This article is from the Spring 2002 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
Colors & Coats
By Helen Pembrook
QI just got two male rescued Fawn rats, and I decided to keep the guys instead of getting the guys a new family, as they are father and son. I wanted to know though if they truly are Fawn.
They are solid dark reddish-orangishy; however, their stomachs are lighter—almost cream yet not quite—it’s weird, and I didn’t understand totally when I looked at your standards. Their eyes are black as well and their hair is coarser than all the other rats that I have. Also, I have a Fawn rat that is supposedly Rex; however, it doesn’t look as curly as your standards do.
AThe first rats you mentioned are Fawn. Most of my Fawns, especially the males, seem to have coarser, longer hair than the other colors do, though that may only be an optical illusion due to the color. Fawns stem from Agouti so they have the light belly just like the Agoutis do, only without the gray or black hairs, so it makes it very light.
There are lots of variations of the Rex rat. They range from very tight afro-type curls (which is what you want) to only slightly wavy (not good) and everything inbetween. You also get rats that are mostly hairless with curly fuzz (not good) or very curly rats with thinning hair (also not good). What you want is a rat with the most possible curl and the thickest possible coat. It is very hard to come by perfect Rexes, but you may be able to make them yourself through careful breeding if your stock is on the “pretty good” side of the coin to start with.