Visit to a rodent farm (with pics!)

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Tunguska
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Visit to a rodent farm (with pics!)

Post by Tunguska » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:34 am

Mod note: This article here about the rodent trade is well worth reading before or after viewing these pictures.

http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/information ... ompetshops


I study Animal Sciences in the Netherlands and part of my extracurricular activities consists of being a board member of a commission which organizes excursions to companion animal related companies. One of my co board members is into mouse breeding and, through another mouse breeder, she came into contact with a person who breeds rodents and rabbits for profit. In short, I've been on an excursion to a rodent farm.

Although I do not agree with the concept of roden farms, I do appreciate the fact that this breeder agreed to show us his company and was very friendly and open about any questions we asked, and we were allowed to take all the pictures we wanted. So for now, I will leave the ethics to you; I will present the facts as they were presented to me and show you the pictures I took.

This man breeds fancy mice, feeder mice, rats, hamsters (all common species), guinea pigs, rabbits, lemmings (not sure if that's the English word), degus and gerbils. He also had a few ornamental birds and a couple of owls. The rats are housed in pairs or in groups of three; lactating does are housed seperately with their young. The does are constantly pregnant or lactating. When they are done breeding, they become snake food; the same goes for ill and old rats or those that cannot be sold (deformities, etc). The rats are fed rodent blocks and a few extras like bread, cat kibble and some vegetables. They are kept on a Hemp type bedding.

He breeds all kinds of rats: double rex, naked, rex, dumbo, but also top-eared, normal fur, etc. The rats are of various colors but he is most proud of his blues, who are price winning. He showed a blue male that sat very quietly and contently in his arms; this rat was only handled once a week, during clean out, and even so it was sweet as pie. He particularly appreciated the character of blues, who he said were tamer (although I suspect this can be attributed to his 'lines' rather than the color as a whole). For new varieties, blood and upkeep, he obtains some animals from Czech, where prices are low but quality is poor; but he prefers rats from the UK, as that's where he could get the special colors and rats of good quality. The animals are sold mainly to pet shops.

And for now: the pics.

The hall. In front, in the white things are the guinea pigs; behind it are feeder mice and rabbits; in front on our right are mice, hamsters and gerbils; rats are in the back.
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The rat housings.
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Re: Visit to a rodent farm (with pics!)

Post by daffee » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:46 am

That is just so upsetting for so so many reasons :cry:
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Re: Visit to a rodent farm (with pics!)

Post by Nicola » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:48 am

:cry:

Thanks for putting those up...it shows the harsh reality of the sort of industry that anyone buying rats from a petshop is supporting :cry:
Last edited by Nicola on Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Visit to a rodent farm (with pics!)

Post by Rattybabe » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:50 am

Oh wow - I knew the sort of conditions that these animals are kept in, but seeing it in pictures makes me so sad. :cry:
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Re: Visit to a rodent farm (with pics!)

Post by Ratty Bob » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:55 am

Sobering :o :( :o
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Re: Visit to a rodent farm (with pics!)

Post by SargentEllie » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:58 am

Tunguska wrote:I

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poor mum :(
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Re: Visit to a rodent farm (with pics!)

Post by Angels_storm » Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:01 pm

Omg thats just horrendus, Its good of the bloke to let you in and see the place and take photos, but its making me upset the thought what these animals go through and to end up as snake food makes me sick to the stomach

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Re: Visit to a rodent farm (with pics!)

Post by Jembean » Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:02 pm

Image


Imagine not having a break from that lot for 5 weeks :(
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Re: Visit to a rodent farm (with pics!)

Post by Lady_Chilli » Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:07 pm

Wow thats a really harsh reality and dreadfully upsetting to see. Its just so sad, in fact it actually makes me speechless. If i was that bloke, i would be hanging my head in shame!
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Re: Visit to a rodent farm (with pics!)

Post by rht4444 » Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:11 pm

So very upsetting. I find it astonishing that the guy who runs the place let you in and isn't ashamed of what he's doing. Even more reason to never buy from a pet shop again. Makes me want to sob :cry:
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Re: Visit to a rodent farm (with pics!)

Post by Rattybabe » Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:15 pm

rht4444 wrote:So very upsetting. I find it astonishing that the guy who runs the place let you in and isn't ashamed of what he's doing. Even more reason to never buy from a pet shop again. Makes me want to sob :cry:


Why would he be ashamed? The reality is that he is a running a business, and this is the way that all mass breeding takes place. He is doing nothing wrong in his eyes - he isn't keeping these animals as pets.
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Re: Visit to a rodent farm (with pics!)

Post by Mcfluff » Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:16 pm

If there was ever an advert NOT to buy small animals from a petshop, this would be it.

This is probably one of the better ones - the owner was happy for people to look round and take photos - so try to imagine what the bad ones are like :evil: .

What breaks my heart is the thought of those poor mummy rats - back-to-back litters and lactating, then going for snake food :( .
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Re: Visit to a rodent farm (with pics!)

Post by Midnight Rose » Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:19 pm

I must just go and check with the other moderators but I would love to use some of those pictures in my article about buying from petshops if you would be happy with that. I think they say so much more than I ever could about why I am disgusted by that trade.

I've seen these things myself, I'm a scientist after all, but I've never been allowed to take photos.
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Re: Visit to a rodent farm (with pics!)

Post by Estelle » Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:23 pm

If ever there was a thread that should be left stickied to remind us why we should not support the pet shop industry...

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Re: Visit to a rodent farm (with pics!)

Post by daffee » Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:26 pm

Wanted to add (although there are plenty of things I would love to say about those pictures I will hold my tongue as I do think they speak for themselves), but seeing how they feed the animals certainly helps to explain why so many pet shop bought animals will bite if you put your finger through the cage bars!
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