Breeding for health, temperament and longevity in Russian blue based colours, agouti and black, Essex markings and unmarked.
Due to finances and family commitments, I am not planning to breed any further litters. Check out The Midlands Rat Club for a list of breeders in the Midlands.
Details of who I am and my breeding plans/ethics are available using the menu on the left of your screen. If you can't see the menu, click here to open it. I'm doing my best to be completely open and honest in how I'm breeding and homing, but if anything is unclear please email me and I'll do my best to give an explanation. I'm trying to make this page a quick summary of what you need to know, so you can move on to someone else if you don't agree with my way of doing things.
I've also set up a facebook group so you can follow my recent litters and see how things are going.
My rat keeping and breeding does not earn me a wage; it makes a substantial loss. I breed two to four litters each year and keep several of the kittens myself for breeding, showing and my own enjoyment of ratness. The remaining kittens are generally reserved before they are born, so I will not usually have any available immediately. The dates will be shown on my kittens page. The kittens are usually ready to go to their new homes at around seven weeks of age. I do not home my adults; they are my pets and are here to stay. In fact I'm not that good at homing out my kittens either, and the majority of each litter usually stays here.
Although I am aiming to achieve show standards my rat kittens are not guaranteed to be of show quality. My interest is more towards breeding rats as good pets than in winning rosettes. My driving passion is to extend the lifespan of my rats, both by breeding and adjusting environment.
My rats do not always have perfect health throughout their lives. Their main worry is chronic respiratory disease, which seems to affect a few rats from each generation. Thankfully I have rarely bred down from those who subsequently developed this problem, mostly due to good luck, I think, so anticipate that the incidence will fall as time goes on. We have also had some mammary lumps on the females, but again those that I have bred down from have had them late in life (or not at all) and I hope to push this age back to the point where lumps do not occur during their lifetime.
My rats are inbred. If this idea bothers you, please read this forum thread on Fancy Rats and/or this article on inbreeding on spoiledratten.com, and if it still worries you, you will need to find your ratty babies elsewhere.
The kittens will be available in same sex pairs or trios. I keep a waiting list, and will contact you when rats are available. I will want to meet you and chat with you before I home rats with you. I will also ask you to sign a no-breeding agreement and to keep me updated on their health and temperament throughout their lives. I would be delighted to have your comments and photographs to update the litter's pages in the future.
You will usually need to come to my home to collect your rats. On occasion I may be attending a rat show and be able to pre-arrange a hand over. However I am not happy to transport rats through a third party unless I already know you very well.
Once I've received your application form I will email back to acknowledge it, and to discuss any points needed.
When a litter is born, I will wait until they are about 10 days old to be certain of their sex. I generally plan to keep two does and two bucks myself, but this tends to rise once I get to know them. Once I know how many of each sex I have available to home I will contact each person on the waiting list in turn over the next couple of weeks to make sure they haven't found their babies elsewhere. I don't always do this in a strictly 'fair' way. Friends and people who have had my rats in the past tend to get priority because it makes it easier for me to part with the babies when I'm completely confident with where they're going. I know this makes it hard for new rat owners, but I'm not running a business here, I'm running a hobby that I'm very emotionally invested in. If I had the space, time and money I would keep all of the babies.
I'm usually not sure which ones I'll be keeping until they're about four weeks old. Also if there are a lot of a similar colours it helps if the kittens can each be paired with a different colour for homing, so there's a bit of juggling there. Once I know which I'm keeping I work down the list asking each person if they have a preference on which of the remaining kittens they would like. Obviously there comes a point where someone will not get a choice of kittens.
If you are on my list and see that I have a new litter, it's worth getting in touch just to make sure I have your latest contact details and know that you're still interested. If I've not got in touch for a while, please feel free to check in as I suffer from brain fade and do make stoopid mistakes fairly often - I assure you it's nothing personal, just idiocy at work.