Sunday, July 3, 2011

Breeding rats

Yesterday I shared how Tall One and I got our first rats, now I'm going to share about breeding them.

When I realized that Rosie was pregnant I was so excited. We separated her from Beauty, who was Tall One's rat. (Actually, back then Tall One was truly Short Stuff.) I was a little worried because I knew that things might not turn out well with this first litter. Sometimes new rat mothers will eat their young. I expected that everything would be fine, but I was a little worried.

Rosie and I had different ideas about what kind of place would be best for her to give birth in. I thought nice soft bedding would be ideal, but she kept clearing a corner of her cage of everything. Fortunately for her I eventually gave up. I say "fortunately" because it turns out that Rosie had the right of it.

Rosie's cage was on my bed (I think it was there because I wanted to keep a close eye on her, even at night) and one night soon after we realized she was pregnant I noticed some unusual movement in her cage. I grabbed my flashlight to check it out...and oh wow, I saw a little baby rat that she was licking.

I turned on my bedroom light and got my parents. I also woke up Short Stuff but he turned out to be more interested in his sleep than in new baby rats.

My parents and I watched Rosie give birth to more than fifteen pups. Yes, that is a lot, way more than you usually see in rat litters. But Rosie was patient, and licked each one clean as they came out.

The pups were hairless and their eyes were closed, but they were so cute. And Rosie turned out to be a good mother.

I'll share about the rat pups later. :)

Also, don't forget to enter my photo giveaway!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Fifteen! No wonder we have that expression "to breed like rats!" said...

wonderful blog. rats scare me though. i found you today. would love to read more of your poetry and publish it possibly in PaganPages EMagazine
also have you as a columnist!

Much Love,

Sarita Rucker said...

Debra -- As I said, 15 is above average. Well above average. Rosie was an over achiever.

Jenn -- Wow! Thank you! I'll have to sort through my poetry and see what Pagan poems I have that are publishable (as opposed to those that need more work). How would I get in touch with you?