Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Baby rats were born, please help?

I bought 2 rats about 2 months ago and i was told they were "probably both female", well long story short one was a male and i woke up to find 10 baby rats in the cage with them. the male is now in a seperate cage so they dont reproduce again. the cage is a big cage for the mom and her babies. the holes in it are about 1/2 inch width and 1 inch length. i knew this was big enough for the babies to crawl through so i put a covering over the bottom of the cage so that they cannot reach that high to escape. i had a feeling they were about to have babies because i have a house or igloo inside the cage for them and the female and male started to push all the bedding inside the igloo, that ended up being the place where she gave birth and keeps the babies now. i know nothing about baby rats so i need help

1. i know right now they are eating their mothers milk but when will they begin to eat solid food? will they do it on their own? does the mother help? do i need to do something or just let nature so its own thing? i have 2 food bowls in the cage one with big dog dry food and one with a hampster seed mix. is that okay for them? i recently gave the mother cheese and she laid it all on the floor.. but its not like she didnt like it because she kept coming back to the door of the cage for more.. why? was that left for the babies?

2. im afraid the babies may still get out of the cage. the cage is up high on a desk so if they get out they will be on a desk but would they just stay there or fall off? should i just better equip the cage? the covering i put over it is pefect because its a metal wire big covering and the holes are incredibly tiny that the rats cannot fit through but would it just be better to put them in a different but smaller cage? will the mom get stressed if i move them all to a smaller cage? the smaller cage is half the size of the one their in now and the house/igloo will take up 1/4 of the cage but there is also no way at all for the babies to escape that cage.

3. wil the babies know how to get water (from the water bottle that rodents have in cages) or do i have to show them?

4. what age do i separate them so they dont reproduce?

5. what is the healthiest, best food for them?

6. i heard that females are prone to mammary tumors.. what is that and what are the chances? how can i try the hardest to avoid that from hapenning?

Answer on Baby rats were born, please help?

Here is a guide on the first 4 weeks of life for baby rats: http://ratguide. com/breeding/baby_develo…

Each Fig. at the bottom, when opened, goes on to describe what to expect within each week of development. Reading it through should answer any of your questions, really.

For now, they don't need water. Mothers milk will provide enough to keep them hydrated. They will learn to eat and drink from her. As they get old enough to use the water bottle, just make sure it is low enough for them to reach.

If you are worried about them escaping, you can purchase hardware cloth from a store like Home Depot to wrap the cage in. Or get yourself a small temp. cage to use while they are small.

Babies need to be seperated at 5 weeks of age. At 5 weeks females start to have a risk of becoming pregnant.

Right now they need mother milk. As they get older, they will need a healthy rat diet just like mama should have now.

Read this for info on a healthy rat diet: http://www. ratsrule. com/diet. html

Female rats are very prone to mammary tumors. Not every female will develop them, but a good portion do. The best way to avoid risk of this is to have your female spayed. Spaying female rats DRASTICALLY lowers their potential for developing these tumors. And then, you'd be able to re house her with your male.

Other than spaying, providing a high quality diet and supplying the best care possible may help lower the risk a bit.

Hope of these links and info help.

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