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Discussion Starter #1
It seems very common that people purchase a female rat from a pet store and it is already pregnant!!! I know that there was a male rat in the female cage at the pet shop when I got my 2 - I pointed it out to the lady who was helping me and she promptly removed him.

Anyway, I think that Jemima is pregnant - her belly looks a bit 'fullish' - more so than Daisy's. When she is standing up on her hind legs stretching up against the bars her tummy sticks out and looks big. However if she is, then I think it is still early days. Her tummy feels firmish and I just have one of those feelings that I'm right! The lady at the pet shop said that if she was pregnant (and she also thought she might be, but wasn't sure) then they would buy the babies back from me when they were 6 weeks old - so I don't need to worry about finding homes for them. Although I'll probably want to keep them!!!

I have done some reading, however I still have a few questions, it would be appriceated if someone experienced could help me out.

1: How long before she gives birth will she build a nest? She hasn't shown any interest in it yet. There is plenty of 'stuff' for her to use; paper, material scraps, cardboard and lots of hidee holes.

2: Jemima shares a cage with Daisy and they get on really well, they curl up and sleep together and they palay and stuff. Daisy is a bit smaller than Jemima and I some times think that Daisy is like a baby and Jemima is like her mum (but they arn't). Should I take Daisy out of the cage when Jemima starts to build her nest and gets ready for the birth? If so how long will they need to stay seperated? Can Daisy stay in the cage with Jemima and the babies?

3: Once Jemima has the babies, how often will she leave them - to get food and stuff? Should I move the water bottle and food closer to her so she doesn't have to leave them? or is it ok for her to have a bit of alone time?

That's about it for now - just a couple of things I'm not sure on...

Thanks in advance for any info!

Kat
 

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these questions are very typical & are often among the first asked

Be sure to read over previous threads & you will have all of these answered & more
 

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1. They build the nest just before giving birth--maybe a day before, maybe just hours.

2. As soon as you are sure that Jemima is pregnant, Daisy needs to be removed from the cage. You can still let them play together supervised, even after the babies are born (but leave the babies in the cage, where Daisy can't get to them). Daisy might try and steal the babies, and they might fight over them. Jemima doesn't need the stress.

3. They will leave their babies to eat and drink, and can even come out for playtime (I just kept the time short). They need breaks from the babies, too!

Both my pet store rats came to me already pregnant and I'm now caring for two litters which were born a week apart. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
LOL... What do you mean 'Jemima is a fat name'???? I got the name from a popular Australian kids show called Playschool - and the doll is pretty adverage sixed, not fat! That's the only Jemima that I know of??? Please explain?

Thanks Dragonegg, you have been helpful. I read on a particular website (quite obviously with incorrect info) that they start building their nests about 2 weeks before birth - this seemed a long time to keep a nest clean and safe before that the babies came!!

Rather than get another cage for Daisy, I was thinking of dividing my current cage - which is huge. Jemima can have the bottom and Daisy can have the top. There is a door on the top and on the side near the bottom and it is quite a tall, so I think that would work. I have a medium sized bird cage that I use as a travel cage for mu parrots (when we go in the car). It's big enough but if I divide the rat cage into 2, each part will still be bigger than travel cage (does that make sense?). Then I can use that one for the baby boys when it is time to seperate them.

Sorry, kind of thinking out loud whilst I'm typing!!! Only just comming up with this plan right now!!

I'll send a pic of Jem soon, and you can give me your opions.

Kat
 

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it was wrong on many levels

for Lazyislandkat: google "Aunt Jemima" this is a character/icon that a company created as the representative of their pancake syrup here in the US
 

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lazyislandkat said:
Rather than get another cage for Daisy, I was thinking of dividing my current cage - which is huge. Jemima can have the bottom and Daisy can have the top. There is a door on the top and on the side near the bottom and it is quite a tall, so I think that would work. I have a medium sized bird cage that I use as a travel cage for mu parrots (when we go in the car). It's big enough but if I divide the rat cage into 2, each part will still be bigger than travel cage (does that make sense?). Then I can use that one for the baby boys when it is time to seperate them.

Sorry, kind of thinking out loud whilst I'm typing!!! Only just comming up with this plan right now!!
Kat

Kat, this is exactly what I did for my mommies. Waffle has the top and Squishy the bottom, and I'm keeping the extra cage for the boys when they turn 5 weeks. Works well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just googled aunt Jemima - I see what you mean!

I didn't find the comment offensive at all (even when I didn't know who she was). I thought it was funny as!!!

As I said, she was named after a rag doll from an Austrailan kids TV show!!! And just for the record, I didn't name Daisy from that show, bt there is a purple and white cow with the same name sake!

Anyway, back to the Accidental Litter thing; I think both of my girls are pregnant!! Daisy didn't have a tummy on her at all when i got her - now she does, and Jemima just keeps getting bigger. I can't get a propper photo of her belly, but I'll keep trying so.....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
As of today I am preparing for upto 30 babies! It's a lucky thing that I have a love for birds and fish and therefore have a few spare tanks and cages that will make do if need be. My rat cage is big, but not big enough for 32 rats!!!

It would be perfect if each of them had 2 female babies and then I could probably keep them all and it wouldn't be too stressful on the mums either. What do you think my chances of this are?? :roll:
 

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Holy baloney, 30 babies sure would be a lot! Here's keeping my fingers cross you get teeny litters... In fact, two girls per mommy sounds pretty good to me! But statistically... find some homes!

Also, I wanted to point out that if you do end up giving/selling the babies back to the petstore, you'll have no control over them. They could end up as snake food, they could end up as pets, bothers and sisters could be put together...

Of course, you could certainly do it and hope for the best, since you didn't plan on this, and you'll be doing a lot just raising the little fellows. But I would highly recommend finding homes for them yourself, so you can at least be certain they'll be pets, and houses properly. See if you can find a rat rescue or breeder in your area, they might have homes you wouldn't be able to find otherwise. But again, you didn't do this to your girls, so it's still your choice.
 

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My two had 9 babies each, one week apart. So now there are 20 rats in one cage (on separate floors). We'll be able to keep 2 females of each litter and I advertised for good homes for the rest. I'll keep my fingers crossed that they don't have to go to the petstore--it'll be a last resort for me.
 

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Here's hoping for small litters!

I was 99.9% positive at least one of my two would be pregnant, because the stupid pet store kept males and females in the same cage. The suspicion didn't go down when Gohma started getting fat, but either she had a rat-miscarriage, or was miraculously never pregnant at all, but she's back to her skinny self again. I didn't see any boys in the cage I picked Dust from. Anyways, I've had both for a little over 3 weeks now and amazingly there is no sign of babies.

I'd be wary about selling them back to the pet store, unless it's a good store that doesn't sell rats as food. Those are few and far between, I know, but they do exist.
 
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