Info on Rats.........

Discussion in 'Cat and Pet Forum' started by Julie, May 16, 2006.

  1. Julie

    Julie Are You Blowing Me Off?

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    Okay, I hear they make great little pets. I have had hamsters and a ferret before. I understand they are much smarter than a hamster. Can they learn tricks?
    Well anyway, I found a hobby (I think) rat breeder. I have emailed her and she has 13 babies. I told her I was interested in two females. I didn't care about looks, only temperment. She wrote me back and said "great" because she breeds for temperment. I think they are only one week old now. She said they have been handled from day one, and both parents are real "sweeties".
    I really know the smart way to look for a puppy, but with a rat I am clueless. What should I look for, and what questions should I ask?
    She said all are Berkshire, and therefore not much of a color selection. But since that is not my first priority any color would be fine with me. :)

    Any first hand information would be greatly appreciated. Even stories etc.
    Feeding reccomendations, care, general stuff. Type of cage, toys, housing etc. would be helpful.
    Here is a picture of the babies.

    Please do not copy as this is not my picture.
    [​IMG]

    Keep in mind, the breeder is about 1.5 hours away from me. I probably will meet her somewhere if I decide to buy two. So I will not get to see living conditions etc. For some reason I have a good feeling about this person. But I need some guidance. She is selling them at 7.00 a piece but includes some food, care guide, toy, and I think something else.
    Anyone with any info?????

    Thanks,
    Julie.
     
  2. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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  3. Julie

    Julie Are You Blowing Me Off?

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    Thanks for the link Smkie. Some really good information.
    I am still reading..........LOL
    Julie.
     
  4. roughcollies

    roughcollies Collie lover

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    My rat, Henry is a little sweetie. He was just a feeder rat that I couldn't let be eaten. I was at the pet store, looking at them and some kid wanted to buy him. I know that snakes have to eat too, but Henry was different than the other rats. Most feeder rats have not been handled at all and therefore are not good with people. Not Henry. He is GREAT with everyone. He's still getting to know me and is a little timid if I go to pick him up, but once I have him he is fine.

    Rats are sociable, clean, intelligent and FUN! I plan on clicker training Henry to do a lot of fun things, like agility and flyball. Rat versions of course, lol.

    As for breeders. Well, it's not that hard to breed rats, so it's hard to find a really good breeder. Ask questions like what bedding they use and what food they feed. Based on the answers, you can at least see a general idea of care. The better quality food and bedding, same as dogs, the better care to a point. NO CEDAR bedding. It's toxic when they urinate. Pine is okay, but something like Carefresh or Yesterday's News would be better. Pelleted food is the best, with some seed being okay. As long as seed is not ALL they are getting.

    Good Luck!! I know you will have tons of fun!
     
  5. Julie

    Julie Are You Blowing Me Off?

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    Thanks...

    Here is a picture she sent me today. These are just the females.
    If I decide to buy from her, I will be picking two. They really all look the same to me. Lol. Which doesn't really matter, cause I want the best temperment.

    Question: Is it best to get siblings or from different litters? I am interested in two females.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    I had two female siblings and they got along fine for the most part...little squabbles here and there, but nothing life threatening.

    I think rats are very similar to dogs. They train in much the same way, in that positive reinforcement and conditioning is the best route to go.

    My best girl, Tabasco, learned a rather complicated way to get back into her cage that was sitting on the dresser. She would hop on to my bed, hop from the bed to my desk chair, climb on the desk, very carefully balance on the edge of my printer to gague her distance, and then make a flying leap onto the top of the dresser. To get down, she would spelunk between the wall and the dresser halfway down, then do a twist/leap on to my bed.

    I miss my ratsies.
     
  7. roughcollies

    roughcollies Collie lover

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    I would get siblings. It is easier if they are raised together from day one. Since you are getting two females, you don't have to worry about any accidents. Siblings are better, IMO.
     
  8. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    Siblings are definitely the best way to go. :)

    I agree with roughcollies, definitely check out what food the breeder feeds and what bedding the rats are on. If they've been handled since day 1, that's really good.

    This is one of my favorite sites: http://www.ratsrule.com/
    There's also a link to a really good homemade rat food, Suebees mix. :)
     

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