Dash is exhausted. I can just feel that her energy is gone. :-( The babies have not nursed today, so I think it's safe to say they are weaned or ready to be separated from "mom" anyway. So, starting now, Dash is getting a pardon from motherhood to get her needed and deserved sleep, put weight back on, and let her friends groom her and take care of her.
The babies are big now, each a handful. The girls (especially Elixir and Echo) are still being jumpy and squeaky. I took the whole group out to play on my bed. They started out very shy and hiding, but following the lead of Egon and Einstein, they soon emerged to investigate my hands and play and explore.
I am glad to say none have any symptoms of megacolon, a condition that is often seen in white-marked babies. It is usually apparent by this age if a rat has the condition.
Soon the boys and girls will be segregated, now that they don't rely on Dash and are getting to be a good size and independent. It has been so much fun watching them grow up, but their "childhood" is drawing towards its conclusions.
Oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day!