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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
Its winter time in Washington! This means temps ranging anywhere from the teens to the high 40s. We don't use the heat much in my apartment, so I estimate that its probably somewhere between 50 and 60 degrees (F) in here at any given time. I've read that this might be a little chilly for my girls.

I'm thinking about getting a little space heater to go next to them, but before I do it I have a question for y'all.

I've raised chickens in the past, and I know that they are very hardy, down to temps in the teens and can get along fine without a heat lamp. HOWEVER, everyone says that you absolutely MUSN'T get a heat lamp for them unless you're going to leave it on all the time. They can survive if its 20 degrees multiple nights in a row, but it going from 65 one night to 20 the next really messes with them.

Does anyone know if rats would be the same? I don't think I'd have the heater on all the time, most likely just during the colder night time hours. I don't want to screw with their little bodies, but I want them to be cozy.
 

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Ideal temperatures for pet rats are between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I would think you'd want to make sure to keep the temps in this range and not allow any lower temperatures than 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, make sure your rats have soft, warm bedding and that their cage is not in any cold drafts. I don't think pet rats are as hardy as chickens from what you wrote---they definitely couldn't handle temps in the teens, especially not with their predisposition for respiratory disease.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Okay, I'll be purchasing a mini space heater for nearish their cage tomorrow. I'll turn it on at night when its colder. For now I've given them some nesting material and they've cozied up their favorite hut. Thanks for your input!
 

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Generally rats do a lot better colder than warmer. Too much heat tends to encourage resp issues and illnesses, though if they are already ill or old and infirm they may need it warmer. Generally as long as its about 10 deg C or 50 deg farenheith providing them with warm bedding and ratty friends is fine. If it gets colder than that it can be a problem, it defintily should get below freezing. When i keep my rats somewhere without central heating i use a thermostatically controlled plug in oil radiator. This keeps it above 10 deg and makes sure they are fine. In colder times i also up the amount of good fats in there diet (useually by feeding more seeds in my home made mix) and often they need a little more food to keep the same weight.

If my rats are in a room with central heating i have it switched off unless someones unwell or i ahve a litter in there. The rest of the house keeps it warm enough and the genuinely are healthier that way
 
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