This article is from the Summer 1999 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
Q I have a litter of all Blue baby rats. I’ve been having people come over and pick out the ones they want but they won’t be weaned for 2 more weeks. How can I mark them so I can tell who is who as the new owners reserve them?
A There are several methods that have worked for many people. You can take a marking pen and mark their tails. You could put different numbers of spots on the tail to tell them apart. You could also use India ink on their tail or put a spot on their fur. Another method is to use food coloring and put a spot of color on their body. Which ever method you chose to mark your babies with, be sure to check the marks regularly as ink and food dye will wear off after a few days. Some have also clipped off small bits of fur in different spots.
Q Are there such things as mouse shows? Where are they located? Do you know of any sources for buying and selling mice strictly as pets? The few pet stores available to me sell pet mice; however, many animals are bought strictly as food for snakes. What do members do with their surplus stock?
A Yes, there are mouse shows in California, Texas, and on the East Coast. There is more and more interest in starting clubs in other states, so there should be shows in other parts of the country soon. Some pet shops will buy and sell a few mice for pets—you would have to contact your local shops to see if any will do that. Our members sell surplus stock for pets, breeding stock, and/or snake food, depending on the person and their situation.
Q I need to know what the term for a female rat is. I know that a female rabbit is a doe and a male rabbit is a buck, but is that the same for rodents? Jordan, e-mail
A Yes, for the fancy rats and mice the males are called “bucks“ and the females “does.“ Baby rats and mice are called kittens.
Q Anyone know what the average weights of male and female rats are?
A The average of my rats are around 14 oz/400 gm for females and 20–23 oz/565–650 gm for males. Small females are 9 oz/250 gm, jumbo females 18 oz/500 gm, small males18 oz/500 gm, jumbo males 32 oz (2 lb)/900 gm. I checked several books and the weights vary from 400–700 gm, 300–400 gm, 450–520 gm, and 500–600 gm for bucks; does range from 250–500 gm, 250–300 gm, and 200–300 gm. Karen Robbins