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Baby Rat Growth & development: Crew of the Nostromo first two weeks

Bright lights, bright lights!

Day 1:

Ripley, our other rat mama, had her litter on the 16th of February. Although she gave birth to 10 babies 3 were stillborn.  As sad as that may be I still find it preferable to how we lost some of Deadpool’s little Deadites later down the line. I can only hope that these lost squeaks didn’t suffer long, if at all. We didn’t remove the stillborns from the cage and Ripley took care of them in her own way, as nature does. Making them took a lot of energy out of her, so it’s only fair that she be allowed to recycle them, which is what they’re naturally wired to do.

Ripley checking on her stillborns, separated from the nest of happy lively little wigglers.

Day 2:

Day 3:

Day 5:

Already starting to show some of their patterns!

Day 6:

It might not be terribly easy to see, but the little guy facing the camera is totally rocking a big bald spot on his little head. He reminds me of Vizzini from Princess Bride… “Inconceivable!!”

Day 9:

Starting to get fuzzy now, and look at the variety in their patterns!

Day 13:

See no evil, hear no evil…

Day 14:

They grow up so fast, don’t they? *sniff*
Only a short while ago these little snuggle bugs were little blind, deaf jelly beans and now they’re running amok! At this stage they were pretty hard to keep corralled, though if offered a hand to crawl under or snuggle against they’d pile up for a cuddle. Even now, after their eyes have opened and they pop corn around like crazy, they’ll come running to our hands and eagerly climb all over us. We make time to play with them every day and they’re SO friendly and sweet! Each one has really started to develop a personality all their own~ 
It’s going to be hard to say goodbye when they have to leave for new homes… 
(u_u) le sigh…all part of life, though~
We knew we couldn’t keep ALL 14 of the babies and there’s good homes lined up for everyone, whether they get adopted out (as most will be) or stay with us. 
It’s hard not to get attached when you’ve been involved in the day to day development of the little ones! 
How about you?
Have you ever raised pets from birth?
We’d love to hear from you! 
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Baby rat growth & development part two: days 11-16

11th Day:

Please ignore the haggard nails, we’d been doing tie-dye. 😉 
The rat babies have been growing like little weeds! At this stage they were still unable to see, but their ears have started to open up and showcase themselves. All of Deadpool’s babies, AKA the Deadites, inherited Dumbo ears as both their parents had them. Only a few of Ripley’s crew (of the Nostromo, naturally) developed dumbo ears despite having the same father. Genetics! While I certainly claim no great depth of understanding when it comes to the intricacies of rat genetics, I do find it very intriguing to learn about. I believe that by breeding our dumbo eared double rex to a standard coated dumbo we’ve gotten a batch of 100% rex babies, some with silky coats and others with short, curly fur…but then I’m not entirely sure as some of her litter look pretty bald. 
This little sweetie is Bendleton, or Ben for short. He’s definitely gotten a luxuriously silky coat! So soft and shiny! He’s been growing bigger, faster, than the rest of the Deadites. 

Cuddle puddle!
A couple of the babies were still pretty runty… 🙁 

12th Day:

Starting to get harder and harder to keep them together long enough for a photo…
The one closest to the camera is Newt, who developed a striking resemblance to her aunt Ripley, hence the name. Behind her is Orcha, another little girl, but you can see how beautifully shiny her coat is!

Aww, hi sweetie!

13th Day:

14th day:

This is the big day! The Deadites have started opening their little eyes and trying to take in the world around them. They’re still on the clumsy side but are definitely getting much more difficult to keep in one place. One of our runts passed away peacefully in the cage during the night… 🙁  They’re still nursing at this stage but have begun to show a little interest in other foods in the cage.

15th Day:

This little sweetie never opened his eyes…poor little guy was a runt until the end, which wasn’t very long after this. 🙁 He was kicked out of the nest and ignored, when we’d check on him he’d be hunched in a corner shivering…over a day or two he got progressively worse. He’s no longer with us, but he’s not suffering either…

Still far from agile, they can wiggle their way out of the nest and will scamper short distances before tiring out and returning to the cuddle puddle. Found one little guy trying to nibble on a piece of carrot when I checked on them. 

16th Day:

I love how at this age they’ve begun lifting their heads to smell the breeze…looks like they’re little wolf pups trying to howl for the first time! ^_-
They’ve also started trying to groom themselves, though they’re pretty clumsy so you’ll catch one toppling over or even tumbling off of edges pretty often. Really have to keep a close eye on their adventuring because they’ll get right up to the edge and…fall off. They’re starting to actually look like little rats now. 
No photos of the 17th-20th days, sorry! 🙁
We were in the process of moving and it was a bit too chaotic to pull out the little guys as often as I had hoped to…To try to compensate for that, I’ve been taking a lot of photos of the other litter to chart their progress during these weeks. I’ll have that post up soon!
Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into their development!
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Meet Pendleton!

Everyone, meet Pendleton!
Pendleton, everyone. 
He’s the latest addition to the 710 household, and he’s settled in quite nicely! 
Our friend was looking for a home for the poor fella and needed to give him away, so I volunteered. Antho supported it, so here we are. Pendleton’s about a year old and he’s a bouncy little boy. He loves free roaming our bathroom, eating snacks, and snuggling up in my computer chair. Rats are naturally very social animals, so to compensate for his lack of a cage mate we interact with him frequently and let him out often. He’s happily nestled in to my lap now. ^_^ He keeps me company while I write and is very well behaved- he never climbs over the keyboard or very far from my lap. If he ventures too far onto my desk, I can call to him gently and he’ll scamper back within range. He’s especially fond of hoods, and will curl up and ride around in mine for trips downstairs.

He’s not my first pet, and certainly not my first rodent, but he is my first rat. 
With all the information freely available on the internet, I was able to learn a lot about how to appropriately handle him and how best to bond. Rats, being such social little guys, need to develop bonds of trust before they’ll really open up but once they do they’re absolutely lovely! Clever and cuddly, if I ever go too long without petting him he’ll definitely let me know by nuzzling my hand. They need a lot of stimulation to keep from getting bored, so we’ve stocked his cage with all sorts of toys and chew things. He seems happiest with me in the computer chair, though, and will sit happily bruxing and boggling away as I rub behind his ears. ^_^ I’m not going to lie- having earned the trust and affection of such a small, fragile creature makes me feel really good. Like, Disney Princess good. Rats have every reason to be wary, being fodder for a wide variety of predatory animals, humans often among them. 

Fears of catching the plague are nil, as rats have been exonerated. Good thing we didn’t adopt a gerbil! 😉 
Do you have any pets?