Happy Cold Season! ☃️
It's finally time to turn the heating on in the rattery...sometimes. With nights being nothing short of frigid and days tricking all of the critters that it's still warm, it's neither here nor there.
There has been a promising amount of activity in the rat room coupled with another upcoming Expo in the Netherlands, I feel as though each day requires some sort of rush around to get something done before a certain time. Be it travelling to get a fast track passport (again), or making sure some poor soul is always present to accept feed and bedding deliveries.
This will be a bit of a long post, as a lot has changed and happened. Thank you in advance for bearing with me.
My least favourite thing to talk about so I intend to make it short.
Due to the increased costs of running the rattery (and living in general), it's regretful that I have to announce the base prices of the kits will be rising by 20% for standards and 14.2% for dwarfs. This reflects increased energy costs required to heat/cool the rat room, feed prices raising by 60%, bedding by 28.5%, coupled with increased usage of aforementioned energy due to shorter days in comparison to the summer.
I'm painfully aware that rats are generally very undervalued in the pet market and command pittance prices from irreputable breeders, however with these new increases I still feel bad. So whereas before any paperwork that went with the rats was digital, it will now be in paper form. Contracts will need to be signed in person, in the event of a courier I will need an e-signature on the contracts before any rats are handed over.
The last availability email was supposed to go out on the 6th of October. However, there wasn't really any availability. So instead of bombarding everyone with an email to say no rats would be rehomed, I decided to wait until there were actually some kits for pet homes.
A few of the babies will be going to Houten at the end of the month with us as they have been reserved by other ratteries.
The remaining kits will be made available and will be sent out in a mass email. There will be no dwarfs available until Q2/2023 at the earliest.
Possible available varieties expected in December ( to be ready to leave in late January/early February) are:
Russian Blue in standard, silvermane, velveteen, and double velveteen, top eared and dumbo.
Black Eyed and Red Eyed Russian Blue Siamese dumbo in standard and velveteen. Maybe? Previous attempts from this particular pairing (Hefty Jeff to any Siamese) hasn't produced Siamese, so I'm suspecting more Russian Blue.
Russian Blue Marble dumbo.
Cinnamon & Russian Cinnamon in standard and velveteen.
Mink & Russian Dove in standard and velveteen.
Agouti in standard, silvermane, and velveteen.
Black in standard and silvermane.
Blue (US/Sky) in silvermane and standard.
Obviously this is just a very broad estimate and doesn't reflect the number of litters or kits, just what each pairing has the possibility of producing taking into account each pairing that is planned this month, the known genetics behind each parent, and this is accounting for every pairing actually resulting in a pregnancy...which is very wishful 🤣
This one has, unfortunately taken a little bit of a back burner in practicality. Everyone has just been living their best life and taking some time off. The project is, solidly in it's 6th generation. With 5th gen planning to retire in March 2023, it will be up to this 6th generation (currently fat, happy, probably eating seeds) to carry on the line. I do, personally, miss Rex dearly in this project. It's what I originally started with.
There was a 50/50 chance that our main Russian Blue boy, Hefty Jeff, carried Siamese. It turns out he did not. There's now a good amount of little Jeff clones running around.
On the plus side, some will be available to new homes in the near future. On the downside, I banked on him carrying Siamese. But it's really no problem, as I can just work with a lovely carrier son of his instead 💙
Russian Blue Marble is also expected in January/February. Though these will not be outright available to the public (previous adopters will be prioritised).
Earl Grey Project
Progress with this project, unexpectedly, came in the form of dwarfs/dwarf carriers.
Meet Xara (doe) and Xi (buck), both from X2 litter and are Black Eyed Black Marten Variegated and Black Eyed Black Marten respectively.
They're really my future hope for the project. Xi will be paired to some of the BE Seal Point Siamese dumbo standard ladies, the resulting kits will be homozygous black eyed and dwarf carriers which will really push the boat out for this project. It is unknown if he carries dumbo, so these pairings will also prove that out. Xara will be paired to HAPPY Thor (BE Seal Point Siamese dwarf) for the same result but all kits will be dwarf. They will all stay here or go to other breeders.
No ETA on babies yet as they're no where near the age/weight range that I prefer for litters. One should think we can start to plan these pairings for March or April 2023.
Milk Tea Project
In the last post, I talked about our Fawn (Topaz) line.
All three does that were held back were not suitable for breeding due to temperament issues displayed by a relative. Because of this, I've chosen to discontinue working with that particular line.
However, thanks to a good friend in Germany, I will be bringing in a different line to work with.
Golden Sands Project
This project has been an absolute joy to work with recently, even surprising me in some respects. Does that I didn't know carried contributing genes, do. Though it's bittersweet as said does have now retired 😅
But earlier this year they produced some mink carriers, but also cinnamon. A variety I thought lost in my rattery a long time ago.
I'm hopeful for babies from this project at the end of November.
The rat room will be moving to another building within the property, so construction plans are well underway for this and it's expected to be completed by Q2/2023.
The current rat room is fantastic but, where once the space was sufficient, I'm finding myself in need of more retirement enclosures (which means more bulky rust-prone metal cages that I love to hate). So we're building another rat room 🥴 it is what it is.