Alright, the question is, “How often do rats have babies?” This question is relevant, given how rats proliferate. When you find a rat roaming about in your property, never you rejoice! There might be plenty of them taking refuge somewhere but in your home.
The truth is, not many animals are as productive as rats. Given the opportunity, a single rat can produce an entire community of rats, consisting of hundreds of other rats.
How often does a rat have a baby?
A reproductively active rat will deliver between 6-10 litters annually. That’s how reproductively active the female rat can be. A litter may comprise 5 to 12 rat pups. Male rats reach sexual maturity in as little as 6 to 10 weeks, while female rats can attain sexual maturity and have the ability to give birth to babies between 8 to 12 weeks. Now here’s the scariest part of this analysis. Just a group of three female rats and males can grow to 1875 rats per year. And that number can triple within a few weeks.
Keep reading to know more about rats.
Rat Breeding: Interesting Facts To Know
Before you embark on your rat-breeding goal, learn about rat’s reproductive life cycles. Acquire a sound knowledge in this will enable you to make the right decisions when breeding rats.
Now here are some interesting facts about rat breeding. I think you should understand before you get started.
Rat breeding is the easiest. The only challenge is managing the growing litters and curtailing the animal’s high reproductive capacity. In most cases, you might end up having numerous unplanned baby rats.
Another point is that rats attain sexual maturity earlier in life. Your baby rat today can become a mother in about 5 or 8 weeks. Surprised? Well, we have more to tell you about rat breeding, so hang on in there.
Note: While breeding rats, try to separate the litters according to their sexes before they attain sexual maturity. Otherwise, you may end up with numerous unplanned rat babies, which could be challenging to manage. I am sure you don’t want that. But if you do, you can ignore this warning.
Do rats have a breeding season? Surprisingly, they don’t. However, the hotness or coldness of the weather can hamper their breeding. Put simply; it lowers their breeding.
Further, sexually mature female rats breed throughout the year. Breeding takes place 4-5 days, including during pregnancy. But this happens during early pregnancy.
Another funny fact about rats’ breeding is that their breeding starts in the evening and can last throughout the night.
Can domestic and roof rats mate? The thing is both species of rats can mate successfully. They sometimes indulge in it, but unfortunately, the offspring won’t see the light of day. It can’t survive unless a miracle happens, which hasn’t as of the time of writing.
Does a female rat reach menopause? Aging and menopause are two things living things cannot escape. No living thing will live forever or continue being reproductively active forever.
Rat age and attains menopause. Menopause in humans sets in when a woman is within 49 to 50 years of age. On the contrary, rats don’t take that long. Those tiny creatures attain menopause once they’re 18 months old. You can say it happens pretty too soon in rats, but remember they become reproductively active quicker.
What happens when menopause in rats sets in? You will notice several changes in the rat. One of them is regarding its cycle. It will become irregular. Then after a while, it will completely stop.
Note: Try to observe your rat and check if its fertility has waned. If it has, then put a stop to your breeding programs. The thing is a rat whose circle has seized can still get pregnant. The only issue of concern is that the rat’s pregnancy won’t develop properly. So, it is much like a waste of time and effort.
What age of rat is ideal to breed for the first time? The best age to breed your rats is 4 to 5 months. You will receive good litter, and your rat pet will deliver with ease. Don’t breed a rat that is six months and older.
The problem with breeding rats that are six months and older has to do with their pelvic canal. It would have been fused into a very narrow position at this age, making it difficult to deliver babies. You might need a cesarean section to save the baby and mother’s life.
Note: If your rat pet had challenges delivering at any point in its life, whether it’s an old or young rat, stop breeding such rat. You will only endanger the lives of the rat and its babies.
Breeding Rats: What Are The Purposes?
In rat breeding, there are different types of breeders. Some breed to feed their pets, which sometimes happen to be reptiles. Others breed rats to keep as pets and for shows. For the records, rats are friendly and make good entertainers.
They are curious and friendly companions. These types of rats are called fancy rats. The price of the fancy rat ranges from $25 – $100 per rat.
People breed rats for use in the laboratory. Labs buy them for dissection and experimental purposes to ensure the safest way to go about a treatment procedure before finally done performed in humans.
However, if you’re a reptile owner, it’s wise to have your rats bred. The reason is that buying from breeders to feed your reptile pets isn’t cost-effective. You will eventually end up spending a lot of money.
But when you breed, you save cost. Furthermore, since rats multiply within a short period, you will have enough to satisfy your hungry reptiles.
Take Note: Take proper care when choosing a doe or buck. Buy your improved fancy rat, whether male or female, from a reputable and trusted breeder.
4 Things Every Rat Pet Owners Should Avoid
There are different things you need to know and do as a rat pet owner. I am going to highlight some of them here, and please, keep them at the back of your mind as you begin this rat breeding journey.
1. Avoid selling rats to juveniles:
If you’re used to selling rats to kids, particularly children under 16 years of age, please stop! Never sell rats to kids at this age.
On the other hand, parents shouldn’t get their kids a rat pet, particularly children under the age of 16.
Why? First, rats aren’t the easiest of pets to manage or breed. You need a lot to have a healthy litter or population of rats.
Next is the fact that rat-bite fever is a common disease. Healthy rats can also carry and transmit the bacterium.
This disease can spread to a person through a simple bite or via mouth-to-mouth contact (yes, some people kiss their rat pet).
The rite bite fever caused by the bacterium, Streptococcus moniliformis, can be fatal if not diagnosed and given proper medical attention.
Take Note: If you’re tempted to sell your rat to a juvenile, ensure he or she has permission from their parents to own one.
If possible, speak with the parents about their kids’ plans. Or else, you might have some angry parents knocking on your door in no time.
2. A rat with no information about its history is not worth buying:
Besides rats, do not purchase any pet without vital information regarding the pet’s date of birth, treatments, and other information you think will help you breed a happier pet.
You can even get the details of the seller, such as phone number, address, or other contact information. The purposes of having the seller’s contact information are to complain or ask questions about your purchase.
3. Avoid bad-tempered or biting rats
Keep an eye out for rats with lousy temperaments. It’s a disease on its own. When a bad-tempered or biting rat is used in breeding, you can expect their offspring to have the worst behavior.
Instead, get a pet-able and friendly rat. If you aren’t sure, ask the seller. Don’t wait for a rat bite or a show of aggressiveness from the rat to determine the temperament of the proposed rat pet you want to buy.
4. Avoid making unverified claims about a rat you wish to sell
Sellers like using sweet words to coax buyers to purchase specific items or pay over the odds. It’s what they do to get deals done.
But if you are planning to sell a pet right, never make unverified claims, as it is against the law.
Check the sales of Goods Act 1979. So, you may probably get jail time using fake claims to sell your goods.
An example of such a claim is saying your pet rat is show winning when it hasn’t won a single show. Only use such claims if your rat has won a show.
Why Fancy Rats Makes Good Pets
Well, I know the idea of keeping a rat as a pet doesn’t appeal to you. I, for one, didn’t support the ideal until now.
When you see what those tiny creatures can do, how friendly and great of a companion they are, you wouldn’t hesitate to get yourself a fancy rat pet.
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, made the world recognize and accept rats as pets. During her time, Jack Black, a famous rat catcher, was able to train rats and make them do several unimaginable tricks.
Below are some of the reasons rats make good pets.
1. They are emphatic and smart.
If you think rats aren’t friendly, think again! Once become used to their new home and owner, they can climb onto your shoulders, lap, or come around whenever they aren’t busy touring the house.
So, rats are intelligent, curious, friendly, and smart.
2. You can form a life-long bond with your rat pet
Rat pets like to hang out. That’s something they don’t get tired of doing.
They also recognize the voices of their owners. So when you call, they’ll respond the same way as a dog pet.
3. Feeding is easy
Worried about the cost of feeding your rat pet? Please don’t be. Rats aren’t that difficult to feed.
They consume commercial diets that you can always get from pet stores.
Additionally, rats can eat a lot of stuff from your kitchen that you never thought was possible.
These include bananas, apples, and even broccoli.
4. Low maintenance
Do rats bark? No! They don’t bark; neither do they require taking a walk outdoors.
Thus, they are low-maintenance pets. They don’t take much of your time like other pets and don’t shed heavily like canines or most pets.
Take Note: Don’t get a rat pet for your kids or people whose immune system has been compromised. As for kids, they may handle the rat roughly and risk catching a zoonotic disease.
Rats become reproductively matured in no time and get on heat all year round.
So, before you bring two or more rats (male and female) together for breeding purposes, ensure you’re ready to cater for litter.
Remember, each litter might contain 6 to 10 rats. And rats get matured faster.
However, fancy rats make good pets. But it’s advisable to get your pet rat from a reputable breeder, so you’re sure you are getting a rat pet with acceptable behavior.
Do you have a rat pet or plan to have one? All the same, share your thoughts below.