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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know if this has come up before, if so please direct me to that topic.

I know a long time ago our pet rats were lab rats, and before that, wild rats. I also know that our pet rats are victims of many diseases in their lines. Are these all from humans or do wild rats suffer many of the same problems? If not, why haven't people redomesticated rats from wild ones without all of the problems? Or even bred a wild and domesticated one to keep the good temperaments?
 

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Wild rats don't live as long and I'd worry about what it would do to a domestic female, plus I'm not exactly sure you could breed a clean line.
 

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technically the lab strains are the cleanest, i would think. they are bred to not be any more inclined to get any one condition over another, so they are technically a clean slate that can be inoculated with anything. this makes a standard that is easy for lab technicians to analyze against and such. a wild rat might be more likely to get certain illnesses, etc. i dunno. i suppose there would be a reason why we don't breed from wild rats. someone should try it. :D
 

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Yep, with a wild rat you'd have no way of knowing their health background. Who knows what wild rats succumb to? Evolution also doesn't necessarily favor the healthiest, it favors those that can breed most prolifically. If a large percentage of wild rats dies from predation, then many may not live long enough to pass on genes which we humans favor: health, temprament and longevity.
 

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Do they live short life spans because they live in the wild though? I mean if they had vet treatment and were fed properly would it be 2-3 years as well?

Some lab rats ARE bred for illness. My vet was telling me of a lab she vetted for that bred obese rats for diabetes research. The rats there were all overweight and genetically inclined to be that way so they could test the drugs D:
 

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that is certainly an interesting question. have you tried googling to find out if anyone has tried it? or maybe find out the information on when they were breeding the wild ones to become lab rats?

but that brings the question too, how different are pet rats from lab and wild rats now? the pet breeders are breeding to better the health and temperments. lab rats are being bred for certain illnesses or clean slateness. the feeder breeders are just breeding for quanity. would that make the feeder breeders the closet to the wild rats? how much difference is there in the pet breeders and lab breeders now? its been quite a while. for that matter what differences are there within the pet breeders. i know hairless rats tend to be more prone to illness as well as blues. is the variation a siign or cause of the illness proneness?

there's just so many questions that can be stemmed from just that first one of yours. that alone make its an interesting question. but barring breeding wild rats ourselves perhaps answers to those questions will get us closer to the answer of the first question.

but finally that bring us to the BIG question, who has the time to find all the answers? it would be very interesting to find out though. maybe if we all work together and post links or qoute interesting sections we can find ourselves an answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What I gathered from a google search is that it's hard for wild rats to become domesticated in the first place. The ones that often survive end up being the ones that probably would have died in the wild due to friendliness, or at least less caution, towards humans/predators. It also seems that wild rats breed a few times and die, even in a predator free environment. Living past 1 year is unusual; though living to 3 years is not unheard of.

So I guess if I ever start my own rattery starting from scratch probably won't help my lines much. I know purchasing from a breeder is ideal, but where are lab rats bred and how healthy are they really?
 
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