health issues crop up or if there are later onset temperament issues, both you would want to screen for.

the other problem with pet stores, is they don't screen new owners. so long as you have the money you can get the animal. which means people that want to pull pranks can get the animal and never care for it. people that don't know what they are getting into can get the rat and then neglect it out of ignorance.

so even if the babies bred for the pet store are very selective they can't be as good a line as the ones proper breeders would breed and find homes for.

you are right, there aren't many people willing to breed ethically because it is a lot of trouble. but the ones that decide to do so also know that selling to a pet store is only going to ruin their lines (they won't be able to know all that they could for the line). it is a lot more work when you don't send the babies to the pet store because now you have to make sure they get homes on your own. and good homes, which means screening and follow up checks and sometimes confiscation. and the ones that you can't find homes for you have to keep. then there's the demand to consider. if there is no demand for their babies then they won't breed and that can mean the end of a line that you had worked on perfecting for years and years. that's a lot more work then selling to a pet store.

its why you can find mill breeders pretty dang easily or one step above mill breeders fairly easily too. i've been told that in canada the best we have is one step above a mill breeder, there are no real ethical breeders at all. i'm really hoping that's not true for the entire country but i do know its true for the maritimes. we have breeders here that don't mass produce but that breed with unknown genetics too which destroys any real knowledge of the line (which is the main tool of ethical breeders, they need to know what's in the line in order to improve it and when you breed with unknown genes you have to start the line back from scratch because you don't know what one of the parents was carrying).

in order to know what's going on in the line you have to have knowledge of the babies entire lives. you need to be able to keep in contact with all the adopters or at least the majority to find out what their temperament was like throughout their lives, in order to know what illnesses were come across and how well they resisted it and of course to know what they died from. you can't get that if you sell to a pet store. its just not possible.
 
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