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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Day 13 since the girls got in with the boys. I don't think Oreo is pregant. The little weight she gained she lost right away and she is still trying to get out of her cage. Ila, on the other hand, has steadily gained weight and now has a bit of a belly on her. I believe her due date to be November 1 based on what I've read, but we will see. I'm hoping to use this thread to follow her pregnancy and new motherhood. Picture 1 (if I uploaded it correctly) shows her tiny belly starting to show.
 

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Im sorry poor girl :(

I hope you fixed the cage issue so it won't happen again! They can be sneaky ones.

I hope she has a good pregnancy and healthy babies.

A rats pregnancy is about 19-23 days with 21 being on average.
I'd separate her from your other girl if you have not done so yet. A tank or bin cage is safe for the babies. You can wait until she gets a bit closer to her due date.

Here are some helpful links on what to expect from the babies, their development and sexing.
http://www.afrma.org/babyratdevdaily.htm
http://tigertailrattery.weebly.com/growth-picture-journal.html
http://ratguide.com/breeding/baby_development/birth_to_weaning.php
http://www.onceuponamischief.com/p/sexing-and.html
http://mainelyratrescue.org/rattieblog2/?p=42
 

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Id say your looking at day 21 to 24 as typical gestation period taking day 1 as the evening of mating. Mine most often pop on 22-23. I move into a birthing cage on day 20 with a friend then take the friend out morning of day 21 and leave them to it.

She does look quite pregnant, I hope it's a smooth one. You may want to think about company for your other girl whilst her friend goes through this as it will be a good few weeks before they can spend any real time together at best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had been thinking she needed a friend. I have them separated because Ila just wants to relax and Oreo was driving her crazy. Ila is quite content as an only rat right now, though. I plan to get them all fixed anyway, so I think I may spay Oreo and put her in with the boys. I'm praying Ila does well. She was so small when she got pregnant and is only a little more than 5 months old.
 

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You could consider an E spay for Ila too, save putting her through the pregnancy though it is getting late in the day and it's a heavy op.

If you spayed Oreo now then after 10 days or so she may be OK to intro to the boys, you want her well healed before intro though
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have thought long and hard about an e-spay, and I've consulted with our vet, and have ultimately decided against it. I can't bear the thought of abortion, even if it is a rat, without it being a medical necessity. She has been looked at by our vet and is healthy, so I just can't do it. The vet is available and aware should a complication arise, which I hope doesn't happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Day 16 and Ila is WAY more pregnant! Lol. I can't believe how fast she's growing! Her babies can be seen moving when she's asleep now. She's drinking a lot more water and I think she's attempting to make a nest but the bedding isn't cooperating. What can I give her to nest with? We have some cotton like stuff at work that's being sold as "small animal nesting material" but it doesn't say what it's made of.
 

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I wouldnt use the cotton or small nesting material.

Good old fashioned newspaper is best IMO. I like to put down a few layers and then shred a bunch of it into strips for her to mess around with. The more the better. I also use some papertowels though my girls always seem to prefer the newspaper lol

I'd stay away from paper like carefresh as it has been known to stick to babies. Alot of people use aspen but idk it just seems so unsoft to me lol that I dont use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I gave Ila some small squares of fleece and she has made a nest. She brought some of her food to the nest and it looks quite comfortable. Tomorrow is her 21 day mark and the poor girl looks as if she could pop any minute. She is still very sweet and sociable so hopefully she won't get the mean streak I've heard so much about. Here's a pic I snapped when I got home from work just a little bit ago. I can't wait to update with pictures of the babies!
 

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Aww, it's getting so close! I hope everything goes nicely and you have wonderful babies. xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Day 22 and still no babies. She is HUGE though! I got a couple pics tonight that I think do a good job of showing how big she is now. She has been drinking a lot of water lately...I mean a LOT of water! Is this normal? I've been giving her only bottled spring water so she isn't getting any of the junk they put in our tap water. She doesn't seem to be eating any more than normal, although she is now eating a better quality food so that might have something to do with her not being more hungry.
 

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Awwww she just looks ready to POP! Can't wait to see those babies and hope for the best for everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
16 BABIES!!! Ila gave birth to 16 adorable little naked squeakers this morning from 11am till 12:30pm. All 16 are alive and have little milk bands as of about 20 minutes ago. One has an injury, it appears to be, on its foot that I'll be keeping an eye on as well as posting a pic in the correct forum to get thoughts on what may have happened. So here they are!
 

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That is a big litter. Don't worry if a few of the babies disappear in the next few days. Mums can and often do raise 16 successfully but its also normal in a large litter to loose one or two. Your useually safe after the first week.

At this stage you can handle them but not for long (I leave 24 hours ish). I tempt mum off the nest and pop her in a carrier with some yummy food (my mums will do anything for liver paste sold for dogs). Then I use something warm and secure, like a fleece baby hat or shallow bucket filled with fleece / bedding. They are ok in that for 5mins ish, going up gradually. I tend to sex my babies on day 2 (and then again every couple of days for the first week until I'm sure), this is easily done, I learnt form this guide and haven't got it wrong yet http://www.ratz.co.uk/sexingrats.html . If there's a change of dumbo then you can also ear them at this stage (its easier in the first week, then very easy after about 14 days), if theres rex you should also be able to tell from the whiskers.

I also quite like to weigh them on day 2, 7, 14 and then every week. At first its the full litter divided by the number in it (for instance my last litter was 7g on day 2, a previous litter was 9g and my smallest premature litter was 4g)
 

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Congrats on the babies :) That is alot of them lol You are going to have your hands full. Poor momma rat lol

Dont forget all the links I posted earlier on the thread. I find alot of people worry about how the babies are doing and the development guides are so helpful. Though it is an average some will develop faster/slower :)

Isamurat gave great advice :) Pretty much the same thing I do. I also sex them on day 2. The easiest way to sex them IMO is to pick up one baby and just slowly compare it to the others one by one. When you see a difference it kindof just clicks for you. I actually find it pretty easy to sex most of the time. Boys will have their genitals farther away from the anus then the girls. But don't panic if you can't tell. You can wait, once the girls start getting fur their nipples are usually very easy to see and only girls have nipples, soon after that the boys will be very obvious lol

Goodluck!
 

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I do comparison too 😀 I start up two little piles .

Interesting one of you have dark varieties, the bucks are easy to sex as they get 2 little dark spots where there balls will be from when there pigment comes through. As I get mostly agoutis and blacks it makes it very easy after a few days lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you all so much for the links and great info! Unfortunately when I cheked them after work I had to look very hard for them all, but only found 15. She had them scattered everywhere in the cage. Some under the blanket, some on top, some buried in the bedding...and almost half had no milk band. So I rearranged the cage a little so they have a sort of bowl shape den and a box for a shelter. This pic was before I rearranged and you can see the babies on the bedding, which brings me to my first question. The bedding is a dust free, fragrance free paper bedding...is this safe for the babies to be laying on/in? Now that she and the babies are back in the cage, she has has hardly paid them any attention. She checked on(stepped on) them and then went to the other side of the cage to clean herself, eat and drink. Should I be worried? Will me rearranging things make her mad at them? I'm so worried now that we lost one. I searched every bit of the bedding(which is why I went ahead and replaced the bedding and rearranged at the same time) and I'm so sad. I just don't want to lose any more.
 

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Some mums can struggle, especially when young, with a large litter. It sounds like she's not sure what to do and a bit overawed. You did right putting the babies back together in a nest. I would put a towel over the nest side of the cage and leave her for a few hours. Check back after then and if shes still not nursing then take the smallest cage or carrier you've got (ideally small enough she cant not sit on the nest, but still has a water bottle) and put them all in that. This can help them bond if she's not sure, and once she's feeding them reliably they can move back into the proper cage. For now as long as she's feeding them I wouldn't handle them for maybe the first 4 or 5 days. Whilst I normally do, if a mum is really stressed then she's better left to it until she settles down. The babies don't really get a lot from handling in the first week so they don't miss out, its more for your benefit
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
She hasn't lost anymore since I wrote last. I took your advice Isamurat and put a blanket over half the cage. I also noticed that if she hears anyone or anything in the room, she is more interested in whatever it is than her babies, so I also moved her cage to my son's room since it's the quietest room in the house. I've had to tuck a few back in that have come out of the nest and got tangled in the bedding, though.

One new thing she's doing is tonight I tried to count them and as I was counting I was putting them in my other hand. As I was putting them there she was grabbing them gently and putting them back. So when I stopped she stared at me for a minute, then handed me a different one and immediately took it back.

It was almost like she thought it was a game. The little babies are starting to get some markings on them and you can tell they have ears. Their eyes also are starting to look like closed eyes rather than dark circles on their heads.
 
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