Help! New rat gave birth!

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I took in a little lady 2 weeks ago who was being given up by her owner and yup, as the title says, she has given birth. I am TOTALLY new to this and a little worried. I’ve done as much reading as I can and I just wanted to double check I’m doing this ok….
The facts;

I was told she is 4months old roughly (possibly a little more)
She gave birth 3 days ago
12 babies

All babies have the white patch - I’ve read this means they have milk in their belly?

I have modified the cage so that the bars are covered from the inside and they cannot get injured or escape.

I have back 2 nature bedding and torn toilet to issue for her nest (which is a large plastic igloo).

she seems very attentive to her babies and she is eating well herself.

my understandin is that I leave her to it and keep an eye from a distance?

I give her some boiled egg every day now on top of the usual stuff I give her . I always feed my rats a variety but I’m trying to increase the protein- is this correct?

this is all very overwhelming. I am thinking about how best to handle 12 new rats. I can cope with keeping 2 females and 2 males but beyond that I am going to need to rehome.

when should I start handling them?
 

lilspaz68

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Ok you've done most of the initial things very well, so let's go to handling.
Is mom friendly and handleable? If she is she will still need Out time after the first few days. She can be out 20-30 mins at a time daily until the babies develop a fur coat and can stay warm on their own. After that she can be out longer.

As for handling the babies you can do it practically from day 1 but need to be very careful they don't get cold so just for a short while at first to keep an eye on their condition/growing. Once they start growing a coat I handle them more, doing gentle things like pulling on paws and tail and making sure they get used to being handled the way they might need to all their life. I often add in pretending to check their teeth and ears and picking them up and manipulating them gently so later on in life a vet or their owner could examine them with no fear on the rats part. This early handling/socialization will benefit them all their life and hopefully keep them in their forever home. Once the eyes open at 2 weeks the babies are much more likely to play then wanting to be handled so by this time they should be approaching you instead of running away all the time :). Enjoy the unexpected experience, it will go by fast. I usually remove the girls/mom from the cage at 5 weeks and leave the boys in the familiarity of their cage so they don't lose sisters/mom/cage all at once.
 

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Ok you've done most of the initial things very well, so let's go to handling.
Is mom friendly and handleable? If she is she will still need Out time after the first few days. She can be out 20-30 mins at a time daily until the babies develop a fur coat and can stay warm on their own. After that she can be out longer.

As for handling the babies you can do it practically from day 1 but need to be very careful they don't get cold so just for a short while at first to keep an eye on their condition/growing. Once they start growing a coat I handle them more, doing gentle things like pulling on paws and tail and making sure they get used to being handled the way they might need to all their life. I often add in pretending to check their teeth and ears and picking them up and manipulating them gently so later on in life a vet or their owner could examine them with no fear on the rats part. This early handling/socialization will benefit them all their life and hopefully keep them in their forever home. Once the eyes open at 2 weeks the babies are much more likely to play then wanting to be handled so by this time they should be approaching you instead of running away all the time :). Enjoy the unexpected experience, it will go by fast. I usually remove the girls/mom from the cage at 5 weeks and leave the boys in the familiarity of their cage so they don't lose sisters/mom/cage all at once.
Thank you for your reply! Mom is ok being handled so I’ve given her a scamper around for 20-30 mins like you said! I took the babies out for five mins and cradled them on my tummy to keep them a bit warm . All seem well thank goodness. Thanks for your advice - it’s great to have this place!
 

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lilspaz68

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Banded rats have a white bottom and a coloured top and the line runs along their side. Blazes are often seen with banded rats. There's a genetic condition called megacolon that is more prevalent with "high-white" rats like banded with blazes or white markings where there aren't usually any.
 

lilspaz68

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Tiny babies might show FTT or failure to thrive but it's once babies are weaning and starting to eat solids you will see the true symptoms of MC. Theres even a late onset form of megacolon that can show up between 4-12 months. I've got my fingers crossed for your wees
 

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Tiny babies might show FTT or failure to thrive but it's once babies are weaning and starting to eat solids you will see the true symptoms of MC. Theres even a late onset form of megacolon that can show up between 4-12 months. I've got my fingers crossed for your wees
Gosh. All this inbreeding ….
Thanks so much for your advice :) I’m sure I will have more questions as they grow. Hope it’s ok to keep asking - don’t want to be a burden though x
 

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All seem to be doing well. At the 2 week point now. Think I have two runts but they aren’t tooooo much smaller. I have “labelled” them all and might keep records of their weight- is this useful? The labelled pics are from a little while ago for they are more developed now (see pile of rats picture!). I’m in love with them. Unexpected gift . I just hope they live long and happy lives. Mummy is doing well despite chewed up nipple! She seems to appreciate her time away from them lol. Thanks for your help!
 

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Am I correct in thinking ‘4 pink’ and ‘5 yellow’ are a bit under weight? Shall I supplement them with some formula feed?
 

lilspaz68

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Usually these smaller babies were squished at the end of the uterus and often they can catch up once they start to eat solids :). As long as they are eating and growing they should be fine. For MC you will see big bloated bellies, irregular sized poop, diarrhea, bloating then back to normal. Just keep an eye out once they start solids.
 

rowanberry

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All seem to be doing well. At the 2 week point now. Think I have two runts but they aren’t tooooo much smaller. I have “labelled” them all and might keep records of their weight- is this useful? The labelled pics are from a little while ago for they are more developed now (see pile of rats picture!). I’m in love with them. Unexpected gift . I just hope they live long and happy lives. Mummy is doing well despite chewed up nipple! She seems to appreciate her time away from them lol. Thanks for your help!
How are your babies doing? Would love to see more photos!
 

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They are doing so well!! Such playful affectionate little things! I love when they sleep in a pile on me :))))
How are your babies doing? Would love to see more photos!
 

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I’m having an issue with one of the little girls. They are 6 weeks old today. Her right eye is looking bad - I’ve included pictures here. Really worried :( she is otherwise looking fit and well. I noticed her eye was different from the very moment she opened her eyes weeks ago but the vet fobbed me off and said it was nothing. But surely this isn’t ok?
 

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