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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 08:23 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.