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Read About Breeding Rats

Breeding Rats is a popular past time worldwide. Here's everything you need to know about rat breeders.

Breeding Rats - Breeder Facts

  1. Professional Affiliations:

    The North American Rat Registry (NARR) operates in the United States and in Canada for fancy rats. The United Kingdom has the National Fancy Rat Society (NFRS) and Australia has the Australian Rat Fancier's Society, Inc. (ARFS). Another common affiliation is the American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association (AFRMA).
  2. Why Use a Breeder:

    A breeder is knowledgeable about the rats and will make sure the mating rats have strong genetic bloodlines to alleviate heath problems.
  3. How to Find:

    You can search the Internet or your local library for information on rat breeders. You may find rats for sale in your local newspaper classified ads. Pet stores typically have rats for sale, although you probably won't know who the breeder is. You can also contact any of the associations listed above.
  4. What to Expect:

    Rats are wonderfully gentle, affectionate, and curious creatures. If the rat is affectionate and does not attempt to bite, then you can be assured that it was handled from birth and is comfortable being handled by humans.
  5. Breeder's Surroundings:

    Whether you purchase your rat from a pet store or from a breeder, the cages should be clean. The rats should have clean water and food, toys to play with, houses or tubes to sleep in, and plenty of fresh air. An open cage is better than an aquarium.

Breeding Rats - Newborn Facts

  1. Average Number of Newborns Delivered at Birth:

    The average litter size is about 12, but it has been known for rats to have more than 20 babies in one litter.
  2. Age to Be Sold:

    Rats can be sold at about 5-6 weeks of age. Any older and the rat "baby" can start breeding.
  3. What to Look For in a Newborn:

    Rats should be handled right after birth to ensure human imprinting. A healthy baby rat will show curiosity in its surroundings and be very active.
  4. Registry:

    Rats are usually registered with one of the associations listed above. Registry is done to record genetics and for shows. Yes, there are rat shows just like those for cats and dogs.
  5. Recognized Characteristics:

    Rats come in many colors and variants. Some show specifications are Common, Fancy, Hooded, Saddle, Bareback, Berkshire, Rex, and Hairless/Sphinx.
  6. Expense to Purchase Newborn:

    Rats sold in pet stores go for around $10. Those from a breeder usually cost around $20.
  7. Dam and Sire Information of your Newborn:

    A reputable breeder will have the pedigree line of his rats registered with any one of the associations noted above. He should also supply you with the registry information upon purchase.

Breeding Rats - Breeder Concerns

  1. Breeder Reputation:

    The reputation of a rat breeder is no different that that of a breeder of pedigree cats or dogs. He should encourage you to view where the rats are raised. A reputable breeder will be affiliated with one or more of the associations listed at the beginning of this article.
  2. Pet Health:

    A healthy rat should have clear, not cloudy eyes. It should have no mouth sores or scabs on the face or ears. Nails should be trimmed and you should hear no wheezing or breathing abnormalities.
  3. Assurances:

    The breeder will guarantee your baby rat will be in good health and free of genetic diseases. Many will replace your rat if it dies unexpectedly within a given period of time.