breeding problems

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breeding problems

Postby Hoss » Mon May 09, 2011 7:46 am

HI all

So I bought myself 4 rats a week ago (1 male 3 female) and two of them were knocked up at the time. 1 of them popped on Friday night producing 9 pups (pups the right word?). Anyway all was apparently good and when I got home on Sunday night I saw that the other preggy female was now sitting with the pups. And it looked like she might have been trying to keep the mother away from the little ones, although the mother didn't seem to phased by this turn of events. I woke up this morning however to find that all 9 pups are gone with a little blood stained saw dust here and there. I am keeping all 4 of the rats in the same cage for what its worth.

Any idea as to what went wrong? Do you think the preggy female could have killed them? The male possibly? Or the mother? But most importantly what should I do to prevent this from happening again? Im going to have to do something soon though because the preggy female is about to pop soon and I would prefer not to have a repeat of this.

Kind Regards

Riaan
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Re: breeding problems

Postby Whitelipp » Mon May 09, 2011 7:58 am

You will need to remove the pregnant females from the cage and let them nurse the pinks to weener rats on her own. I have had the same problem but only once. Before then I saw that the females tend to nurse the pinks together and the male does them no harm! I have noticed that they tend to kill the babies if there is no food available.
Another thing is 'n had 11 weener rats with the main colony. I have separated a female to finish weening her young. When I placed her back she killed all 11 weener rats in the colony. That was a big set back. So now what I do is I separate the female in to a "maternity ward" then as soon as the young are weened I remove her and the weener rats can go on as they please. Then the next female rat that gets pregnant will go in that cage and the weeners don't do her or the new young any harm...
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Re: breeding problems

Postby Hoss » Mon May 09, 2011 9:17 am

I wonder if it could not be the food that is the problem then. I saw this morning that they tipped the food bowl (which was full last night) over. It was lying almost on top of where the pinks were. I've got to come up with a new plan for a feeder system for them. I'm thinking a miniature version of those self regulating feeder troughs that you use with sheep and cattle.

Thanks for the advice Whitelipp. I'm going to put my preggy female in her own setup tonight.
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Re: breeding problems

Postby michael » Mon May 09, 2011 11:53 am

Hi Hoss
Sorry to hear about your loss. I would suggest that you fasten their food bowl to the side of their enclosure, while you are developing your new feeding system. That will prevent them from tipping it over. I would also increase the amount of bedding you use due it being so cold where you are. I would not remove your other pregnant female as these guys tend to mate again quite soon after the babies are born and that would slow down your production. Hope that helps.
Michael Burmeister
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Re: breeding problems

Postby Hoss » Mon May 09, 2011 4:03 pm

Yeah they have a ton of saw dust in the cage (about a 60mm - 70mm layer), I can't see the bedding being an issue. I will have my feeder up and running by tonight Michael. Will give you a call later.
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Re: breeding problems

Postby Hoss » Mon May 09, 2011 9:53 pm

Yeah so the second preggy female aint preggy no more. When I was checking them this morning she was huddled up where the pinks were the night before and I didn't want to disturb her "in her state." I thought to myself she was looking like the thinner winner but I just left it thinking I'm a newb to this and must be imaging stuff, and that I'd get a better look later. Got home from work tonight and there she is running around sporting a lighter figure! I'm thinking now that she may have popped last night, and that a combination of her having stolen the other ones litter and her new litter may have triggered off the mayhem! So I'm actually minus 2 litters. Hope I'm making sense.

Anyway yeah so now that I'm in my carpet pythons bad books for having messed up her meal plans I'm going to have to start from square one again with these buggers.
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