This is the journal of a litter bred January 2003. There will be a page for every day of the pups' development. (Being a winter litter, this site has a snow theme. :-) ) Armed with a digital camera and a battery recharger, I hope to capture daily pictures of development, and with luck, maybe a birth as well. Although I do have a main site at Curiosity Rats
, this journal is a freestanding site on its own. Feel free to bookmark this site or link to it.
A word of caution: New life is a wonderful and miraculous event, but there are many ways it can go wrong. Although babies are cute, they will all need homes--a challenge that many people cannot easily undertake, and the mother is at a health risk from the moment she is bred. Be aware that some pictures here may be graphic (especially if I get to see a birth), and the text whether joyous or tragic (no one can be certain how much of each will be experienced) may bring tears to your eyes. I will record everything completely and honestly, so we can experience these natural wonders together.
A few more words: This is my fifth litter. I started breeding a year ago and have generous space, patience, and enough money to get through crises. I am networked with other breeders in the rat fancy and have done my research on rat health, development, genetics, etc., and I have owned rats as pets for over 15 years. Breeding, for me, is a long process of improving a line over many generations to improve the health, temperament, and other attributes to make rats better pets. "Backyard breeding" or "casual breeding" is something I am strongly against. If you do wish to witness the "miracle of birth" and are prepared to deal with the potential pit falls, please adopt a pregnant rat who is in need of a good home. Don't bring more potentially cancer-prone, sickly, neurotic, or just homeless animals into the world. (Even "maintaining" is not enough. A good breeder seeks to improve.)
Black variegated "discovered" in a pet store.
Born in June 2002
Chosen for breeding because of her incredible resistance to myco and other infections when most of the other rats were sick. Also shining personality and pretty good markings.
Black Berkshire from my first litter.
Born Feb. 19, 2002
Chosen for breeding because he has a very healthy family and he himself has never suffered sneezing or allergies others have had. Also a very mellow and intelligent animal with a great build and long tail.
Dash and Aerik are an older couple, paired up after much deliberation (because of their unknown family histories). Time after time they proved to be exceptionally healthy throughout recent troubles when sneezing and pneumonia were passing through the rest of the colony. With Dash almost eight months old, and Aerik nearing a year, it was decided that their many positives were worth the risk of the lack of pedigrees.
They were bred in the late night of Jan. 22. We are anxiously awaiting the birth of their litter around Valentine's day.
Babies are expected to be black. The markings are not known for certain because of the different theories and approaches there are to markings genetics.
Oh, and people ask me about my genetics resources. Well, I've read a few, but my favorite resource for rat genetics is this one at Rodentfancy
because it is very in depth, sites sources, and includes everything from the common to the rare, from minor mutations to major ones, and negative effects associated with certain mutations.
Also, see this page
rats (using pics of this litter at different ages).
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