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So I was cleaning the cages about 2 weeks ago and I was in a hurry so my mom offered to put the ratties away. Well I have 4 rats 2 boys and 2 girls and they live in 2 seperate cages boys with boys and girls with girls, since none of them have been fixed yet (I'm saving up to have it done) well I left my mom to finish the ratties and headed out for a 2 day vaca. well when I got home 2 days later I went to the cages to find Ace with Fiona and Kovu with Callie... Not Good! So I've spent the last 2 week praying the girls aren't pregnant. Well Fiona seems fine but Callie has gained weight, shes always been the smaller, leaner of the 2 and now she has a noticably bigger belly then fiona. She hasn't started nesting yet and if she is pregnant she won't be due for roughly 2 more weeks.

So on to my questions... I have no experience breeding small animals, I've only delt with fish and horses. How can I tell if she is pregnant besides the obvious weight gain? if I think she is pregnant what should I do for her? and what the heck am I going to do with the babies? lol any and all advice is needed and appreciated! Thank you!
 

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well ive heard tanks are best (you can get one of freecycle or used ones at fish stores for really cheap, where i go its used ten gallon for $10) that way the babies cant fit through the bars or get stuck.

keep the momma seperated from other rats so she and the babies cant get hurt

most rats will let you handle the babies soon after birth, they should be handled from day one

chech for a white line on the belly called a milk band, to make sure they are eating

put nesting material (paper towel etc) so she can nest

seperate the boys and the girls at 5 weeks

good luck!
 

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wow thats a pretty good little list you've got going there, its very basic but very good. Have you considered using the money you've been saving to have them spayed/neutered on an espay? this isn't intended as rude since this was clearly a mistake, but the world really doesn't need any more ratlets, so if you could find some way to have the espay done, i would opt for that. I don't really have any advice for you because I had one accidental litter but that was Years ago, and it wasn't the best of experiences, i wish you all the luck.
 

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Much as Renay said... If you can't afford an e-spay, having the litter isn't going to be cheaper. Your food costs will go up (especially if you have a litter of 18 or more), you'll need somewhere for the mama and litter (and cages for males/females to go into after sexing at 5 weeks), you will possibly need to rush mom to the vet, if not the pups, and you may need to pay for a c-section (which is probably about the same price as an e-spay, if not more). Many are lucky, pregnancies often go without a hitch... But that is not always the case, and you never know until it happens. It's not something I'd bet the farm on not happening, always be prepared for the worst.

In the long run, an e-spay is probably cheaper, quicker, and less stress.

Just saying... if it's only the price that is the concern, it's not exactly cheaper to go ahead with the pregnancy.

If you decide not to e-spay, start looking for homes now. If you have a rescue nearby, they may be willing to *help* you find homes as well.

Whatever you do, though? Please don't dump them all on a rescue. I know we're not the only (far from it) that get that far too often. "Foster" if you need to, keep the babies until homes are found.

Otherwise, there's tons of info on birthing and raising babies in this form, if you peek around at old posts.
 
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