Feeder rats as pets..Please help

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rattiemama12

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I dont know if this is in the right section if not please let me know but...I plan on adopting 6 , 1 month old, female rats from a guy who used them as feeders for his past snakes..I read somewhere online that they aren't good pets and wont be worth having or trying to tame..Is that true?
 

M0onkist

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Oh heavens no, every ex-feeder rat I have ever met has been just wonderful, and they're absolutely NOT harder to tame than a rat born to an ethical breeder. The only difference is instead of having their baby days be cushy and spoiled, they had terrible living conditions, hunger, maybe pain, and lots of fear - they can smell when snakes are close by. Imagine having a mortal enemy always living right next door to you, and you have no idea when the door between you might just open...

What I really mean is, sometimes it takes just a bit longer to get them to truly trust you, to place their lives in your hands, to know without question that you stand for everything like love, caring, food, fuzzy hammocks and lots of veggies and treats. But to be honest, the first time a rat trusts you is the most precious moment you two can have together, and if you have to work hard for that moment... it only makes it sweeter.

Now when you're first handling them you do want to be careful - you won't know just how scared they are of you until you've seen them for a while and interacted with them a bit. But if you keep your movements slow, your voice gentle, and just keep feeding them treats from your hands, they'll realize it's not the Big Grabby Hand of Doom, but the Big Gentle Hand That Bears Yummies. Soon you'll have six devoted little followers who can't get enough of you.

Ask as many questions as you have need - we're here to help. I think all of us have rescued rats, many have ex-feeder rats (remember Carina Snake-Biter, Shelagh?), so we have lots of tips and tricks to share to help make your road to rattie bliss as smooth as possible.
 

SQ

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What you were told is absolutely untrue.
Many of us have rescued rats of various ages from snake owners who used them as breeders or live food.
They made wonderful pets and were well worth any effort .... just as rats from other sources have been.

Looking forward to pics once you rescue them.
 

hopefloats

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most of my rats are feeder rats of some sort and some of them are the best rats I have ever seen. They have amazing personalities and just love people.
 

jorats

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I agree with the rest.
All rats, even those coming from happy beginnings have their unique personalities. Some are outgoing while others are reserved. Both require socializing and bonding with their humans.
At 1 month old, they probably didn't have the time to become traumatized yet. I would be more worried if they were 3 months old.
 

Joanne

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Absolutely rescue them! One of my guys came out of the snake's aquarium - the snake wouldn't eat him. It's so rewarding to know that you have removed them from a horrible situation and that they will have the life that they deserve. :)

(And you might want to change the title of your thread :giggle: )
 

NinjaRatMama

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Joanne said:
Absolutely rescue them! One of my guys came out of the snake's aquarium - the snake wouldn't eat him. It's so rewarding to know that you have removed them from a horrible situation and that they will have the life that they deserve. :)

(And you might want to change the title of your thread :giggle: )
Omg, Joanne.. I didn't even notice that until you mentioned it! haha yeah... I think you're planning on adopting feeder rats, not snakes. :thumbup: lol
 

PeachPeach

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My three are feeders, and still young, too. Their breeder treated them well, despite their destiny as snake food initially. And at just two weeks of taming they're giving me kisses and nibbles, come when called, and sometimes voluntarily climb up my arm out of the cage (the always come oer curiously, they just don't always choose to exit ;) ).

Feeders can be amazing pets, my three boys are already proving that!
 

dspch911

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This is Curley, he was suppose to be a snake dinner! He is my cuddliest, squishy, most outgoing rat of the group!!



Curley (front left) the other are his sons

 

lilspaz68

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The little lovelies I just took in recently are all feeder breeder stock. They need a bit of work/socializing right now but soon will make lovely rat companions :)
 

Dahlas

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I agree with the others...two of my boys came to me as "left over" feeders...one spent a few days in with the snake before it died...both were very skittish and are now the sweetest boys ever.
 

NicodemusRattus

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Some of the best rats I've ever had were feeders... I actually just found a group of fairly unusual breeds at my local pet shop today, which is weird since most people buy them for feeders... but there are about 3 or 4 siamese males (not sure if it's the actual breed name, but their markings look just like siamese cats) and a bunch of rex or half-rex rats. They're not the typical breeds I usually see in the feeder cage, I bought 2 females but I'm really hoping that some fellow rat lovers will stumble upon the rest of these guys before they're sold to snake owners. The only reason I force myself to stay away from pet shops is because I have to remind myself that I can't save them all lol...
 

DrEllie

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In regards to feeder rats, has anyone noticed any size difference between "feeders" vs " fancy" ? I have a female who was a feeder and she is probably close to a year now. She's been to the vet with a clean bill of health, and has been very "normal" in eating and behavioral habits. However; she is still very small when I compare her to rats that are sold as pets. She would, if judging by colour, be considered a hooded rat but very small for her suspected age.

She eats lab blocks (oxbow),vegetables, oats, rice, quinoa puffs, dried chickpeas, tofu, organ meats (usually liver), and odd table scraps that are suitable for her ( no fat or dangerous foods) She consumes a decent amount of food...and for her size is visually healthy maybe has some extra weight..( I keep a close eye to make sure her belly does not become too fatty). She chews nyla and nude dog bones. From what I can tell nutrition wise she is getting what she needs ( I also add some healthy omega oils and probiotics)...she just has seemed to cap on her overall growth.

The image added is of her on top of a hamster cage ( fairly small), it is not what she is kept in, it's just something that was given to me and she uses it in her play room, ( we gave up our spare bedroom to give her a full playroom)


Uploaded with ImageShack.us
 

Ace8670

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She looks fine to me sometimes there are just different body types I got two brothers and one was long and slender other was stocky but also be aware you aren't comparing her to males as well because females are always smaller compared to males and as to "feeder" and "fancy" as far as I can see they are they same except for colors and usually always Harley :/
 

jorats

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She doesn't look to small to me either. I had a "fancy" who never got any bigger than 249 grams.

BTW, the only way to insure she's getting full nutrition is with a block food made specifically for rats. I recommend Oxbow Regal rat. You can supplement with the other foods.
 

Joanne

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jorats said:
BTW, the only way to insure she's getting full nutrition is with a block food made specifically for rats. I recommend Oxbow Regal rat. You can supplement with the other foods.
(She is feeding her Oxbow)
As long as she is healthy and well-muscled, weight is almost irrelevant. There is a huge range in people for example. A petite 4.5 foot woman can be healthier than a 6.5 foot basketball player! :)
 

SQ

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btw, the only difference between feeder rats and "fancy" rats is the label someone stuck on them.,
and possibly how people treated them
They often come from the same gene pool and may even be from the same litter.
 

DrEllie

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sorry this is a bit delayed, but thank you everyone for your responses, i really appreciate them. It puts my mind at ease to know all of this, being it's my first time with a pet ratty...who am I Kidding she's my baby :).
 
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