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Need recommendations for a portable incubator

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AviMavi

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Jan 4, 2020
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I do some fostering for a local rescue, and recently got in one mom and two babies. Mom originally had four, but she lost two before she came to us, and then lost another just last night. They were born Sunday and I got them that same day, so the remaining survivor is 5 days old.

Mom is... Not super into the babies. Won't nest them, won't touch them, won't feed them, generally just ignored them. I was feeding them since they got to me, and they were both great eaters; the one baby that died was kind of struggling since the beginning and I didn't really expect it to make it. Sad, but life is life I guess.

Right now the arrangement I have for feeding means the baby stays in one spot all day, but next week I'm hoping I'll be able to bring baby in to work with me so I can keep feeding it on breaks.

So what I need is a way to make a portable incubator that will stay at 100 degrees during my 20 min ride to and from work, and be able to fit in a cat carrier. Current plan is to house baby in the break room so I'd have access to plugs and such for heat pads or lamps. There's also a fridge for formula, and a microwave so I can heat it up for baby.

Right now baby is nested under a heat lamp with a remote thermometer giving me the temp in the nest. I had a heat pad I had bought a while ago, but the damn thing doesn't get past 93 degrees. Had a devil of a time getting the temp right as it is.

I have until Monday to get it all worked out. Anyone have any brand recommendations for heat pads/packs/lamps? Might have hot water bottles for the ride, and then be able to set up a pad or lamp once I get to work. I'm just not sure what exactly to get.

It needs to be easy to set up, I can't be constantly checking in and readjusting; my boss is fine letting me feed the little dude but I don't think he'd be happy if I start neglecting my actual, you know, job.
 

SQ

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I am sorry but a those temperatures are way too hot!!
Rats regardless of age should never be that hot ..... you are not hatching eggs!!
Quote: The temperature of the nest should be between 75°F (24°C) and 90°F (32°C)

Mother rats often leave their babies in the nest and they stay warm enough with one another and the bedding.

Babies that young have little chance of survival without mama or a foster mama.
If the babies did not get colostrum from mom they have even less chance unless you purchase some such as through a vet Lactation and Milk – Rat Guide
Please try to find a nursing mama with litter and buy them ... reach out to breeders shelters, rat rescues, pet stores etc. Mama is removed, you make the baby smell like the other babies, add baby to the litter, put mom back and hope for the best

Please see the information on caring for orphans in our Reference Thread REFERENCE Thread - Read Only | The Rat Shack (ratshackforum.com)
Since this was posted several days ago .... I can only hope the baby is still alive :(
 
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lilspaz68

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Look for a SnuggleSafe they can be warmed in the microwave and hold heat for hours and hours. They should be fine for your car trip etc. Heat is more dangerous to rats then cold so make sure the wee one can get away from the heat source to cool off if necessary.
 

SQ

Senior Member - Vegan for the animals
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central New Brunswick Canada
Snuggle Safe's can only be used with animals that can get away from them ...., so there must also be space to get away as well, and they must be covered.
My vet claims that they continue to get hotter after being heated
an emergency vet burned my baby girl to death using a snuggle safe so if used, be very cautious
 

lilspaz68

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They don't get hotter. Ive used them for me lol.

Its best to heat it up less, put the cover on and let the heat seep through to see if you need to heat a bit more.
 
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AviMavi

New Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2020
Messages
2
Location
Phoenix
I am sorry but a those temperatures are way too hot!!
Rats regardless of age should never be that hot ..... you are not hatching eggs!!
Quote: The temperature of the nest should be between 75°F (24°C) and 90°F (32°C)

Mother rats often leave their babies in the nest and they stay warm enough with one another and the bedding.

Babies that young have little chance of survival without mama or a foster mama.
If the babies did not get colostrum from mom they have even less chance unless you purchase some such as through a vet Lactation and Milk – Rat Guide
Please try to find a nursing mama with litter and buy them ... reach out to breeders shelters, rat rescues, pet stores etc. Mama is removed, you make the baby smell like the other babies, add baby to the litter, put mom back and hope for the best

Please see the information on caring for orphans in our Reference Thread REFERENCE Thread - Read Only | The Rat Shack (ratshackforum.com)
Since this was posted several days ago .... I can only hope the baby is still alive :(
Sorry for the late reply here! I could have sworn I set this to get an email when someone replied, but alas.

Unfortunately the baby did indeed pass, actually about an hour or two after I made this post. Poor thing really did try, but I suppose with babies that young it really is just so hard, even if you do everything right, and given that it was my first time trying anything like this I probably wasn't. I really did want to try that foster-mom thing, but given that this is a rescue we can't really support buying even more rats from pet shops, we were already at Maximum Capacity, and we didn't have any other nursing moms in at the time. In addition, Mom came in with a very prominent (although not severe) URI, and she probably passed it on to the babies... it was probably the cause of her losing interest in them in the first place. So adding the babies to another litter where they could spread the infection to other, new babies was, uh. Well. Not really an option either.

There were a lot of factors at play here, is what I'm saying.

Thank you for the information though! I was going off this site, which suggested the 100F. Are you sure 75-90 is okay? I've only seen the one source in that reference thread that recommends it, the other two don't give a specific temperature.
 

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