What to do about single baby.

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MistressSadako
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What to do about single baby.

Post by MistressSadako » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:00 am

I need some help please, I'm kind of panicking about what to do here...this is copied from the "Re: URGENT - help required with large rescue E7 - pregnant does" thread.

MistressSadako wrote:Well I checked this morning and she's had 1 baby :( I don't know what to do now, because I don't want her milk to dry up and the little un to die :cry: I can't stand to take it away from her, she's being such a good mummy, and the way she acts makes me think that someone's taken her babies away before. Is it possible to borrow babies if I somehow miraculously find someone who's just had babies, so that she has 1 or 2 more to help keep up her milk flow? I'm so sad and worried for them both :cry: This morning i opened the cage and tried to shift some bedding to have a look and mum was fussing and pulling the bedding back etc then she just came out and sat at the side - it was like she was saying "oh go on then, if it means you'll stop disturbing me!" I looked and there was 1 baby, no dead ones (couldn't even see any blood or anything?) and it was fat and wriggling and definately had a milk band. I don't know what to do for the best now :cry:


Any shared experiences will be brilliant - I think I have a few days before I have to worry about milk being produced. Thank you.
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Re: What to do about single baby.

Post by Cyber Ratty » Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:37 am

There are a lot of other new litters from the same rescue operation, could you move some of those to give to your mum?
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Re: What to do about single baby.

Post by PrideRavyn » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:17 am

There's also still the possibility that she will continue to lactate as normal - there have been plenty of mothers who have raised a single baby successfully, so I would not be taking the baby away unless you start seeing signs that she isn't feeding him, and even then in past experience I have found that if you have a mother that will clean and sit on a baby, that's a far better deal than if she won't - if it works out that you need to hand feed a baby, a mother that will do the rest of the job for you is far better than doing it yourself, so don't necessarily rush to take the baby away unless it's to be fostered onto another litter. The ideal option would be to borrow a few babies from a similar aged litter, and foster them on to her, have any of the other does birthed yet?
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Re: What to do about single baby.

Post by tabirat » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:22 am

The rats I have had here or know of personally who have given birth to one baby under normal circumstances (so no obvious illnes/bad labour/stillborns) have raised their babies without event producing enough milk for the baby and nurturing it as normal. Where there has been a struggle to birth of some virus or something affecting the litter the outcome is often not so good and bringing in some more babies would be my first choice. Taking the baby away is to me a last resort - I am sure rattie mums who are nurturing are distressed by the loss of their offspring. Obviously if she's not nurturing (not feeding or ignorning the baby) then another mum would be the best answer. Wishing you all a very hopeful future. :luck:

Once you start hand feeding the chances of success are greatly reduced. And if the babies suckling don't be tempted to try to supplement. Feeding is supply and demand... the more the baby suckles the more milk she will produce.
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Re: What to do about single baby.

Post by MistressSadako » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:10 pm

Oh no I didn't mean taking it away to try and hand feed it - I think it would stand much better chances just being with mum than me trying! I meant to foster it to another mummy, sorry I wasn't clear, I was a bit upset and frantic this morning! I've spoken to Lilly who is happy to let me take one of her does (she has 3) in the hope that she'll pop and I can share out the litters...does this seem like a good idea, or would I be best to leave her and baby be?
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Re: What to do about single baby.

Post by PrideRavyn » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:20 pm

If another mum pops, and that mum has enough babies that if you took a few she would still be left with enough to keep her lactating, I would definately foster a few over just to be safe. Don't go mad with how many babies you add - another 3/4 would be plenty as milk is produced on a demand basis and adding too many babies would drain her of milk for a short period of time until she could create enough to respond. In terms of fostering them over, just take a few of the other litter, take mum out (if you can), rub them over mum's a belly a bit just to add a bit of scent and then pop them in her nest with the single baby, and then pop her back in and give her a wide berth for at least a good few hours.

The first time I ever fostered babies onto a litter I panicked because mum didn't immediately settle and feed them as she had done normally, by bedtime I was convinced that she wasn't going to accept them, but I left them with her overnight as she was their only chance and by morning she was happily sitting on all of them like nothing had ever happened, so don't worry if she doesn't immediately run in and do her 'mum' thing - she may need time to count the heads a few times and then get over the sudden increase!
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Re: What to do about single baby.

Post by MistressSadako » Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:42 am

Thank you for the advice - very much appreciated. Have calmed down a bit now and have a plan to go to sheffield on sunday and come home with one of Lilly's does who may or may not have had kittens by then, and to then foster about 2 across to my mum. If there are any problems all kittens can be moved back across to other mum but I'd rather try this way first

Both mum and baby are doing well - mum Is quite happy to come out for yummies and let me check on baby, who has a very full belly and quite an impressive milk band! As I expected I can start to see roan markings. I so hope it's a girl because then she can stay forever :hearts:
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Re: What to do about single baby.

Post by ratoonratz » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:41 am

If you can, I would agree with the above and give her a few babies if another mum has some. One of my rats had 6 babies at the same time the other had 14! So, after chatting with another breeder I felt it would be best to spread the load :) I gave my mother of 6 another 4 - I put her back in the cage - she looked at her nest, she looked up at me as if to say, heeeeey i can see what you have done - but I will love them anyway :lol:
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Re: What to do about single baby.

Post by tabirat » Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:17 am

I am really happy to hear that mum is doing an excellent job. Personally, I would just be tempted to leave her to it since she's clearly lactating. Milk would usually only dry up now if the baby stopped feeding for some reason. Fostering younger babies over might work, but be sure to leave them with their mum for at least a day or two to get plenty of colostrum otherwise they will be at a greater risk from infection, as the colostrum in your mum's milk will have reduced greatly by then. There is also the issue of whether the babies will 'activate' her dormant teats (the singleton is probaby feeding from the same teat repeatedly) by that stage, likely - but not assured, so you'd need to keep a close eye on their milk bands and make sure that they were getting plenty.

Hope all goes to plan, and little one continues to thrive. Here's hoping she's a she. :D
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Re: What to do about single baby.

Post by RetroLemons » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:31 am

Good luck is all i have to say :luck:
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Re: What to do about single baby.

Post by MistressSadako » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:05 pm

Just to update, baby is 5 days old today and doing well! I swear he's bigger (i've accepted he's a he now :() every time i see him, and today is covered in beautiful velvet fuzz. Mum is still doing brilliant - and Alison yes she does appear to have one protruding nipple so this is most likely where baby is feeding from. He's now been named Harry, because he's the Boy who Lived :love:

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Re: What to do about single baby.

Post by tabirat » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:53 am

Awww he looks fabby - and well nourished. Clever mummy and so pleased he has a happy ending (beginning). :D
Love Alison
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Re: What to do about single baby.

Post by flash-gordonette » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:38 am

Aw he's so pink and precious :hearts: Well done!
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Re: What to do about single baby.

Post by littlebabyribbon » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:23 am

Thats great news he looks like he is doing just fine :)

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