youngest age to sell babies?

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Athena
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youngest age to sell babies?

Post by Athena » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:43 pm

whats the general age that baby rats can first be sold?

is 4 weeks to early?
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Re: youngest age to sell babies?

Post by littlebabyribbon » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:44 pm

I would say 4 weeks was to early, the sexes are generally only just split at 4.5- 5weeks. Breeders usually let the rats go to new homes at 7 weeks.

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Re: youngest age to sell babies?

Post by Athena » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:53 pm

thank you i knew i was right :-? i had a mini row with a woman in a farm shop when i was looking for a ladder formy ratties. i laughed and said'those rats arent really 4 weeks old are they?' she said yes i said oh i thought it was more like 6 weeks minimum and she said they would be pregnant by 6 weeks. i wasnt confident enough in my knowledge (as i only ever intend to keep a single sex after our mouse misadventure!) to sya anything but we are going back there on monday of next week formy sons birthday party.

obviously i dont want to spoil his party but i really feel i should say something, maybe i would be better to write? i dont want to complain i just want to help the ratties. by the age they were im guesing they are bred there on the farm :???:
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Re: youngest age to sell babies?

Post by Betterstar » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:14 pm

Athena wrote: she said yes i said oh i thought it was more like 6 weeks minimum and she said they would be pregnant by 6 weeks. :


:o So she's happy to send them off to their new homes, unsexed, at 4 weeks old? Am I mis-reading this? Surely she understands that if she's not going to split them by sex they'll just get pregnant in their new homes? At 5-6weeks old? Poor things! :(
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Re: youngest age to sell babies?

Post by daffee » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:16 pm

Sadly, the laws governing pet shops are pretty inadequate, covering just the bare minimum of welfare needs of the animals :(

There was a post discussing this a little while ago but either I'm searching under the wrong terms or it's been autopruned.

They are not allowed to sell mammals at 'too early an age' which is further described as 'unweaned or, if weaned, at an age at which it should not have been weaned'.

So sadly, although the NFRS does not support the sale of rats under 6 weeks of age, it isn't illegal for a shop to do so as rat kittens wean by about 4 weeks. It seems quite common for some shops to sell them this young, presumably it is to keep costs down as the shorter a time they have to wait the less they cost in food/bedding. It is certainly not beneficial to the rats though, as they miss out on a vital period of socialisation. :sadrat:

Athena wrote:i said oh i thought it was more like 6 weeks minimum and she said they would be pregnant by 6 weeks.


This suggests to me that they don't separate them, hence needing to sell them before they become sexually mature :-?

If I were you I wouldn't shop there anymore and would send them a polite letter explaining why not.
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Re: youngest age to sell babies?

Post by Athena » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:21 pm

Betterstar wrote:
Athena wrote: she said yes i said oh i thought it was more like 6 weeks minimum and she said they would be pregnant by 6 weeks. :


:o So she's happy to send them off to their new homes, unsexed, at 4 weeks old? Am I mis-reading this? Surely she understands that if she's not going to split them by sex they'll just get pregnant in their new homes? At 5-6weeks old? Poor things! :(


thats the thing though they were in a tank marked does. they defiately did look 4 weeks old they were miniscule! (flipping cute too)
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Re: youngest age to sell babies?

Post by Athena » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:23 pm

the thing is although technically it is a pet shop its part of a working open farm that is generally thought of as a good place for animals, they take in rescues ad i know for a fact a lot of member on here shop there as it was on here i heard it mentioned and then decided to find it (we are new to the area you see)

is it impossible to accuratley sex a rat kitten at 4 weeks?
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Re: youngest age to sell babies?

Post by lilladysez » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:27 pm

Personally I think its impossible to missex a rat at four weeks.... I really don't comprehend how they manage it with such alarming frequency.........
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Re: youngest age to sell babies?

Post by Athena » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:30 pm

so the groups should be split ok then in theory.

4 weeks still feels too young to me though :baby:
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Re: youngest age to sell babies?

Post by Betterstar » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:30 pm

It's possible to accurately sex a rat at birth, if you know what to look for. I'd certainly send them a letter, if they have a reputation for good animal care then maybe they're just mis-informed.

ETA: lilladysez beat me to it!
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Re: youngest age to sell babies?

Post by daffee » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:33 pm

Athena wrote:
is it impossible to accuratley sex a rat kitten at 4 weeks?


Definitely not!

Great article showing how to do it from birth
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Athena
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Re: youngest age to sell babies?

Post by Athena » Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:07 pm

so what is the difference, ad the reason why breeders wait till the kittens are 7 weeks old to sell them?
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Re: youngest age to sell babies?

Post by daffee » Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:16 pm

It is to give them time to mature. Although weaned off of milk at 4 weeks of age, kittens still need support from their mums and each other. Some female kittens will continue to suckle after 4 weeks as a bonding interaction. Waiting until at least 6 weeks allows the kittens time to grow up and get used to the sights and sounds of life as a pet rat. Generally rats that are homed at this age will be much better able to cope with the stresses of being homed than any that are homed younger. :baby:
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Athena
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Re: youngest age to sell babies?

Post by Athena » Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:16 pm

thank you :D
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Re: youngest age to sell babies?

Post by Cyber Ratty » Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:35 pm

daffee wrote:It seems quite common for some shops to sell them this young, presumably it is to keep costs down as the shorter a time they have to wait the less they cost in food/bedding. It is certainly not beneficial to the rats though, as they miss out on a vital period of socialisation. :sadrat:


The usual reason will be because the mum is being bred constantly, and her next litter will be born when the previous one is just under 4 weeks old. :(
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