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Okay.. I know NOW that I should have looked for a breeder or an adoptee rat.. BUT.. I was ignorant to rats , so I got my rats at a local pet store. What happened was this. My son came home with a hamster. I normally love all little critters, but this boy was a real stinker. He was far from friendly. I told my son I would try to exchange him for a nicer one.

I took the hammy back and saw the baby rats.
I normally would never have looked twice at rats , but gosh they were cute. The guy working starting saying all the nice things he could say about rats. Things I never heard about them. He was the one who happened to breed the rats in this pet store. Anyway.. long story short, I went back a week later and bought two of his 5 week old females.
Even though they came from a pet store , I can tell he did a great job breeding them. They have wonderful temperaments, healthy so far, and cute as can be.
I am wondering if the smaller pet stores might be okay if you actually meet the breeder?? My biggest concern now is that some of his rats could be sold as feeders! That actually makes my stomach turn. Even though snakes have the right to eat too, I just feel that feeding these cute domestic rats to snakes is sickening. No offense to snake owners. I guess I could not see myself feeding my rats birds, even though rats in the wild could eat birds and other prey. Sorry for rambling. Im a big mouth tonight! LOL :oops:
 

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That sounds like a much nicer situation than most pet stores. :?
 

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Hi I just wanted to say that not all pet stores feed their rats as feeders although the big ones as well as some of the smaller ones do to. the place that I got my babies only sell their rats as pets, but then when they breed on occasion when their's rat baby demands then they spend a lot of time and money in keeping their babies social and happy and healthy. Not to say that accidents don't happen because the almost five month old dumbo rex veriberk female who's small for her size due to the situation of her birth and raising just had thirteen babies this morning. They stated when that she had wedged her way through the defider and got with the male on the other side, normally this doesn't happen and all the rats have been healthy and social. They are also very freindly and acknoledgeable about the rat that they do have.
 

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I know of two smaller pet shops near my house. One of them is horrid, and another is awesome. They breed really nice rats instore, and they are seperate from their feeder rats, which they get in from the same kind of mill that most stores do. They lady there breeds them at home, and brings them in when they are weened to sell as pets.

It's not an idea situation, but it's better then most.
 

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I got 2 of my rats from a large pet shop and they acted like they had never been picked up or handled b4 I got them. I got 2 more from a small pet shop where he breed his own and you could tell they had been handled coz they just love being around people.
 

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I’m always one encourage people to rescue or research a good breeder…but my three girls came from a local Petsmart. Granted the Petsmart in my area is pretty good, probably better than most. The employees will give you the third-degree if you buy so much as a betta fish from them. They wont sell feeder rats, and actually only sell female rats to discourage people from buying a pair to breed. My girls are healthy and had definitely been handled regularly.

Even though it’s made me the worlds biggest hypocrite…I love my girls no matter where they came from and I don’t regret giving them a home. :wink:
 

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It's hard work trying to get rats friendly but it is well worth it in the end. It's so nice when I come down in the morning and they are all at the cage waiting to greet me.
 

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All stores(especially chain stores) are a roll of the dice on the quality of their rats. Your best bet is to go straight to a breeder and ask a lot of questions
 

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I think the last time I bought a rat from a pet store was like 12 years ago LOL and that was from a nice local store. I'm too scared to buy rats from petsmart, petco or any other for fear or sda and other air born viruses. I can't take the chance with all my rescues and other rats here. Most of my rescues that come to me from a petstore, then they were just surrendered to me by the owners. Some from snake owners too which is sad. I think if you don't have a lot of rats, you quarantine right it's ok to get from a petstore. Sometimes it's hard to find a good breeder too I know in my state there aren't many. Just be sure to know what to look for. I have seen too many sick and dead rats at petstores esp petco.
 

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i think you can find a lot of decent local petstores that know what they are doing with breeding small animals and handling them appropriately. there are some that just specialize in small animals too.

usually feeder rats are extremely cheap, most people don't pay the normal pet rat rate for a feeder, at least i've seen that here. at reptile and amphibian pet stores the rats are very cheap and extremely diseased =(. my friend is a snake breeder and a member of some snake organization. i was looking into buying a snake once and asked her all about them, owners aren't advised to feed even the biggest snake a live rat due to the rat possibly causing serious harm to the snake since most snakes don't eat their food right away. instead a lot of snakes owners buy frozen mice or rat pups. =( it's sad i know, but at least this given information we know that rats at more expensive prices aren't usually being fed to nasty snakes.
 

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Both of my rats are from different local pet stores and I didnt even think of quarantining them, which scares me now. I guess I got lucky that both rats have always been so healthy.
 

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i got lucky as well. i had a few minor bumps in the road but i've been rotating an echinacea supplement and so far so good. far less sneezing then before.
 

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Hi lizzydeztic, you can not buy rats for feeding to snakes over here. You have to get frozen ones like you said. Rats are not cheap over here so people wont pay out that money. They go for around 2 for £15. A lot of money just to feed a snake. But It's still sad thinking of the living conditions they was in.
 

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lol, i have a similar situation. I bought my rats from a pet store to, but i've dealt with this petstore my whole life, and the guy doesn't sell LIVE rats as feeders, which i guess isn't completely consoling, but its better than knowing that he breeds them to have them killed. I think its respectable. He does his best to see that all of his animals go to good homes. He doesn't bring in the super expensive pets because he knows they'll just rot away in his shop so theres no point. I'm content with him. The main problem I have with petstores is when they buy animals from places such as puppy mills.. and we all know that there are people out there who breed rats solely to benefit themselves, and we're talking back to back breedings with no period of rest for the females.... its a sick world we live in.
 

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lina said:
They go for around 2 for £15. A lot of money just to feed a snake.
...actually, if you think about it, its not a lot of money because how often does a snake eat? once every 3 weeks, maybe even more so you figure less than $15 a month isn't all that much, sad but true.
 

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i can't remember the price of the live feeder rats, i know it was ridiculously cheap. i'm going to go check it out actually. it's so sad, they're all crammed in cage the same way feeder gold fish are crammed in a tank. they're usually matted with poo as well and look extremely under weight.

oh and when feeding live rats you usually feed once every 2 weeks depending on the size of the snake. the most popular pet snakes are ball pythons and they usually take 1 rat everyone 2 weeks or 1 pinkie [frozen rat pup] every week. i couldn't BARE to do this so i gave up on the idea of snakes. frozen mice i could possibly do, but not sweet little rats and nothing alive.
 

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i've always wanted a snake... i just want a snake that eats crickets lol. i don't necessarily disagree with feeding live animals to a snake because its only natural i guess... I just don't have the heart to do it. I definately disagree with the conditions they're kept under, but its the same with a lot of animals.
 

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I had a Columbian red tailed boa for a while a few years ago, and he ate a rat once every week and a half to two weeks. We fed frozen for a while at 5 bucks a piece, which isn't toobad, but the snake was a rescue, had health issues, and we were trying to get his weight up. So the vet recommended feeding freshly killed to entice him to eat more often. :/ It was pretty gross, but I ended up keeping the rats myself, and they were well taken care of till they were euthenized. I figured that it was better to keep my own them patronize rat farmers. The rats had to be raised to feed, and I'm against live feeding...so the few stores I know of that keep their feeder rats in good conditions and sell them pre-killed - I support them.
 

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i agree, i mean snakes have to eat to right? Its just sad though I mean if you're raising the rat to be fed to another animal then you could atleast make their lives as easy as possible while they wait you know? and these petstore owners who keep their animals in appauling conditions really get under my skin because they shouldn't own a petstore if they dont know what theyre doing, there should be more adequate laws regarding the distribution and breeding of animals.
 
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