Breeding methods

I - Generalities and goals

First of all, my rats are pets, every day companions who make life a little lighter. Breeding only comes after.
My goals are above all to constantly respect the animals, which should not become commercial products or toys. I would like to make a useful contribution to Fancy rats lines. For that purpose, I surround myself with interesting people, I exchange and I share. Other people's knowledge and experience are always good for the taking. My global goals are health and temperament, and so these factors will be taken into consideration for every litter. The humane dimension of this work means a lot to me, so I will favor team work as much as I can.

This goals are very general, I think I should precise them. About health, I try to get improvement at every new generation. I try to get the smallest possible occurrence of every problem that usually affect rats.

Temperament is another very important factor for me. Indeed, rats are supposed to be pets and should blossom in their relationship with their owner. In order to obtain proper temperament, the rats selected for breeding should be curious, interested in humans and they should trust people. The rats that have hormonal or behavior issues jeopardizing their evolution among a balanced group will not breed.

I take pride in being transparent. It is important for me that I build a rapport of trust with the people wishing to adopt my rats, or my partner breeders, and this trust requires honesty and transparence of the information.

Thus, you can find of this website and the forum all the necessary information about the rattery. If some is missing, I invite you to let me know.

I also gladly welcome interested people who wish to visit me, but quarantine measure should be taken, in the interest of all. (Please email me to know the conditions and make an appointment.)

II - Breeding conditions

When the litter is planned with a partner, the first demand is about the breeder themselves. It is important to me that none of us is in contradiction with our values. Moreover, as part of team work, the relationship with the partner should be friendly and not strictly limited to sharing the same point of view about breeding. I also expect my partner to be approachable and franc.

Of course, breeding rats should meet my expectations in terms of health and temperament.
The rats and their siblings should not show recurrent health issues. There are a lot of factors to be taken into consideration when I decide to accept or refuse to breed a rat. About the temperament, I donít expect from a rat to not have emotions or not move, otherwise I'd choose a stuffed animal. Playful, curious, affectionate and balanced rats will be appreciated candidates.

When outcrossing, the minimal age for a buck should be 12 to 15 months old. Since the gene pool can't be known with precision, waiting for that age allows having a little hindsight about the individual, its siblings and its parents. The size should be balanced, slim and muscled rats will be preferred to fat indivuals.

In order to minimize risks related to gestation and birth, does will be bred between 6 and 10 months old, depending on their growth, general tendencies of the family and logistic possibilities. A harmonious build is required, and a the weight should reach 300g naturally.

III - Mating and labor proceedings, kittens education and adoption

Servicing can happen at the rattery or at the partner breeder's rattery.
If it is true that it is more complicated to reintegrate bucks than does, I still prefer for the male to make the trip. The doe will gestate, so I think it's better to limit reasons for her to be stressed out: the separation from the group, a possibly long trip, the arrival in a new house with new smells are a lot of factors that can affect gestation.

Buck and doe are introduced to each other when heats are noticed. If I can't see any, I can try to trigger them by showing the male to the female.
The time of the beginning and end of mating period are noted and the couple is separated between every meeting in order to determine the presumed date of birth so I can react quickly in case labor does not start in time. The rats can be put together again if the doe shows heat and accepts the mating.

After 20 days of gestation, the doe is isolated in the maternity cage where she can nest. She still has play time with her group, and extra vitamins in her food.
From the first days of life, kittens are handled so I can determine their sex, take pictures and get them used to be touched. After the eyes open, the kittens and their mother are moved into a discovery cage, filled with a lot of accessories to stimulate their development. Another doe can join to keep company to the mother if she needs it.
At 4 weeks old, males are separated from the females and integrated to a group of adults to learn the social codes. They can be homed between 6 and 8 weeks old.

IV - Conditions of breeding for the homed kittens

In general, only a few authorizations are given for the does. Unless they are part of a project that has been thought in the depth, the breeding age for does dooesn't allow much hindsight and doesn't leave much time to find the ideal partner.
Breeding authorization will, anyway, rarely be given by the time the kittens will leave the rattery, but when a project if presented to me by the owner, and in the right proportion.

I will not harass the owner for 10 generations after my kitten, but I reserve the right to give advice and I ask complete information about the descendants. I appreciate public media for follow ups that allow me to consult them as much as I want without requiring for me to ask the person for news.