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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My poor lil girl is heavily pregnant, nipples swollen, waddling around--and I can pretty safely date the latest possible date for her impregnation to be 27 days ago. 27 days! At the latest! I keep looking for signs that she's going to birth--nesting, slowing down, anything! But she's as perky as ever (within reason, she's almost doubled in size) and seems in no hurry. I set up her birthing cage with fleece bedding, food, two water bottles, paper towels, and two hammocks for before the birth and after if she needs some away-from-baby time. I moved her in a week ago--the same day the vet said she ultra-sounded at least four beating hearts in there.

27 days is a long time! I thought 21-24 for normal gestation. Should I be worried? She seems happy enough, just...no babies yet.

I heard rats can reserve sperm--could this be the case? That she implanted a few days after her actual mating?

I would love to hear from some people with experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Okay, nevermind, I looked at a forum post I made on the night of the last mating, and I misjudged how many weeks it has been. She should be due this weekend.

I'm so excited! However--I need to take a long car ride with her after she whelps. 14 hours. She'll be in her birthing cage with everything she needs and bundled up in fleece in the back seat of a car--with frequent breaks to check on her. My main concern is that I'll stress her out too much, even though she's a very happy-go-lucky rat. I don't want any omnomnom infanticides.

Recommendations? Advice?
 

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How soon after she gives birth? i wouldn't travel with a nursing mum for at least the first week. The chances of her getting distressed and killing the babies is much higher then. Really your best putting off anything stressful until week 3 but they are a lot more settled once the babies have some fur and eyes open. If you have to travel i would look into getting someone to visit twice a day and feed her in her home.

If you have no other choice then take her in get birthing cage. cover it with a towel or blanket that smells of her for the entire journey. strap her in well so the cage doesn't move and drive gentley. I'd hate to put a recent mum through that though
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I know. I really don't have any babysitters, though. :( And with my work schedule, this is the only time of year we can make it out to see my family. This pregnancy was, obviously, unplanned and poorly timed. Initially we were bringing our "two boys" up to meet my parents. Yeeeeah. Boys, my arse.

I'm taking all the precautions you suggested. Do you think that the ride should include some time out of her cage to spend it with us in the car? Just fifteen minutes or so at rest stops? I guess I could read her body language and see if she seems eager to get out. She's a pretty communicative girl.

I feel awful about it, but all my normal sitters are going out of town, too.
 

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No leave her be in the cage. i would also give her an hour or two to settle at minimum when you get there with the cover still on and make sure she's in a room that doesn't smell of other pets and is away from the Christmas chaos. Once she's been there for a few hours if she doesn't seem distressed then you can get her out and check the babies but you want to minimise the disruption for her as much as possible. i would also limit Othery people handling the babies for a good few days. i tend to only let myself and one or two friends handle mine before there eyes open. Once they hit 3 weeks though it's as many people as possible to socialise them
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ponderosa--we checked, but they were booked for the holidays. Our vet offers a boarding service, but it is as expensive as plane tickets!

Isamurat--thank you! I will take your advice. I also checked out your website--very nice information and cute ratties! I wish I were more local to you so I could adopt one next time I get a rat. I have learned my lesson about pet stores. I don't care how far I have to drive, but across the Atlantic is a bit far! (I can't find breeders in my area. If they're out there, they aren't listed online or in the yellow pages. :( )

I will probably keep this thread updated with pics and info as I can. I have families lined up to adopt these pups, and I want to do right by them so they're happy and well-socialized when they go to their new homes.
 
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