Baby domestic rats: how to take care of them? When to separate them from their parents?


Deaf, blind, pink and all wrinkled, the baby domestic rat is an adorable little creature when it comes out of its mother’s womb. You are tempted to take him in your hand to give him a ton of kisses … Be patient because the time for hugs has not yet come. Our advice to ensure physical development and behavioral of the raccoon in the best conditions.

Before baby house rats are born

It is imperative that the male is withdrawn from the cage immediately after the breeding because the female becomes again fertile barely two hours after mating. The period of gestation of the ratte is between 21 and 23 days (beyond 24 days, the pups will be dead), which is why it is essential to carefully note the date of service. Pregnancy is not noticed until the last week, when the rat actually begins to gain weight. From then on, you will install a maternity cage in which the female will make her nest with sheets of cleaner or paper handkerchiefs made available to her. In principle, the expectant mother does not need any intervention during her childbirth which lasts between 2 and 3 hours.

After the birth of the little pups

At the end of the birth, the rat eats the placenta of her babies and cut the umbilical cord. She gathers her offspring under her to give her the first suckling. Raccoons – who are born naked and blind – need their mother and siblings because the lack of hair makes them particularly sensitive to variations in temperature, the family cocoon allows them to warm up. It is also within their tribe that they are the first to learn social codes, thus facilitating their next integration with unknown congeners. If stillbirths or death occur within 24 hours, the female will eat the bodies or move them to a corner of the cage. In this case, remove them.

Baby house rats: first week

It is wise to leave the family alone for the first week so that the body heat is kept. After 6 or 7 days, the little ones start to cover themselves with fur and their ears stick out. Some crawl out of the nest and locate themselves with the scent of the mother. If she allows you to approach her babies – which is not always the case – you can touch them very gently to check that they are all well fed. The manipulation must remain brief so as not to keep the raccoon away from maternal heat for too long. To avoid stress ratte, you have to divert your attention. If there are two of you, one person can take care of the female while the second holds a calf. You can also go to another room so that she does not witness the manipulation. If you notice a temperature drop, replace them with their mother.

Baby house rats: second week

8 to 15 days after birth, pups take on a thin fur, their ears are completely protruding, they are able tohear, their eyes open, they gain confidence on their paws. While remaining very dependent from their mother, the newborns timidly venture out of the nest, explore the cage while their mother pursues them to bring them back to her. As soon as they see you can place them in a more cage spacious which allows the siblings to play and the mother to rest. From the second week on, you can spend a lot of time with them. Their character takes shape little by little and it is a question of weaving a bond of confidence between you, mixing both games and respect. Social learning is a major step during which, for example, it will be necessary to teach a dominant raccoon to TP submit in order to prevent the risk of fights.

Domestic raccoons: third week

From now on autonomous, the little ones spend hours frolicking and having fun together. In doing so, they learn the basics of behavior with their peers. You may consider a first exit, in a soft and stimulating place like a cardboard playpen or a mattress placed on the ground and littered with new textures (fabrics, strings…), hiding places (roll of toilet paper) and toys (ball wheel…). Your mission is to socialize children with humans and develop their senses through various contacts and activities. The third week represents a crucial moment in terms of socialization. Thus, your contribution will determine their behavior towards humans and their fellows, as well as other facets of their character. In their wanderings, the little ones will also put the muzzle in their mother’s bowl and taste the solid food. The period of weaning food begins.

Baby pet rats: week four

After about a month, the rat decides to wean on its own food by not allowing themselves to breastfeed (others sometimes agree to breastfeed for a fifth week). Therefore, young rats switch from breast milk to diet omnivorous who will follow them all their life. You can give them a special balanced mixture of raccoons and complete with a few fruits and vegetables (with parsimony). Although the young are able to feed themselves alone, they must not leave their mother for all that. His presence remains essential to continue their learning of social codes.

Baby rats: weeks five and six

The fifth week seals the separation of the sexes. At that age, the juveniles can become fertile, creating the risk of consanguinity. Needing an adult to learn the rules hierarchical, the young females will be able to stay with their mother (and her friends) and the small males will join their father. Integrate harmoniously into a group of rats, defend themselves while knowing the limits of their bites … This final period aims to prepare the pups for their departure. In this context, it is very important to continue to offer them a maximum ofinteractions to familiarize them well with humans. By the sixth week, the all-pink babies have become de mini adults ready for adoption. Goodbye Mom !