Pregnant rattie!

Help Support Rat Shack Forum:

Twilight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
103
Location
Southern USA
Well, I’ve now got a pregnant rattie.
I “rescued” her from craigslist, and she’s definitely pregnant, I think she’s due in the next few days by the look of her belly. I’ve (renamed) her Lilac, she’s a really beautiful hooded agouti girl! (I think) She’s about 3 months old and pretty friendly :D

She’s in one of my small cages, with some shredded newspaper and paper towels, she seems a bit frightened right now and she just tried to bite me several times. (she was very friendly up to just then though) I’m assuming it’s because she’s stressed out (and hormonal changes, perhaps) so I’m just going to leave her alone now :) However, any ideas on why this is happening and how to avoid it?
So, tips on what to do? (I know pretty much what to do but more info is always helpful!)
And I’ll keep you guys updated! :D

(I’ll add some photos tomorrow!!)
 

Twilight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
103
Location
Southern USA
She bit me pretty hard today when I reached in the cage, she lunges at anything that comes in her cage. (I’m a bit scared to handle her now lol) I'm quite sure it's maternal aggression... any tips on dealing with this? I need to be able to reach into the cage, and to see her babies later on.

Anyways, here is a photo I took of her, she’s a really beautiful rattie!

AA8C823C-3418-4922-8916-4E042A1A847C.jpeg
 
Last edited:

lilspaz68

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
23,959
Location
Toronto, Canada, Earth
Take the top off the cage in an.enclosed area and try to scoop her up with your arms instead of your hands. If you can't get her then use a towel or some type of fabric to pick her up with so your hands are protected. She needs to learn you won't hurt her. If she tries to jump, stand up in the middle.of the room. Just talk to her in a soft friendly voice. Shes a scared baby who is dealing with hormones and a new situation... people have probably never been nice to her so there's work ahead. Try bonding before the babies arrive and then see where you are. If she truly has hormonal aggression I ca help you figure out how to deal.with her and the babies.
 

Twilight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
103
Location
Southern USA
Oh my, I just came back to check on Lilac and she had given birth!! I was expecting it to happen in the next few days, but not today, LOL!
Maybe that explains why she was biting! Do rats get very aggressive the day they give birth? I hope this means she doesn't have maternal aggression, but if she does, I don't know what to do, because I need to check on the babies and handle them (I want to start handling them on day 3) I was going to try and socialize momma first, but now I guess we'll have to start over with a new plan!

She's built a very elaborate nest so I can't see the babies too well, I do hear them squeaking though and I assume most of them came out okay. Momma seems alright too, I can't see her very well but I think she's grooming the babies. Tomorrow I will try and take a look inside the nest, and I need to come up with a new socializing plan 😅

(I will attach some photos as soon as I can check on the babies to count them, etc. because right now there's nothing much to see but a mound of paper, and if you look closely, several dark shapes 😂)
 

Twilight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
103
Location
Southern USA
Take the top off the cage in an.enclosed area and try to scoop her up with your arms instead of your hands. If you can't get her then use a towel or some type of fabric to pick her up with so your hands are protected. She needs to learn you won't hurt her. If she tries to jump, stand up in the middle.of the room. Just talk to her in a soft friendly voice. Shes a scared baby who is dealing with hormones and a new situation... people have probably never been nice to her so there's work ahead. Try bonding before the babies arrive and then see where you are. If she truly has hormonal aggression I ca help you figure out how to deal.with her and the babies.
I guess this changes things up.. I'll need to get a new plan for socializing since I'll need to start checking the babies soon!
 

Twilight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
103
Location
Southern USA
Ok so she's still biting anything coming near the cage, I don't know how I'm going to check the babies lol.
 

sunsetter

New Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
4
Location
oc
I am having the same issue and am looking for advice too! I am fostering a mama who came from a large unsocialized group that was relinquished to a shelter. Mama bit me hard the 2nd day as I was placing food in the cage. I got some teflon gloves and left her alone, She gave birth a few days ago and I have not been able to check on the babies because she lunges anytime the cage door opens. Luckily, I have a 2 story cage and can get food in/out while she's on the other level. she gave birth in a pigloo with a box inside. But she has knocked/dragged that way and built a gigantic nest. I can hear the little ones squeaking and sound happy/healthy. She has dragged EVERYTHING in the enclosure down to the nest including the tissue box I had on the upper level to transport box train her :) I feel like taking the nest apart to check on babies may be too stressful for her and her aggression makes it so that getting her out of the cage is impossible. At this point, I am thinking I may just need to deal with a stinky cage and wait 1-2 weeks for the babies to be mobile so they come to me, or I can at least start trust training with a spoon. My hope is momma get socialized a little more alongside them. Any other advice to offer?
 

Twilight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
103
Location
Southern USA
I am having the same issue and am looking for advice too! I am fostering a mama who came from a large unsocialized group that was relinquished to a shelter. Mama bit me hard the 2nd day as I was placing food in the cage. I got some teflon gloves and left her alone, She gave birth a few days ago and I have not been able to check on the babies because she lunges anytime the cage door opens. Luckily, I have a 2 story cage and can get food in/out while she's on the other level. she gave birth in a pigloo with a box inside. But she has knocked/dragged that way and built a gigantic nest. I can hear the little ones squeaking and sound happy/healthy. She has dragged EVERYTHING in the enclosure down to the nest including the tissue box I had on the upper level to transport box train her :) I feel like taking the nest apart to check on babies may be too stressful for her and her aggression makes it so that getting her out of the cage is impossible. At this point, I am thinking I may just need to deal with a stinky cage and wait 1-2 weeks for the babies to be mobile so they come to me, or I can at least start trust training with a spoon. My hope is momma get socialized a little more alongside them. Any other advice to offer?
I've been putting treats on a metal spoon and putting that into the cage to show her that things coming into the cage aren't going to harm her. She's tried to bite it a bit, but biting metal doesn't have a very pleasing feel, so she's stopped biting it :)

Also, I think I'm going to find some gloves and remove her from the cage soon, so I can check on the babies without her biting lol. Hopefully once she's out of the cage she won't feel the need to bite to protect her cage and babies, and I can work on socializing her there. Maybe you can try that too?

I'm still unsure what to do though so I might not be the best source for help lol
 

lilspaz68

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
23,959
Location
Toronto, Canada, Earth
Use a book or some flat object to gently push her into a box or house where you can block it so you can clean the cage and check the babies. Most times the hormonal aggression settles in a week or 2. The first week is the worst. You also may not ve able to check the babies very well but can remove bedding with your hand. If I have a difficult case like a hormonal mom I try to work around her as best as I can. One mom was fibe outside the cage and i would open the door and she would come out on her own. While she was exploring i would check the babies, handle them a little then put them back. She'd even take them from me while reaching from inside the cage door. Another girl had to be removed from the cage entirely for the entire time she was with them. Do your best and dont worry too much about handling during the first week or so.
 

Twilight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
103
Location
Southern USA
Use a book or some flat object to gently push her into a box or house where you can block it so you can clean the cage and check the babies. Most times the hormonal aggression settles in a week or 2. The first week is the worst. You also may not ve able to check the babies very well but can remove bedding with your hand. If I have a difficult case like a hormonal mom I try to work around her as best as I can. One mom was fibe outside the cage and i would open the door and she would come out on her own. While she was exploring i would check the babies, handle them a little then put them back. She'd even take them from me while reaching from inside the cage door. Another girl had to be removed from the cage entirely for the entire time she was with them. Do your best and dont worry too much about handling during the first week or so.
Ok, she's DETERMINED to protect her babies. I can't get her away from them despite trying for a while, she's obviously trying very very hard to protect her babies. I might have to wait a while to be able to reach them, I don't want to stress her out further.
 

Twilight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
103
Location
Southern USA
Today I was able to check on the babies successfully! 13 babies, all with small milk bellies :D (also, they all seem to be hooded!)
I think Lilac was just stressed out and protective for the first few days. Today she came up to the bars and seemed as if she wanted out, I let her out and she was very sweet and no biting at all! I feel bad for stressing her out further now :(

Here's a photo I took of the babies! (realized too late that there's a hair there :oops:)
 

Attachments

lilspaz68

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
23,959
Location
Toronto, Canada, Earth
As im sure you've figured out, the skin thickens up at 3-4 days so you wont be able to see milk bellies anymore. You just watch for them growing and looking filled out.
 

Twilight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2020
Messages
103
Location
Southern USA
Today I moved the babies to the top of the CN! They are really excited about the new, fun cage, and Lilac is a bit nervous but I’m sure she’ll get used to it soon :)
The cage is a bit bare at the moment, since all but 2 of the hammocks are in the wash, and I’m a bit short on toys right now. I am going to be ordering some more toys soon though, and I will be picking up another cement mixing tub today for their half of the CN.
The bedding is Yesterday’s News litter right now instead of the usual hemp, because it’s less dusty and Lilac has a URI.

Here’s a video of everyone exploring the new cage!
 

Latest posts

Top