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One of our 18 month old girls escaped for 24 hours

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 10:30 am
by SinsyDulceyFlutesy
Hi, one of our 18 month old girls, Sinsy, got into the floor boards 3 weeks ago (there is a hole behind the sink in the bathroom which I usually have filled but she managed to rip her way through while were distracted taking care of her sick sister), she was gone over night but came back out in the morning. Since then her tummy has really grown and we are worried she may have met a wild male during her little escape and could be pregnant. One thing we have really noticed is sometimes when she stands on her back legs and stretches up to get a treat, her tummy moves and ripples very obviously and we can’t help but wonder if it’s babies wriggling around..! My questions are: is it possible that she is pregnant at 18 months and also is it normal for their tummies to ripple when they stretch up on their back legs? Thx so much for any advice.

Re: One of our 18 month old girls escaped for 24 hours

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 4:39 pm
by cyber ratty
Yes it's possible - and rats are only pregnant for 23 days, some deliver at day 21 or 22, so you need to get her a maternity cage set up today!

Re: One of our 18 month old girls escaped for 24 hours

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 4:46 pm
by cyber ratty
She'll need a low level cage (about 40cm high is good) with narrow bar spacing (ideally 1cm), don't put any shelves or hammocks in, but give her plenty of loose substrate and bedding (shredded kitchen roll, straw, etc.) so she can build a nest when she is ready to.

There should be other threads on here which guide you through the process of raising a litter, but if you'd like me to send you a guide I've written, then message me with your email.

Re: One of our 18 month old girls escaped for 24 hours

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 5:01 pm
by SinsyDulceyFlutesy
Thank you so much for all your advise Mary. Any ideas about the tummy movement when she stands on back legs?

Re: One of our 18 month old girls escaped for 24 hours

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 5:06 pm
by cyber ratty
Those are the babies, she's ready to pop. When exactly did she go missing?
I hope she doesn't have a big litter.

Re: One of our 18 month old girls escaped for 24 hours

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 10:06 pm
by SinsyDulceyFlutesy
She went missing May 3rd so a few days to go. We luckily have a spare cage from when they were babies. She lives with her 2 sisters, how would they react to the babies if she was with them when she gave birth? Can one of them be with her? Or should she definitely be alone? We put her in the cage this eve and she seems withdrawn. The 3 of them are very close so I’m worried she misses them. Also, when can we introduce the babies to their aunties? I know obviously males will need to be separated but could the females live in the big cage with their Mum and Aunties? (I have a huge two story cage and would ensure bar spacing was ok) I’m obviously hoping we can give the babies away to loving homes eventually!! Thanks again Mary for all your advice. I am crossing fingers I’ve got this all wrong and that she has just simply gained weight (in a pregnant looking way) and that her tummy movements are muscular or something. 🤞🤞

Re: One of our 18 month old girls escaped for 24 hours

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 11:03 am
by cyber ratty
There's still time for the pregnancy to fail, but she sounds 100% pregnant. ;)

Mated on the night of 3rd May would mean litter due on 26th May, but possibly tomorrow. She will need to have a separate cage, as the other girls could try to steal the babies and wouldn't be able to feed them. Far better to give her her own space, she'll be busy enough soon.

Once the babies are born, and have milk in their bellies (visible white patch through the thin skin), then tempt her out of the cage and give her time with her sisters for a few minutes while you check the babies over. There could be some casualties, in which case remove them, or there might be babies outside the nest or stuck in bedding, so rescue them and pop them back in with the rest. Put a small meal in to reward her for coming out, and to support her lactation.

She won't need a lot of extra food at first, and probably not much at all if it's a small litter.

Don't introduce any of the babies to other adults until they are around 9 - 10 weeks old.

May I send you my guide? It's fairly comprehensive and will help you plan ahead.