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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I admit it. Me and family were slightly overenthusiatic about checking Chloe's babies. But now that they're all counted and cared for, Chloe buried them. Literally. She pulled blankets on top and then litter. My mother, thinking she's helping (I say she's stressing Chloe) took it all off, but Chloe covered them up again. She had a nest, but is burying them in blankets normal?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
By the way, she had 17 and they're all alive and healthy, but she had them earlier today, so they may not be as healthy as they seem. I know she only has 12 nipples, but she seems to be alternating them fairly well.
 

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Fear not, it's normal! They're so small, they don't hold body heat well and she's helping them out with some insulation.

I don't know how much you know, but it sounds like you're new to rat babies, so...

1. Check for milk bands. These are little white bands across the rittens' tummies that show they've eaten. Because their skin is so thin still, their stomach contents show right through! If you see them, good! Check later to make sure they're all still getting enough to eat, although it will get harder to spot them as they get older.

2. If you don't see good enough milk bands, or if for reason you feel like they might not get enough to eat, get some kitten milk and a dropper ready to step in and help Chloe out. In fact, this is a good idea to have on hand anyway, especially if there are more rittens than there are nipples. Because if she decides to stop nursing in the middle of the night, you're not going to be able to help her.

3. Feed momma lots of protein! Scrambled eggs is a good source, and rats really like eggs!

4. See if you can start handling the babies pretty much right away. Take momma out of the cage, though, for some free time, so she doesn't decide to get defensive. And only let the sessions last for a couple minutes at a time when they're this young, so that the babies can be attended to.

That's all I can remember for now, someone else will chime in, I'm sure. Good luck with them, and we want to see pictures!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you so much. I was worried she was, like, smuffocating them. But now I think I'll be ok with them. I am more defensive of them than Chloe, lol. I've done lots of research but most said the same things. I'm glad I finally found this, because it's nice to have people who've actually gone through it. I read about milk bands, and so I will make sure to do that. If I move the blankets will Chloe get mad at me, or just keep putting them back? We gave Chloe kitten food and will cook her eggs tomorrow. Her and Skiz both love their eggs, so we got that part. ((I'm so glad I'm doing something right!))

Is it true that it's a good idea to take out ones that have nice milk bands and leave ones that don't so they can nurse, or should I let Chloe take care of the seperation? If I did it, it'd only be for a little, till the others got to have some milk, too.

Again, thank you so much.
 

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Yay, healthy babies!

It's been suggested (from deep personal experience, I believe. Not mine, but someone's), that you should not try to handle the babies while the mother is in the cage, at least during the first few days, maybe a week. She's still freaked out from the birth (though rats have good mothering instincts, thank goodness for that), and a little hormonal. There is a possibility she'll freak out and defend her babies from your evil hand.

Rather, if you feel like the babies are all well fed, have one person take Chloe out and play with her like normal. Then the lucky second person can take the time to handle the babies a little. The sooner you start handling them (even if just for a ten minutes at a time) the tamer and more people-lovin' they'll be!

And if you think some babies aren't getting enough milk (is that what you meant?), then you may want to step in with some kitten formula. 17 is a pretty big load, and many litters that size have survived, but I'm sure Chloe would appreciate any help you can give her in keeping everyone fed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Skizzy
Sorry, not used to Imageshack.

Mommy Chloe

Some of the babies!

Even more babies, there are 16 total. They're in their box, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No, I don't mess with them when Chloe is in there. Actually, I just let Skiz and Chloe play in their bucket with my fuzzy coat they love while I checked on them.

Chloe, who I've had for not even a full week, is so super sweet. When I come to pet her and get her out, she doesn't mind at all. In fact, I had to put her back in the cage before I could finish with putting my last snuggle buddy back in, and when I put him in she just watched me. I avoid handling them with her around as much as possible, though.

I have some that don't seem to have gotten anything compared to others, so I was wondering if I could put Chloe with those ones for a while and keep the others out. Just because I don't have kittten formula right now.
 

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Let the little momma do the shift feedings, her instincts will do it better than you will :)

I handled my babies from day 1...took mom out first, but most of the time she was an awesome mom and let me handle them inside the cage. I did daily photoshoots for forum members so they definitely got handled...hehe.

Oh and don't worry about her stepping on them either, that also is normal :)

Lots of lab blocks, veggies, proteins like eggs, chicken and fish...i fed baby cereal with baby formula and ensure in it. :)
 
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