NFRS survey on health and lifespan

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cyber ratty
Fancy Rats Team
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NFRS survey on health and lifespan

Post by cyber ratty » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:49 pm

National Fancy Rat Society health and lifespan survey.

The NFRS committee has asked me to conduct a survey on health and lifespan of rats, and I will be running this survey over the course of the next 3 to 4 years.

There will initially be 4 groups of rats involved, all born in March or April 2018. Another 4 groups will be added later on this year, born in September or October. The survey will follow them throughout their lives, logging any health problems, and eventually their death. Any rats who suffer an accidental death will be removed from the survey.

Participating owners will need to provide basic details up front about the rat, and commit to submitting a short regular report (every 3 months), detailing any health issues and treatment, and eventually date and cause (if known) of death. A more comprehensive report will be requested every 6 months including weight, an updated picture, and a description of their activity levels. Absolute honesty will be paramount in order to make this survey valid. I will keep the identity of the owner and the specific breeder or source confidential, and it won't be included in any published results.

The groups are:
1) rats bred by registered NFRS breeders who will remain with the breeder for their full lives.
2) rats bred by registered NFRS breeders placed in a non breeder home.
3) rats purchased from Pets At Home as kittens - this time purchased between 12th April and 4th June.
4) rats from litters outside of the fancy or the commercial pet trade, e.g. from an accidental litter, a rescue litter, from hobby breeders, etc.

I'm hoping to find 30 participating rats for each group, but to avoid skewing the data, there will be a maximum in total of 2 siblings from any particular litter, and a maximum of 2 litters from any one breeder for groups 1 and 2.

If you would like to take part, please send an email to with the following information, and attach at least one clear photo of the rat:
a) date of birth if known, or date of purchase and approximate age in weeks otherwise
b) variety if known, or description otherwise
c) adult diet (nuggets, commercial mix, home made or RR mix, fresh, etc.)
d) survey group, and full details of their source (e.g. breeder's name, which PAH shop, or fosterer's name as appropriate)

Please spread the word to any other rat owners who might like to take part, this is not limited to NFRS members, and a really broad spectrum of rats would be great.

If you would like any further information or have questions about the survey, please contact me on the same address,, or ask on this thread.

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Re: NFRS survey on health and lifespan

Post by hjanders » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:06 pm

Hi Mary,

I assume we are not able to participate in this? We have 2 silvermane babies born in March which have Zephyr parents x2 (and what beautiful, fun, sociable, loving girls they are :D ). They were bred by Elin.
Happy to participate if we are able.

Best wishes,
Nelle, Luna, Maggie, Tutsie, Fizzie and Pip
Never to be forgotten: Me-Me, Popcorn, Trixie, Paws, Tica, Bella and Doris ❤️

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