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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran dacalio's Avatar
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    Leaving the male in with the females.

    In the past I've always removed any pregnant females prior to them dropping. But recently I've moved some rat groups into an air conditioned room (about 75 F). I'm astonished at how many babies these groups are pumping out. This is the highest production I have ever seen and currently I have less breeders than I usually keep.

    I know I'll probably get flamed by some for not giving the females a rest after each litter. But they all look fat and healthy and I don't look at my rats as pets, just food.

    These groups have been together since they were weaned. I haven't ran into any cannabalism or trampling problems. In fact, each female makes a little nest for her particular litter at first but eventually all the babies get thrown into a big pile.

    Anyone else have a similar experience with trying this out?

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran Bruce Whitehead's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving the male in with the females.

    I keep two tubs and move my male every three weeks, but I have friends that keep them in 1.3 groups and never separate them.

    They swear by it and have had great success. I tend to think that some of the females will manage to self regulate.

    I think there is a lot to be said for knowing your animals and doing what seems to be working.

    I know when I stopped removing my females to give birth and nurse their litters, they were healthier, more robust and the pups thrived.

    I think alot of that has to do with the communal aspects, shared nursing, shared parenting etc. I think that contributes a tremendous amount to a nursing female's overall health.

    Bruce

    PS: I probably would have flamed you a year of more ago.

    But the longer I keep and breed rats and snakes, the more I realize there are many ways to be successful that is not at the animal's detriment, and that there are factors that we simply do not understand and if we work with knowledge and experience.... then yeah, it is a good thing.
    Last edited by Bruce Whitehead; 07-19-2008 at 07:46 PM. Reason: cause i cannnnott spelll and stufff
    Praying for Stinger Bees

  3. #3
    BPnet Veteran dacalio's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving the male in with the females.

    You are exactly right, do what works. So many times I see people flaming others for doing things a certain way because it failed for them.

    I keep them in groups of 1.3 and 1.4 and they both seem to work fine. If I notice one tub gets a little overcrowded I feed off a few pups to balance things out myself. I use the big concrete mixing tubs and mazuri 6f.

  4. #4
    BPnet Veteran littleindiangirl's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving the male in with the females.

    When discussions arise in concerns to communal nesting, I always think about this article.
    http://ratbehavior.org/CommunalNesti...#CommunalAlone

    It's a good read.

  5. #5
    BPnet Veteran dacalio's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving the male in with the females.

    Interesting article. I wonder if the fact that females have less "down time" would compensate for the the possible loss associated with communal rearing?

    Also, I will say that article does not take into account culling performed by keepers. So in effect, that possible loss of offspring may be completely avoidable.

    I guess there is only one way to find out. Time for an experiment.

  6. #6
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    Re: Leaving the male in with the females.

    I have 4 tubs going with 1.2 in each tub and a 5th tub to grow out the babies. I always leave the males in the tub, if he kills babies he gets the CO2 and I get a new male.

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