I haven’t bred in a good 9 months, by no choice of my own.
The last few months have been hard for me. First, our litter of puppies caught a nasty case of coccidiosis. That was the first thing that caused me to downsize and stop breeding. We lost 3 puppies, it was very hard on us and costed us not only a good few thousand dollars, but much emotional pain.
A few months later, I was sure I was ready to jump back in. I started talking to Nicole of Black wolf rattery, as well as more non-local ratteries. I began pre-mentoring steps and learned a lot. I was about to be ready to jump back in as start getting new, better animals, until another tragedy occurred.
As the summer heated up, our AC unit burnt itself out and began smoking. Our house was a high 90F during the heat of the day. I had to find ways to keep the rats cool until it was over. A widow unit was not an option due to the build of our windows in the room.
I put the cages on the floor, which was made of tile. It brought the temperature of the cages to 75-80F.
Unfortunately, the dogs got into the room while I was at work. I don’t blame them, they are a hunting breed, and rats are prey. They were just doing as they were bred.
I suffered 2 major casualties: Warlock and Meridia. I caught most of my rats, but a few remained running around the room for about a week.
During that time, my rats caught a nasty RI. I took immediate action and placed my entire Rattery under quarantine, which I am still in as of this post.
This caused me to be unable to visit BWR and continue mentorship.
Instead I have taken this time to learn.
I expect to come out of quarantine by the end of this month, if not sooner.
I’ve had a lot of time to think about exactly what I want to work on when I jump back in.
When I get back into breeding, I will not be selling rats to any other breeders, except those I have become close to in the last few months. I will not sell many as pets, and any rats I sell will be older than 12 weeks after I have fully evaluated them.
I want to work on simple varieties. I want my main focus to be solid black and siamese, which go hand-in-hand with each other.
Conformation, temperament, and health will always be above variety.
With conformation I will be following AFRMA standards: Short faces, large bodies with a nice, fat taper on the tail.
I will be breeding temperamentally sound rats, they will be cuddily babies who have no issues warming up to new people. I do not want explorers, I want lap dogs. My rats will not fight when put with new cage mates, even with no introductions.
Anyone who show respiratory issues will not be bred.
Any line that develops hereditary tumors before 1.5 years of age, will be ended.
Retired breeders will stay in my care for the rest of their natural life, or given to close family and friend where I can easily keep close watch.
My current rats will not be bred again. Most of them are too old or do not fit my new breeding plans.