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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i went home for christmas for a few days...my girls and mario were being cared for by my landlord. next thing i know i have a phone call when i am in paris. E.t has given birth 8O she is 8 months old...has NO contact with un neutered males and i have had her since she was a baby. there are two options...

...mario's neuter did not work (it was done 5 months ago and they have only been in contact a handful of times in that time).

...or the wild rat that we caught that looked distinctly female (i.e. no visible testicles) was actually male and impregnated her when she was free roaming in the early stages before we knew it was there.


i am in shock. i have about 13 babies meeping away. had to take some of the older girls out as E.T did not take kindly to their interest in the nest.


i am in shock as i never wanted to breed, have gone to great lengths to have mario neutered and my girls are the only rats apart from him that i own. they've never had contact with other males. this is some freaky miracle.

i am just hoping they are marios, as i don't want half wild rats and also they could be diseased. i am just really thankful that the other girls seem unaffected. i am trying to line up some homes for them at the moment.


please no one shout at me - i really truly swear on the bible i have no idea how this happened...is it possible for a neuter not to work? just need some advice on this and what to do if they are half wild?

mario is silver fawn hooded and the wild rat was agouti so would it be possible to tell the difference when they start growing fur?

i feel sick - i can't believe i have an oops litter.

any suggestions as to what happened wouldl be greatly appreciated.


oh, and anyone in the portsmouth area (UK) interested in any babies?

many thanks and happy new year,

jay
 

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Re: miracle christmas birth - suggestions welcomed...

I have half wild rats here, ALL are agouti. Mom is an agouti hooded and they don't look anything like her.

When you look at the eepers look to see if they all have dark eyes or if any have pink eyes. They should start to colour up in a few days so you'll know soon enough.

My bet is someone oops-ed and doesn't want to admit it. :roll:

Congrats on the babies! Enjoy them and learn from them...You try your hardest to avoid oops litters and you did try, so no yelling from me. But they can still happen, so you might as well enjoy it instead of feeling guilty.

Start supplementing mom with a higher protein diet, 13 bubs is a lot to feed!
 

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Re: miracle christmas birth - suggestions welcomed...

What color is the mother? And what markings do she and Mario have? Depending on that you might be able to tell who the father was...but since both possibilities are agouti based, if the mom doesn't carry the same colors as Mario the babies could all turn out agouti anyway.

I would say it's more likely that the wild rat was a male..if it was very frightened it might have drawn its goolies up inside its body...but I don't know how likely it is that a neuter might not have worked. I've never heard of it happening...but I guess there is a first time for everything!
Wish I could be more helpful :( Good luck with the little ones!
 

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Re: miracle christmas birth - suggestions welcomed...

a neuter takes away the mechanisms needed to make sperm so if your boy has no more goolies then he can no longer make babies. however, there is a left over store about 2-3 weeks worth directly after a neuter, this is why it is recommended to wait at least that long before introing the females and neutered males. however, if the surgery was done 5 months ago, this wouldn't be an issue anyway.

it is likely that either the wild rat you caught was really a scared male or, there is another wild rat still loose in the house that you have not caught yet. i don't thinki would be too concerned about disease in the babies as it was your pet rat that carried them, her immune system that protects them. if she is not ill i do not think that the babies would be either. as for personality, i'm not sure. i think where they are still half domestic and you are raising them from pinky stage, they should be fine. perhaps a bit more skittish to load noises maybe but i think they will likely be fine as pets once grown enough to leave mom.

as far as feeling guilty or having people yell at you for it. i don't think that would be fair on you. you have tried your best and did everything you could. but life happens and not everything works out as planned no matter how much preparations we've made against it. so long as you try your best you have nothing to ever feel guilty about.

please keep us updated on their progress and pictures are always welcome
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: miracle christmas birth - suggestions welcomed...

thank you so much guys, the replies are really appreciated.

okay, so to cover the things mentioned...

lilspaz - you are right, they are colouring up very quickly. it is day three and all the bubs are looking very dark :? so they are not looking mario-like. but so far the fur has not started to grow - this dark is still "under the skin" and their eyes are not open yet so i can't see eye colour but i'll look for that as it is a good suggestion. so, with your half wilds, have you had any problems? are they skittish? any health problems? i really want to enjoy these babies...it's all strange to me though as i was unprepared, i was never planning to EVER breed babies! luckily E.T knows what she is doing, she is really caring with them. i took the lid off the igloo today to have a proper look and there definitely seems to be 13 of them. lots of wriggly movement!!!!

paperhearts - mario is silver fawn hooded and mum (E.T) is a very pale grey self coloured - almost silver looking. i've never seen a colour like hers before. she has the biggest dumbo ears whilst mario is a standard ear. they have standard coats too - no rex or anything. i have no idea about mario's lineage as he was a rescue and originally from pets at home. E.T comes from a nice line as far as i can see with fantastic personality and so far no illness to speak of. that is interesting what you say about the wild rat being male and hiding his goolies! that could be true. when we caught it s/he was screaming it's little heart out it was so scared! we caught it in a live trap and released in back to the wild. it was hard to get a good look at it as when i lifted the towel off the trap it screeched at me. it was quite a small rat - again why i thought female but it could have just been really young.


thank you so much for your help/suggestions...i really do appreciate it. i am not sure about what to give her for more protein but i will do a search and find out - so far i have just upped the veggies and just kept the food bowl full. i love the babies so much already - i've never seen real ones before! i will consult the vet about possible diseases the babies may have if wild - i know that as wild ones their immune system is stronger so they are carriers often not showing signs but i wouldn't want them to pass anything on to other babies they come in to contact with in their new homes.


wish me luck guys, and when they are a few days older i'll take some pictures, i've tried to leave them alone as much as possibole at the moment :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: miracle christmas birth - suggestions welcomed...

twitch said:
a neuter takes away the mechanisms needed to make sperm so if your boy has no more goolies then he can no longer make babies. however, there is a left over store about 2-3 weeks worth directly after a neuter, this is why it is recommended to wait at least that long before introing the females and neutered males. however, if the surgery was done 5 months ago, this wouldn't be an issue anyway.

it is likely that either the wild rat you caught was really a scared male or, there is another wild rat still loose in the house that you have not caught yet. i don't thinki would be too concerned about disease in the babies as it was your pet rat that carried them, her immune system that protects them. if she is not ill i do not think that the babies would be either. as for personality, i'm not sure. i think where they are still half domestic and you are raising them from pinky stage, they should be fine. perhaps a bit more skittish to load noises maybe but i think they will likely be fine as pets once grown enough to leave mom.

as far as feeling guilty or having people yell at you for it. i don't think that would be fair on you. you have tried your best and did everything you could. but life happens and not everything works out as planned no matter how much preparations we've made against it. so long as you try your best you have nothing to ever feel guilty about.

please keep us updated on their progress and pictures are always welcome
hi twitch *waves* sorry i missed your post there. thank you for your words, that has made me feel a lot better. i really do feel guilty - i feel like my little girl has been violated, that i didn't protect her and now there are 13 new lives that were not meant to be here that need homes! it's nice to just be reassured that mistakes happen and that although we can't change them we can learn from them. so again, thank you.

i am going to take some pictures tomorrow. they are in an igloo so i won't get a nice shot of mum and eepers together cos i don't think she'll appreciate being disturbed but when she is out for a run i'll take some snaps. they are really noisy they are so cute. when should i see milk rings? sorry guys, i should really find these answers but i never paid much attention before as i never thought i;d be in this situation! :oops: E.T is so cute, she is forever fussing over the nest to make it just so.
 

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Re: miracle christmas birth - suggestions welcomed...

youy should be able to see milk bands from day one. they are on their tummy exactly where their stomach would be. you should also be able to tell eye color from day one. if its a pink or ruby eye the color where the eye should be will be the same pink color as the rest of the skin. if its a black eye then the skin there will look dark.

for uping mom's protein give her some cooked egg and scraps of cooked meat. some nuts are ok but i'm not sure which ones. i know peanuts destroy vitamin A, but i'm not sure about the other types of nuts.

i've had a rat that had 13 babies (petstore surprise) and took care of them wonderfully. all of them survived to be wonderful little rats. they weren't half-wild but probably had the same crazy genetics as yours do health wise. all of spiders babies were fat just like her and everyone of them sweet. i do not know what the father was like but they sure did take after their mom a lot. hopefully your wildlings will take after mom most too.

in any case though, you can make sure that they are going to be the best possible pet they can be by handling them right away. you don't want to handle them for too long, so they don't get cold or miss a meal but even a few mintues a few times a day until they get older and you can hold them more will help out a lot. and you never know, mom might really appreicate the baby-sitter. i know spider sure did when she had her babies, she even put them in my hand before leaving the cage!

if you have anymore questions, don't hesitate to ask. you may also want to browse through this section as a lot as been said before. you can readily ignore the ethics statements on everything as it seems you already are fully aware of them and they do not help the situation now.

good luck and enjoy the babes, they are only this young once afterall and they grow so freakishly fast! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: miracle christmas birth - suggestions welcomed...

okay, mini update, i have taken a picture of mum (E.T) and the babies seperately on day 3. it's now day 5...i didn't get to look at them yesterday as she was hiding them but i heard lots of noise so that is good. today is day 5. when i get in tonight and let E.T out for some play time i'm going to take a look at them and take a photo. then i'll put both up and see if there are any differences in the couple of days.

as they are going at the moment they are looking wild...just very dark under the skin. no sign of red eyes either. so cute though!

i did a big clean last night. they were born in the plastic igloo on the bottom layer. then the night on day 3 E.T moved them all up to the top level (eek!) in to the material igloo and put loads of bedding on them. the material igloo is fixed in place but i am not happy having them up there so i will move the whole igloo down and hope for the best. as she moved them up the top it enabled me to clean all the bottom of the cage so it's all sweet smelling. i gave loads of fresh bedding thinking E.T would discard the old stuff but she just added to it! it looks like she licked the plastic igloo clean though, she is freakishly clean!

the other two girls in there look disgruntled...i put new hammocks in for them to lie in but E.T has monopolised the whole cage and the older girls have been relegated to the bottom of the cage with no bedding....they have the megazorb they sleep on. i keep picking them up and putting them in the spare hammock so i hope they stay there now. E.T is not fussed that they are there, she is showing no aggression but she is being a bossy madam.

the two other cages were all spot cleaned at the same time and the floor got vacuumed (i left it a few days as didn't want to disturb mum at all with the little eepers). so as everything is just so, until i get home (!) i should only have to do a spot clean tonight.

i put boiled egg in the cage but i think the two older girls stole it before E.T had a chance as she was feeding the babies at the time so i will have to give to her tonight when the others are out playing. E.T is enjoying her out time but i have to let her back to check the babies every 10 mins or so as i don't want her to worry.


anyway, let's hope they are ok tonight when i get in from work x
 

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Re: miracle christmas birth - suggestions welcomed...

Do you have another cage where you can put the other girls? It would probably be a much more ideal situation for everyone. If you don't have another cage, I know that people have made temporary cages very easily. Someone on here posted pictures of a temporary cage that they made using a large storage bin... but I'm having trouble finding the post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: miracle christmas birth - suggestions welcomed...

hello madeittothemoon: strangely i have moved all the girls in to my spare cage, it's a little smaller but acceptable for four and they seem really happy to be squishy together - we must be psychic! E.T looks a little lonely but she is so busy with the babies she can't complain!

okay - piccie time in a moment!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: miracle christmas birth - suggestions welcomed...

okay it won't work uploading at work so i'll do tonight - sorry guys i'm being unreliable!

i picked up some babies last night and they are so cute! eyes still not open but they have whiskers and tiny toenails. every one looks good. they are crawling slightly. it is now day 6 so i will check them tonight and take another photo if i can. mum didn't seem to mind that i touched them but i did take her out first. she kept nipping my house mate last night when he was spot cleaning the bottom of the cage - it was only a minor protest and she didn't break the skin. she doesn't bite me but she i haven't gone too near the babies when she is around. she "cleaned" the few i touched afterwards but is still absolutely fine with them! hooray!
 

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Re: miracle christmas birth - suggestions welcomed...

Pomperella this situation is interesting to me because a few weeks ago I thought one of my females was lookin a bit thick but my two males no longer have their googlies. It turns out she was probably just taking more than her fair share of Suebee's mix but for a second I panicked and thought what if I have wild rats........... Later I dismissed this and thought it was pretty completely unlikely. Now I'm a bit paranoid again. I don't think I have wild rats but I did just notice some droppings just yesterday mouse size! I suppose I'd rather have mice than rats but I really don't want either. Sigh.

Everything still going well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: miracle christmas birth - suggestions welcomed...

hi there, sorry it's been a few days i have been busy looking after my poorly rabbit on top of the new babies so haven't had a chance to update. i am going to upload some pictures...


this takes ages, so i need to add a close up 6 day and 7 day one but will do so tonight.

just click the pictures to make them bigger....


here is mum - E.T:



babies at 2 days old, there are 13 of them:



one baby at 4 days old...



babies at 7 days feeding from mum...

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
okay they are 10 days old, took some photos at 9 days too...will post at home tonight. they are so cute! seems like i have 10 boys and 3 girls.

they are big and strong, there are one or two quite small i hope they make it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
hi guys, sorry i will but i've been so busy with them. they are about 22 days old now, really cute...really friendly, glossy, healthy looking. nice and easy to hold. they are eating proper food and trying to escape out of their cage! i owe phoebie some pictures also...i haven't forgotten it's just so intense! i lost one the other day, was so upset couldn't find it anywhere. it had escaped and climbed into the cage next door and was being looked after by it's aunties! particularly the one who is normally really mean! i was so proud of her for looking after the baby. there are still 13, i hope they all make it, they've had a great start, E.T is doing a great job. they are very big already!!!!

can anyone tell me how to post pictures, it was taking ages last time by uploading them with the image shack option...
 
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