A post a day

May 26, 2010

Right, I really need to get back into the habit of blogging so there is going to be a post a day (most days!) for the next month. I am going away so some days I won’t be at a PC, but the days that I am, the blog will be updated.

Today is a very quick general update, and more detail will follow.

We have said goodbye to Cheese, I found her passed away on 21st April in her cage. Her breathing had been bad since I got her and despite trying antibiotics, nothing seemed to help, I’m just pleased she went peacefully at home.

I have managed to successfully integrate two cages of girls so I now have 10 in the aviary. It took a while and poor Bella ended up being bitten again, but they do eventually seem to have settled down.

My first litter was one of only one baby – the gorgeous Angus, who is turning into a lovely boy.

We have 7 new arrivals. I have got two more boys from Aquarius Rattery – Mackenzie, a British Blue Agouti, and Dewar, an Agouti. One of these two will be used to sire a litter with one of Evie’s offspring, when she has her litter (if all goes to plan!!). There are also two Agouti Berkshires from RCT Rattery, Leigh and Blair. One of these girls will be paired up with Angus to continue creating the British Blue Varies. Along with Leigh and Blair, I collected Ashton (black) and Fratton (Ivory) from Coastboat Rattery. Ashton was part of the ‘package’ with the two agouti girls and Fratton was ‘spare’. She has proved to be an interesting ‘spare’ – details to come tomorrow! And finally, there is Douglas, a Pets at Home adoptee with a head tilt. He is a little black hoody and is very tilty. Hopefully he will be going in with Newcy and Smirnoff but he’s a wee bit nervous at the moment.

So, that’s most of the news. As I said, more will follow soon….

Just a quick one

March 16, 2010

I have a lot to talk about so I will do a quick update on all things in this post then do further detailed posts about each thing over the next few days.

Firstly, the sad news. In the last week we have lost Onion, Elvis and Jasmine. Onion had an operation to have a really horrid lump removed from the base of her back on 1st March, she seemed to be recovering fine but I found her dead on Friday 5th. Elvis passed away in his sleep 10th March. He did pretty well, he would’ve been about 2 years, 9 months. And lovely little Jasmine had some horrible respiratory bug that took her away from us on Friday. She was only about 10 months old.

In Happy News, we had a great day at the show, bringing home 5 rosettes, Babs got 1st Silver Fawn, Evie got 1st Black and Best Self and Stan got 1st British Blue and Stud Buck. I have also become a member of the SRC commitee and taken over the position of Show Secretary which I’m really looking forward to getting into.

In Exciting News, we should be having babies this weekend if all goes to plan. Lovely Moss and sexy Stan had a one night stand and will hopefully produce the first step on the way to making british blue variegated ratties.

And I have a new aviary. It is a tall, narrow one but should be suitable for 6 – 8 ratties and will make a nice girly cage. And, best of all, it was free! It’s not in use yet but I will add photos when it is.

So, the Northern Lights Rats news in brief. More details will follow.

Rat shed photos

December 28, 2009

Just a couple of photos of the rat shed. It’s still empty but I’ve spent quite a bit of time stood in it trying to work out where to put everything! Can’t wait till it’s ready to be moved into.

The larger ‘half’ which I will use for my craft and drawing bits and also storage for mine and ratty bits. Their play pen will also be in this section.

And looking towards the door into the smaller half. The smaller bit has only one window so will be ideal for the rats’ cages to be in.

There will be more pictures as it starts to fill up!

The Rat Shed

December 9, 2009

I have finally bought the ratties their own shed. We need to organise delivery which is turning into a bit of a nightmare but it’s mine and is hopefully going to be here soon.

It’s a Portacabin, 30ft x 10ft, with two separate rooms, all electrics wired in and complete with heaters and lights. We’ve put down the gravel base for it already and I can’t wait for it to be delivered, wired up and for me and rats to move into it. I’m most excited about them having a nice play area where they can’t get on each other’s cages and get under things or climb up the shelves and fall off!!

With all that space to fill I need to go cage shopping!

Sugar and Fogwatt

July 11, 2009

It was clean out day today and when I did the girls I took Nutmeg, Tinks, Saffron and Jemima out of their kennel at the top level, then worked my way down, cleaning the cage out. Sugar and Fogwatt were in the bottom bed and had baricaded themselves in, I couldn’t even see Fogwatt, she was that snuggled underneath a great big wodge of shredded paper. Sugar did poke her head out and come out eventually but I ended up carrying Fogwatt, still in the bed, to the carrier where she climbed out! I took a couple of photos as they looked so cute and had made such an impressive nest – Treacle would’ve been proud 🙂

Sugar:

Fogwatt:

Goodbye Marlon

July 4, 2009

Marlon died on Friday night. I thought he was getting better from his respiratory infection, the snottiness was getting less, he was eating and seemed brighter and was even putting on weight slowly. He was ok Friday afternoon, snuggled under the shelf with Bob, then I checked on them in the evening and he was stretched out, passed away. He hadn’t been gone long bless him. I took him, gave him a last cuddle and then he got buried in the garden.

I will do him a proper obit when I’ve found some decent photos of him.

Now of course Bob is on his own. I have decided to get him castrated and move him in with the girls. Hopefully this will also make him a nicer rat and will stop him biting and getting territorial and grumpy. I did try Sugar in with him today (she’s been spayed) so he has a bit of company and so he knows someone when going in with the girls, but he was a bit rough with her, pinning her down and making her squeak so I felt sorry for her and took her out. She’s so good natured and such a sweetie, it seemed mean to put her through it! I’m sure he’ll be ok on his own for a few weeks. I’ll phone the vets on Monday and book him in as soon as possible for the op. Fingers crossed it goes ok this time.

Website changes

June 27, 2009

Just a little post to say I’ve been working on the website a bit. I have changed the Home page to give some more details about my breeding aims, added a litters page to document planned, current & past litters as well as homing information and added pages for Bob, Monty, Marlon & Jemima. I have also re-arranged the my rats page and added a loving memory section for the rats I have lost.

Marlon finished his course of antibiotics on Thursday and though he is still snotty he does seem happier and brighter. He is still painfully thin though so I am currently trying to fatten him up and build up his strength.

I am a little bit worried about Rupert, I think he has a tumour in one of his testicles. I noticed today it was bigger than the other one and felt quite hard when I poked it. So I think I need to get him up the vets. If it is a tumour, presumably castration would solve the problem, which is a scary thought due to my experiences with Beau.

Everyone else is fine however and I am pleased to report that work on my new rat shed should be starting shortly. I can’t wait.

Cage changes

May 15, 2009

You probably noticed my last post was another obituary 😦 . I have lost 4 rats within the last month. However, they are all currently looking healthy so hopefully it will be a loooong time before I lose any more.

I have had a cage shift around recently, to reduce the number of cages i’m using and so I could put the girls in a new cage when I re-introduced Jemima to the other girls now her abcess has cleared up. The girls have been moved into the Tommy, which now has all three tiers. There is only 6 of them now so they have plenty of room even though the cage is slightly smaller than the aviary. Jemima seems to be getting on fine with the other girls. Nutmeg is still being a pain in the bum and picking on her occassionally but Jemima is bigger now and very confident so seems to be able to look out for herself!

The aviary has been split into two and the two groups of boys have been put in either half, Charlie and co in the top, and Bob & Marlon in the bottom. I contemplated introducing them but thought it was probably safest not to and they are so settled and happy in their individual groups.

So, I now only have 2 cages to clean out and have a little bit more space in the rat room.

A I said earlier Jemima’s abcess has cleared up, however I think she has another one. She has a pea sized lump on one of her shoulders so I am keeping an eye on it. If it is an abcess I would rather it burst in its own time and it is nowhere near as big and fast growing as the other one. Hopefully it won’t be anywhere near as gross when it does burst!

The Rat Room

February 8, 2009

Here are a few photos of the new rat room:

At the very beginning:
Northern Lights Rattery Rat Room

Northern Lights Rattery Rat Room

Looking slightly tidier, the computer and aviary are now in:

Northern Lights Rattery Rat Room

Northern Lights Rattery Rat Room

Please excuse the quality of the photos, they were taken on my phone. It does look quite different now. The aviary is now along the back wall, not the side and all the sacks of food are neat and tidy in bins.

They are also allowed out to play now – hooray! My OH made a perspex ‘computer protector’ that blocks off the front and side of the computer desk so they can’t get at the wires. It’s made in such a way that I can still use the computer as well, which is great. The computer protector and the new food bins means they can have the run of the room and there’s nothing on the floor that matters desperately if they destroy it. It’s lovely to see them out again, it was horrid to have them in their cages the whole time and I do think I get a far better picture of their general overall health and well being when they’re out and about.

Moving the rats

January 29, 2009

Well we moved house with no problems and my internet was all plugged back in today so i’m back online, hooray!!

The rats all managed the move fine with only one bad moment when the OH stacked the boy’s carrier on top of a box, which it promptly fell off of, catupulting the poor boys to the floor, thankfully the carrier stayed closed. The girls were put in a small temporary cage (my Rene 82) and they were moved in that, the boys were put in carriers and stayed in them for several hours until we could get the cages out of the Landrover, as they’d been put in first so everything else had to be moved so we could get to them!! Luckily the cages fitted in the vehicle without being taken apart so I didn’t have to fill them with bedding before the rats could be put in them. Did have one interesting moment when OH tipped the Freddy up on it’s side to wedge in my car, forgetting it was still full of bedding!

The poor girls stayed in their temporary cage for a week before I could even fit the aviary in the room, as the rat room was the only ‘spare’ room and was used as a dumping ground for all the boxes. It’s now looking ok though, I will put some before & after pictures up shortly! The only problem to resolve now is free range time because I can no longer let them rampage due to the computer being in the room and I can’t watch all 8 girls all at the same time. So at the moment, the poor things are just getting cuddles and no out time.

The one good thing about having them indoors is I don’t have to brave the weather to do their food and water but I am really missing my rat shed! A new one is most definitely a priority.