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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran Peter Williams's Avatar
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    Ok, I need to re-do my rat setup, need advice

    Alright, here's the deal, the rat set up I have now, is great and all, works fine, I'm just tired of filling water bottles, and having 1.5 rats in each tub, more fights, and possibly trampled, fought over babies. I want to build a new rack, but I'm not sure how to go about doing it. I don't really know what I want. I can't decide whether or not to go with like 0.1 in each tub to raise their litter on their own, and do I want to rotate males or leave 1.0 in at all times. And finally, what do I want to do for grow out tubs. I want them to be part of the rack (or have a separate grow rack).

    Sorry for the rant, but in short, what I'm asking is, what is your breeding recipe? Like what sorts of ratio's do you do and tub sizes and all that stuff.

    For anyone who hasn't seen it, here is my current rat set up, nine 54q sterilite tubs with 200ml water bottles, 1/2" hardware cloth on the top and a 1/2" drop down feeding hopper. Each tub is 1.5.



    And Here's my grow out tank.


  2. #2
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    Re: Ok, I need to re-do my rat setup, need advice

    When I bred rats before, I would occasionally use a wet nurse rat with new momma rats. However, for the most part, females should be separated, as some will actually fight over babies and try to kidnap other babies and can end up tearing babies in pieces or fatally injuring them.

  3. #3
    BPnet Veteran Argentra's Avatar
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    Re: Ok, I need to re-do my rat setup, need advice

    The setup looks good, the main problem is the numbers. With that many girls in each tub and no separation for births, of course you have fights and trampled little ones.

    I would try to keep it at 1.3, or separate the moms when they have their litters. Reintroducing rats is a LOT easier than mice once the group is established.

    As for the rack, there are plenty of folks around here who have built their own, so I'm sure they'll chime in.
    **Adriana - White 'N Nerdy!**

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  4. #4
    BPnet Veteran littleindiangirl's Avatar
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    Re: Ok, I need to re-do my rat setup, need advice

    I use the extra large vanness tubs for a nursing rack, and I use the medium sized concrete tubs as breeder holding bins.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ok, I need to re-do my rat setup, need advice

    I would go with the concrete tub style rack you can find a DIY easily.

    that is not my rack but you get the idea..
    The tubs are 28x20x6 and I just figured out where to get them in canada, I have been looking for months.. Here ya go:
    http://www.homehardware.ca/Products/...tc_40l_28x20x6

    you may have to have them order them for you but they dont charge extra and have them to you in under a week. I have also tried kitty litter pans with success.

    while your at it dont forget the watering system. Brian at grandview rabbitry is the best source I can find in canada.
    http://www.grandviewrabbitry.com/wateringequipment.html

    I do 1.3 in those tubs. Depending on your males you can keep them in with the moms but if they are aggressive I pull them.

    hope those links help you out.

    Good luck!
    My Collection: 3.2 Mojave, 4.9.3 Normal, 1.0 Het Pied, 0.8 Pos. Het Pied

  6. #6
    BPnet Veteran Peter Williams's Avatar
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    Re: Ok, I need to re-do my rat setup, need advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Somed00d View Post
    I would go with the concrete tub style rack you can find a DIY easily.

    that is not my rack but you get the idea..
    The tubs are 28x20x6 and I just figured out where to get them in canada, I have been looking for months.. Here ya go:
    http://www.homehardware.ca/Products/...tc_40l_28x20x6

    you may have to have them order them for you but they dont charge extra and have them to you in under a week. I have also tried kitty litter pans with success.

    while your at it dont forget the watering system. Brian at grandview rabbitry is the best source I can find in canada.
    http://www.grandviewrabbitry.com/wateringequipment.html

    I do 1.3 in those tubs. Depending on your males you can keep them in with the moms but if they are aggressive I pull them.

    hope those links help you out.

    Good luck!
    Wow man, I have always wanted to do that style but could never find the tubs, THANK YOU!

    Still looking for more ideas though folks!

  7. #7
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    Re: Ok, I need to re-do my rat setup, need advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Pwilliams58 View Post
    Wow man, I have always wanted to do that style but could never find the tubs, THANK YOU!
    No problem! I have looked everywhere for these type of tubs and even contacted the manufacturer for retailers then I stumbled upon a vague post on another forum that lead me to homehardware!!

    Good luck on whatever you end up building. You will fall in love with racks immediately. They are so easy to maintain compared to what you have now and the watering system makes life so easy. 1 Small tip, if you do go with the watering system (it sounds like you will) add a tiny bit of bleach about 1 cap full for a 5 gallon bucket to your water supply to keep everything clean. I didn't figure that out until after I had to clean the slimy water lines and plugged up valves.


    Richard
    My Collection: 3.2 Mojave, 4.9.3 Normal, 1.0 Het Pied, 0.8 Pos. Het Pied

  8. #8
    BPnet Veteran Peter Williams's Avatar
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    Re: Ok, I need to re-do my rat setup, need advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Somed00d View Post
    No problem! I have looked everywhere for these type of tubs and even contacted the manufacturer for retailers then I stumbled upon a vague post on another forum that lead me to homehardware!!

    Good luck on whatever you end up building. You will fall in love with racks immediately. They are so easy to maintain compared to what you have now and the watering system makes life so easy. 1 Small tip, if you do go with the watering system (it sounds like you will) add a tiny bit of bleach about 1 cap full for a 5 gallon bucket to your water supply to keep everything clean. I didn't figure that out until after I had to clean the slimy water lines and plugged up valves.


    Richard
    Really? That won't harm the rats at all?

  9. #9
    BPnet Veteran dacalio's Avatar
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    Re: Ok, I need to re-do my rat setup, need advice

    Ralph Davis uses bleach too, check out his youtube videos. I use 1.3 groups for communal breeding in those cement tubs. I only use this setup sparingly since a lot of groups don't mesh.

    I prefer to separate pregnant moms. I use the cement tubs as their breeding tubs. I place three males and up ten females in a tub. I will probably get flamed for this but hear me out. The males have to grow up together. If you throw in three adult males that don't know each other they may kill each other. I like this method because as soon as a female rat is receptive one of the three males will knock her up. If you use one male I feel you are more likely to run into problems. Female rats are funny. They will not breed if they don't like a certain male. Just watch Ralph Davis' videos . He rotates his females through the males tubs every week for this very reason. If you use three males no rotation is necessary and you need less tubs for breeding. For the females I place them in some old school Bush tubs that are about 15 inches by 15 inches. I usually put one or two females in each tub to give birth and wean. Sometimes I place three females in a tub if I start to run out of space or if the weather is really cold. I prefer to place females together that came from the same breeding tub. I feel they are more accustomed to one another and less likely to fight over babies.

    David

  10. #10
    BPnet Veteran littleindiangirl's Avatar
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    Re: Ok, I need to re-do my rat setup, need advice

    Quote Originally Posted by dacalio View Post
    Ralph Davis uses bleach too, check out his youtube videos. I use 1.3 groups for communal breeding in those cement tubs. I only use this setup sparingly since a lot of groups don't mesh.

    I prefer to separate pregnant moms. I use the cement tubs as their breeding tubs. I place three males and up ten females in a tub. I will probably get flamed for this but hear me out. The males have to grow up together. If you throw in three adult males that don't know each other they may kill each other. I like this method because as soon as a female rat is receptive one of the three males will knock her up. If you use one male I feel you are more likely to run into problems. Female rats are funny. They will not breed if they don't like a certain male. Just watch Ralph Davis' videos . He rotates his females through the males tubs every week for this very reason. If you use three males no rotation is necessary and you need less tubs for breeding. For the females I place them in some old school Bush tubs that are about 15 inches by 15 inches. I usually put one or two females in each tub to give birth and wean. Sometimes I place three females in a tub if I start to run out of space or if the weather is really cold. I prefer to place females together that came from the same breeding tub. I feel they are more accustomed to one another and less likely to fight over babies.

    David

    David, it's been my observation that placing 3 males in with any number of females is more likely to cause fights and death. All of my males are known to each other and get along. However when removing a male from females, he is given a night to himself to work that breeding frenzy out before he returns to the other males to prevent fighting by him having the smell of females on him.

    What could possibly be happening in your tubs is a free for all donkey kong style, and the female is being bombarded by males trying to get the goods. While she is in heat, she will have several males attempt to breed with her all at once. However, usually in the wild, females have their own hide to retreat to, and can choose when to be present, in a tub she does not have that option.

    This is a pretty stressful environment and is usually only present when colony population is nearing the maximum capacity and pretty much ready to explode.

    When populations are low to moderate, the males will watch over a group of females, and will fight with other males to the death if they have to, to protect the females and young.

    I keep my males separate when breeding, just to avoid the problems, eventually you will have a fight and a very badly injured or dead male.

    Ralph's method is different and I think a lot safer. I like to switch up males and females when I think about it. It's not on my top priority, but it does give the males a bunch of new females to get excited about and more likely to impregnate.

    Females aren't usually so picky that they will always refuse a particular male. If they are so inclined to refuse a male for a few weeks, it's always good to give them a boost by switching it up.

    Some males just cant get it done, and sometimes, there are other reasons for lack of pregnancies like health conditions.

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