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SURPRISE!
Used with permission
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Xylia's SURPRISE! Litter
Born December 31,2006




Mom: DDK Xylia
Agouti, Berkshire, Dumbo, Doe
Xylia
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Father: Unknown
?????????




One of my newest rats, Wisteria, is an excessive chewer. So far she has chewed two holes in the rat room walls and a hole in the cage. I mended those holes and she hasn't chewed those areas since.

August 8,2006, the youngest boys are free-ranging over-night. I check on the rats the next morning to see that Wist has had a busy night. She had chewed a hole in another corner of the cage and this time it was big enough for the youngest girls to get through.

So, I breathed a sigh of relief when no one had babies on the expected due date of August 29.

Xylia was one of the eight girls who got out and free-ranged with the boys. It's five weeks later, gestation is three weeks, so that means no one got pregnant during that free-range time. But somehow, and I can't remember when, the boys met the girls somewhere around the last week of August. Unless a female rat can retain sperm, known as "suspended implantation" or "embryonic diapause", until such a time that conditions become favorable for her to raise young? But this has been the longest period of suspended implantation tht I'm thinking that Xylia in heat found a way to get to the boys. All of these babies are Velveteen, three Top-eared, one Dumbo. I couldn't even guess as to who the father is.

Xylia gave birth to 5 pups. One was very small and it died January 4. Xylia must have ate it because I could not find the body. This is normal and what mother rats do to keep the nest clean.



Xylia's babies 2 weeks old
Xylia's babies, 2 weeks old on January 14,2007
These babies started opening their eyes January 12, and they are very quick-moving at this age.



Xylia's babies 3 weeks old
Xylia's babies, 3 weeks old on January 21,2007



Xylia's babies 4 weeks old
Xylia's babies, 4 weeks old on January 28,2007
3 boys, 1 girl



Since Xylia's name means "of the woods/earth" in Greek, I chose Hobbit-sounding names for her babies.

Because Ambria was the only girl in the litter and I had no other rats her age for her to play with I decided to go to the pet store and get a playmate for her. Xylia took to little Zera like she was one of her own pups.

February 3,2007: Step three of introducing Xylia and her babies back to Xylia's original group. Over the course of a couple of days each of Xylia's former cage mates are meeting the babies one on one. Today they free range together as I bring the older girls out one at a time. Everything is going great. At 10pm I make one of my 10 minute checks and to my horror I discover Gemini, Alder, and little Zera.............dead. It happened so fast, there were no sounds coming from the room...........I am sorry my babies..........Can't write anymore.

Ambria

SPAZ Ambria Puddifoot
Started out as Amber....Ambra....Ambria. She runs like she is avoiding water/puddles
aka: Amber
Born: December 31,2006

Mink, Veriberk, Velveteen, Top-eared, Doe

Personality:
RIP Ambria June 04,2008
Zymbal Gland Tumor
Chubby

SPAZ Chubby Skywalker
He looks like he is going to be a big boy and he's Blue
aka: Chubs
Born: December 31,2006

American Blue, Veriberk, Velveteen , Top-eared, Buck

Personality:
RIP Chubby February 14,2009
Ravages of old age
No image available. Little Alder died before I was able to get a picture of him SPAZ Alder Proudfood
He's the color of a tree. He's the color of his mom, he would have made her proud
aka:
Born: December 31,2006

Agouti, Veriberk, Velveteen, Dumbo, Buck

Personality:
RIP Alder February 03,2007
Killed during introductions

No image available. Little Gemini died before I was able to get a picture of him SPAZ Gemini Whitefoot
His eyes are like garnet gems, he's pure white
aka:
Born: December 31,2006

Red-eyed White, Velveteen, Top-eared, Buck

Personality:
RIP Gemini February 03,2007
Killed during introductions






RIP ratties can be seen here






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