This article is from the WSSF 2013 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
Shows & More
By Karen Robbins
Ammie Rachelle Gaston, Facebook
Q After looking at the pics of all the shows on your Facebook page, I noticed how beautiful and shiny the coats were of all the rats and mice. Is there something I can be doing to get my rat a beautiful coat like that?? Please let me know if so.
A Most all the animals pictured are fed a high-quality lab
block as the main diet (Harlan Teklad brand 8604 formula
for all of Karen Robbins’ and Jozzette Hagemann’s animals). These blocks are formulated
specifically to meet the nutritional requirements in the
right balance required by rats and mice. Don’t go looking for this
brand at a pet shop—it is only available in small bags online or
from a breeder. There are lab blocks available at pet shops but
these are not a lab-grade version and a lot of pet owners find their
animals don’t like them (one of the problems when they won’t eat
lab blocks is because the seed mixes and other things they had
been getting as their main diet are not removed from their cage).
One of our members did a taste test years ago between the various
brands of lab blocks and Harlan Teklad is the one the animals preferred
and liked over any other brand. Also, people have commented
on the coats and weight improving when they switched
over to a high-quality lab block. Rats also enjoy treats of fresh,
raw, washed veggies and fruits, whole-grain bread, healthy table
scraps, cooked soup/rib bones, healthy dog biscuits, healthy cereals,
pasta, etc. Mice LOVE oats of any kind (whole/groats/rolled–uncooked oatmeal),
millet, parakeet or wild bird seed, wheat kernels,
raw pumpkin seeds, canary grass seed, whole grain seeded
bread, healthy cereals, dog biscuits, etc. You can see photos of
some of these items on our
Rat/Mouse Food page.
Genetics and environment also plays a factor in coats to some extent—breeding for soft coats, length of coat to be short, males that don’t have the excessive oils, keeping the cages/shelves/wire clean, the type of bedding used so the coat isn’t stained, dry, or full of bedding dust, etc.
Emily Grammer, Facebook
Q I am transporting rats from a breeder in AZ to a breeder in CA for the upcoming show. She mentioned I may need a selling permit?
A Read our rules about selling/delivering at our shows www.afrma.org/pdf/sellingguide12.pdf. Since you are not the breeder of the rats, delivery of animals from someone else must be done off site of our show location for the safety of the animals at the show.
The rules in a nutshell: anyone selling or delivering animals must be a member of AFRMA, have owned the animals they are bringing for a minimum of 6 weeks for rats, 5 weeks for mice, purchase a sales permit, all animals have to pass health check, sales/delivery to be done at our Sales Table inside the building, and a pedigree/birth certificate must be sent to the show secretary prior to the show for each animal selling/delivering.