Rat Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Our 2 boys passed away after almost 2 1/2 years a few months ago so we adopted 2 girls from the SPCA (about 3 weeks ago) and in the last week or so noticed them both getting very fat. Sure enough we woke up yesterday morning to 13 babies and the 2nd female looks like she has swallowed a tennis ball so I expect more tonight or tomorrow. Obviously feeling shocked and overwhelmed a bit here. I had assumed the SPCA would have separated the but maybe they were surrendered after the Deed was done. Someone had surrendered 9 Rats I guess a couple preloaded with a "carpet bomb" of pups

Questions are:

1) Do I have to separate the two moms and their respective litters? The cage is large enough for them to have their own corners and they have gotten along well. I am providing lots of protein and food and they both share perfectly and do not fight over food

2) If not, should I at least get them both a shelter of their own (only have one sizeable hut right now so setup towels into a bit of a soft warm shelter in the corner but not actual secluded coverage overhead for the second female yet

I have read a lot online about sexing rats but FOR THE LIFE OF ME I SUCK badly at it. We had 3 rats once that were 6 weeks old we were told awhile ago (two of the boys I mentioned above) and even then it took us another 2 weeks to really know for sure as the one female appeared to have testicles (either that or it was just a BIG butt and the boys were just not all "THAT" at the time) and heck if I could tell what type of genital was closer to the anus at that time. At one point the penises didn't look like penises and the Vagina in the group looked like a penis?!?! Fortunately before they had a chance to do the nasty, we finally guessed correctly and gave the girl to a friend that already had 3 girls. I'm pretty sure we were down to the wire on the window with risking babies there. lol

ANY helpful suggestions about ANYTHING baby related are welcome

Hopefully my temporary grief and post here has made someone smile today ;)

 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,244 Posts
I have a friend who got into rats and mice a little bit over her head some years ago, we're talking about health department intervention kind of over her head...

She tells me she always kept two pregnant females together so they could help each other raise each other's pups. She claims that the moms would regularly steal pups from one another back and forth, but that the pups got great care... I never saw her setup, so I'm just relating what she told me.

As to sexing rat pups, I agree it can be hard... but well before the females can become pregnant you will see differences between the pups... Call them group 1 and group 2 if you can't tell male from female... Basically you just need to separate the pups into similar groups... One will be male and the other female, eventually all doubt will pass as to which is which, but at least you won't have to worry about another generation of offspring. Next time around, if there ever is a next time around you will know which group is which, but for now two same sex groups is good enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,871 Posts
I actually answered on your other thread but to repeat for others perhaps ;)

Yes separate the moms into their own cages. While some moms are fine being together, in most cases it is not a good idea. Moms have been known to play tug of war with babies, fight over them and steal them from each other. This can lead to injured babies, babies not being fed well and overly stressed moms.

I actually prefer to keep my moms by themselves with no other rats in the cage until 2-3 weeks. If you do separate your girls, you can put them all back together at 2-3 weeks safely but watch them and make sure everything is good.

i actually find it is fairly easy to sex rats. I sex all my babies at 2 days old. The easiest method is to pick up one baby and then pick up another and compare. If will easily be able to tell if they are the same or different. And you can go from there. Unless all your babies r one sex then it may be confusing!!

One way to tell is that only girls have nipples. If they have nipples they r a girl. But be careful as it can be hard to tell if they have nipples with their furry coat. So if u can't find nipples do not assume it is a boy.
When the babies r 3 weeks it is pretty obvious most of the time. But u can take pics and ask if u r unsure :)

here r some awesome baby links that will help u on what to expect.
Some helpful links for the babies development & sexing:
http://www.afrma.org/babyratdevdaily.htm
http://tigertailrattery.weebly.com/growth-picture-journal.html
http://ratguide.com/breeding/baby_development/birth_to_weaning.php
http://www.onceuponamischief.com/p/sexing-and.html
http://mainelyratrescue.org/rattieblog2/?p=42
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I actually answered on your other thread but to repeat for others perhaps ;)

Yes separate the moms into their own cages. While some moms are fine being together, in most cases it is not a good idea. Moms have been known to play tug of war with babies, fight over them and steal them from each other. This can lead to injured babies, babies not being fed well and overly stressed moms.

I actually prefer to keep my moms by themselves with no other rats in the cage until 2-3 weeks. If you do separate your girls, you can put them all back together at 2-3 weeks safely but watch them and make sure everything is good.

i actually find it is fairly easy to sex rats. I sex all my babies at 2 days old. The easiest method is to pick up one baby and then pick up another and compare. If will easily be able to tell if they are the same or different. And you can go from there. Unless all your babies r one sex then it may be confusing!!

One way to tell is that only girls have nipples. If they have nipples they r a girl. But be careful as it can be hard to tell if they have nipples with their furry coat. So if u can't find nipples do not assume it is a boy.
When the babies r 3 weeks it is pretty obvious most of the time. But u can take pics and ask if u r unsure :)

here r some awesome baby links that will help u on what to expect.
Some helpful links for the babies development & sexing:
http://www.afrma.org/babyratdevdaily.htm
http://tigertailrattery.weebly.com/growth-picture-journal.html
http://ratguide.com/breeding/baby_development/birth_to_weaning.php
http://www.onceuponamischief.com/p/sexing-and.html
http://mainelyratrescue.org/rattieblog2/?p=42


Thanks very much for your time and the helpful info, right now they are just skin so should I see nipples at this point with no fur to obstruct? I had them out today to clean the cage but never took a good look. Not looking forward to maintaining 3 cages. The Male seems fairly lonely at the moment. One more thing is it a good idea to give the mom and babies shelter to build a next in or eliminate the hide factor al together. She really seems to freak out if no place to take cover at times. Yesterday she had the entire shelter barricaded and some of the babies no doubt were covered with litter. This morning two pups had passed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks again for all the info. My other girl just had her litter of 15!!!! Sweet baby Jesus. they really want to hide and even bury the babies. I understand the instinct to hide and evade with these animals but I am sure that’s why two of the pups passed away last night from the first litter – they couldn’t be found to be fed. I removed a bunch of shredded paper to simplify things and track where all these babies were being placed. This second mom had them in a hockey sock and is now trying to weave through the sock climbing under the sock & towels to hide but is severely disrupting the babies and flat out tossing them everywhere while trying to settle down and accomplish god knows what??? I collected the mess of babies and put them in a cardboard hut for her all neat and tidy and she carried them out onto the cold hard plastic bottom of the bin, so now they are scattered everywhere again. Some under the sock, some above, and it’s a mish mash of rats EVERYWHERE. At this point I am questioning the mental stability of this rat lol. I can’t see half the lot making it if they are all in 2 or 3 separate spots, she hasn’t appeared to start feeding them yet but is lying on top of a few possibly to warm them up. I am thinking I should have left them where they were, but the sock was hanging high in the cage and the other rat kept trying to get into the sock to investigate so I followed the advice to split them up but at this point they were probably best left alone nice and warm in the hanging sock?

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,054 Posts
It honestly sounds like you've got too much going on in the cage and mom is overwhelmed. Taking the other adult out was a good idea as that may have been adding to the stress. If you have a small bin or 10 gallon tank, I'd really advise moving her to it and just giving her one hide. Rats split their litters under stressful situations since it's easier to care for a few rather than an entire litter, and you are correct that if she doesn't calm down enough to keep them all together, you will lose some.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,871 Posts
I would take out the sock. It can be dangerous for the babies. Loose strings can kill them and if they get lost in the sock that wont be good for momma to find them.

Simple is best for pinkies. I like to use a box, cut a hole in the side alittle bit higher up so momma can get in and out. Pack it with newspaper & papertowels. I like thick strips as well as the bottom being flat paper. Not tissue. No blankets.

If she is stressed she will attempt to move her babies to a safer spot, but if there is not a good one then you will end up with different groups of babies all over the place and yeah it is not good.

If she is a very young mom she can just be a bit erratic as well and nervous. She will calm down but try to keep things really safe & simple for her.

Make sure they are in a safe, quiet, out of the way room.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
New mom seems to be doing fine now

The 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] new mom is doing better and seems to have settled down in my makeshift bin cage, I made a cardboard hut and after 30 min or so she moved all the pups into the hut. I had a small heater within a foot of the bin set on low just to keep the temp up as the pups seemed fairly chilled when I was helping her corral them last night. She spent the entire night with them and all 15 survived the night and seem to have great milk bands glowing so it seems she has settled into her new role well so far. The remaining 10 pups in the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] cage were bundled up last night in their barricaded hut and all seem to be doing well so far on Day 3. Thanks again for the advice, now to eventually attempt to sex them and split them all up when the time comes. I think I will have a hard time finding homes for 25 though J
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
If you are in northern FL I will take some. 😍
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top