Let me be blunt - I don't believe in the beginner, easy way. lol In getting my first rats, I would like to rescue them from a feeder bin where they are without mother until they starve or freeze to death. I understand the chances of this failing as well as how hard it will be but my husband is leaving for work for six months (I've brought this up before and he was no fan of the alarms required) so this is really my chance. I am getting information on their post-walking cage in another section on this forum but I have baby questions!
- Would a critter keeper be the best home for the new babies? A heating pad (for hermit crabs) will be placed on one side. I would also like to purchase a sputnik or the likes to place in here with scraps to keep them as warm as possible and maybe off the plastic bottom that is in contact with the heating pad. Is this a bad idea?
- Would nesting material be beneficial? I have found a local shop that sells nesting material for small animals and want to know if this or fleece scraps is better for them to help keep them warm.
- Soy infant formula is best, correct? What is better/has a longer shelf life - condensed or powder? While I am willing to spend money on raising these little ones, I do not want to spend more than is necessary. I don't have "disposable" income in the manner that while I can afford to do this, I cannot afford to buy $30 worth of formula two and three times a week. lol
- Is artificial heat better or worse than natural heat? I can and will make a pouch for these babies and carry them around with me most of the day every day if it is best for them. I am up early (5-6am) and go to bed decently late (9-10pm). so they would be with me more than not if that's best. It's not like they'll be noticeable as I run errands in a pouch in my shirt or wherever it ends up. lol
- When choosing a paint brush to feed them with, should I be looking for something around the size (at the base) of a matchstick carrot? I don't want to get something too big or too small and it be MY fault that something happens. We live out in the sticks and even Wal-mart is a half-hour drive.
- Do I need purified, distilled, nursery or otherwise water to heat and mix with their formula and food? We get city water and I'm not too confident about that. We don't even drink it because it just tastes funny. I have fish that live in it but that doesn't mean it's okay for little ratties.