We only keep bucks (male rats) at the moment. There are a few reasons for this but one is that does (female rats) seem to be very prone to getting mammary tumours / hernias etc. and this can be rather costly.
We have three cages, each containing three rats but we try to change them around so they get used to each other. Unfortunately we’ve found some rats who will not stop fighting and we have to separate them.
First the oldest / biggest. These three are bred by us and their father (Itchy) was a mink rat.
“Bruno” is the first of three bucks we kept from Alyssa’s litter born two years, one month ago. He’s the biggest, so usually he enjoys being the dominant buck.
Sometimes the smaller rats can be dominant if they’re very intelligent but usually it’s size that matters.
“Bart II” is a very peaceful rat. Like Bruno he’s a mismarked Berkshire rat.
“Toby” is the smallest but the most intelligent of the three brothers. Over the years we’ve often noticed that the Selfs (single coloured) rats are more intelligent.
“Frodo” is one of the last rats that we bred ourselves. He’s twenty months old. He was the “runt” of Jeannie’s litter and we didn’t think he’d survive when he was smaller than my little finger. He’s getting rather large now though, and he’s intelligent.
“Polo” is seventeen months old. He was always very scared of everything but he’s getting used to the fact that we won’t hurt him. We’ve often found that rats from pet shops are like this. I think some people don’t look after rats properly and it can’t help that some kittens are separated from their mothers when they’re very young.
“Riker” is Polo’s brother, at least, that’s what the shop owner told us. He’s always been very adventurous and likes people.
Photos of our three younger rats coming soon
The cages are downstairs in the living room. We think the rats enjoy having us around !
Six of our bucks live in the two large cages on the left and the other three live in the parrot cage. Dee has extended this by joining a smaller cage to it. We change them around often so they’re all used to each other.