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Thread: Feeder rats versus pet rats, any difference?

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    Cavy Slave sophistacavy's Avatar
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    Question Feeder rats versus pet rats, any difference?

    I was wondering if there was really any difference between what is called a feeder rat and what is called a pet rat/companion rat. I heard somewhere or from someone a long time ago that feeder fish are bred to not live as long as regular fish, so does the same go for the feeder rats?

    Also, about.com said that the age that they reach puberty at is 6-8 weeks of age, is that about right? I'm asking because the only pet store near me that sells feeder rats, Superpetz, doesn't seperate the genders. There isn't any excuse not to, in my opinion, because rats are very easy to tell the gender of......its way obvious whats a male and whats a female, so wouldn't it be obvious by 6-8 weeks old too? I called a little while ago today, and the lady said they do not seperate the rat genders because they are feeder rats....oh well.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Cavy Slave Amsley246's Avatar
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    Re: Feeder rats versus pet rats, any difference?

    I don't think there's a difference, I had a pet mouse from a pet store when I was younger (didn't know any better about stores then), My mom got it for me (just a plain little white one) and they used the same mice to sell to feed snakes. Fish may be a different story, but I think a Rat is a Rat (or mouse!)

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    Cavy Slave Amsley246's Avatar
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    Re: Feeder rats versus pet rats, any difference?

    Actually now that I think of it, when we were paying for my mouse, the guy behind me was asking to have the largest mice they had to feed his snake and they got it from the same spot my mousy came from.

  4. "Thank you, Amsley246, for this useful post," says:

    sophistacavy (01-08-09)

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    Cavy Slave alm_nin's Avatar
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    Re: Feeder rats versus pet rats, any difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by sophistacavy View Post
    I heard somewhere or from someone a long time ago that feeder fish are bred to not live as long as regular fish
    I don't believe this is true, because the feeder Goldfish can live a really long time. When I was growing up I think we had the same aquarium with the same "feeder" goldfish in it for over ten years. Right now I have an aquarium with two "feeder" goldfish and some rosy reds, which are also considered feeders, and I've had them all for at least four years.

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    sophistacavy (01-08-09)

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    Re: Feeder rats versus pet rats, any difference?

    I heard somewhere or from someone a long time ago that feeder fish are bred to not live as long as regular fish, so does the same go for the feeder rats?
    Comet goldfish are often called Feeder goldfish and tehy can live 20+ years!

    Nope, there's no difference between feeder rats/mice and fancy ones.

  8. "Thank you, Taboo, for this useful post," says:

    sophistacavy (01-08-09)

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    Cavy Slave sophistacavy's Avatar
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    Re: Feeder rats versus pet rats, any difference?

    Hello everyone! Thank you for your answers, I had always thought there was a difference. I had actually hoped there was, because I couldn't imagine precious ratties subjected to living with the opposite unaltered gender, and females popping out babies every which way, and so on and so on.....

    But thats amazing that those poor goldfish can live for 20 years, but they have to get eaten by some other big fish L0L. Amsley- thats cute about your mouse! At least it didn't get eaten alive.

    I'm going to search craigslist again to see if anyone had an accidental litter. If not I'm going to post an ad and clearly and adamantly state that I will not buy from breeders, only accidental/surprise litters. I miss my ratties....nothing is going to be the same as a hairless rat other than a.....well...hairless rat. Its time to enter myself into being a Rat Slave again.

    Thanks everyone!

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    Cavy Slave Amsley246's Avatar
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    Re: Feeder rats versus pet rats, any difference?

    Haha, I loved that mouse dearly. Her name was Priscilla was she was my little lamb. She never hurt a fly! I was so sad the day she passed, my dad made her a little coffin out of crown molding we had leftover from re-modeling the house for the millionth time . She's still buried in my mom's flower garden!

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    Cavy Slave Jennicat's Avatar
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    Re: Feeder rats versus pet rats, any difference?

    I believe that feeder rats tend to live shorter lives, not because they are bred that way, but simply because feeder breeders don't bother trying to keep animals from being overbred (producing weak babies which may not get the nutrition that they need early in life) and don't pay any attention to inbreeding (which increases the risk of genetic problems).

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    sophistacavy (01-08-09)

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    Cavy Slave Tserisa's Avatar
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    Re: Feeder rats versus pet rats, any difference?

    It depends. At a chain petstore, there's little difference between those labeled "feeder" and those labeled "fancy" -- except perhaps color and cost. Neither will be particularly healthy, they're all "rat mill" bred. Most have myco and many have SDA.

    However, there is a difference between a breeder's fancy rats and a feeder company's rats. Feeder rats have never been bred with health in mind, and they are often bred in extremely high numbers in tiny stacked bins, on pine shavings. They're bred over and over and over. Since a feeder rat does not "need" a long lifespan, no attention is paid to such things.

    There are fancy rat lines, on the other hand, that have been bred over many generations to have fewer health complaints and longer lifespans. Of course there are just as many 'backyard breeders' of rats that have bred solely to have rats, because they thought their rat was cute, accidental litters, etc. So certainly a fancy rat is not a guarantee of health and a longer lifespan. However, there is a notable difference in their lifespans, not just from genetics but from care prior to being adopted.

    Of course, there are many many rats that need to be adopted in shelters and rat clubs all over. These rats may have started out as anything -- the vast majority, I'm sure, are petstore rats.

    Feeder goldfish (and guppies) do have shortened lifespans for the same reason feeder rats do -- no attention to breeding, and horrible conditions in "fish farms". Lots of disease, ammonia poisoning, etc. However, a lot of the reason they don't live as long is horribly substandard care in people's homes. Goldfish should be living many decades -- certainly more than 30 years (the oldest "goldfish" was 43; the oldest koi, another domestic carp, is a few hundred, scientifically verified) -- but they need vast amounts of properly filtered water, etc. (Those feeders are common goldfish, and need a pond. They will not thrive in any other environment.)
    Last edited by Tserisa; 01-10-09 at 08:31 pm. Reason: feesh stuff

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