Merri Whiskers Rattery is located in Hudson, New Hampshire (USA).
It is a small rattery and I plan to keep it small so that all of the rats can have free time to play indoors, and in the summer have time in the playpen outdoors.
My love for rats began after getting one for my daughter back in 2003. Within months I bought one for myself; a black hooded pet store baby, Merri, the namesake of my rattery. To read about Merri, go to my Rainbow Bridge page. Soon after I fell love with rats and I adopted 3 rescues from Kim's Ark and from individuals. In 2006 I bred my first litter from a pair purchased from a good breeder who became a good friend. Things grew from there. Now my rattery is registered with NARR. I am continually expanding my knowledge as much as I can from experienced breeders. Rat genetics are complicated and I do not claim to be an expert by any means. This is why I am working with mentors. I truly appreciate their knowleadge and assistance!
Goals and philosophy
My breeding goals are to produce healthy, calm, social, and intelligent rats. After temperament and health, I breed for color and finally type. I hope to enter shows with my rats eventually. Even though rats genetically are a short-lived species compared to other species, I am trying to improve longevity in my lines by bringing in lines from other breeders that live 3 + years and carefully monitor my own current lines. I don't breed for quantity. I breed for myself and the fancy: to improve the quality of rats and promote them as the wonderful pets they are!
I breed a litter only if I plan to keep one or more from that breeding. This means each litter is hopefully an improvement over the previous one. In order to work toward these goals I make every attempt to maintain contact with people that have acquired my rats to keep track of the health and temperament of those rats. This is the only way to make informed decisions regarding my breeding goals with my specialties. Each line that I work with has it's own slight issues that I am continually looking to improve upon. These could be health, color or body type related. If certain health issues arise in a line, the line will be ended - no more breeding with it. Of course improving or maintaining great temperament is always a given!
Because I keep at least one pup from each litter, the rats sometimes are close to non-breeding age. Unfortunately, this means that there are times when a breeding doesn't result in a litter. In order to keep my numbers down, and to breed them during ideal breeding age, I need to have a certain number of people on the waiting list before a breeding can take place.
I specialize in the color points : Burmese, Siamese Burmese, and Black-eyed Siamese. The Burmese is a beautiful milk - dark chocolate color and as with the Siamese and Himilayans should have darker colored points above the nose and base of the tail. The Burmese also come in other variations such as Russian Blue Burmese, Sable, Wheaton as well as others, but the three I mentioned are what my line consist of. The Siamese which are part of my Burmese line, also have variations in their color points. I typically will have the Seal point as well as Russian blue points. These and the Hooded downunders came from Colorado.
I have a line of Hooded Downunders. I work with black, Burmese
and Russian blue hooded downunders.
This variety has not only the color strip down the back but also a strip on their underside. The hoods and the downunder markings are ideally in an unbroken and even line. They origniated in Australia and are very unique.
My Russian Blue and Marked colors I acquired from a nearby rattery in Massachusetts (not breeding at this time). I lost most of my blue line while concentrating on the others, but am working to get them back. The marked variation I like the most is the Variegated. I fell in love when the first one cropped up and have been working with them since.
I do not use any rescue or pet store rats in my pedigrees. Each line has begun from rats that I acquired from other established breeders.
My Thoughts on Adopting/selling my rats
Each of my rats is sold on a strict contract, and I only sell/adopt out to people that I have done some type of screening which begins with my adoption form. My feelings on this is, I brought the litter into the world therfore I am responsible for their care for their life time.. This also means, to find them homes that will care for them as well as I do, or better! This is why I am here for my adopters through out the life time of their rats.
I follow the code of ethics of AFRMA, ARC, and Britain's NFRS.
I feed (and sell): Harlan Lab Blocks, and include whole grains,
veggies and fruits in my rats diets
I prefer and use Aspen shavings for bedding.
The cages used in the rattery. I use Martin's cages and have a couple of other types for quarantine use. I have several Martin's R695s, several R680 (pictured below) and I recently purchased a pvc coated F-435. I find this cage very nice for the males. The coating is thicker and "softer" on the feet for those very large males. I also have a double size Critter Nation. This is for my girls.
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