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Discussion Starter #1
Jus a few questions about my ratties new babies....

How soon should i start handling them?

How soon should i be able 2 sex them?

at what stage is it safe 2 put my male back in? (after hes been chopped!)

And should i be givin mummy any thing other than her usual food and water?

Any help will be gratefull received as im new 2 this!! Thanks!! :)
 

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As soon as Mum will let you and often for short times

Before their hair grows I think

Not sure

Think so, she needs extra everything cus she is eating for all those babies who are feeding form her

Pregnant or Nursing Females:

The big needs of pregnant and nursing females are adequate levels of protein and fat. These can be supplied using kitten or puppy chow, a good brand (such as Science Diet, Iams, Eukanuba, or any of a number of other good brands). Also table scraps can be useful, being palatable, as long as you avoid heavily spiced or salted or sugared items which are hard on the rat's system.

If a doe (female) appears to be expecting a good-sized to huge litter (based on the size of her abdomen), I will take away the lab blocks entirely in favor of the richer foods so that she has the best possible chance of providing adequate nutrition for the growing rat kittens inside of her. I will continue with this (with fruits and veggies, too, and sometimes a little grain mix or whole wheat bread) after the babies are born, but then I will add goat's milk for the extra protein, calcium, fat, and palatability. This is good for putting weight on a thin mother or helping boost up the runts. Sometimes a large litter will nurse the flesh off of a mother--she just doesn't eat enough to make up for what they are taking from her body by nursing. This is, in my opinion, VERY BAD for the female and should not be allowed. If necessary take the babies away for several hours a day and let her rest and eat--feed her lots of tasty food, rich food, eggs scrambled in butter, oatmeal with whole milk or goat's milk, canned kitten or puppy food, whatever she'll eat that's nutritionally rich. Meanwhile offer the babies the same foods separately. Hopefully this will let her catch up and quit losing condition.


http://hometown.aol.com/RistoRat/nutrition.html

Are there any special considerations when looking after pregnant/nursing rats?

Like any pregnancy, be it in humans or animals, extra nutrients are needed to help chances of a normal birth and litter and cut down on any chances of illness or struggles on the mother's part. Try adding special 'small animal' vitamin supplements to her water, to try and keep her vitamins up. And perhaps a small good quality kitten food as a supplement to her diet may help keep her protein and fat levels up after she gives birth (although too much protein is said to be a helper in causing tumours, so I will not state just how much to give - this I leave to your discretion). Extra bread, pasta and fresh vegetables can be good for her too. Make sure she has an ample supply of her own rat food and plenty of fresh water available at all times.

Sometimes the females hormones will play a factor in how she behaves to other rats during her pregnancy. She may become more aggressive than usual, picking on the other rats she is with. If this happens it may be a good idea to remove her from the cage and put her in a second, temporary cage (let's call it the nursery, as it's so sweet!). This may be a good idea anyway, especially if your cage has bars. New baby rats are blind at birth and also very tiny, and may fall out of a barred cage. An ideal nursery would be a tank with well ventilated lid, with plenty of cleaning.

http://health.ratzrus.co.uk/breeding.htm#Q5
 

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your male will need 3 weeks away from her after he's been neutered. The spermies are still in there and it's a safety precaution, especially since after she has given birth it DEFINATELY isn't good for her to get pregnate again.

You'll want to seperate the males around four weeks of age, in that time it would be a good idea to see if your grown male takes them in. Some act as a uncle, showing the babies the ropes because mentally they still aren't mature enough to be seperated so need some form of parenting if possible. So yeah, I wouldn't worry about putting the male back in with the female until all the boys have homes, even if neutered. But definately getting him neutered as soon as you can is a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone!
If anyone has got anything else they think cud be helpfull 2 me, let me know!
 

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i actually think that covers all the basics. we should be able to help you if you have any particular issues with momma or the babies though, so keep us updated on their progress. until then though the basics have been covered.

we do expect pictures of momma and babies though. especailly as the babies grow. we all love seeing them develop from little pink skinbags to fuzzy bouncy babies. with pictures we may even be able to tell you from day one which ones will have dark eyes and which will have light ones. its always a very fun time. enjoy your babies!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have tried handling the babies now but when i do, mummy seems 2 get quite distressed...

Any suggestion on how 2 make it less stressfull for her?

Or should i just leave them for now?
 

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what does she do when she seems stressed? its important to handle the babies daily so they can be the best rats that they can be. but you don't want mom so upset that she's going to hurt the babies in her panic when you put your hand in there. most rat moms will bounce around a bit after you take the babies. normally i take that as them stretching their muscles and joy of having some "me" time. but if they start pulling the babies back that means they don't like what you're doing. basically, tell us what she does when you take the babies.

but it might be helpful to take all the babies and mom out on the bed with together. that way mom can see you're not hurting them and get skritches of her own. that might help.
 

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The last time i tried i showed her that it was jus in my hand and i wasnt hurting it and she pulled the baby off my hand and then started 2 move them all 2 the other side of her box and made a new nest!!!
 

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yeah she doesn't sound too excited about you playing with them. maybe see if you can get just mom out for some mom-time without having to worry about her babies? she needs to trust you herself before she can trust you with her babies. i wouldn't go for her babies for a little while until mom trusts you more or you could cause her to panic and hurt her babies.
 
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