Didn't Know She Was Pregnant

Discussion in 'Health & General Care' started by Molly, Feb 27, 2019.

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  1. Feb 27, 2019 #1

    Molly

    Molly

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    On Feb 9th, my boyfriend and I went to a animal expo, and we adopted two female rats. We called them Lyla and Ella. Throughout the month they kept pining each other down. We didn't think anything of this, thought it was a territory thing. Ella got very big very fast, I was wondering if she was pregnant. However we just though she was a bigger rat. Fast forward till last night. We heard very quiet squeaking we didn't think anything of it and went to bed (because they pinned each other down so was common). This morning our foster cat had her kittens. Then when we went back to our rooms I checked on the rats and took lyla out and then I was looking for Ella. I picked up her Igloo and she had about 9 lil beans. We were in shock. But we quickly ran out and got a different cage for Lyla so Ella could care to her kits. Can we please have some advice and tips to help us with our surprise litter. Since we never had a litter before and have really no idea how to care for them. As well as Lyla since she has been separated from Ella. Please help us!
     
  2. Feb 27, 2019 #2

    SQ

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    Welcome to the forum :)

    Ella needs to be in a large one level cage, with extremely small bar spacing. No hammocks or level as babies can fall. She needs bedding that does not contain threads, as threads can wind around little limbs and necks.
    Give her strips of paper towel for nest building.

    When you clean the age daily, you will remove her and let her spend time with her friend/
    At this time you will handle the babies a bit and check for milk bellies - a white band on their abdomens
    Initially Ella will only spend a few minutes away from her babies, but as they become older the time she can spend away from them will increase

    Feed Ella a good, healthy diet of a good quality block (Oxbow or Harlan 2014) and a variety of daily vegs. Make sure she has water available - cages need at least 2 sources of water.
    You may want to supplement her regular healthy diet with organic soy infant formula thickened with baby cereal.

    When they babies are 14 days old their eyes will open and they will gradually start trying the foods their mama eats. Their mama will gradually wean them. Baby boys are separated from their mama and sisters at 5 weeks. Baby girls stay with their mama until at least 6 weeks old and never need to be separated.

    Please see the Reference Thread for information on babies https://www.ratshackforum.com/threads/reference-thread-read-only.35894/

    I hope that you will posts lots of pictures of both your girls and of the babies as they grow

    I would suggest that you invest in a double critter nation cage
     
  3. Feb 27, 2019 #3

    Molly

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    Thank you very much for your help! I recently was petting Ella and she did bite me. Nothing crazy, but she was being protective of her litter. When should I try to start handling the babies and letting Ella and Lyla see each other?
     
  4. Feb 27, 2019 #4

    Molly

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    95A8BE6E-DC7E-495E-A51C-4F3D18FAC192.jpeg 58BB3216-3540-4CD1-8BFD-F353B502FC5B.jpeg Was first pictures we took of them this morning
     
  5. Feb 27, 2019 #5

    lilspaz68

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    Pretty babies and momma. Cage bar spacing looks small so that's great for a maternity cage. I would give her paper towel to shred and make a nice warm nest for her babies. I don't usually use houses for my rescue moms just let them build lovely nests.

    OK these are adult rats, males have testicles, very obvious. If you don't see testicles on your other girl, its likely Ella was exposed to males before you got her. Normal gestation is 3 weeks-ish. You said you were at a pet expo and picked up the girls? Where exactly did you get them from? A rescue? a feeder situation etc?

    Btw if you are truly unsure if Kayla is a male or not, then post a pic of her under bits and we'll tell you.
     
  6. Feb 27, 2019 #6

    lilspaz68

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    Ohh a couple more things. Testicles are obvious on males from 5 weeks on, and humping behavior can be dominance not mating.
     
  7. Feb 27, 2019 #7

    Molly

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    It was at a reptile expo, so they might have been feeders, however all the rats the had were very social and friendly. Which I don’t see people socializing them to be feeders. But they also had hamsters and gerbils as well. So I’d like to believe it was a rescue but not 100% sure. I’m pretty positive that Lyla is a female as their testicals are very dominant. (I’ve had rats before but always got females because to be honest their testicals kinda freak me out). But I do remember a male being in with the females at the expo, was only one tho because he was a dwarf and was brought there by accident. But he was in the box with Lyla and not Ella. But she could have just gotten impregnated before we got her, that’s what I believe. But last night I took Momma out and check on her kits, they look healthy with a good milk band. However with Lyla in being isolated from her really took a toll on her. She seems very depressed. I’m spending much more time with her but I can’t be with her all day since I have to work in a few hours. Is there anything I can do to help her? Like I brought her over to see Ella to let her know that she was ok.
     
  8. Feb 27, 2019 #8

    Dena

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    You can put a stuffed animal in with her to cuddle to. Just make sure it doesn't have any parts or stuffing (like beans) that she can choke on. Rule of thumb, if it's good enough for babies, then usually it's ok for rats. Just make sure they eyes are not something that will come off (threaded eyes are probably better) or maybe sewn on patch eyes. It won't be a long seperation. Once the babies are weaned, you could put her back and put all the girls together. Also, baby rats are called pups. ;) They are amazing to watch grow and learn, so make sure you visit with them, handle them, and enjoy them daily. It goes by so quick. Also, when you are handling the babies, put ella in the cage with lyla, or let them have out time together for a few mins.
     
  9. Feb 28, 2019 #9

    Molly

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    Thank you very much for your help and advice! :)
     
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  10. Feb 28, 2019 #10

    Molly

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    This is how they are doing today :)
     

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  11. Mar 1, 2019 #11

    lilspaz68

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    Mom is going to need out daily for Out Time, 20 mins each time for the first week, then 30 mins - hour after that. This is when you let her and Kayla be together. Its only for a few weeks and you want them to still be friends after the rearing is over. Babies look good :) I usually handle wee ones before their eyes are open, so they get used to human touch, and smell. I gently touch them all over, hold them like I am examining them, gently pull on tails and paws etc. Anything to "bomb-proof" them for later on. Once those little eyes open, they just want to run, explore and get into trouble so working with them before the eyes open can only help :) I've found if mom is a confident happy little thing, then her babies (especially with this handling) will be too. It can help them stay in good homes, instead of them being difficult or nervous and being rehomed to bad homes, or worse.
    When I am weaning at 5 weeks or so, I try to leave the male babies in the maternity cage and move mom and the girls to a new cage. The boys have the familiarity of their cage and the girls get Mom. Makes for a less stressful weaning all around.
     
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  12. Mar 1, 2019 #12

    Molly

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    Ok, I’m looking into getting a double critter nation for the girls currently (they are quiet expensive so will take some time) I take Ella and Lyla out everyday for a few minutes to let them play and check on the babies, but I can extend it. I wasn’t sure how long to keep them away. We are planing to keep 4 of them. Two for my boyfriend and I and two for his sister. She manages a pet store so she could find good homes for the other ones. We will do everything in our power to prevent them from being feeders. I haven’t taken the babies out of the cage yet and put the girls in because I didn’t want her to freak out, so I’ve put them in a safe spot and check on the babies in the cage. Thank you very much for the advice. I will keep you guys updated if anything new happenes :)
     
  13. Mar 2, 2019 #13

    SQ

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  14. Mar 2, 2019 #14

    Molly

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    She already knows some of her co-workers who have rats and are interested . Anyways, I saw Ella sleeping outside of her nest, is this normal behavior?
     
  15. Mar 2, 2019 #15

    Dena

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    Yes. She will leave them once in a while to sleep or play. She has to, to keep her sanity. ;) Kinda like a human mom. The other babies, and nest will keep the babies warm. She will constantly check on them. It's perfectly normal, unless she stays out like hours. But usually, she will run back, feed them, and clean them, then go back to her sanity spots. :)
     
  16. Mar 2, 2019 #16

    Dena

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    If you are worried, just check on the babies once in a while, and look for their milk bands.
     
  17. Mar 2, 2019 #17

    Molly

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    Ok thank you! I checked them a few moments ago and they all had the milk line! One question though, I tried to figure out their genders I know it’s the distance from the genitals to the anus. But I tried my best and it seems like I have 5 girls and 3 boys. May not be 100% but was trying to get a good idea. When will it become more clear on their genders?
     
  18. Mar 2, 2019 #18

    Dena

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    Girls will develop nipples in a few days. Boys won't. That's the most obvious, until balls start to drop around 5-6 weeks.

    If you post a pic of each (just one of a suspected boy and one of a suspected girl) we can confirm. :)
     
  19. Mar 2, 2019 #19

    Molly

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    This is the one that really threw me off, and I think it’s a girl, but not 100%. I don’t have any pictures at the moment of my suspected males, I’ll get that when I check on them later.
     

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  20. Mar 2, 2019 #20

    Molly

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    I believe this is one of my males.
     

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