27/08/2016: The emotional roller coaster continues! Because of the virus, I had to rejig my breeding plans and we have an adorable large healthy litter in the nest, 10 days old today. My keepers from the summer litters are amazing and I couldn't be happier with them - they are an utter joy, so much fun, ridiculously energetic and playful and completely sweet with it.
03/07/2016: Long radio silence here. As most people will be aware, my colony very sadly caught sendai virus in June following exposure at a rat show; all my rats became ill, including the two litters of babies, and I lost a total of 9 rats over the longest two weeks of my life. It has been an incredibly traumatic time and I've struggled so much, although am forever grateful for all the support from my amazing friends, particularly Jemma. We are observing a 6-week quarantine and will be out of it in about 10 days, at which point the few babies I'm not keeping will go to their new homes. I've not yet chosen my keepers, especially as the younger litter doesn't seem to be growing entirely normally, so we'll have to see how it goes. Anyway, I have uploaded some photos on each litter page.
15/05/2016: Good and less good news from here - Afterglow had a lovely small litter of 4 chubsters (hello to the Glowfuls!), but Fallow unfortunately suffered birthing complications and lost her litter, causing her considerable distress. Thankfully with the very kind and generous support of my close friend Jemma over at Isamu, Fallow was given custody of three little foster girls who are thriving under her loving care and utter dedication.
01/05/2016: We will hopefully be welcoming two or three litters here over the next three weeks - Afterglow and Fallow are due next weekend and gaining weight nicely. Eldra came back into season after the first attempt so if everything goes well it will be a somewhat trailing litter a couple of weeks later. If she doesn't take this time I won't be trying again.
03/02/2016: Things are slowly settling into something resembling a routine here, which is incredibly welcome for me, and the rats are clearly appreciating it too. I'm going to be rat-sitting for a friend for a couple of weeks soon though so they'll have to share freerange time with another group then. My own health issues (uncooperative thyroid) are ongoing so I'm not sure what the spring will look like yet in terms of litters, but still hoping and planning for April/May matings.
01/01/2016: Happy 2016 everyone! The babies moved out over the past few days and it was very exciting to see them go to their new homes and know that they are in for a great life with their new people. Happy timez! Myself, I'm doing intros with my little keepers and am looking forward to getting to know them properly. I've decided to delay my next matings a couple of months longer than I initially intended, so they now won't happen until April/May. This will help keep my numbers reasonably low (they are currently lower than they've been for a couple of years and I'm loving it!) so I have more time to spend with everyone and just enjoy rat-keeping. I've also had some health problems that will hopefully be settling over the course of the spring.
09/12/2015: Three- & four-week photos have been added of the Eltons and Arlows. We've had some drama after storm Desmond; although we were luckily not directly affected by the flooding, there was major power outage (36 consecutive hours, followed by another 16 hours after a brief respite) so we've been a little cold and very out of routine. The rats definitely cared much less than we did!
29/11/2015: Two-week individual photos of the little sweethearts are up on the litter pages!
14/11/2015: Welcome to the world to the Eltons and Arlows, born on the 10th! After a somewhat difficult first few days, for the Eltons especially, all are now thriving and seem to be doing really well. Mums Fallow and Eldra are marvellous mothers
03/08/2015: My next litters won't be until late autumn/early winter as I need some time to return to normality now after the latest big litter, and focus on my sweet little keepers. As a longer term plan I'm likely going to be moving away from self-based varieties, and the next step will be to work on agouti and cinnamon (although there will still be some selfs for the foreseeable future).