I think they might need a bigger cube. All four of them smushed into the cube, with the exception of Selina’s head and part of Thyme’s body. There just isn’t enough room.
(April 2003 - May 16th, 2014)
Never a dull moment with this precious girl. Rescued her from Detroit for our Grandmother and when she passed, we took her in. Thought she would outlive Midnight. She loved attention and didn’t care who’s name you called; she would always come running. Always up for playing, running, treats, and pets. She got in her fair share of trouble, like being the one responsible for putting a 10-week-old kitten in a cone of shame, but she was loved immensely.
This was not the dog who went over the rainbow bridge today. I don’t know if any of her was left, but she can now she can run free.
She will be missed.
I meant “at home breeding” (aka backyard breeding) as opposed to an ethical, responsible breeder that does it for the betterment of the breed & to produce healthy, good-tempered rats (& has a limited number of litters per year, tracks the lineage & health problems, etc.). It’s impossible to be a responsible breeder if you’re breeding pet store rats just because they look pretty & will make flashy babies. Pet store rats, even ones from stores that breed limited numbers in-house (as opposed to getting them from a rat mill, which is even worse) have absolutely no concern for longevity—they don’t really have to, they’re being sold for pets, not as breeding stock. So you may end up with a very good-looking, very friendly rat—I’m not saying it doesn’t make a great pet, most of my rats are from pet stores, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to have good genes that need to be passed down.
Things like cancer & respiratory issues are often HEAVILY linked to pedigrees in rats, & there’s no way to know if that handsome rat you got at a pet store is going to develop health issues at a young age. They’re capable of breeding so young that you could breed dozens of litters before a rat turns 8 months old (& say, dies of some hereditary form of cancer). By that point, you could’ve already started breeding his babies, & the cycle continues, you’ve ended up with a ton of rats that are very likely to get this cancer & die at a young age, & who knows how many of them have bred, etc.
There are way, way too many rats without homes as it is, there’s absolutely no reason to produce more. If you want to experience the miracle of birth, you can get a pregnant rat from a snake food bin, I can almost guarantee you there are some available at just about any pet store.
It’s VERY irresponsible (& honestly downright abusive, IMO) to intentionally breed if you’re not able to afford to take a rat to an emergency vet, because complications can occur, especially if the rat is young or small. I’ve gotten multiple messages from people who bred their female & then had complications & either the mother or the babies all died, & a close friend unknowingly got a pregnant female from a pet store who ended up having to be euthanized at an emergency vet in the middle of the night because she had complications during labor. Rats are very good at reproducing & they’re less likely to have issues during labor than many other animals, but that doesn’t mean it’s a 100% safe process & everyone’s going to come out just fine.
I don’t have as much of a problem with breeding if you have a few friends that are willing to take all the babies, or you’re interested in keeping the entire litter, but it still seems a little silly to me since you’re risking the life of what I assume is your beloved pet just to produce babies that, when like I said, there are many pregnant feeder rats available all over the place that are going to have just as likely of a chance as your pet store rat of producing healthy babies. It bugs me when people say “Well, I can sell them on Craig’s List!” because that’s not a guarantee they’re going to good homes. I’m not denying there are great rat owners, I’ve seen many of them on Tumblr, but that’s *maybe* 2% of the rat owners that are out there, if even that. For every one person on Tumblr that has a blog devoted to their rats that are spoiled & go to the vet the second they have an issue & are well-fed & live in huge cages, there are a hundred that have rats in filthy 10 gallon tanks living alone on cedar bedding without any toys. I know a lot of people will read this & think I’m exaggerating, but I’ve seen it firsthand, I’ve gotten many of my rats from bad situations. I don’t see any reason to needlessly breed rats that are more than likely going to end up in bad homes when there are *plenty* available from reputable breeders, pet stores, or rescues.
Couldn’t be said better!