She aint a boy!

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She aint a boy!

Post by Francois on Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:01 pm

Alright, this starts out with me feeling real silly for not having sexed my new additions to the family... Embarrassed

Having picked up, what I thought (and advertised as 3 boys of +/- 8 weeks old) 3 strapping young lads, it came to my observation that Dougal, didn't have the big set of cohenes like Ted and Jack...

I should have noted that her behavior was different as to the boys, also not as much getting involved in the play fighting between ted and Jack and being of a more finer build then the lads. Being quite young, the size difference didn't show off that much, but after close inspection last night, there can be no doubt: Dougal is a girl! Shocked

So immediately I have put in a divider in the cage (with is LARGE) to have our girl (renamed Shiva) on the top floor and the 2 boys on the bottom floor, until I figured out the best solution. Confused

I have been thinking about the following:

1) Getting a second cage and introduce another girl, so Shiva wont be alone (for the time being we will give her lots of extra attention)
2) Getting the 2 boys neutered, so they can all share the big cage as happy siblings.


I think that the current solution, by having Shiva being upstairs maybe not the ideal thing (no bedding and I would imagine some unrest with the boys when she gets in heat)
I would be able to address the bedding problem by inserting a tray on the top part, but honestly I wish they would all enjoy the spacious 3 levels, to which especially the boys got used to run across.

Anyone can think of alternate solutions or advice? (forget about out homing Shiva, me and the missus think she is adorable and I would feel like a right heel for sending this gorgeous girl away, we love her to bits Love )

Hopefully Ted and Jack have not been dishonorable towards their little sister yet, else it definitely be a matter of getting another BIG cage! Laugh

Cheers,

Francois
(who feels real silly for mistaking a girl from a boy Embarrassed )

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Re: She aint a boy!

Post by Lew on Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:26 am

I'd be inclined to get her a new cage and wait to see if she's pregnant. I wouldn't advise getting the boys neutered just to live with her as it's quite a ricky operation for rats so only to be used in extreme circumstances. If she turns out to be pregnant you could keep a couple of the does from the litter to live with her. If she turns out to not be pregnant then you could look for company for her then.

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Re: She aint a boy!

Post by Catz on Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:30 am

Oh dear..
Well I think your best bet is to find another cage for Shiva that would be suitable for her to give birth in (A jenny, zoozone or something similar) and keep her seperate for the next few weeks. Rat gestation is between to 21 to 23 days and it should be pretty easy to see if she is pregnant soon enough as pregnant rats waist lines grow quickly in my experience.
Im thinking if she is pregnant and you add another female for company now you may end up with another rat sitting on their own while Shiva raises her kits.
Neutering can be a dangerous in rats as sometimes they dont recover from the procedure. Laura recently lost one of her boys when he didnt recover (he was neutered due to aggression) and most people dont recommend neutering for the sake of it. Ted and Jack have each other so its not really needed.
Hopefully Shiva isnt pregnant and you can get another big cage for her and a new friend.
Start reading up on feeding and raising kits now just to be safe Smile

Good luck I know this can be a stressful time as the same thing happened to me. My Socrates turned out to be a girl and she had 4 kits and we swore off pet shops forever as miss sexing is a common thing in shops.
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Re: She aint a boy!

Post by katherine on Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:43 am

Yeah I agree with Lew and Catz, there's really no need to neuter the 2 boys so they can all go in together. It'd be better for the boys, and easier (not to mention cheaper) for you to get her a friend if she isn't pregnant, and if she is to keep a couple of does to stay with her. Good luck anyway, keep us updated Smile

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Re: She aint a boy!

Post by Francois on Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:05 am

This all sounds like good advise and will opt for seperating her from the boys in her own cage.

I'm tempted to get a second one like I have now, as it seems that the wire spacing should hold in the potential invasion of kittens




Mostly because I do want to give the ratties lots of room if not free ranging. They seemed to love the one they were in untill I robbed the boys of the top floor.

I might as well order one (as they are on sale for 45 Euro). I'm just going to see if Shiva is expanding with pregnancy, so to wait a few weeks before I decide to bring in another doe.




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Re: She aint a boy!

Post by Catz on Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:19 am

That cage will be suitable for when the kittens are up and moving but not so good for when they are just born as far as I know. The base is to shallow and Shiva may try move her kittens to a different level where they may fall and be injured. I think a jenny or zoozone is more suitable for her with potential kits on the way.
Im not sure but looking at your cage and its all wire flooring, I think that may be quite hard on your boys feet. Could you cover the shelves with something a little softer maybe.. Just a thought Smile
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Re: She aint a boy!

Post by Francois on Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:53 am

They boys don't seem to mind (they actually spend more time on the upper levels) The cage came with wire flooring for the bottom level as well, which I took out, so they would enjoy the ground floor with some carefresh bedding. That bottom grid I now used to isolate the 3rd level where I keep Shiva for the time being.

Its rather funny to see they boys sleeping on the wire, they seem to prefer it over their hammock..silly boys Laugh

So for Shiva's infermery I could do the same if she is pregnant, to isolate the bottom level with the extra wire grid and use some wooden skirting to raise the base a bit. That way, if she is pregnant, the infermary is all set and when the kittens are ready for exploring, I can remove the grid and open up the top 2 levels.

The cages would be moved side by side as soon the kittens are up and about, that would allow (lets hope its a small litter) that any additonal boys would get aquainted with Ted and Jack, which would make an intro a bit easier. It the number of newcomers is too large, I guess I will be here on the forum with the hope anyone has some room Cry



Shiva's behaviour does remind me of a pregnant doe I had before. She is a sweet little girl, but seems to stay in her tube for most of the time.

She does come out and I have been picking her up and she is being surprisingly calm, sitting on my shoulder. In comparrison to the boys, who can't sit still for 1 second, she is a quiet and sweet little girl... Smile

They boys seemed a bit miffed by loosing their upper level (where Jack likes to drop toilet rolls on Ted) but they seemed happy enough today, with Jack being brave and running right up to my shoulder. Ted seems to need some more time, as he comes out of the cage, but alsways keeping his hind legs on the doorway for hasty retreats Smile

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Re: She aint a boy!

Post by smokierat on Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:08 am

You couldve called her Mrs Doyle Smile Dont be too embarressed,the same thing happened to us Embarrassed Our boy Noodles hadnt,em how do i put it delicatly...developed when we got him first (or was hiding them from stress) but we seperated them only a few days in to having them when we noticed,and thought we'd dodged the bullet as she didnt seem to have any noticible bump.noticed something slight one evening,next morning i came down to rat baby meeps Shocked quite fitting that it was 1st April too Laugh All good advice above,id nearly get that cage if it was on sale and keep it for the future and see if you can get a cheapie one for the early days,depending where you are based someone may even lend or sell you one on here...id recommend The Scuttling Gourmet by Alison Campbell if youd like to read up on nutrition for pregnant or lactating does,its a good resource.if you are giving her loads of attention like that,she should be fine on her own untill you know the situation,and she'll have company after either way Smile she sounds lovely,they all do Smile my girls are so mental in comparison!

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Re: She aint a boy!

Post by Zoundz on Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:01 am

I would be inclined to ask the petshop if they will give you at least a loan of a suitable birthing cage if she's pregnant - since it's their fault for not correctly sexing. This is yet another reason I hate petshops selling animals, they just haven't a clue! Evil Evil

xx

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Re: She aint a boy!

Post by smokierat on Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:45 am

you actually should ask them,its the least they can do!

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Re: She aint a boy!

Post by Francois on Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:03 am

here's an update:

I got Shiva a a nice new cage (costed 2 times more then the extra large cage I ordered, but what the heck), one of those plexi glass tops with a grid door on top and quite a high base.

We wil wait it out for a few weeks to see what happens, but unless it is my imagination, she does seem to be getting a bit of a belly and appears to be a bit cranky in the mornings, she actually nipped (didn't break skin) my partner to warn her off. In the evenings, she is a sweet little girl again and loves to cuddle She is also hoarding and hiding food. She seems comfoartable in her new cage, so we will wait and see. Smile

the boys are happy to have their top level back Big Grin

As for the pet shop, don't get me started.. they only thing they offered was to take her back (ofcourse Angry )

Its their loss really, because I spare no expense to spoil my ratties, but I will not ever set foot in that place again and rather take my custom somewhere else Evil My partner also popped in and gave her a piece of her mind as well in true Dublin style (ate their heads off) Laugh

Anyways, we are ready for whatever will happen, soon we will be moving to a bigger place as well (the end of the month) and we will have 2 large cages and the smaller cage. I'm hoping for a small litter, so we can keep all the babies Love

I had a litter many years ago, and I kept them all, couldn't part with any of those cuties Big Grin


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Re: She aint a boy!

Post by Zoundz on Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:00 pm

Good luck - here's hoping she's not pregnant, but if she is, she's in a good place now I'm sure Smile

This is why I hate petshops though... always out for money and don't give a tupenny damn about the animals Evil Evil

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Re: She aint a boy!

Post by Rizzo on Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:21 am

Awh They are absolutely gorgeous Smile Best of luck with all of them and the possible Babies Smile
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update

Post by Francois on Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:13 am

Well, Shiva is definitely keeping us in suspense... for the past weeks we have been looking for pregnancy signs and sometimes it looks like she is loosing hair around her nipples, but then the next day she looks like normal. She doesn't seem to have a big belly at the moment, but has been building huge nests. We calculated that she should be due this week at the latest. We are also moving house this week, so I would not be surprised she picks the exact time when we are moving over.... Roll Eyes

I'm more getting concerned for her for being on her own, she tries to sneak into the boys cage (as I suspect she liked it better in there then the smaller breeder cage we got for her). She doesn't pay much attention to the boys though, although the boys do make a display of themselves every time she climbs their cage Laugh Of course we let her free-range as much as we can (which she enjoys very much and finds new clever ways to avoid being put into her cage each day Grin )

At least after this week we will have the patter of many little feet, that will also solve her solitary problem, but if not, we will be on the lookout for a female friend for our dear Shiva... Love

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Re: She aint a boy!

Post by smokierat on Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:18 am

Shes keeping you guessing Laugh We had no visible signs when Smokie was pregnant,her behaviour was great,she stayed very outgoing and very active...she was doing her upside down twirls hanging from the top of the cage up to the night before Tongue

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we are certianly kept guessing

Post by bikerwitch on Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:23 am

Its been over 24 days since we seprated shiva i read somewhere that Does can give birth up to 25days she is keeping us guessing. Confused we feel that she is lonely and she needs a friend to play with. Smile
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Re: She aint a boy!

Post by smokierat on Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:11 am

If she isnt pregnant,you've really had a narrow escape!Good Luck finding a friend for your little girl Smile

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Re: She aint a boy!

Post by vidic on Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:10 am

Would I be right in guessing you got your rats in 'Wackers' in Dublin city centre? I think I can even imagine the person who sold them to you! They also sold us the 'wrong gender' babies 2.5 yrs ago when we were too naieve to know better!

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Re: She aint a boy!

Post by Francois on Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:32 am

We got them of a petshop in Parnell street. The worst thing is, I should have known better and examin the ratties more closely, that will teach me to "trust" petshops Evil

Anyways, all's well that ends well, Shiva turned out not to be preggers, and we found a gorgious little doe for a friend for her Smile

Bubbles is now all settled in and getting along fine with Shiva. Only the first day there were a few squeeks and squabbles, but mainly because Bubbles got on Shiva's nerves for not letting her alone for a single minute Big Grin

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