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Discussion Starter #1
What are the signs (physical mainly) of a pregnant female rat? I only ask because my female who has been w/ a male for some time now has not slowed down a bit in the last week or two that I have had her...so im not real sure she is pregnant.
 

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I've heard a swift gain in weight, loss of hair about the nipples, distinctly visible nipples... Gestation's only 21 days, so it should be noticeable...

Why are you breeding your ratties? I've also heard that can be dangerous for the female. :(
 

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Well then she'd have about a week left, max. I think if she was housed with a male you'll have to assume she is. :(

Are you planning on keeping the kittens? Perhaps it will be a small litter if she's still pretty lean?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am planning on keeping the kittens. (if the male and female have stopped having sex since i received them, is that another indication of pregnancy?)
 

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If the male is still with the female right after she gives birth, she goes into heat and gets pregnant right away. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I was examining her today and her belly is rather large and round and she is walking sort of bow legged...(and much of the food put in the cage was only less than half eaten...so I ruled out its full belly from eating)
 

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Eep. Can you feel any movement in her belly? Do you have a vet lined up for an emergancy? Is she nesting at all?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I havent looked that close, but her belly def. felt tight, I do not know what to look for as far as nesting...she has horded all the food into her little hide box, and my friend (who is a vet ) is on call.
 

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Thats a handy friend :)

Signs the mating was successful

The easiest and most effective way to ascertain if mating has been successful is observation (i.e. witnessing the event). Additionally a 'waxy plug' in the vagina can be an indicator that mating occurred, however often this cannot be seen but the mating was still successful.
Signs of pregnancy

There a number of signs that your doe is pregnant (although do be aware that most are merely predicative and do not mean that your doe is definitely pregnant).
Weight gain and abdominal swelling

Although most rats do not show obvious weight gain until the last seven days of pregnancy keeping an accurate record of your does weight before and after mating will enable you to accurately assess weight gain. You should also aim to record your does weight every few days throughout the expected pregnancy period. The shape of her body will also differ from that of other does, towards the end of the pregnancy her tummy will take on the look of a tennis ball or orange.

Please note that these signs could also indicate ill health so if it is unlikely that your doe has mated with a buck please take her to a vet immediately.
Lack of further heats

If your doe does not come into heat again when you next expect her to, this is fairly indicative that mating was successful.
Temperament change

The hormones of a pregnant doe will change drastically, and so her temperament might change. She may become skittish and she may rise to the 'alpha' status in her cage. There can also be signs of lethargy 24-48 hours prior to birth.
Hair loss around the nipples

This can occur from around the end of the second week of pregnancy.
Nest making

Although it may not occur until a couple of days before the birth (or not at all) manic nest building is a good sign that your doe is pregnant, and the birth is close. She may choose to nest in whatever suitable housing you have provided (guinea pig igloos make a good place for your doe to nest) or she may choose to make her own (in her eyes) more suitable nest. It is advisable to provide her with extra bedding so she can make a comfy nest for herself and future kittens.

http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/information/breeding/index.php?chapter=mating
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well she is far more skittish than usual when I take her out to play and what not. The smallest sounds send her running for cover...and usually she is the first to observe what caused the noise. No real nest making so far. The belly to me seems more rounded and more plump than usual (def. more so than the males). Should I take the male out, he has been in with her since I have had them (which should be around April 20th or a little before).?
 

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Take him out incase she isnt and will get humped!
I think you should take him out if she is pregnant too. I cant remeber why tho
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well there has been no real "humping" from what I have since the first couple of days. (I want this litter of kittens)...I plan on keeping half (if its a small batch) and giving the others to some teacher friends (classroom pets) and to a guy I know who will sell them as pets only.
 

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ladylady said:
Take him out incase she isnt and will get humped!
I think you should take him out if she is pregnant too. I cant remeber why tho
Because he might eat the babies/get her preggers again immediately after/get attacked by an angry momma?

I would think that if they are still together any 'chance' that she's pregnant should now be considered a given, unless he's one of the rare rats that has no interest in femmes...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yea thats what I figured, if she was going to get pregnant they have had plenty of time to do it (close to 3 weeks)...I will take him out and see what happens, will she act differently after I have taken him out? (and can I still let them play together out of the cage..or should I let her stay in her cage to worry about having the babies?)
 

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there is no real gaurantee that she is pregnant though she most likely is. for now i would just let her have one on one time with you and not let them play together anymore just in case she isn;t pregnant. and if she is pregnant you'll want to get a good strong bond with her asap. it'll make rasing the babies much easier on the both of you. you'll have to handle the babies from day one and often and it would be much less stressful on the mom if she trusted you with the babies and less painful for you if she doesn't bite.

have you decided if you are going to keep babies and have two cages of rats or are you going to get one of them altered?

just a thought, but if you can afford it and its too risky you could have an abortion spay done. the health benifits of a spay are greater then that of a neuter and if you're only going to keep these too anyway. it'll save you a lot of trouble trying to find homes for all those babies. but i don't know how safe that is either. there's more blood supply to the uterus if she's pregnant and they are so small. then too i don't know what type of mental health repercussions a abortion spay would have on the mom. i don't how aware rats are of their pregnacies. i mean, with humans you can go quite a while without knowing you're pregnant (it was nearly 3 months for me) it could be similar for rats. in any case its something to consider. there's a lot to think about for that so you may want to contact a vet for their advice on it as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well she has gained a massive amount of weight over the past 3 days, each day a little bigger. She looks like a little tennis ball when she is sitting and lifts up on 2 feet. I have seperated the male to his own tank and got him a new friend today so he won't be lonely. I am posting pics of him soon. There is no way that my female could get much bigger without popping. I tore up some tissue paper and put it at the far end of the cage (away form the box), and came back an hour later and she had ripped it up and had every shred in the box laying on it. I am planning on keeping most of the babies (depending on how big the litter is). The rest are going to the places mentioned in previous posts.
 
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