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Discussion Starter #1
I got my very first rat not too long ago, just this Christmas past. Her name is Doris (as lots of you already know), and she is my favourite little pumpkin.

I spend a lot of time with Doris and have looked at her up close many times since I have known her. When I first got her, she was completely black. I have pictures of her all over this site from Christmas up to a few months ago, and she is as black as night.

But recently, her colours have changed drastically. She has gone from being pitch black to being hooded, within about a month. I noticed her gradually getting lighter, and now she is two completely different colours. Her upper half and a streak down her back are still blackish, but her bottom half, her underbelly, and everything else is a very light brown, similar to a light agouti.

Summer is coming now, and I'm assuming it's a seasonal thing. I've just never read anywhere that rats (at least Rattus norvegicus) change their colours seasonally.

Is it a common thing?
 

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wow that is a dramatic change in color... My ratty Alyssas color designs will change but not her color.. weird, can you post a before and after pic of her??

Wait is it her color changing or the design?? if you can post before and after pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The colour change is causing the pattern change, so both. When I first got her she was a black self, and now she's got an agouti brownish coloured bottom half and the hood on her has remained blackish.

Before:



After:



 

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hmmm wow... that is odd. when i got my male rat TempleTon he was pitch black also and than his fur started lightening up to a charcole grey/dark grey but i figure thats just from him growing but your ratty is going from black to what is that brown.. idk what to say about your ratty, but that is odd.
 

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Black fur lightens with age, and turns brown.

That has happened with Scabbers(previous rat), Acid(current rat), and my dog...xD

EDIT: If I'm not mistaken, I think your ratty here is 'silvered' which may account for what you're thinking is an agouti fur pattern. For an agouti, each individual hair has bands of different color on it. Is that how her fur is or does she just have lighter hairs throughout her fur?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ahhhh, the age thing would make a lot of sense, she's taken on a little middle aged pudge with her fur change as well, but her pattern has also really changed. The top half is still blackish, and she really looks like a hooded with two very slightly different colours.

Her bottom half is very light brown, a completely different colour from the top. It's not just a few different hairs, it's completely different. I had a look at her fur and the individual hairs do seem to have bands of different colours, like a light brown, dark brown, and then a light brown all on one hair.
 

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On my dog it's done the same thing, his neck fur and halckles(the fur over the spine) are still black but the rest is a faded brown.

I dunnow about her fur turning over to agouti patterns, though....maybe it has to do with genetics? -shrug-
 

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Is it possible to have a black with agouti, like the blue agoutis? Then if it lightened you'd notice it more?
 

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im noticing something along these lines in my rat Piggle to... shes generally a very dark brown but lately she seems to have a lot of silver hairs running through her fur. What are the characteristics of a roan rat? I have a black roan guinea pig, but hes not show quality or anything like that because hes roan all over instead of just the body... but anyway shes young too, like maybe 2.5 months 3 months...
 

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okay, isn't that what a roan is to? i mean, roan horses are one base colour with white hairs throughout, and so are roan guinea pigs... so....? im lost lol :p
 

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renay said:
okay, isn't that what a roan is to? i mean, roan horses are one base colour with white hairs throughout, and so are roan guinea pigs... so....? im lost lol :p
Roan rats get the white more and more and more until they are white, essentially. That's pretty rare. The silvering is common.
 

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renay said:
okay, isn't that what a roan is to? i mean, roan horses are one base colour with white hairs throughout, and so are roan guinea pigs... so....? im lost lol :p
I don't know much about roan coats, hadn't really heard of it before now.
 

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She's rusting, not silvering. Most black rats either silver (get random white guard hairs) or rust (get a patchy brown color). Rusting is far more common, and from the pics you showed, she is very patchy. I like the way it looks personally.
 

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IceLore said:
She's rusting, not silvering. Most black rats either silver (get random white guard hairs) or rust (get a patchy brown color). Rusting is far more common, and from the pics you showed, she is very patchy. I like the way it looks personally.
Lets clarify.

Wench your rat is rusting.
Here is Talli an old rescue I adopted...you can see the browning around her hood.


renay yours is silvered.
Here is Bear as an example
 

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lilspaz68 said:
IceLore said:
She's rusting, not silvering. Most black rats either silver (get random white guard hairs) or rust (get a patchy brown color). Rusting is far more common, and from the pics you showed, she is very patchy. I like the way it looks personally.
Lets clarify.
Sorry, I didn't specify. I was only refering to the poster of the thread who posted pics. I guess I should have said that, huh?
 
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