For those of you that are new to adopting from me, I plan to post the remaining available babies during the week of April 19th. When it gets closer to that time, I'll make an announcement with a more accurate time and date!
I apologize for the delay in updates on my website. I've been super busy with work, my animals, and sewing orders. I've been posting a lot on my Facebook group, Garden of Tails. If you'd like more frequent posts, that's the place to go!
As of now, I have a whopping 8 litters - 73 babies! So, I'll be very busy caring for all of them, as well as taking pictures and cleaning cages. I will try my best to keep up to date pictures on here, so those of you not on Facebook can follow along!
If you missed it, I did update my adoption policies. To summarize the changes, I will only be having a waiting list for approved breeders and past adopters since I'll have a developed relationship with them, and know they are not likely to back out of an adoption. For new adopters, you will be able to apply anytime. However, this does not mean I'll have babies available when you fill out your application.
Reservations will be done in this order: myself (any keepers for future breeders), approved breeders, past adopters, and then new adopters. Once I've gotten through my past adopters, I'll post the remaining babies. Before posting them, I'll make an announcement so all the new adopters have a fair chance to see them. Reservations for the babies posted will be on a first come, first served basis. This is to give new adopters a fair chance, and also help me to not have to contact a bunch of new people, only to have them not respond or back out of adoptions.
Timeline for my current litters:
If you are choosing babies from multiple litters, you will have to wait until the youngest has reached it's go-home time. Once all babies have reached the appropriate age, they'll be ready for pick-up! Pick-up time and date will be discussed once you are fully approved. If you are already fully approved, a pick-up time and date will be determined at the time of reservation!
After going through the number of babies I have this time around, and the adopters I already have on my lists, I won't have room to add anyone else for these current babies.
My next planned pairs will be placed together at the end of January to hopefully begin the mating process. If all goes well with them, their offspring should be ready for homes sometime in March. I know it seems like a long time from now, but it goes by super quickly! I will be choosing 4-5 pairings from those pictured. I would like to pair all of them, but I do not currently have the nursery space.
Another note I want to add, is that I will be changing my adoption process. Approved breeders and past adopters will be able to be added to a waiting list any time they wish to contact me. For new adopters, you are welcome to fill out an application with me, but you will not be added to a list. After letting the approved breeders and past adopters choose their babies, I will then post any remaining babies. Those will then be adopted out on a first come first served basis.
The reason I am changing this, is because there is just one of me, and many that would like to adopt. It's a lot for me to juggle, and often times leaves me feeling pressured to produce X amount of babies to fill the demand. That is not why I do this. My goals are to produce healthy, well-tempered ratties. This is mainly for myself, because I love these guys, as well as all of my other critters. I just don't have the space to keep every last one, which is why I adopt out. Feeling that pressure takes away the fun.
Changing my adoption process to work like this won't have any less new adopters. I rarely have breeders adopt from me (due to me having pretty strict requirements), and previous adopters average 2-3 per round of litters. This still allows plenty of potential for new adopters to get some babies! So, if you'd like to have an application on file, please feel free to message me or comment below for one to be sent to you!
This is for how I currently have my waiting lists and possible changes I'll be making next year.
As of now, my waiting list policy is as follows. When I know which parents I will place together, I look at the line history, as well as the females' histories (if they've had litters before) to determine about how many babies I'll have. Based on that number, I will announce applications are open and approve an amount of adopters that will fit the guessed number of babies. Sometimes, my guess is lower than expected, and I end up having room to accept a few more people on the lists, or my guess is high, and not everyone approve that round gets to adopt, which can lead to extended wait times.
This is the order that people choose their babies:
- I choose my potential hold backs
- Approved breeders get second choice
- Previous adopters will choose from the remaining babies
- Newly approved adopters will choose from the remaining babies (the order new adopters will be placed on the list will be determined by their application number. Getting your app to me sooner gets you to a higher spot for the new adopters)
While I like parts of this method, I feel it typically has adopters waiting a while for babies. Especially if my pairings aren't taking when planned, and babies are born at a later date, or I have small litters.
What I've been considering, instead of having a waiting list, is to open an adoption list when babies are made available. The order that people choose their babies would still remain the same (me, approved breeders, past adopters, new adopters), but I would go to only accepting new applications once the babies are old enough to be reserved rather than before babies are born. I feel this method would give me the most accurate number of babies I'll have available, therefore, allow me to accept a more precise amount of new adopters. This would also eliminate the waiting period for those approved to be on the lists before babies are even born, as well as, any pressure for me to feel like I have to have X amount of babies available for Y amount of people on my lists.
Approved breeders and past adopters would be able to be added to the lists at any time, keeping in mind they may have to wait, but new adopters would have to wait until I post what babies are available.
This change will likely be taking place after this round of breeding, but I am still working things over first and trying to decide if this is how I would like to run adoptions going further.
While it's on my mind, I wanted to make a PSA regarding babies I may have available soon and in the future. While I will post and update pictures on entire litters, not all babies will be suitable for pet or breeder homes. I know it can be so so easy to see a baby and fall in love with them (trust me, it happens to me every litter!), but sometimes the cutest babies are lacking in temperament or health. Just because I post pictures of all my ratties and babies does not mean they will all be available.
I've had several people on and off my lists sending me pictures of specific rats asking if they can have them. The honest answer? I don't know. I cannot say if their temperament or health will be sound enough for me to confidently rehome them or not. There have been a few babies in my more recent litters that I wasn't 100% on rehoming but decided to with a shyness warning. One of those was returned to me because he ended up having aggression issues, others, took some time to work with, but I am not in this to produce subpar pets or breedable animals. My goal is to provide sound and healthy babies to amazing homes. I will be cracking down on which babies I allow to leave my care. Some may stay with me until they're a bit older than others so I can fully evaluate them before deciding if they are suitable for other homes.
This may mean I do not have babies available as frequently or in as large of quantities, but that is what it will take to ensure I am proving the best babies I can, and they they will make wonderful, loving companions.
I try my best to keep up with demand as much as I can while still maintaining my standards. However, I will never be able to have enough babies to keep up with everyone that contacts me.
This is a hobby that I do first and foremost for myself and happen to have enough that I am not keeping to send to loving homes. This has been my fourth year breeding, and I feel it is one that has taught me the most.
I may change how I do adoptions sometime next year, but for now, my current methods regarding my lists, will remain the same.
If anyone had any questions, please feel free to send me a text or e-mail!
I have a few ladies looking for forever homes! Two pairs of retired breeders, and one young female from my last litters. The young female can be combined with one of the pairs of retired ladies. :)
New fabric options available to choose from on the customizable hammocks in my shop!
If you would like to see fabric options for my liners, please message me! I don't keep fabric on hand for those orders due to them requiring a lot of material. Your preferences (color/pattern) will determine the options that will be available to you.
I am open to making custom liners, beds, and other hammocks I do not have listed on my shop. I will either need pictures and/or exact measurements depending on what you want done! :)
Shop Link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/RattieRetreats
Applications are currently closed. If more babies are born than expected, or if people currently on the adoption lists drop off, I will announce that positions are opening. Please check the bottom of the Nursery page for my next planned litters and breeding timeline.
Hello everyone! I apologize for the delay in updates as well as the lack of litters. We've experienced a few set-backs in the breeding schedule this last month and a half.
The first set-back we had, all the females I had planned to breed starting 4 weeks ago, decided to chew their cage pan for the first time ever and got down to the males below. Due to me not knowing what males they came in contact with, I had to administer the rat equivalent to "plan B." This was the decision I made due to some gene combinations being lethal to the offspring. Without knowing what gene combinations happened while the females were in with the males, ensuring the litters would not be viable was the choice I had to make for the safety of my critters. I then had to wait for the medication to be out of their system before pairing them to their intended partners.
However, when the time came to pair them, it was brought to my attention that SDAV, a virus that attacks the rats' immune system, may have been spread to my animals. I wasn't made aware of this until 2.5 weeks past the possible exposure, in which none of my animals have been experiencing symptoms. This last week and a half, I have been calling every clinic within driving distance to get my rats in for bloodwork to see if it was spread. None of the clinics I called were willing to test, told me it was a waste of time and money, or flat out told me to euthanize my rats and start new. You can imagine how defeated I have been feeling with those responses. I was finally able to directly contact a lab for testing and am now waiting for the test kit to be shipped to me. Once I have my results back, which I feel will be negative, but want to be 100% sure, then I will be able to have a definite plan to start breeding again.
Even if the test results do come back positive, I only have to shut down for 4 more weeks. This will put a bit of a damper on my breeding schedule, but I would rather that than put my animals at risk. If the results come back negative, then I'll be able to place my next planned parents together sooner than the 4 week timeframe.
I have never experienced anything like either of these events in the 4 years of breeding experience I have, so this is all a learning curve and for sure something I am being as cautious as possible with. With that being said, I will not be going anywhere. I will still continue breeding these incredible animals for years to come. This may be a set-back now, but we will come through on the other side with more knowledge and experience.
Thank you all for your patience and understanding!