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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I thought I'd post up some updated pics of my rescue and petstore rats. I'd also like your input on my guys conformationally speaking. I know that dumbos can have "weird" head shapes and smaller eyes, but I just can't figure out which of my girls have the best or worst head shape / eyes for a dumbo. Of course, they wouldn't hold still, so the pics are at different angles and buttecup's pic came out blurry due to her moving. The boys held still, but they were inside their hammocks, so all you will get is cute head shots of them. :)

Blossom


Bubbles


Buttercup


The boys:
Howard (black hooded) and Leornard (agouti)


Mojo (the girls' brother
 

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It's hard to tell from photos, in real life you'd be looking at thete faces from all sorts of angles. What you look for varies a little from person to person. As a very rough go i prefer the photo of bubbles mainly because her eyes look biggest and her ear looks pretty good (big don't look creased). i can't get much of facial structure from the photos. Plus I'm not exactly a trained varieties judge (yet lol) so I pick the kind of dumbo we select for when breeding. Eye size is pretty key there as it's dumbos tend towards small eyes without careful selection and not only dies that look bad it can see the rats being almost blind.

They are all lovely looking rats
 

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Sorry to be random, but Isamurat, do dumbos really tend to have small eyes? My dumbo girl has the biggest eyes I ever did see. I often comment on how I don't think she can even close them, lol.

Gorgeous rats, artgecko! Sorry I can't help!
 

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They are all very cute.

Buttercup also seems the best build-wise to me.

I like my females with slenderer heads and my males very very broad.
 

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Sorry to be random, but Isamurat, do dumbos really tend to have small eyes? My dumbo girl has the biggest eyes I ever did see. I often comment on how I don't think she can even close them, lol.
Yep they can do however it is perfectly possible to get big eyed dumbos. The ones in our lines tend to be. It's just one of those things you have to really watch. interestingly agoutu dumbos often tend to do better on that front. whether that's a coincidence over here or something to do with the genes is an interesting one
 

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I think all the girls are dumbos and the boys are top eared. I've got dumbo girls so I'm very familiar with what they look like from the side. Dumbos have those cute round ears that they let fall to side when they're looking at something or smelling something. I don't think their eyes are necessarily smaller as my girls all have big, bright eyes.

Here is one of my girls for comparison. http://flic.kr/p/oRphBW

And here's a pic with two of my girls in a similar pose as your boys- http://flic.kr/p/ouXnGJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Littlebird- I think your girls have bigger eyes than mine do. Your rats are great looking btw! :) I wish I had more show type breeders in my area that I could buy from, but here it is basically just petstore stock, so I have to get what I can and I think my girls are pretty good given that.
 

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3 of my 4 are dumbos and the one that's not definitely has the biggest eyes. I never put the two together until now. I just assumed it was random. Although when we first got Nibbler, who is a dumbo, he had HUGE eyes. My wife use to call him "bug eyes". But as he grew his eyes stayed the same and his head got bigger, so now they're quite small.
 

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Yeh it can take a bit of time to work out how big the eyes are going to end up. Especially on bucks who take a long time to grow. Useually you get a good idea around 5-6 weeks old, then they go into the awkward growth phase where everything grows slightly out of sink from each other, meaning one day they can have big bug eyes, and a wekk later they can look squinty. They useually settle down and look better around 6-9 months but it can be later for a slow growing boy.

Of course eye size can vary a lot in top ears too, so you can get small eyes in them, i've jsut never seen the really bad small eyes in a top ear. I met a sweet little dumbo siamese once with eyes so small they were like little pin pricks. I dread to think how that little one fared as they grew up. They definitly would have been nearly blind
 

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That's so interesting, Isumurat! I'd love to see comparison pictures of eye sizes and various other types of conformation in rats. I've seen people discussing "types" they breed for, but never actually seen picture comparisons of them. I've had a lot of body type variation among my girls (Silver was long bodied, Peaches and Cream had short bodies, and Peaches was wide) and then Eevee has HUGE eyes, but aside from that, I've never seen much difference in conformation, eye type, head type, etc.
 

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Yeh it can take a bit of time to work out how big the eyes are going to end up. Especially on bucks who take a long time to grow. Useually you get a good idea around 5-6 weeks old, then they go into the awkward growth phase where everything grows slightly out of sink from each other, meaning one day they can have big bug eyes, and a wekk later they can look squinty. They useually settle down and look better around 6-9 months but it can be later for a slow growing boy.

Of course eye size can vary a lot in top ears too, so you can get small eyes in them, i've jsut never seen the really bad small eyes in a top ear. I met a sweet little dumbo siamese once with eyes so small they were like little pin pricks. I dread to think how that little one fared as they grew up. They definitly would have been nearly blind
In guinea pigs, unethical breeders will do roan-roan breedings or dal-dal breedings (because then you get lots of color in the babies, which sells better), and these breedings are known to result in smaller eyes in general and a high incidence of micro-opthalmia (birth defect, limits vision).

I would bet that in rats there are also some color genetics related to the eye size thing, and possibly also linked with ear type.
 

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I've not come across much relayed to ear size yet or any other varieties than dumbo that had eye size issues but i tend to mostly talk about the varieties that i breed with other breeders. We do have some homozygous leathal genes though like essex and pearl which you should avoid mating 2 of and there are a fair few varieties that come with increased risk of health problems especially when poorly bred
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks again for the interesting discussion. I think all three of my female dumbos have "bananna nose" to a certain extent (nose sloping downward), but I think buttercup has the shortest nose, thus it doesn't look as bad. Of the two standard eared boys, I think leonard has the smallest eyes (although its hard to see it in the pics).

I remember reading somewhere an article about small eye size and dumbos... But I think it was a general conformation article on head shape and they noted that the skull deformity that causes the low ears can cause weird / small eye placement, etc. This article also stressed the importance of breeders working towards otherwise normal/ good head shape but keeping the low ear placement. I can imagine this would be a hard choice to make for a breeder. The more "normal headed" babies might not have the best dumbo ears.
 
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