I see a lot of people talking about moving their males around, but my plan is to move the females in with the males. Is there a reason not to do this? Each female will be moved into her own birthing tub after 20 days in with a male.
1) In 3'X2' tubs, we have 7-8 females and 1 male. We pull the females out as they develop 'saddle bags' and put 1-2 into birthing tubs (XL kitty litter tubs).
2) Babies get evenly pulled from different moms to gradually reduce litter size, and reduce stress on moms. I prefer 2 moms per tub, as I've found that sometimes if you have a mom that slacks, the other one typically helps out.
3) Excess babies get put into a 55 gallon tank as grow out for larger snakes, or babies held back as breeders get put into a seperate grow out tub.
4) Then females get put back into whichever breeder tub has space available. If no space available, females just get some extra time to recover, and are put in when new saddlebags are removed.
While I do get to know individual rats, and have my favorites, and generally have an idea of who my best producers are, who are the best moms, and who are the quickest to recover, we have too many rats to keep track of to pay attention to actual days that a specific female has been in with a male. The tubs the breeders are kept in are large enough to keep several rats in, and if we miss the saddlebags (some of them don't put on much weight or show until right before they drop a litter), the tubs are large enough that the other adults typically give the mom and her littler enough space, without trampling new babies, and I can safely move the moms to their individual tubs.