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So first, a history story. I got three rats, two females and a male. I keep them gender separate of course cause when I got them they were just reaching sexual materity. However one of my girls, Letty is now the notarious escape artist. Way intelligent. Well one of the times she got out, she also decided to go give Mo a visit as I found her in his enclosure and quickly put her in hers and began another reinforcement session on their enclosure. At the time I didn't think anything of it, didn't even think to look for a mucus plug.
Well then I noticed her gaining weight which was odd to me because she is naturally a pretty slender rat unlike her companion who is a bit bigger. I started wondering about possible pregnancy then and kept an eye on it. Low and behold, babies were born three weeks ago. A whopping 9 in the litter. Letty and Cookie did very well with their litter and so I wasn't too concerned. I made some arrangements with a pet store that I trust to take the babies once they are "small" rats if I don't find decent homes for them by then.

My question however, is do I keep them with the girls until then? I know they still have a bit yet, they aren't eating solid foods as far as I've seen. I've done a lot of google searching and I've seen some where all the babies get one enclosure, adults another, and that babies can always stay with their mothers. So I just wanted to know if they can live Letty and Cookie until they are rehomed. I just worry that Letty will become distressed if they don't wean quick enough for her liking. I read a situation where the babies causes bleeding on their mom's nipples. Just don't want discomfort to come to Letty, I try not to pick favorites in my pets, but she is kinda my favorite rat.
Any help is appreciated.
 

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You will need to separate by gender at 4.5 weeks at the VERY latest. The boys can stay with their dad. Otherwise you run the risk of one of them impregnating the females.

I separated at 4 weeks, just to be safe.

She will be fine as far as the weaning goes. It will happen naturally by around the end of 4 weeks. She'll make sure they don't hurt her. : )
 

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It is nature and millions of rats & other animals go through motherhood <3 While yes the babies start to annoy momma she can handle it :)

Do not wean them early. As Mojojuju said you need to separate the boys from mom at 4.5 weeks old. I actually prefer a few days before 5 weeks.

I would be careful before adding the babies to the dad. Let him meet them on neutral territory and see how he does with them. Some rats are awesome but others may not be as nice & at 5 weeks the babies are still very small & could easily be injured.
The girls can stay with mom until they go to their new home.

I would not rehome them until they are atleast 6 weeks.

But give mom a break from the babies. Let her out of the cage to play and run around. Give her space.
 
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