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  1. #1
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    ASF will this ever pan out???

    I bought a trio of afs rats at a reptile show back in February. I added a female from a local shop in hopes I could freshen up the blood line in the next generation. I feed them a base diet of dog food kibble that is 21 percent protein and add a little kitten kibble 40 percent protein, and some hamster food that has some seeds and grain. I give them apple or strawberry or whatever fruit I have and some fresh clover from the yard daily. They all seemed to grow ok except for the female from the local source which is about half the size of the others. I keep them in a 20 gallon tank with a wheel and a hide. The first female to give birth had only three pups and ate one per day until they were all gone. About a week later the biggest female had 13 pups and after 24 hours began eating them. I took the ten pinkies that were left and put them in some mice nests in some other tubs I have for the mice to foster. At this point I have had these for two and a half months and have not raised a feeder out of them yet. Thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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    Re: ASF will this ever pan out???

    The main reason a rat eats her baby is from stress or pain you should try to minimize disturbance during the birth, if the rat looks like its going to eat the babies you can try to take away the babies and give them back when she settles down.

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    Re: ASF will this ever pan out???

    I also think that your giving way to much protein, rats unlike dogs or humans can't have that much protein, try using lab blocks instead. If you feed a rat the wrong diet it can also be another factor to them eating their babies:
    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...est-Lab-Blocks
    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...ood-can-be-fed

  4. #4
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    Re: ASF will this ever pan out???

    Thanks for the suggestions and links. The kitten kibble is just a bit sprinkled on top of their regular food as a treat, but I could stop putting anything on top of their food bowl. I was very careful to not upset the colony when the second litter was born, I kept the lights low and they seemed very calm. Maybe I could cover the tank with a towel to make them feel safer.

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    Re: ASF will this ever pan out???

    Well see if a diet change will affect anything, rats and mice don't normally eat their babies so hopefully the next litter will be better, good luck!

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    Adding new blood like that doesn't work with ASF. With 21 day olds you get away with it. Adding anything to adults is asking for trouble. Yes, your feed is off. My best luck is Doggy Food from TSC. You can add sunflower seeds if you need too.

    What are the temps of the tank? Under 70 F they won't do well. Over 84 they die off also.

    If you have another source for ASF. Gas the adult ones you have an feed them off. Any ASF that eat the litter or draw my blood get gassed. Only the calm ones are kept as breeders. Maybe you'll get lucky an the mice will raise them up.

    Paper bowls are great hides an nurseries.


    If your near the Eastern Shore of MD, I have ASF. I just gassed 200 to start new again. I have several young colonies I could set you up with


    Good luck!

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    Bogertophis (05-14-2020)

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    Re: ASF will this ever pan out???

    I should have clarified, I got all of these at three to four weeks old and raised them together. Wish I were closer I would buy some afs from you , I live in the Midwest. I put gloves on before I put my hand in the tank or these will make you bleed. Which I can deal with but not if they won’t raise any pups.

  9. #8
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I cannot speak for ASF's as I've never worked with them, but I've raised rats, mice & hamsters for several decades, & sometimes when rodents in general kill-eat their
    babies is when they don't feel they can feed them adequately...this happens usually with older females on their "last litters" but can also occur with new inexperienced
    moms. Sometimes they need privacy, & the optimum group size varies by kinds of rodents: if I understand correctly you have a group of 1:3? That might be too many
    females together. Also, wheels in the cages for breeding rodents is typically a no-no: again, I can't speak for ASF, but with all other rodents, they get addicted to running
    in the wheels, so even with babies trying to nurse & getting flung off & injured, the mom's will run in the wheels. Some mom's will fight over possession of the babies,
    to the point of injuring the babies, & then when blood is drawn, they become dinner. So I don't know how closely you've been watching these ASFs, & I can't speak for
    their diet, but just some ideas. I've heard they're the hardest rodents to raise but there must be some ppl around who know the secrets? If (?) it's privacy they need, try taping up paper on the outsides of the glass on most or all sides...I know I wouldn't want to live in a glass house either.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-14-2020 at 12:20 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: ASF will this ever pan out???

    Quote Originally Posted by Derby View Post
    I should have clarified, I got all of these at three to four weeks old and raised them together. Wish I were closer I would buy some afs from you , I live in the Midwest. I put gloves on before I put my hand in the tank or these will make you bleed. Which I can deal with but not if they won’t raise any pups.

    Sell? No, I'd give you a set or two. Google or Yahoo African Soft Furs for sale. You'll find somebody near you with them. Hit some rat forums an you'll find people that ship.

    If your wearing a glove to handle them they have to go. Handle the ones with the mice so if they make it they will be calmer. When I started with ASF I went three generations before you could handle them like mice. Yes, it takes time. Gas the male if nasty right before the females drop. Feed off the females at 21 days (meanest first, next day or two the other an repeat). All while handling the pinks.

    If you have a TSC near you, look for their dog food called Doggy Food. At under $14 a 40# bag it is the cheapest/best rat/ASF feed I use. It's dye free an for some reason that's important to ASF.

    Good luck with the little demons!
    Last edited by 303_enfield; 05-14-2020 at 01:39 AM.

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  12. #10
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    Re: ASF will this ever pan out???

    I also breed ASFs, been breeding em for years. I agree with everything else thats been posted here. In addition, one thing thata been successful with my groups is making sure they have plenty of things to chew on. ASFs love to chew the crap outta stuff. I think its a stress release for them. Toilet paper or paper towel tubes, small cardboard boxes, dog bones, wood caves, etc. If theres nothing for them to chew up abd theyre stressed, they may take it out on their babies. Ive never really had a problem with mommas eating their babies.
    ALL THAT SLITHERS - Ball Python aficionado/keeper
    breeder of African soft fur Rats. Keeper of other small exotic mammals.
    Butter

    Banana
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    Piglet the albino conda hognose


    Hoping to have a BEL someday, got outta breeding. married to mechnut450..

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