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The rattery blog will now be located at http://www.paperheartrats.com/blog

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litter updates

 I was expecting Buttercup and Priscilla's litters to be born this week.  Unfortunately, neither litter was successful.
Priscilla went into labor on Tuesday evening; she was having trouble, so I checked on her, and she had a baby stuck on its way out.  I ran her to the vet, and was thinking C-Section if we couldn't get the baby worked out...but we got it out without too much trouble.  Unfortunately none of the other babies were born alive :(  But she did birth them all on her own, and she's doing just fine now.
Buttercup must have absorbed her litter partway through the pregnancy; I was hoping that she may have had a baby or two in there, but no such luck.
I knew that this was a possibility, since both of the girls are older, but I am still disappointed not to have had either breeding work out.

My next litters are not planned until February or March of next year, and would be ready to go in April or May.  My other girls are all either too old or too young to breed right now.

I have updated a few pages; the specialties and varieties pages, available adults page, and pictures of some of my younger rats.  The rats from my summer litters are growing up and looking gorgeous!  Johanna's points are really dark and rich and Beadle is turning into a big solid boy.  Gulliver is still a little guy, but his personality is just super sweet and floppy!  

My husband's family is visiting from FL for the next 2 weeks, and my time online will be limited through the beginning of December.  Please be patient for a while when e-mailing through that time.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

new pics uploaded

I just wanted to post that I just took new pictures of Jinx's litter; they just finished uploading to their litter page.  The babies are 4 weeks old already!

 So far Buttercup and Priscilla look to be on track for their litters to be born in about 2 weeks.  I have just one more litter planned for this year (I am going to try breeding Inque again), and then the next litters will be in February/March of next year.

quick update

 I bred Buttercup and Jelly Belly several days ago.  I've been checking every night to see if she'd come back in heat again - which means the breeding didn't work out.  Well last night she WAS in heat, so the two were paired up again.   Hopefully this time it'll work out!  Buttercup is older, so it could be that she's no longer fertile.  If the breeding doesn't work out, I will try her with a different boy to see if that makes a difference.
Priscilla would be due to come back into heat either tonight or tomorrow, so I will keep checking her too. 
Buttercup's due date has been pushed back 4 days to 11/17; hopefully Priscilla is still on track but I'll know soon enough :)

litter themes and cute pictures

So I have been thinking about using "themes" to name litters for quite a while now.  I was going to start in 2011, but I've decided to start now with Jinx's litter.  Rats will be given names for my records and/or for registration, but owners can call their rats anything they'd like.  I have a lot of themes in mind for future litters!  But I am not going to pick a theme for a litter until after it's born - some of the themes I have in mind have mostly male or female names, so it will depend on the gender balance.  But I think it will be a lot of fun!


I also wanted to share some pictures.  I am always amazed by how fast rats grow.  I decided to take some pictures of Lovett (who is 8 weeks old) and one of the babies in Jinx's litter, who is about 2.5 weeks old.  So they are 5.5 weeks apart...and keep in mind that Lovett isn't a huge girl either, she will probably be medium sized as an adult.  In human terms...I guess these two would be distant cousins.






And of course I have to share these from when they started grooming in tandem!!





I almost forgot to add that PH Buttercup was paired with PH Jelly Belly last night.  Hopefully she will have her babies in mid-November.  PH Priscilla will be bred in the next 2 days to FHR PH Yomigami.

poor kitty :(

 Poor TicTac has not been feeling well.  He had to spend two days in the vet hospital and had to have  surgery.  He came home yesterday, and so far is doing well.



Poor guy!  
And sigh...his eyes are fine, he just blinks any time the camera flash goes off :( I can never get good pictures!  He's not too happy about being confined to a giant dog crate for a while, but he needs time for his stitches to heal up!

Individual pictures have been posted of Jinx's litter; they are super cute!  

New litters will be on the way soon; I will be breeding both Buttercup and Priscilla in the next few days.  Priscilla will be bred to FHR PH Yomigami; Buttercup will be bred to either him or to Jelly Belly.  I am leaning towards using Jelly Belly; since he is getting older, I may not have many more opportunities to have another litter from him.  My next generation of girls won't be mature enough to breed until next spring.
Both Buttercup and Priscilla are also older now; there is a chance these breedings will not work out either.  But I do want to try!

hammocks!

Well, first of all I have to share some bad news.  The last boy from Inque's litter didn't make it...he had a full belly, and was still warm with his littermates when I found him, so I'm not sure exactly why he didn't make it.  It is unfortunate, I had high hopes for her litter!  I may try to repeat the breeding in about a month, once Inque has had some time off.  It is an important breeding in my siamese line, and I hope it will work out the second time around. 

I also wanted to share some of my hammocks.  I recently got a sewing machine so that I could make and sell hammocks.  I used to make no-sew hammocks to sell, but they were VERY time consuming to make and it was killing my hands to tie them!  It took me a while to get the hang of the sewing machine, but the hammocks are turning out awesome!

I've made mostly pocket hammocks.  I will be listing them for sale soon on my site, they will be listed here...
http://paperheartrats.com/ratshop.html


     


Since the images are small, I'll describe each.
First is orange fabric with black polka dots, with black fleece inside, white stitching, and black ties in the corners.  Second is brown and pink flowers, with pink fleece inside, pink thread, and brown ties.  Next is a fun halloween pattern, black with some orange, lime green, purple and white.   The inside fleece is lime green, and the ties are white.  The next one is a brown fabric with turquoise flowers....the inside is turquoise, with matching ties.  This one was given to my girls to test out :)  The next one is a poinsettia Christmas fabric with snowflakes and Christmas trees.  The inside is blue fleece and the ties are green.  And the last one is a really cute Halloween fabric, black with ghosts and some sparkle.  The inside is white fleece, the ties are black.  
I also wanted to share a picture sent to me recently, two boys I bred on their first birthday.  They were from Trouble and Glitter's litter last October...meet Charlie and Remy...

And here's a shot of Jinx's litter from today...and my little dove guy!




New Pictures

Here are 9 days pictures of Jinx's litter. 

The boys...black and agouti, one that I think is siamese, and the other two still have me slightly stumped.  They could be russian cinnamon and dove, but if that was the case I'd think I would have gotten more mink or russian blue based colors.  But for now, dove and russian cinnamon are my educated guesses.  I was thinking maybe powder blue, but they don't seem quite right for that.
All the boys are rex, except for the two on the left.

 

These are the girls - two black, two agouti, and the likely siamese.  The siamese and the black bareback/hooded girl on the left are standard coated, the rest are rex.

some bad news

Inque had her litter yesterday....unfortunately there is only one little boy surviving. There were about 5 others who were stillborn.  My best guess is that they were too large.  The little singleton boy's ears are already open, which normally doesn't happen until they are 3 days old.
'
Often, when a female has just one baby, she will stop producing milk because they're aren't enough babies to stimulate milk production.  This is my first "singleton" litter, but I have heard of this happening many times.  So I decided to give Inque three of Jinx's babies.  This way, she should keep producing milk.  I was a little concerned that they may hog the milk due to the age and size difference, but each time I check on the new baby (every couple of hours), he has a full belly.  So hopefully the little guy will pull through okay.  He will have "littermates" keeping him nice and warm and should have plenty of food!

I am always impressed by rats' mothering skills.  Inque took in her sister's 3 babies with no issue, she just gave them a sniff and a lick and that was it. 

I really hope the little guy pulls through, but I think he'll be okay.  It was very fortunate that Jinx's babies are fairly close in age.
 

busy weekend!

 This weekend was the busiest I've had in a LONG time!  Between rat pickups and the dog show (and the leftovers of my flu, lol!), I was beat by the end of the weekend!  But it was a great weekend!

Katie of RTPK came out on Saturday to pick up her girl and to watch the herding trial which was a lot of fun!  The mayor came to watch and said a few words before the trial started.  He was talking about how our town has some of the largest black bears in the state...and right on cue, a bear walked out of the woods to say hello!  She was about 100 feet away...she came out of the woods into the field, saw us and stood there for a moment and then turned around and left us alone. It couldn't have been timed any better, and people were talking about it all day long.

Here are a couple pictures from the herding trial on Saturday...all were German Shepherds except the last, who is a beauceron.  










We had our conformation show on Sunday, and my Kessy did very nicely and got second place. The judge loved her power and high energy, and her conformation from the side, but her front is somewhat narrow so he couldn't place her first.  This will probably be he last conformation show...it's not like AKC where the dogs get accumulative points or a championship...this is a German-style show.  They get a show "rating" (either Good, Very Good, or Excellent) each time they are shown, and the highest show rating is the one that the dog keeps permanently.  So there's no real advantage to showing over and over, especially since Kessy is a working dog, and isn't from showlines.   Here is my pretty girl...who got an SG (Very Good) rating for the second time.




Jinx's litter is doing well.  I was a little off in my initial gender count; there are 7 boys and 5 girls.  They aren't quite as fat as I'd like, but they are growing just fine and certainly aren't "thin."  Here are the boys at 1 week of age...




And the girls...


I'm not going to speculate quite yet about the 4 lighter babies - there are many things that are possible, in a few days I'll be more sure.

Inque's babies are due tomorrow, I am excited to hopefully get my first black-eyed siamese rexes!  

I also wanted to mention that I recently updated my "About" page...paperheartrats.com/about.html

The section at the bottom (Through the Generations) has been updated with my most recent breedings.  It's been way overdue!  If anyone is wondering about my breeding history, what I look for in rats, and 7 generations of my breeding, all of that information can be found on that page.