So, you probably have noticed the radio silence lately on our social media. This lack of posts hasn’t been because of a lack of activity — quite the contrary. We don’t claim to be experts, yet, at breeding pedigree rats; however, with the guidance of our sister rattery, we are quickly learning a lot about the ethical breeding of these amazing little fur balls.
Part of the gap in availability has been just that lack of experience we have. Many of the pairings we did over the last couple of weeks did not lead in pregnancies. We feel that we were pulling the pairings too quickly when it “looked” like the pairing was successful. Since changing our practices on pairings, we have had much more success.
Another difficulty we had were with two litters that did not work out. First, the temperament of our Tabby litter didn’t turn out like we would have preferred. We chose to hold that entire litter to be able to further develop the line. Second, our Marten mother, Helena, gave birth to 12 beautiful babies; however, it didn’t take long to notice something was wrong. After a few hours of nursing, the babies didn’t have milk bands. By the next morning, we lost the whole litter. As with humans, rats sometimes have problem pregnancies. Losing this litter was a gut punch.
With all the difficulties came a plan that has kept us pretty busy the last several weeks. Our first round of litters yielded several surprises and a few mysteries. We turned the past few weeks of disappointments into a decision for a baby boom this summer to work on and develop our lines. This plan is now allowing us to test out those mysteries. During this time, our sister rattery decided to discontinue their Tabby and Marten lines. This summer of developing lines enables us to completely take on those two lines working around the issues we previously had.
So where does that leave us? We went to work getting the rat room ready for this baby boom. We added a third level on to our Critter Nation cages and have finished 7 of 10 new maternity bin cages. Over the last two weeks, we welcomed five new litters and are expecting several more. Having all these babies will allow us to have a lot of choices for future breeders and will allow us to more mature our public offerings. Hopefully, with all this work, our first holiday season at Oak Grove will be very solid to help Santa’s elves bring smiling faces on Christmas morning.
Already, the fruits of our labor are paying off. In a couple of weeks, both our sister rattery and Oak Grove will be introducing Black Eyed Blue Point Siamese for the first time ever. Along with these beauties, we will have a lot of Silvermane and Red Eyed Siamese babies to choose from. The litters we are still expecting should possibly add Tabby and Marten to that mix.
Because of the volume of babies we are about to have, we will not be able to post as many individual baby photos. We will try our best to post as many group litter photos as possible. Our reservations for available babies will start around the end of July and beginning of August.
So, strap in, sit back, and enjoy the ride as we take this summer road trip to some amazing things!