big fat* boys ... breeding for size?

For all breeding, rearing and genetics related discussion. Kitten pictures may be posted in "Your Rats".
Purposefully bred litters of any background may NOT be advertised on the Fancy Rats forum.
User avatar
Athena
Member
Member
Posts: 1917
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:19 pm

big fat* boys ... breeding for size?

Post by Athena » Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:17 am

* fat as in big and chunky not actually fat as in over weight!

i went to a rat show yesterday, only the second one ive ever been to. As i always rescue my rats seem to be smaller than a lot of the show rats. Id forgotten how big some of teh boys can be! My question is, does anyone ever breed for size? or are healthy breeder males expected to generally get a lot bigger than a rescue male with an unhealthy start / lines?


Note: The thread subject has been extended to reflect the topic in question as this is often more effective in attracting relevant responses.
Zero, Penn, Teller, Jareth, Ludo, Sir Didymus, Bowie, Hoggle, Yngwie, Nuno, Dotty, Daisy, Dash, Florence, Josephine and Constance
Hattie's House rat rescue

User avatar
Snippet
Member
Member
Posts: 2450
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:43 pm
Location: Sampford Courtenay, Devon
Contact:

Re: big fat* boys

Post by Snippet » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:21 am

Breeder rats are often much bigger then rescue or pet shop rats because they come from better lines, and are fed correctly in their first weeks of life. It's not always the case though. My breeder girl is smaller then my 2 older rescues :wink:
Cara,
Owned by Willow, Fern and Nix
Missing Snippet and Frost

User avatar
LisaLQ
Member
Member
Posts: 7953
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:37 pm
Location: West Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: big fat* boys

Post by LisaLQ » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:33 am

I dont think breeders aim for as big a rat as possible, but they do take into account size/build/muscle when picking their breeding rats.

Not always aiming for the biggest, in my case my rats used to get very big very quickly and some of my bucks tended to be lacking in muscle and a bit podgy. So I'm actually aiming to get them maturing more slowly (both by breeding choices and early diet) and having nice solid muscle rather than bones, skin and flab :lol:

User avatar
a_wee_one
Member
Member
Posts: 657
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:01 am
Location: From Scunthorpe, now living in Rawcliffe, near Goole

Re: big fat* boys

Post by a_wee_one » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:57 pm

One of my 7 week old boys from my surprise litter is almost as large as his brother who is approximately 3 months old and weighs just over 300g. They look like twinnies! :o
Chubbo, Bill, Ted, Bo Diddly, Bo Derek, Brain, Daisy, Ruby, Rusty, Cthulhu, Dagon, Winston, Adrian, Lionel , N'yarlothep, Dotty, Ermintrude, Twiglet, Boo

RIP William, Orinoco, Wellington, Minni, Mabel, Ivy, Maude, Doris, Rico Suavé, Runty Rocky, Pinky

User avatar
Betterstar
Member
Member
Posts: 3952
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 4:01 pm
Location: N. Yorks

Re: big fat* boys

Post by Betterstar » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:05 pm

I think a lot of boys you see in tanks at shows are fat, not just nice and chunky :oops:.. there does seem to be a tendency to breed boys to be "squishy" because that's what owners want, which some breeders are guilty of moreso than others!
Sian & Boojum, Minnow, Poot, Esme, Oak, Burdock, Ptarmigan, Blunder and Jacques.
Missing Hugo, Krindle, Dandelion, Baron, Winder, Snark, Snapcase, Snufkin, Twirl, Somer, Musket, Hodgkins, Urs.

User avatar
LisaLQ
Member
Member
Posts: 7953
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:37 pm
Location: West Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: big fat* boys ... breeding for size?

Post by LisaLQ » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:24 pm

I dont think you'll find any fatties doing well at shows. You'll see them more in pet class, but not in varieties, and if you do, they'll be the one with the clever comments on their critiques about sitting too near the food bowl.

Plus, you cant breed a fat rat. You can feed one til it gets fat though. Even if a line has a tendency to gain weight easily, it's up to the owners to regulate their food so that they dont get fat in the first place. Breeders are only guilty if the rats are in their care, to suggest it's the breeder's fault that someone's pet rat gets fat is ridiculous.

User avatar
Betterstar
Member
Member
Posts: 3952
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 4:01 pm
Location: N. Yorks

Re: big fat* boys ... breeding for size?

Post by Betterstar » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:44 pm

I do think it's down to breeders to breed away from that tendency to gain weight though, battling obesity shouldn't be the owners responsibility and not all owners are going to be knowledgeable enough to faff around with changing diets, feeding different rats within a group different things etc. In my experience it's as difficult to keep a genetically fat rat slim as it is to make a nice, slender, athletic rat fat.

I don't really pay attention to what class the rats are in at shows, if there really are more overweight rats in pet tanks that just goes to show that there does seem to be an attitude that chubby, lazy boys make better pets, which I think is really sad.
Sian & Boojum, Minnow, Poot, Esme, Oak, Burdock, Ptarmigan, Blunder and Jacques.
Missing Hugo, Krindle, Dandelion, Baron, Winder, Snark, Snapcase, Snufkin, Twirl, Somer, Musket, Hodgkins, Urs.

User avatar
LisaLQ
Member
Member
Posts: 7953
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:37 pm
Location: West Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: big fat* boys ... breeding for size?

Post by LisaLQ » Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:15 pm

You must go to different shows than I do. You used to see a lot of fatties at some shows, and still do, but I know when I'm judging pet class I will say when someone's rat is overweight, and I know in varieties they're even tougher.

It is up to the owner to feed their rats accordingly. Breeders do not make fat rats, owners do.

Why should the breeder "breed away" from overweight rats when theirs are not showing any weight gain with a normal healthy diet, just the ones in pet homes? And how would you say they do that? :lol:

Edited to add: I know I'm not the only one to have had an owner say their rats had genetic obesity, only to show pics of their unrelated cage mates and see they're just as obese...

User avatar
Betterstar
Member
Member
Posts: 3952
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 4:01 pm
Location: N. Yorks

Re: big fat* boys ... breeding for size?

Post by Betterstar » Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:45 pm

LisaLQ wrote: Why should the breeder "breed away" from overweight rats when theirs are not showing any weight gain with a normal healthy diet, just the ones in pet homes? And how would you say they do that? :lol:
Because the vast majority of their rats will be in pet homes. If rats homed to pet homes are getting fat then that's something a breeder should consider - isn't that the whole point of maintaining contact with pet homes, so breeders can see what's going on with their rats once homed and breed away from problems?

ETA: in answer to the second question, I don't know. I'm not a breeder :wink:. If rats in pet homes have a higher tendency to develop respiratory problems then that's something a breeder would be able to select against, why not obesity?
Sian & Boojum, Minnow, Poot, Esme, Oak, Burdock, Ptarmigan, Blunder and Jacques.
Missing Hugo, Krindle, Dandelion, Baron, Winder, Snark, Snapcase, Snufkin, Twirl, Somer, Musket, Hodgkins, Urs.

User avatar
Betterstar
Member
Member
Posts: 3952
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 4:01 pm
Location: N. Yorks

Re: big fat* boys ... breeding for size?

Post by Betterstar » Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:53 pm

Also,
LisaLQ wrote:You used to see a lot of fatties at some shows, and still do.
That's all I was saying. A lot of boys at shows are overweight. Not most, not all, but a lot. Glad we agree :lol:
Sian & Boojum, Minnow, Poot, Esme, Oak, Burdock, Ptarmigan, Blunder and Jacques.
Missing Hugo, Krindle, Dandelion, Baron, Winder, Snark, Snapcase, Snufkin, Twirl, Somer, Musket, Hodgkins, Urs.

User avatar
LisaLQ
Member
Member
Posts: 7953
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:37 pm
Location: West Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: big fat* boys ... breeding for size?

Post by LisaLQ » Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:00 pm

You see an awful lot of tiny rats though. But it's unfair to suggest all breeders make tiny rats based on that, dont you think?
Because the vast majority of their rats will be in pet homes. If rats homed to pet homes are getting fat then that's something a breeder should consider - isn't that the whole point of maintaining contact with pet homes, so breeders can see what's going on with their rats once homed and breed away from problems?
Ok, I'll try explaining in an easier way. Say breeder A produced a litter of rats. He/she keeps 3 or 4, the rest are pet homed. Say owner A is the only owner, out of 3 or 4, whose rats get overweight. That owner proceeds to share photos on forums, and complain about their rat having "genetic obesity". All the other owners, including the breeder, followed normal diet advice and didn't overfeed, and their rats are healthy and normal. Is breeder A supposed to alter their breeding plans because one owner couldn't put away the treats and would prefer to blame the breeder than their own poor care? :lol:

For info, on a side note, if I didn't keep in touch with my owners, I wouldn't know these things.
If rats in pet homes have a higher tendency to develop respiratory problems then that's something a breeder would be able to select against, why not obesity?
You cannot compare something that is more likely to be isolated to one or two owners, and owner fault (said with lots of love as my owners know what I mean lol) to something that isn't preventable by the owner.

I would be very concerned if any of my rats have/had health issues related to their genetics, but I wouldn't be overly concerned if one of my owners loved their rats a little too much and didn't prevent their obesity while they could.

User avatar
LisaLQ
Member
Member
Posts: 7953
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:37 pm
Location: West Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: big fat* boys ... breeding for size?

Post by LisaLQ » Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:02 pm

Ps. Other than concerned for their welfare, of course.

User avatar
ratoonratz
Member
Member
Posts: 2183
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:19 am
Location: Middlesbrough
Contact:

Re: big fat* boys ... breeding for size?

Post by ratoonratz » Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:11 pm

I think the problem is ita very easy to overfeed any rats no matter who breeds them (i breed myself). In my experience controlling my rats portion sizes really helps avoid weight gain and losing weight. It is the pet owners responsibility to gain the correct information on dietry requiements and take responsibility when the rat is getting fat. I do agree some rats are predisposed to getting fat but unless they become really inactive due to age/ health issues i think any weight issues can generally be overcome :) i do agree that alot of people do find fat rats attractive but personally i dont agee with this and when judging pets i comment if a rat is overweight just in the way as im training to be a variety judge and wouls considwr weight gain to not be good for the ratsvcondition
Lizzi and the Rats at Ratoon Stud - Breeding for russian blue agouti essex and russian siamese
*Love all my ratties more than life itself :hearts:*
~Galaxy~ forever in my heart and dreams - part of me went with you - until we meet again xxx

User avatar
Betterstar
Member
Member
Posts: 3952
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 4:01 pm
Location: N. Yorks

Re: big fat* boys ... breeding for size?

Post by Betterstar » Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:21 pm

I'm not saying owners should be able to "feed what they like and not have to worry about their weight", to quote your charming comment on Facebook :wink:, of course they shouldn't! Nor am I accusing you of having fat rats - I don't think I've ever met a Bohemian rat. I just don't think it's entirely out of the breeders hands once the rat has left their home.

We're obviously seeing things from completely opposite sides of the argument(/discussion). We have two rats from a breeder who would balloon if we fed them more than we do, they are chubby enough as it is! We were informed when we said yes to having them that one of the lines involved in making them had/has a tendency to gain weight and this was something to keep an eye on, and something the breeder wasn't going to be encouraging when she bred from their siblings. This is what I'm talking about, not owners who feed their rats until they're stupidly fat.

I'm walking away from this now, it's getting a little bit ridiculous.
Sian & Boojum, Minnow, Poot, Esme, Oak, Burdock, Ptarmigan, Blunder and Jacques.
Missing Hugo, Krindle, Dandelion, Baron, Winder, Snark, Snapcase, Snufkin, Twirl, Somer, Musket, Hodgkins, Urs.

User avatar
SuzyN
Member
Member
Posts: 1016
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:27 pm
Location: Gloucestershire.
Contact:

Re: big fat* boys ... breeding for size?

Post by SuzyN » Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:28 pm

Sadly a lot of pet homes do think they are being kind by giving excessive treats to their rats and overfeeding them. All of our rats leave here with a suggested diet sheet, a starter pack of the food that they are used to and lots of advice and encouragement to contact us with even the most minor of problems, we never mind. We also request updates and most owners are brilliant and come back with really positive responses, occasionally they will say that their ratty is getting a bit on the larger size, it is really a case of cutting down the amount of food that they are given. If we overeat, we put on weight, and the same applies to any animal. It is not kind to them to allow them to carry excess weight and risk a shorter life span. So like us, all things in moderation. :wink: I don't think that the majority of rats in show tanks are fat, you might see the odd one from time to time, but I do feel that if you are showing rats, then you do pay more attention to any weight issues. :hearts:
All of our past ratties will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Aquarius Stud breeding for British Blue, British Blue Agouti and Black, also from 2011 Burmese, Wheaten Burmese, Siamese, Golden Himalayan.
http://www.aquariusrattery.co.uk

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests