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Discussion Starter #1
If the mother rat is having trouble with a litter which is too large for her, can u put in another female rat in to help out? they are unfamiliar with each other though so would it be a bad idea?
thanks,

x p x
 

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normally people seperate does when they've had litters...has the second female actually had a litter herself or not? Sometimes people take kittens from a larger litter and add them into a smaller litter in the hopes that the second female will foster them you see.

Failing that if the females really struggling get onto your vet, or even pets at home sell it and ask them for some lactol, it's great to give to nursing mothers as well as the kittens. Just to help the bubs out a little bit, and it'll help make sure anything they get from the mother has as much goodness as possible.. presume youv'e been giving the mum extra protein?

Personally i wouldnt put the females in together, i'd be a little worried of the mother getting stressed and hurting the other rat or the babies,or the second female hurting the bubs especially if they're not familiar with one another normally, introductions can be stressful at the best of times, even more so where babies are concerned..but maybe that's just me. Hopefully someone more experienced like toyah, saxon or bosshog will be along shortly
 

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I wouldn't put an unfamiliar female in with the new mother.

If Mum seems to be having trouble with the litter you can try three things:

1. Remove and euthanise the weakest babies (which is what I usually do - because I breed rats as feeders for my reptiles)
2. If you have another rat with a smaller litter, try fostering the stronger babies to her (I've done this with success in the past).
2. Make sure mum has plenty of protein-rich food - the Lactol is a good idea, as is raw beaten egg - which you can also see if the babies will take off your fingers.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
False alarm :S sorry, my boyfrend thought the mum was pregnant again whilst already caring for her 2 week litter but she had just got relly fat. she seems to have lost that now though. maybe it was pregnancy weight? thankyou for your help though *hides*
Babies are now coming up to 3 weeks and the first one has opened her eyes. aww.

x p x
 

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NO, Don't put an unfamillar female rat in they will fight and possibly kill babies. It would have been ok if they had lived together before she had the babies. How many is in the liter? They are very good at looking after large liters you may be suprised.
Lactol is very good its very similar to baby milk and we just put it in water bottle you will get it from any good pet shop.
We have been breeding rats for years and never known a mother to struggle with large liters, and i mean large like 20 at a time. We also keep them in trios (2 female, 1 male) this works well because then they do look after each others and even put all there babies in one nest.
 

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I keep my rats together all the time for this very reason, all my females regardless of having kits or not in the past will lactate and feed the newborns as if they were their own.

In each of my 3 colonies I've got 1 female that never gives birth but feeds and cleans etc just like the ones that actually have the babies, even the babies from the previous litter will clean and look after the newones - love to watch them all cuddle together and naturally split their litters up. Many a time I can pick a female up who has both newborns and another females older babies suckling at the same time, rarely get any canabilism or deaths, even my retired male is still in with a new young male working with the girls, think he's well chuffed all those bodies to cuddle up to and no keeping them in line lol.
 
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