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-::- About Me And My Rattery -::-

Hello,

My name is Anya. This is the page where you will learn about me.

What as a possible adopter should you know about me?
Well... I am a veterinary technician. I have owned rats for over 20 years and I have been breeding rats for over twelve years and counting. I am very open and willing to answer anything you may want to know.

Me as a breeder.
My policy is, my rats are my pets first. This means, I will never put them in danger or use them just to make money. I breed rats to give people the option of healthy rats who are well socialized and will make excellent pets. I will be choosy about the people I adopt to. If I do not feel you are ready or can take care of them properly then I will not adopt to you.

In all reality I do not make any money on the rats. The adoption fee pays for the supplies my rats and their litters need. Any left over goes into a separate bank account and is saved for the rats. I use this money for their supplies during the months I do not have litters and for medical bills. (When breeding you must be prepared to take a pregnant female to the ER for a C-section if something is going wrong. That can be around $500 to $2500 depending on what they have to do.)

I require a deposit to hold rats. If you do not want to send in a deposit I can not guarantee there will be babies left. I hunt down homes until every pair has a deposit on them. The deposit is a little more than half of the adoption fee. The other part of the adoption fee is due at the time of pickup. People pick babies based on the order that they sent their deposit in. Babies are picked from photos. I take photos around 2 weeks and 4 weeks old. If you do not like any of the available babies then your deposit can be transferred to the next set of litters. Deposits are nonrefundable in most cases. There are few exceptions where they are refundable; it is at a case by case basis and completely at my discretion. Your deposit lets me know you are serious about adopting rats and are fully committed to these little living beings.

Due to a baby rat being stolen from me, effective immediately, July 2013, no one will be allowed into my rattery without first placing a deposit on rats. This may be negotiated but you will have to provide me with your current driver license to copy the information. I am sorry, but after a baby, who as not ready to leave their mom and most likely died due to this, was stolen, I can not take the risk.

My rats come from healthy backgrounds. Their parents and grandparents are healthy as well. (Of course tumors do arise and I adjust accordingly.) I have traveled several hours to some good, reliable breeders in other states. If my rat develops a health problems I stop breeding them. If the health problem is genetic then I do not breed their offspring. My rats are fed rat food (Mazuri Brand as recommended by the veterinary hand book for exotics) and human food (cooked bones, steamed vegetables, cooked pasta (on occasion), fruits, etc.). So they are not lacking any type of vitamins or nutrients. Their cages are cleaned about every three days (Every Tuesday and Friday). Every day the levels are wiped down. The cages and toys are washed every Friday.

____________________________________________My Rat Cages____________________________________________

____________________________________________Girls' Cage____________________________________________

The girls' cage is a Critter Nation Double Unit. Measurements are 36"L x 24"W x 63"H and I have a tub in the bottom.

Lots more photos of the Girls' cage here.

____________________________________________Boys' Cage____________________________________________

The boys' cage is a Critter Nation Double Unit. Measurements are 36"L x 24"W x 63"H and I have a tub in the bottom.

More photos of the Boys' cage here.

____________________________________________Growing / Temporary Cages (Smallest to largest)____________________________________________

Super Pet My First Home Complete Kit for Rats - Measurements 24.5"L X 12.5" W X 14.5" H

Super Pet Large for Guinea pigs that I added a shelf to. Measurements 31"L x 18"W x 17"H.

Super Pet My First Home for Chinchillas. Measurements 30"L x 18"W x 29"H

More photos of the two cages here.

____________________________________________Maternity / Nursery Cages____________________________________________

The Mom's are put into a 20 gallon to nest and prepare for their litters.
When the babies get older (around 3 weeks) then they are moved to a 40 gallon breeder aquarium.
I will not use wire cages for the nursery cages until the babies are bigger. I have had and have read about babies escaping through the bars. I know this can be prevented however babies can also get their foot, appendage, or head stuck in the bars and become injured. I would rather just not have to worry. When the babies are 5 to 6 weeks old I will separate the genders and some babies will go in a wire cage. (I use the

I give them toilet paper tubs filled with toilet paper. I give them lunch bags filled with pieces of fleece and or brown paper towels / packing paper.
I do not give them a hide so that the babies will be exposed to all of the sights and sounds of the household. (This is another reason why I recommend that you keep your new rats in a room that you will be in most. This will help them adjust to you.) I have found that babies who have a hide are more timid and not as adjusted to every day movements and noises. Without a hide they are forced to be out in the open and experience things.

On adoption day because everything is so busy I will give them a hide. I also try to take out the babies (who are next to be picked up) before each appointment and put them in a 10 gallon while they await their new owners. This way I have the babies ready for their new owner and I am not trying to figure out which ones are which. (This is especially helpful in a litter that has a lot of similar looking babies.) I feel it is less stressful on the babies because they just calm down in the 10 gallon and eat some treats instead of going in the mass hysteria of babies running around and trying to climb my arm. This also prevents the other babies from coming in contact with people who are not their owners.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

My rats are never bred more than three times in their entire life with the average being one to two times. They are given ample time in between litters to recover. If they have a complication with their birthing, nursing the litter, or raising the litter they are not bred again. I take the health and well being of my rats and their offspring very seriously.

Most pet stores get their rats from breeders who specialize in quantity, not quality. The rats are breed for snake food and because some are colored they are dibbed as fancy rats and sold as pets. These rats are not handled daily. They are left to sit in their cage until someone buys them. Most pet stores do not separate the sexes so the rats are free to breed. This means inbreeding and becoming pregnant at an age that can be devastating to the female rat. (As female rats should never be breed before 3 months of age (as recommended by rat resource) at the very earliest. And they should be of healthy size and weight.) So you are chancing getting a pregnant rat. Rats can reproduce as early as 5 weeks old. Again, most pet stores keep the rats in small cages that are not well ventilated and often over crowded. They also do not always keep the cages as clean as they should be. This can and will lead to respiratory problems and respiratory infections. The rat will require antibiotics or it will become more and more sick and eventually pass away.

My Rattery's Policies

I let you know as soon as the babies are born what weekend they will be ready. (If I am unsure I give you two weekends.) I ask that you pick them up on that weekend. If you can not then I ask that you pay a fee to cover the costs of their supplies and care. I only factor 5 weeks into their price (If I choose to keep them for 6 weeks I do not increase the adoption fee.). For the extra time I am keeping them I have to house them in a separate cage, pay for food and bedding, care for them, and I have to continue to socialize them every day. Of course if you have only just contacted me on the weekend they are ready and can not come that weekend I understand. But then you will need to come get them the next weekend. Otherwise I will have to charge a fee for every week they are with me there after. Thank you for understanding.

If you own rats I will ask that the day you are coming to the rattery that you wear clothes that your rats have not come in contact with and that you not hold your rats that day. I ask this of all clients who have rats. I also ask that you do not visit a pet store 72 hours prior to visiting my rattery. Pet store rats are often sick and you could easily carry something home on your clothing or in your nasal passage way (like mycoplasma). All of this may seem silly but it is to keep my rattery safe and allows me to continue to have an open (allowing people to come into my home) rattery. Thank you for understanding.

If you use Carefresh bedding, anything like it that uses recycled paper, cedar, or scented bedding then I can not adopt to you. My fact page explains why. (My fact page has a list of beddings that are not acceptable but the list is not all inclusive.)
If you will feed the rats a seed mix or a homemade mix as their main diet then I can not adopt to you. My fact page explains why.
If you have a cage that is too small, an aquarium, or a cage that has wire levels that are not covered then I can not adopt to you. My fact page explains why.
Sorry if this sounds harsh, but I love my rats and only want the best for their offspring. My fact page explains why I feel this way and explains the knowledge I have to back up my beliefs. Once you read it and know how harmful Carefresh (and other beddings like it), wire levels, and seed mix as a main diet can be to rats I am sure you will understand and agree.

Effective 3/30/2015 - If you show up with the wrong supplies then I have the right to turn you away and not adopt to you. (You may come back the following weekend (remember I ask that you not visit a pet store for at least 72 hours before coming to my rattery so going out that day and buying the supplies does not work) when you have bought the appropriate supplies but you are subject to the fee for picking your rats up late.) When submitting an application you are telling me what supplies you are choosing. I discuss the options with you if you are unsure or if you are choosing an inappropriate supply. So you have ample time and information to get the right supplies. If you change your mind on a supply you need to verify the change with me. (My contact me page, my fact page, and my "Taking Home Your New Baby Rats" information email (it is sent out at least a few days before you come to get your rats.) goes over the kinds of food, beddings, and cages that are appropriate for rats. They also go over what is not appropriate. I do ask you to re-verify your supplies before selecting a pickup time. There should be no reason why you do not have safe supplies.) I can not guarantee the health of any rat nor am I responsible for any rat who is not cared for with the proper supplies.

I ALWAYS take back my rats. No judgement passed. If you can not keep the rats or you feel the rat has a social problem I will take them back. I only ask questions to better determine what I may need to do for the rats and to alert any potential new adopters about the rats' personalities.
In most cases I do require that they are returned with their cage. I do this because One: I do not have extra cages suitable for long term living for the rats to live in while they are being evaluated, quarantined, and then waiting to be adopted. Two: If you are getting rid of the rats, you do not need the cage. I have seen people return rats and then get another pet and use that cage. Which shows me they grew tired of the rats and I find it highly unfair to the animals. Three: Most times when I adopt out older rats who were returned, they are free with the purchase of the cage. (That money from the cage pays for the supplies and the time they spent back at my home.) Or if someone already has a cage I can sell the existing cage to pay for their care.
Depending on the situation a refund may be given. Refunds are given on a case by case basis and are only given at my discretion. If you just grow tired of the rats I will not give a refund, if you no longer have the time and/or money to care for the rat I will not give a refund, if it has been a few months and this is the first you have contacted me about an on going problem I will not give a refund, if you have not followed my advice then I will not give you a refund, ETC.

If something happens (a rat dies, you lose a rat and can't ever get them back, etc.) I will not take back the rat who is left and adopt a different gender to you. That is highly unfair to the rat you have left. It would be completely irresponsible to take back a rat that has no issue and then adopt new rats to you just because you "now have to opportunity to get a different gender". If your current rat is altered and you have vet proof then I can adopt the opposite gender to you.

I will not adopt out rats of the opposite gender to the ones you already own. (If you have females, I will not adopt out males to you. If you have males, I will not adopt out females to you.) If those rats are spayed/neutered then I will. But I will need to see the vet bill/record as proof.

In the event that you think there is a personality issue with the rat (the rat is biting) I will take them back. I then give three options.
1. I can take the rat back. (If you only have one rat left then I will require that you make plans for a new cagemate. It is unfair to the rat left to live alone. (Of course age will be taken into consideration.) To be fair to the other rat I'd prefer not to take back the rat in question until you have made arrangements to get a new cagemate. Rats should never live alone.)
2. I can take the rat in question back and you can buy two new babies. (I say two babies because baby rats should not be introduced to grown rats until they are at least 12 weeks old. This means that the baby will be alone for at least 6 weeks until they can join your old rat. This is extremely unfair to the baby. Rats should never be alone. After going through puberty, just leaving all they know, and then being kept alone it may change their personality. (I rarely adopt out single rats because I feel so strongly about the babies being kept alone.) It's also possible that your older rat may not accept a new rat and now the new baby has no one to live with. (They'd have to be alone longer to get a new cagemate.) But if adopted with a sibling the new rat has that sibling to live with.) I will require that you buy the two new babies and upon evaluation of the problem rat a refund may be given for one of the babies. (I will only replace the rat who has an issue for free if the rat shows that issue here. (I evaluate* them for 2 to 3 weeks. My breeding partner does an evaluation if needed.) If the rat does not bite here then I can not replace the rat for free because it may have been situational. (Your home may have been a little chaotic for that rat and it made them fear bite. (Each rat is unique and not all rats are for everyone.) There was mishandling and they now bite you and your family because they are scared. (It takes a lot of work to gain the trust of a traumatized rat. It may take many months before they trust a human again.) You were hand feeding/feeding through the bars so now the rat bites your hand when you hold your hand in front of them because them assume they are getting fed, etc.)) Most times I do not have babies available right away; it's advisable to keep the rat in question as a cagemate for your rat and then drop them off when I have babies available for you to take home.
3. I can take both back. Either that's all or you can adopt two new babies after evaluations. I will require that you buy the two new babies and upon complete evaluation of the problem rat a refund may be given for one of the babies. (I will not replace the rat that didn't have an issue for free. I will only replace the rat who has an issue for free if the rat shows that issue here. (I evaluate* them for 2 to 3 weeks. My breeding partner does an evaluation if needed.) If the rat does not bite here then I can not replace the rat for free because it may have been situational. (Your home may have been a little chaotic for that rat and it made them fear bite. (Each rat is unique and not all rats are for everyone.) There was mishandling and they now bite you and your family because they are scared. (It takes a lot of work to gain the trust of a traumatized rat. It may take many months before they trust a human again.) You were hand feeding/feeding through the bars so now the rat bites your hand when you hold your hand in front of them because them assume they are getting fed, etc.))

My goal is to make everyone happy but I also have to be fair to the rats and myself. Please understand that. The rats will always come first.

* Evaluations last 2 to 3 weeks. (Longer if needed.) During the first week I will hold them and interact with them as normal letting them adjust to the new settings. After a week I will begin behavioral testing. Basically I will try to illicit a bite. (I will touch them every where, lightly tug their tail/ears, look in their mouth, clean the cage with them in it, wash the cage levels with them there, pet them in the cage, etc.) I will do this for 1 to 2 weeks. If I do not get bit or I discover the root of the biting then I will not be able to refund for a new baby.
The root of the biting is something such as, the rat was hand fed so now when you pause in front of the rat they think they are being fed so they bit. Which means not holding your fingers out to them results in not getting bit. I will then begin to train them to not bit fingers offered. It may be a hard habit to break as most rats are very food motivated. But that was not a defect with the rat. It was what they were taught after they were adopted.
Or maybe they were mishandled (dropped, squeezed, tailed pulled, etc.) resulting in fear that lead to them biting in order to protect themselves. (Before allowing you to take home more babies I will do a quick physical examine of the rat. The rats leave here very social and healthy. If they return and there is physical evidence of mishandling/abuse/neglect then I will not adopt more rats to you and I will not refund you. If during the 2 to 3 week evaluation they display signs of abuse then I will not refund you for the baby you purchased and I will never adopt to you again. I also will alert other breeders of this issue and allow them to make their own decision. (This decision will not be made lightly. Rats are rodents, they are prey animals, so some are timid/skittish. They may also be nervous if they are not handled often. But like other animals they will display signs of abuse and it will not just be that they are unsocial.)

I do not support back yard breeding and the rats will come with a contract that states that you will not breed them. Breeding contracts can be given to people with proven experience in breeding rats. The contract will also state that if you can not keep the rat for any reason, you will return them to me (refunds are based on the individual situation). (I do not often sell to breeders. I would rather trade rats with them. Thus we would become breeding partners and help each other with our love of rats.)

If your rat develops any illness you will report it to me so I can make a note of it and adjust my breeding rats accordingly. I do not want to have any health problems in my lines and the only way to know is if my adopters keep in contact.

Questions?

How to contact me.

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