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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I bought my first rat about a month ago from a very good pet store. She is a regular hooded rat and is sweet as can be. My boyfriend always said he wanted a hairless rat when we were shopping for toys for her, so I went out the next day and bought a baby hairless for him.
Since I got her, about a week and half ago, she has gotten really fat. I have never had rats before so I cannot distinguish whether she is really pregnant or just fat and lazy.
Lately she has started gaining a lot of weight, she made a gigantic nest out of paper towels, her nipples are huge, and she doesn't really like to be touched all of a sudden.
Everything I have read is pointing to yes, however I cannot find any pictures of pregnant hairless rats to compare to. I am going to post a few pictures of her and hopefully someone can tell me yes or no, because I am freaking out.
I have read that their litters can be anywhere from 6-24 babies and that hairless females make terrible mothers. Is she going to chow down on them as soon as they pop out?!?! What if she neglects them, how do I feed them? WHAT do I feed them? How do I know if she is being mean to them or just being normal. How do I tell if she is having trouble lactating? Will she make any strange noises when she starts to go into labor?
SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME!!!! 8O
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Ok I have been in your situation before. When a rat is prego she will have a pair shape to her stomach. A lot of times you can feel babies if you GENTLY puch on the sides of her tummy. You need to put your other rat in a different cage and put the hairless in a cage with no ramps or wire siding that they can slip through. A lot of people preffer a 20gallon (long) aquarium. (as that it what i used) Make sure she has plenty of bedding that is soft and they like some ripped up paper towels to make nests. When her water breaks it will be kind of blooding and the spots should be no bigger than 1 or 2 quarters. When there water breaks they usually have babies within 24 hours. She will be putting herself in odd positions to get ready for birth. Try not to watch her but do keep an eye on her. If you watch her to close she will get stressed and it could cause birthing complications. She will have her babies one by one and she will pull them out with her teeth and hand and then she will lick them and eat the placenta. They will often have a couple of babies born dead and do not be alarmed if she starts to eat the dead babies. Or even if the babies are alive dont be alarmed if she eats them. The ONLY reason why she would eat alive baby is because she senses that it is unhealthy. And there is a mith that they will eat them if you thouch the babies and that is NOT true. She will probably take breaks inbetween each baby. The birthing procces shoulf be no longer than 2 hours. If she is still having babies after 2 hours then she should be fine. Call a vet and be sure they know that you could have a litter coming. If she doesn't start nurseing them right away give them 24 hours and she should start nursing them and if she doesn't them you need to feed them soy formula. (We will get into that if she doesn't nurse them). I wouldn't bother them the first day or two so mom can have some time with them. When she is having babies she will probaly squek a little bit. If you have anymore questions just ask. Anyone correct me if i was wrong about any of that. It would help if we had some picture of her belly while she was standing up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok I posted 5 pictures that will hopefully help in determining whether or not she is preggo. Thank you so much for your help!
 

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i think she is pregnant it looks like it in the first picture. So deffenatly seperate the rats and put her into a 20gallon aqaurium.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There isn't any way to tell when she will give birth is there? I can't sleep knowing that she's about to have babies in her tank. I kinda wanna be there when it happens to supervise.
 

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Well with her siz e i would say she would have them within 2 days.... because rats dont show if they are pregnant untill the last 3 days of pregnancy. So you should be able to sleep to nite. Remember not to stare at her or watch her during birth she will get stressed and might have complications. I know its hard not to...
 

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But remember there is no way to tell when she will have them or even if she is pregnant.
 

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They start to show in the third week after conception. She does indeed look pregnant in some of those photos and from your observations, I'd go with her probably being pregnant. (Hopefully, I'm wrong!) It's best not to hover, as she will be able to sense it and it will stress her out and possibly cause complications. Try to assure yourself that 90% of births go without a hitch. Of course, do keep an eye out for problems, which you can read about at the links later in the post.

You may want to prepare ahead in the event she can not nurse the litter, since she is a hairless. You will need to have a surrogate mother on-call (breeders, rescues nearby? If not, call around pet stores [I'd say as a last resort] for possible nursing mothers). finding a surrogate is the BEST thing. If none are available, you can hand feed, but it's really a last-resort sort of thing because 1) it will be **** on you (feeding every 2-3 hours 24/7 for a few weeks) and 2) hand feeding does not insure that the rittens will live.

Anyway, other then that, I could probably write a novel about labor, birth and newborns but others have already written a lot of that down, so here's some sites to read. :)

http://www.worldofrats.com/ROUSBreedingFAQMain.html
http://www.80stoysale.com/ratbreeding.html
http://ratguide.com/breeding/

In case you need to hand feed:

http://www.ratfanclub.org/orphans.html
http://www.afrma.org/rminfo8.htm
http://www.rmca.org/Articles/orphans.htm

Here's a neat site to see the growth and development of rittens, so you'll know what to expect:

http://ratgrowth.homestead.com/

When it comes time to sex the rats (you can actually do so at birth if you know what to look for - which these sites teach), as you'll want to separate the genders at 5 weeks to prevent future liters:

http://www.ratz.co.uk/sexingrats.html
http://www.afrma.org/sexing101.htm

Anything else you need, we're here. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Alright we made it throught the night without any babies. I woke up this morning and was talking to her and feeling her belly, and I could actually see and feel movement inside of her by pressing lightly on her side. Just asfter that she started breathing really fast and heavy. Does this mean she's going into labor? She's been doing that for about 20 minutes now.
 

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i know people have been saying that rats only show later in pregnancy but that is not always the case. when i brought spider and snicketts home it was the next day that spider started showing and only a few days after that that snicketts started showing. they gave birth nearly a full 3 weeks later and as gestation is only about 3 weeks i'd say they showed after only being pregnant for a few days.
 

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I'm not sure if that's labor, but she's definitely pregnant... Keep an eye on her and find a number for a vet, it may be necessary. You may also want to get some animal baby formula or soy human formula if she's having problems lactating.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This is the way I have been calculating her pregnancy, I got her on July 20th. She had to already have been pregnant when I got her because my other rat is a female. Since today is the 4th, I have had her about 16-17 days. So if she got pregnant the exact day I got her, she still has like a week left...highly unlikely I think. I think she gets fatter every time I look at her. haha. I can see the little ratties moving around inside her and all she does is lay around and eat, like a typical pregnant woman. She has to be due any day now. Hopefully it will be soon, because I can't handle this stress anymore. lol. I feel bad for her. She looks so uncomfortable. Are rats ever in pain during their pregnancy?
 

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Tampa0311 said:
How long should I wait before introducing my other female rat to the mommy and babies?
I wouldn't introduce the other rat with her and the babies until 3-4 weeks old. Or just wait until their weaned at 5 weeks. I have 19 day olds and I have to put them in with my other rat like 4 times a day. You would have to read my post to understand it.
 

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yeah.. you should read amber's thread.. lot's of good info there for you too

I just asked amber this same question... What are you feeding Mom now?
 

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that sounds good

there are many great sites out there that show diets for rats... here is just one that I have boomarked ( I found this one very easy to read)

http://www.boardmanweb.com/rattery/nutrition.htm

As for the pregnant/nursing rat... increased protein is suggested

This is also another use for the formula I have suggested having on hand prior to delivery & in case Mom isn't nursing or producing milk. This formula is something Mom will drink as well & it will give her the additional protein needed. Some sites suggest KMR (for kittens) others suggest Esbilac (for puppies) & some suggest the human soy type baby formula.

Good luck & keep us informed
 

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You can also give Mom hard boiled eggs on occasion for a nice protein/energy boost.
 

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Yes. :) You'll want to up her protein and fat.

Cooked chicken, eggs (I like to scramble 'em and sometimes add frozen veggies as well), baby food and cereal, little bits of soy or goat milk, oatmeal, yogurt, breads, etc. One of our rescues mamas went NUTS for chickpeas (garbonzo beans).

All good things, and she'll applicate them while nursing, as well.
 
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