This article is from the WSSF 2009 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
Bobbie Sue Peno, PA, e-mail
QI need help. I had gotten two mice and they had babies. Plus I rescued a big Blue Hooded rat from the pet store. He was nasty to the pet store people but the owners told them he was nice. He tried to bite the pet shop people but I reached right in and he rode on my lap the whole way home.
I want to know how can I become a member and help with the education of rats, mice, ferrets, and other small pets that people see as problems and not pets. A friend and I who raise and sell pet mice have been wanting to organize a mouse, rat, and small critters show, plus help educate people while doing so and using our cute critters to help with getting donations for not only the little guys we have, but collect and donate to a shelter, kids with cancer, and other groups. We are both on low budgets so it would not be anything really big yet. It’s a way for us to start in helping animals. How do I start my own organization in the state of Pennsylvania? How can I sell my pets to other people who will buy them other than just locally?
I want so much to do something with animals and show my mice off. I’ve been trying to get in touch with the local department here that does the fair set up in town with livestock and other stuff to see if I could do a small pet show like mice, rats, ferrets, hamsters, and such but no one has gotten back to me, and I’ve been trying for 3 months. Can you give me some advice please?
AWe have the application on our web site to join AFRMA www.afrma.org/membership.htm in two formats—online with PayPal feature, or the form to mail in with the fees.
There is a mouse club on the East Coast, the East Coast Mouse Association www.eastcoastmice.org that has shows and several members and may have some people in Pennsylvania [Club now defunct; site gone 3-22-16, Ed.]. They would be a good source to help you in selling your mice to other pet lovers and may be of help in getting a mouse show or display at a fair. Karen Robbins
David Williams, e-mail
QI need your help finding where I can get vitamin C for my rat. I have a rat that does not really like oranges or other citrus fruit and I want to know if you know where I can get vitamin C to put in the rat’s water.
AThank you, that is an interesting question. A rat’s body is able to synthesize its own vitamin C so it does not need to be supplemented. However, to make sure your rattie is getting all the nutrients it needs, the bulk of its diet should be good quality lab blocks. You can find Mazuri brand at most pet shops. If anyone is near Riverside, California, you can come to one of our scheduled shows and pick up an exceptionally good brand we buy in bulk—Harlan Teklad 8604 formula. Some Teklad formulas are available online but shipping is very expensive due to the weight. The 2018 formula is available through Pet Food Direct http://www.petfooddirect.com/product/9093/native-earth-18-protein-4018-rodent-diet-40-lbs and is known as Native Earth 4018. The cost for a 40 pound bag is $26.19 but shipping for example to my house is $33.69 so for me it would be $59.88 for 40 pounds [prices from 2009, Ed.]. If you only have a few pets this would last a long time, but for those breeders with lots of animals, this may be too costly and they will need to find a local distributor to purchase their lab blocks.
Citrus is rich in anti-oxidants, but if your ratties turn up their little pink noses to fresh orange slices, you can find vitamin C and other beneficial antioxidants in green and red sweet peppers, sweet potatoes (cooked, never raw), kale and broccoli (both very good), tomatoes, kiwi fruit, and strawberries just to name a few. Keep the portions rat size. Ratties love to eat and healthy treats keeps life interesting for them, but make sure the treat is just that, a treat—lab blocks have everything to keep your rat healthy and maintain a healthy body weight. Dale Taylor a.k.a. Hattie McRattie
QI am a rat breeder in Georgia that has been working with the Natal Rat (Praomys natalensis) a.k.a. multi-mammate mouse, breeding for some great colors (very similar to rattus) and breeding a friendly disposition into my lines (breeding for pets—not as food). What I was wondering is if the AFRMA recognizes this rat and recognizes them for show purposes.
Any advice you can give me on AFRMA and its standing with this species would be greatly appreciated.
AAll exotic species of rodents are illegal in California. Since we are based in California, the only species we recognize (are legal) for show are Rattus norvegicus (Norway rat, pet rat) and Mus musculus (house mouse, pet mouse). Our affiliate clubs in other states may recognize other species but they are responsible for writing a standard for them and coming up with judging procedures. So far, they are all just working on the standard recognized pet species. Sorry we can’t be of more help. We do have links to a couple sites that have various pet/exotic rodent information: Eva Johansson’s web site at http://home.astrakan.hig.se/matsvin/homepage/node/1 and Thames Valley Rodents at http://thamesvalleyrodents.webs.com/ [site gone 3-22-16, Ed.]. There is also lots of information on the Internet on the various exotic species we don’t recognize. Karen Robbins