Hello everyone! I am finally making the post I've been too anxious to make, announcing the biggest mistake I have ever made as a breeder, my apologies for my absence (again I know agh 😥) and my plan to get back on track.
1. Starting with my mistake.
A week ago, cleaning cages, I put the girls from my most recent litter (Pippin x Casper born Jan. 2/18) above my boys in a DCN, separated only by a plastic level.
To my horror, the a few days later I came back to see my boys resting alongside my girls, all intermingled between the cages. All 8 of the girls had been with the boys for at most 6 hours, as that was when I had been in the rat room last. However, it only takes a second for rats to be impregnated.
I am now waiting on what I assume will be 8 litters. These girls are small and I worry for them as mums, but I am hoping that if all are pregnant, the births will go smoothly.
My vet has been informed in case of emergency, and I am asking my family for help making nursing bins for the new mums.
2. Alongside this, I have been absent from most communication over the past month and longer and I am so sorry.
It has been a long month of readjustment. As many of you know I was recently hospitalized for 2 months for esophageal dismotility and had a G-tube placed in my stomach to eat. I was very determined to get back to breeding as usual and was so excited, but have realized that I am not yet ready for the amount of internet work that I was doing before the hospital.
These two incidences combined have been pretty overwhelming and I am only one person. I want to be able to get back to all of your messages and answer all of your questions and am doing my best to think of ways to reach out and get assistance doing so, I apologize that I haven't sooner. I was stubborn in thinking that I could run a one-woman show when I do need help.
3. The plan
I have been talking to a few people about helping me out with messaging and some are "taking lessons" so to speak so I can get back to you in the most informative way possible.
I am also having friends help out when I am cleaning the rat room, and am so thankful to everyone who helped me out while I was in the hospital and afterwards. Their generosity is overwhelming.
At this time I am very scared to have 8 litters on my hands and fear that I will be overwhelmed here. I have the cage space for 6 full grown litters, and am looking for foster homes for at least 2 litters to help me raise these kiddos. If you are open to fostering I would be providing everything needed for the litter that you raise and give my full attention to helping you out via phone or Skype if anything is needed.
In addition to all of this, if those of you who haven't received messages from me answering your questions could give me a text to book a phone call at 416 892 2697 that would be amazing. I will be able to help you out better over the phone at this time I believe and will be working on getting back to the messages.
The boys from the litter will be available for adoption soon. I am uploading pictures as I am posting this. Availability announcements will still be done via email.
I am expecting at least 80 babies from the 8 litters. I am hoping that by some miracle none of the girls are pregnant in 3 weeks as 80 rats at one time (or more if all are pregnant) would be the most rats I have ever had here, and I am ill prepared but doing my best to catch up.
Get ready for a million pictures, likely some confusion (or lots of confusion) and lots of babies for adoption. The next month may be wild.