Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Net-Net’s Nest, Days Nine and Ten

Filed under: Mainely Rat Rescue,Rats! — folkcat at 4:10 pm on Sunday, August 24, 2008

Day Nine:

The fostering adventure begins! We picked up Net-Net and babies from her owner around noon, and brought them straight home. Here’s what the brood looked like at the age of nine days:

Net-Net is a very protective mother, and takes very good care of her babies. In no time at all, she had figured out that however difficult change might be, this was where she was raising her babies now. She made a huge nest inside the plastic igloo hut with the ratlets deep at the back.

I’ve learned the hard way how nippy mother rats can be. Net-Net got her teeth into the pad of my right index finger when my hand came too near the igloo for her liking. Then later, as I tried to move a food dish to another location, she got a solid bite in on the lowest knuckle of my left index finger. I could swear I heard her teeth hit bone, though it may merely have been my startled imagination. (Don’t worry – I’m okay, the wounds are small, and my shots are completely up to date.)

Net-Net is otherwise adapting as well as can be expected. And she’s actually pretty friendly – she is readily taking food from my fingers (and even leaving the fingers behind). And she lets me pick her up if I need to, without struggling. She’s clearly a well-socialized rattie. Just a bit hormonal. Who could blame her?

I learned from Net-Net’s owner that there are two possible dads. Net-Net herself is a petite, adorable, black varieberk. (Here’s a link to a nice guide to rat markings: Rat Markings by Emily of EaglesEye Rattery.) The two dads are both beige, one is a self and the other a varieberk as well. One of them is a dumbo rat, with the large ears that sit low on the side of the head – like our own Lola. This last detail is important, it turns out!

Day Ten:

I moved Net-Net into a small pet carrier temporarily so I could handle and photograph the babies. I took “portrait” shots, as well as belly shots. This will be the start of my education in identifying both markings and, most importantly, gender.

On my preliminary, uneducated look, I believe we have five females and four males. As best I can tell with my inexperienced eye, they all seem to have dumbo ears – which is probably the best paternity test we could have under the circumstances.

Here for your maximum daily cuteness requirement (MDCR) are the portrait shots of all nine babies:

Net-Net Baby #2 Net-Net Baby #3 Net-Net Baby #4 Net-Net Baby #6 Net-Net Baby #7 Net-Net Baby #8

I have names in mind, but I’m going to wait for the folks at MRR to help confirm my identifications before I assign them. Watch this space for more details – and of course, more pictures!

Net-Net at Mainely Rat Rescue

If you want to learn more about Net-Net and her babies, and how to adopt them (or any of the many other available rats), please visit Mainely Rat Rescue on the web. They have a special page just for Net-Net’s Nest!


Comment by Valerie in San Diego

August 24, 2008 @ 10:44 pm

Sooooooooo cute!! Thanks for the pictures!!

Comment by Emily

August 25, 2008 @ 3:51 am

Google alerts brought me here 🙂 If you have ANY questions on ratties, including pics of males vs females feel free to let me know!

For moody mama bite prevention, start wearing leather gloves, and gently removing Mum from the cage before handling babies/try to distract her before you snatch babies. Always give her a good treat as a distraction, but try to not reward aggression. One plus is usually about the time babies open their eyes, the aggression causing hormones backs off a little. I always make sure the kiddos don’t see mama acting out, since she will be the big influence on how they react to people. Most rescue Mums I take in, are horribly aggressive sadly.

For the bites, I suggest hot sea salt soaks… basically follow advice from piercists on how to ward off infection, and induce proper healing. I don’t personally seek antibiotics for bites anymore, but if you do, doxy is generally what is prescribed (I don’t remember the human name for it 😉 Goal is to suck out any infection, and keep deep in the wound clean (The hot water and salt soaks do this), since a rat bite caused abscess can be REALLY bad, esp in the bone.

I can’t tell on all the pics, but not all the kiddos look dumbo. It’s late though, so I’m too tired to look close 😉 The ear set is the same on dumbos and standards during infancy, but the top ears look more ‘pointed’. Sometimes it can be a little challenging to tell on an ‘elf’ eared dumbo, or rounded eared standard.

Such cute babies! I have a deep fondness for black rats 🙂

Comment by FRED LIBBY

February 5, 2010 @ 1:51 am

I never met a rat I didn’t like. I had three once but I had to move to a place that didn’t love rats. So now I’m in a good place where I could possibly manage two rats. I would never have just one rat because of the companionship factor. Ratz is the coolest creatures of all of them. Raccoons next, or skunks. Ferrets are great and I’d take in a Badger and a Wolverene. But Ratz is the most laid back funny animals. Love them.
Personally, I would love to have a wild sewer rat to bring up and adore. I am thinking to go to the pet store but I want a special Rat like a rescue kind of deal. I guess going to the store would be a rescue, huh? I want all of them to run around my house and drink coffee with me.

Shoot me an email at: FELibby@gmail.com if you have a special Rat to adopt.


Comment by FRED LIBBY

February 5, 2010 @ 1:52 am


Great website. Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by FRED LIBBY

February 5, 2010 @ 2:03 am

Mice don’t have the same kind of personality. They is cute, but not rowdy enough. I’ve tried to wrestle with a mouse and they is too small. Ratz and whatnot like to rumble. You know, tear stuff up.


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.