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Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007, 12:19 pm
khep: Do You Just Run Away?

I am not a rat breeder currently, but I am doing a load of research in the meantime! I'm also new to this community, and have a question for you...

One of the most BEAUTIFUL rats I have ever seen was for adoption in a pet store. It was a little Mom and Pop seeming pet store, and I walked in while waiting for a bus. The rat was an adult male dumbo, with a stunning orange coat. The closest I have come to finding a coat like it would be an Aussie Cinnamon or Fawn coat, but it was more of a light bright orange than either, and it stood out. I don't know how to descibe it exactly, but *gorgeous*. If you wanted to work with the color of that rat, would you have ever used it (a pet store/rescue adoptee) as a sire, or would you have just gnawed at your wrists a little bit and run away?

I fully understand wanting to breed pairs with known lineage, and good temperment, and good health, and absolutely support that- but I'm curious. What would you do? :)

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)

My suggestion to you, as a new breeder, is to ONLY use pedigreed rats. Most breeders won't even look at you, if you breed petstore rats. Very few reputable breeders will ever breed unknown lines. Even established breeders will be questioned if they choose to use rats of unknown linage because those choices are frowned upon by the breeding community as a whole in all animals.

As a new breeder, your first impression is important in gaining respect in the rat community, and in working with other, and established breeders. there are already enough issues in rats (Suppressed immune systems, short lives, tumors, poor temperament etc), why add more unknowns when you should be seeking out lines with the least problems with get started with? IMO the best thing a newbie can do, is find a good mentor, and become active in the rat community. Learn the basics, and in the future, once you are established if you have a need to seek out unknown lines you can choose to make that decision.

Also, if the rat you saw was a fawn, 'everyone' has fawns. Breeders like RSCL, and ROUS have exceptional fawns, with wonderful pedigrees. There is no need to buy a generic, unknown rat for a usual color, when there are plenty of quality rats out there, with exceptional traits who show that color. Your description, doesn't make it seem like this rat is anything that isn't already out there, as by your description it was simply a quality fawn. If it was a fawn, it's a *very* common color in feeder bins, with breeders, and in petstores. Remember, a good breeder, breeds for more than just color.

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 08:11 pm (UTC)

BTW, what color was this rats eyes?

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)

I think it had black eyes :)

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 08:15 pm (UTC)

I would honestly suggest, attend a few shows, and do more research before jumping into breeding, esp since within reasonable driving you have a great, established local rat community. Also even if we Oregon breeders don't have what you want, many of the good WA breeders will deliver to Portland too!

If only you'd taken a picture! What petstore was this rat at?

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 08:48 pm (UTC)

I won't be jumping into breeding, no worries. I will probably be researching for the next few months, and if breeding occurs down the line, it will be after a lot of further thought, setting up, making sure, more research, possible pre-planned placement, etc.

I wish I had taken a picture too! Rawr! It was at a little pet store on a back road in Beaverton. It was a corner store, and I think the title may have included the name of the street it was on, but I'm not sure- (that sort of small pet store). I know where it is though, off upper Cornell Rd.

So how do you go go the rat shows without coming home with a billion new family members? The force is strong with you? ;)

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)

Was the petstore by the thriftway in Cedar Hills? If so, I know that store. I bought Albeniy from there in '98, and my first dumbo, and rex (Lillei) there in '00 I believe? This was before I was online, and before most the breeders in the NW were breeding!

My friend used to work there, and is the main reason that store did such a great job. She's a dog person, and helped them clean up the place. I've not been there to visit in atleast 4 years, but used to work at the saturday market acrossed the street from them, and would visit there weekly.

Most breeders never have rats available for placement at shows, only deliver pre reserved rats. Reputable breeders rarely have rats available at shows, because the waitlist for their litters is so dense! It's really not common to see rats available for placement at RatsPac shows, but some breeders do have available kiddos because they breed FOR shows (Since they live in BFE with few adopters), but generally those aren't types of rats I breed for, want, or need.

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 08:59 pm (UTC)

No, the petstore is closer to Cornell and Murray, I believe- a few blocks away from the Sunset high school?

As for the shows- goood, gooodd... it would be dangerous otherwise ;)

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC)

I don't know where that is... but I know the store I'm thinking is off Cornell. Acrossed the street from the Hi school pharmacy or whatever.

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 09:08 pm (UTC)

Was it the *huge* PetSmart in Cedar Hills? :)

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)

When I lived there, Cedar Hills didn't have a petsmart, or petco..... I haven't been that way in over 4 years though, and haven't lived there since '01!

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 09:23 pm (UTC)

It's amazing how much everything has changed! I left in '00, came back in '02? and the amount of building that has happened everywhere is amazing. Things are changing all over the place. I don't go to Beaverton too often, but when I do there's normally something new- just from in between trips!

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC)

Yea, I had to go to Forest Grove last year, and drove through Cornelius... OMG a totally differnt world!!

Nothing was the same, not even the Safeway in Forest Grove! LOL

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC)

And it was a little family owned shop too. Not a commercial store. In the same complex as the Thriftway grocery store, or whatever it's called!

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 09:21 pm (UTC)

Ooo address of the thriftway is: 12675 NW Cornell Road

The petstore I knew of, was attached to that :) It may not still be there, *BUT* last time I was there, in like '03 they had minks, and cinnamons. Likely out of Khatz Rats lines.

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 09:23 pm (UTC)

OH! Called The Pet Barn! I love google ;0P Somewhere I have pics of Albeniy, and Lillei. Both born and raised there. Like I said, this was before there WAS a local rat club, and breeders locally so I had no choice and didn't know better ;0P

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC)

Do you think as far as pet stores go that you'd be more open to adopting from there again?

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 09:29 pm (UTC)

Honestly, I have no REASON to buy from stores.... I have access to quality lines, and can get rats from pretty much any US breeder I'd like to.

Unless they had something extra special (new gene).... but in my case, there is nothing more I want. I have all the rats I want/need, and for out crosses, why would I want, or need to fly blind with unknowns? Why 'ruin' years of hardwork, but adding unknown ingredients to the pot?

I'd rather breed rats from fellow breeders who have the same beliefs, and ethics as I do. At this point, I have no need, wish, or desire to breed unknown rats from local stores. There is nothing they can add to my rats at this point, compared to other breeders, pedigreed, known stock.

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 09:33 pm (UTC)

As far as any US breeder goes, how do you feel about having rats shipped? Or do you find a way for others to help transport them from other states a different way?

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 09:35 pm (UTC)

I have no issue with shipping. I've shipped rats, am going to ship rats, and have plans to ship rats in the rather nearish future.

In the past, I've mostly done road trips, but that was prekid when I was young, active, and a 17+ hour drive was nothing for me ;0P

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 08:23 pm (UTC)

Oh no, I know I would have bitten my wrists and run away- though I might have adopted it as a pet-only rat, and compared it's coat later against others, I would have never used it as a sire personally. I am in full agreement with you there, and on the not breeding for color only issue.

As for the coat, I don't think it was a fawn. Like I said, it looked (and this was a couple years ago) like a much oranger coat than fawn, lighter than an Aussie Cinnamon, etc. That was the heartbreaking part, I've never seen a coat like it elsewhere. That's really where the heart of my question was- what would the people in this community do if they found something gorgeous they've never seen before?

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 08:29 pm (UTC)

Well personally, my roan rats foundation is from a petstore rat.. granted a petstore rat imported from France/Germany who lived to be over 2, but petstore none the less!

I'm not *against* breeding unknown lines, if there is a reason, and if it's being done by an otherwise knowledgeable, established breeder responsibly, but it will affect a breeders reputation, esp as a newbie breeder, and is not something to be taken lightly.

It's always good to work with established lines when you start, even if you need to look outside your local breeders in order to get what you want.

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)

I think if it happens again, I'll adopt the rat as a pet, take pics, and then put a poll out asking for advice once I have gotten to know more about it's personality and traits ;) That way I could either get advice on how to come upon that seemingly unique color with quality and temperment, or those in the know (and breeding community) could advise on whether or not the pro's outweigh the con's. Either way I would err' on the side of safe/beneficial.

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)

Yea, and my suggestion is *NEVER* buy an unknown girl to use for breeding (Though Staples of EAGL was one). As a whole you can easily "get away with" breeding a 2 year old unknown lined boy, but you can't really breed an unknown girl past 8 months, and at 8 months, there is still sooo many unknowns health, and temperament wise in rats!

That's my personal philosophy though :)

In the case of Staples, I kept her kids with myself, and friends. Her kids all lived over 2.5 (some living over 3), and she lived over 2.5 with no previous health issues before she contracted a strep infection.

Since her sons lived so old, I was able to breed them, and have had success with her line living long, with excellent health and temperament. At the time of Staples, I was the only breeder producing good merles, and currently am the only breeder breeding for quality merling I know of.

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 08:50 pm (UTC)

That's an interesting point about the ages versus genders and pairing... it makes sense. Did you keep the kids with you and friends because she was unknown?

Tue, Jun. 5th, 2007 08:59 pm (UTC)

Yes, I kept them close to home, and only with people I knew well because I wanted to track every little thing about them. (I didn't want the risk of an adopter "disappearing" down the road!)

It was a small litter which was helpful, and I bred her once, to an excellent older stud (1.5 years), with a wonderful pedigree filled with long-lived rats.

I have only just recently, after years begun placing these rats with other breeders. Staples litter was born early '03.