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Rats!

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Rats!

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Lowstorm » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:27 am


literally. Since the rabbittalk forum is the most open, awesome board I've ever found I decided to post here in hopes some of our other pet-centric people have pet rats and can help me.

Story time! Okay, not so much...

My kids have snakes. One of those snakes is a stubborn as heck ball python who will.. you guessed it.. Only eat live rats.

Insert a trio of rats into the household last night. Well, a trio and two younger ones, now minus one. She ate for the first time in a month. We tried everything from f/t to newborn baby bunnies (which I have coming out of my ears....) and the petstore was out of rats for a month. The snakes previous owner has a large collection, and sold me the rats for a buck each. Great deal! Grab five! Okay...

So he never, EVER handles his rats. There were like, a hundred of them so totally understandable. They were purely breeders for his snake collection. The three adults I have are pretty darn cute, but totally unsocialized. I can handle them without getting bitten... but that's about it. I have one of the females (who is already hugely preggos) licking peanut butter off my fingertip. The male my husband has claimed as his new pet that he totally wants to chill with him at all times when he's home (lol. Sadly, he's serious. He introduced it to the bulldog last night, the bulldog is so darn happy to have a new friend!)

I'm honestly surprised they aren't biting and mean. The male and preg. female seem very willing to be our friends. The other female is much more stand-offish. But noone's biting (I had a little nibble this morning, but that was her trying to get ALL the peanut butter RIGHT NOW plzthx. So if you didn't understand the ramble til now. How can I make them super friendly and happy to see us? They were crammed 15+ to a bin at the breeders, so they're still kinda in shock at the moment. The male seems happy he has two females and no other males to compete with. The females seem content too. But if I make them into pets... Well, ya know! Attachment and all that jazz. I do it with my meat rabbits too. Happier until the moment of death and all that. Things rat people may not understand, so I'm here.

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Re: Rats!

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Dood » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:33 am


Uh oh :wink:

Rats are pretty great and feeder bloodlines are well known for having very calm temperaments - just like meat breed rabbits - because no one wants to deal with bad attitudes X 100 :shock: nor do they want psycho prey biting up their $$$$ reptiles

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Re: Rats!

Post Number:#3  Unread postby shazza » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:23 am


patience and lots of cheerios is the best way i know of to make rats love you. same with rabbits, as long as i can handle them without being bit i'm satisfied. the kits that you keep to replace the parents will be raised by you how you like to raise them so a year max or so you'll have all nice friendly rats. they generally don't breed more than a year since at that point they're already elderly.
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Re: Rats!

Post Number:#4  Unread postby ladysown » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:03 am


rat breeders I know all cull the nasty ones as soon as possible, keeping only the calmest ones as breeders.
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Re: Rats!

Post Number:#5  Unread postby akane » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:57 pm


At first I liked the rats for automatically not biting even when not tame but I'm coming to hate the bastards and a cage managed to dislodge their food/water holder out of it's corner so it had enough weight to break the lid free and I filled the house with norway rats. I think I am down to 1 male running about but they do damage fast. Turns out 3 trios is waaaaaaaaaaay too many for the 5 snakes I'm up to even with a plan for doubling that on snakes that will eat f/t. I've got practically a year worth crammed in a freezer after a few months of 2 trios producing and the 3rd started. I just culled a cage instead. I needed more big rats for the big bull anyway with an uncertain number around 4' coming and now I'm using that cage for growout.

I think I'm scrapping nearly all the gerbils but a pair or 2 of a couple colors I like and the norway rats for colonies of african soft furred rats. Closer to gerbils in keeping but colony breeders where most gerbils the breeders haven't worked hard enough to get them beyond breeding in pairs. I did run into one person that doesn't have the typical problems putting together gerbils from feeder lines but they aren't often used as feeders so they aren't hard culled as much. I'd rather work on less domesticated but better natural tendencies for turning into colony feeder breeding in the ASF than try to cull generations of gerbils against their nature. You don't want to know what nasty full size norway rats are like if people don't cull. Like someone said every time you have to live feed and don't have to treat your snake for injuries thank the breeder who culled their rat line for aggressive tendencies. They'll kill things big enough to eat them. I had one snake that was eating live gerbils and I never fed a fully mature one when they start to get defensive and territorial because they don't have that and the snake was just big enough for them. Before mature enough to claim mates and territory they just have an instinct to run but after maturity they'll turn on anything from lack of culling aggression. A few biters have been Nicon snacks. My biggest snake so even mature adult gerbils are dead on strike impact and go slurp instead of trying to cervical dislocate a nasty one that will slit my fingers open.
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Re: Rats!

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Lowstorm » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:10 pm


I saw pics of the african soft furs, they sure are cute. We're planning on converting a curio cabinet into the rat house, and what we have now (a bin system from Target that we cut the front out of and converted) will be used for the younger feeders. That way it will be easier for my son to just grab one and not question which one is a keeper.

So my youngest son has been working hard with them. Well, I call it working hard he thinks its fun to have a rat with him on the couch. They're starting to poop and pee on us less! (eww I know. Much worse than rabbits. The rabbits, even when scared, just freeze. These guys crawl around pooping and peeing...) Now that they've settled down its going smooth. Way smooth. The winning trick was picking up a bag of those yogurt chips for rodents (rabbits can have them too, score!) and hand feeding them. The male is big and kinda scary, but he's just excited to get them. The females take them super gently, they're still a bit scared.

I AM glad that people took the time to tame them. I can't imagine what they'd be like as nasty and biting!

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