(Russian Blue Rex: a/a R/r Re/re rb/rb)
Black Eyed Blue Point Siamese
|+||Halcyon Wishing Well
Russian Blue Rex
|+||Brandywine Rambling Rose
Produced using the Ratty Corner Family Tree Generator
Bramble and her cagemate Phoenix were both in season and mated up, Bramble to Halcyon Quinn and Phoenix to Lovecraft Norwich.
As with Phoenix, Bramble has come into season again. She's now been mated with Quigley, who is an equally good buck but with different strengths to his brother Quinn.
Bramble has not put on any weight, and I'm assuming that she's not pregnant.
I've been looking at Bramble for the past week or so and thinking "She looks like she might be", and then weighing her and thinking "No, I'm imagining it". But she's now suddenly gained a bump and 20 grams and looks very much the expectant mum.
Which is all very well, but I've mated up two more rats now!
Bramble had her litter today, one day early. I haven't checked how many babies we have yet, but mum looks content and is feeding the babies.
There are 12 babies, 6 girls and 6 boys with an even split of rex and smooth coat. She's nailed the stats!
To explain, baby rats have tiny whiskers when they're born, so you can tell whether or not they're rex or not by whether there are tiny straight whiskers or fuzzy whiskers. With the sexing, you're looking under the tail at the spacing between the holes - boys have a bigger gap. It will be easier to tell at 10 days because the girls' nipples become visible, whereas unlike humans the boys don't have nipples at all.
Their eyes are sealed tight and won't open for around two weeks, while their ears are folded forwards and sealed shut.
We may have a mixture of black and blue. :-)
The kittens' ears are starting to unfold and lie flat against their heads, but the hole in the middle won't be open for a few days.
The colours are showing up more now. There are two black rex bucks, one black rex doe, one black smooth coated doe, one blue rex buck, two blue rex does, three blue smooth coated bucks and two blue smooth coated does. A really lovely mix.
Bramble has made the most beautiful nest, with the babies being toasty warm in a cosy chamber in the middle.
The kittens all have lovely shiny tails, as if they've been shaped from modelling clay, smooth and perfect. They nestle into a close pile if you put them down, all trying to be in the middle where it's warm and safe.
The two colours look very different now. You can easily see the difference between the rexy whiskers and the straight, and their little claws are growing. The babies feel like warm suede to the touch.
The babies' ears are a little less flat to the head today, and they're getting very active. It won't be long before they're bumbling around the cage. I left them safely between the layers of the photo blankie for a while today while I cleaned their cage for the first time. I left the nest intact as Bramble has been keeping that nice and clean by moving any soiled bits to the outside.
The babies have been coming out every morning now for a photograph, so we're getting nicely into a routine where Bramble goes into her cage group for breakfast while I handle and photograph the babies, and then she comes out for freerange with her group in the evening either until she asks to go home, or until I call them all back for teatime. Once the babies are mobile and have their eyes open they'll come out for a play in the evening as well, before Bramble's friends are let out.
The two fur types are just beginning to feel different to the touch, and the developing grippy foot pads are very obvious on this little one.
Bramble had some boiled egg as her extra treat today. She's having small portions of high carb/high protein extras to give her the nutrition boost she needs while she's feeding the babies, such as milky porridge, egg food, Vitalin muesli and couscous.
The colours are intensifying and the coat types are more obvious now. One of the black rex boys has a perfect set of white socks and gloves, but the rest of them seem to be fully self in both senses of the word, that is, the same colour all over as well as non-agouti. Their whiskers have grown all of a sudden, and the rexes have wonderfully wavy whiskers. Some of the babies have slightly flaky skin, but that won't last long.
I took individual photos of all the babies today and wrote down their weights and everything, and then got into a total pickle matching photos to notes. So I can only identify the black babies individually. Sigh. All the babies were either 21 or 22 grams, so a very nice even litter with no hint of a runt.
There are two different shades of blue going on in there. We think it may be down to whether or not they carry the red eye dilute gene that Quigley got from his dad.
The babies are getting more mobile and it won't be long before they don't want to stay in a neat pile. Their ears look almost ready to open up, but their eyes may be a couple more days yet.
Some of the babies will have proper standing up ears by this evening - the holes are opening, and once that happens they pop into shape.
Happy two week birthday! Some of the babies have eyes just opening, some have ears just standing up, but not necessarily the same ones. The rexy fur is looking lovely and crinkly. I wonder if the rexes will have a bald week at their first moult, or whether they'll just go a bit patchy?
Lots of peepers now.
Individual photos today! Keepers aren't finalised, but this is what we're thinking at the moment.
Almost had a heart attack after taking the photos. I counted the babies back home and there was one missing. A very long couple of minutes later I found her in the folds of the photo set.
No peace for Brams now!
Three weeks old today and they're getting so grown up, although they're still feeding from mum every two or three hours.
Proper little rats now. Or maybe tribbles?
Little hands xxx
Bramble and her litter moved into the bottom of an Explorer cage yesterday and are enjoying the extra space.
I almost forgot to take a photo today, so had to go back and take a quick snapshot.
I didn't have an opportunity to take photos today.
Four of the babies went off to their new homes this afternoon. Have a good life, Gloves and Poodle, and Cubit and Dittany. xx
Bert and Ernie went off to their new home this evening, together with Elmo and Cookie from Ruby's litter. Goodbye little ones, have a good life. xx
Maisy left today with Penelope Pickle from Ruby's litter. Goodbye sweetie, have a good life.
Unanimous Boots and Ulysses, together with Vector and Vortex from the other litter, met their uncles Oakley and Paddington today. All is good so far.