I really was not able to check e-mail for a long time, and I know I must have missed many. I will be going through as many as I can, but I know there are a lot that I'm going to miss. If you are waiting to hear back from me, please re-send the e-mail. My apologies again, e-mail is the first thing to suffer when things get crazy here!!!
I have decided to make some major changes in the rattery. The first is due to health reasons. The family of rats descending from PH Amber will no longer be bred here. This is due to the higher than usual incidence of tumors in the females. Unfortunately, this was a large number of my rats, and many of my favorites. It was a painful choice but not a difficult one.
I have to advise breeders working with these lines to take this into consideration. Some of the rats descended from PH Amber include PH Misty, PH Ophelia, PH Chunky Monkey, PH Ditto, and PH Hailey.
There have also been many losses since I updated last. Most recently, PCKG Forrest, ANR Abigail, and PH Pheonix passed away. Forrest was about 32 months old, Pheonix was 35 months old, and Abigail was also 35 months old. These rats were adopted out in their retirement, and my condolences go out to their adoptive parents. I have also had several losses of my own in the last few months, and I will be updating my website to reflect this as soon as I can. I also have many updates to send to NARR, including a pedigree correction. On the NARR database, PH Dewdrop has her parents listed as PH Mojo and PH Pheonix. This is incorrect - her parents were ANR D'Artagnan and PH Zelda. I will be sending in the correction, but wanted to post it in case other breeders working with the lines are keeping their own records.
As for other changes here...I have been downsizing considerably. It is just too much keeping up with both rats and adopters at the level I was at. I've been growing smaller each year and I think that my goal number will be about 6 litters per year. I currently have 5 females that I intend to breed (plus several other retired/nonbreeding girls), and 9 boys. This is a good number, I think, and it will allow me to continue with my breeding at a level that I can truly enjoy.
The rats I kept from my last litters are maturing wonderfully. Priscilla is a girl from Trouble and Glitter's litter. She is absolutely stunning, she has the most beautiful head and huge eyes. She is a little girl though! That seems to be a trend with my rats that I am working to correct...a lot of them are smaller than I'd like. This comes mainly from the harley lines that I received when I first started breeding. Those guys were small, and passed the size onto most of my current rats. But my current rats have outstanding temperaments and type is really getting consistently excellent, so now I can really focus on bringing back the size! It is not something that will happen quickly, it will probably take several generations, but it's a work in progress.
I am also very excited to be planning my first black-eyed himilayan litter later this summer. I've always wanted black-eyed himis, and hopefully that dream will come true soon! I am also excited to bring rex into my siamese line, hopefully that will also happen later this summer. Eventually I hope to bring the two together to produce rex black-eyed himilayans.
Last fall, I decided that the rattery would be closed to visitors. This is a decision that I feel very good about, and I will not be going back to having an open rattery in the forseeable future. I do understand that adopters want to come and meet the parents/relatives of their rats, and I will try to post videos of my breeding rats and litters in the future. Hopefully that way, adopters can feel like they know their rats' family.
So my first step is to get my website up to date. The "Past Rats" page will be updated with health information. Over the next few weeks, I will be working to get rats' pictures updated, and I will also work on getting back to some of the e-mails I've missed.
A new litter has just been born, Milo and Buttercup had a beautiful litter of 9. I had a lovely surprise of at least one harley (she may also be rex - it's too soon to be sure) in the litter!
I took a few pictures yesterday...here is PH Priscilla the beauty...
Her sister, PH Gala...she is a bigger girl, not quite as typey as her sister but still very pretty!