I wish I could keep them inside, but I have 5 room mates including my fiance, so every room is pretty packed with someones stuff. I even turned my dining room into the snake and fish room. When I put the rats in there everyone kind of put their foot down XD rats being next to the dinner table and all. There isnt any room in my room, the basement is another bedroom, and I dont have a garage. Ill be bringing them in during the winter months and keeping them in the living room. Because theyre outside the smell doesnt bother anyone but when I move them in Ill have to change it just about once every day and light candles often XDD.
As far as the diet goes, there is a reason I chose alpo over the nutritionally complete option.
1)I work at petsmart, and a bag of alpo that will last me 2 months with a small colony is less than $20. Normally I would bite the bullet and pay more for better feeders, but all of my balls are still pretty small. the biggest being on medium rats.
2)Because they are all so small I plan on prekilling and frezzing nearly all of the rats that are born as soon as they hit the appropriate weight. I will keep 1 male and 2 females, and prekill the two breeders feeding them to my burmese python whose still small enough to eat rats about their size XD.
By the time I run out of frozen rats, the 3 that I kept SHOULD be well on their way to birthing 2 new rounds. and the cycle will repeat itself.
So yes the alpo can cause liver damage over time and it isnt nutritionally complete, but not one of these rats are going to live long enough to experience that. So alpo is both cost effective and not any more harmful than rat block in the short period of life that they have.
I have considered using chicken wire to kind of cage them in on the underside of the deck and make a little door so I can get in. That would make my room mate feel better about the cats at the very least.
Sorry slim didnt see your post before. I just decided to start breeding after the winter started the fade. Ive read that they can do okay, but they can sometimes stop breeding if it goes below 40 degrees. I plan to bring mine inside during the winter months as I dont WANT them to be uncomfortable, and I would love it is the number of babies didnt drop, even if the snakes do slow down on eating a little
He did say he would be bringing the rats inside for winter.
TEchnically the abuse would be if you mistreated the rats, or deliberately exposed them to detrimental conditions. Neglect would be covered by lack of food, water or shelter.
Your description doesn't sound like abuse or neglect. If your roommate has a specific complaint,(ie the possibility of cats) then you could see about remedying that specific concern.
Feeding dog food isn't ideal, but there's been plenty of rat breeders who used dog food. Having them exposed outdoors is also not ideal, but if you have them protected from sun and rain, and the temps do not get too hot or too cold, then it's okay.
My main concern would be exposure to cats or dogs. Even if the cat can't get directly to the rats, they can stress them out by attempting to, climbing on the cages and clawing at them, etc. Rats under stress can injure or kill other rats or themselves in panic. Also, they're exposed to fleas etc and to anything any neighbor sprays for weeds or pests(drifting in on a breeze).
No Legs and More
"Stop being a wimpy monkey,; bare some teeth, steal some food and fling poo with the alphas. "
I'm talking about ticks, fleas, mites, and what ever else could get to them.
Rats ideal temperature range is 65-80 degrees. I wouldn't keep them in much outside of that range.
Gotcha. hm.. I hadnt thought about bugs. Ill have to check them for ticks fleas and mites more regularly. Also, granted we havent seen our hottest days yet, but Ill temp gun under the deck today, tonight, and when we get our first hot one and see if the shade doesnt help keep their ambient down. Getting them a large water dish they could soak in might help too. Not sure if rats do that or not XDD
I mean I really would love to move them inside permanantly. My other room mates mom aunt and grandmother will be staying with us until the end of june and theyre all terrified of rats, so when they leave maybe ill see about keeping them in the living room. there has to be some form of comprimise. The facts are theyre exposed to fleas ticks mites and chemicals, and sometimes the whether will be in the extremes. with that argument maybe ill make some headway.
Just out of curiosity has anyone tried reptile carpet as bedding? Shredded newspaper is irretating because it goes everywhere and is destroyed quickly. unshredded newspaper just gets moves and they just pee on the floor of their cage, and I wouldd love it if I could just take the sheet out of every cage throw them in the washing machine and be done with it as opposed to the process of replacing newspaper or aspen. its such a bic.
newspaper is a horrible substrate for rodents, aspen or pine are much better, on the other hand I've been feeding dog food to my mice and rats for over 10 years so I'm obviously a pretty bad person. (a note on using dog food, Just read the list of ingredients and compare to rodent chow, I would never feed my dog the same brand of dog food I feed my rats)