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Home breeding rats Understanding the Tailless Rats I’m working with

Understanding the Tailless Rats I’m working with

So I got a tailless rat earlier this year, immediately I decided that I was going to try and work on the strain to see if I too could breed them safely.

I’d heard some horror stories from the US about tailless rats and as such I was prepared for the worst!

The first thing to say is that my first tailless rat was a doe, by conventional wisdom, you shouldn’t breed from a tailless doe, however as she was all I had and having reviewed her I felt she had a very good body shape and I would take the risk.

As it turned out she gave birth to a litter first time, however the birth wasn’t straight forward. It was a small litter with some large kittens, one of which had a smaller than normal / stubby tail, unfortunately this kitten died in an hour or so of birth.

Not to be deterred I waited for the kittens to mature and then wen’t about mating the doe to one of her male offspring, although there had been a rat with a malformed tail at this point I was still thinking the tailless mutation was probably a recessive as it is in the American tailless lines.

The next litter produced 4 tailless offspring, 3 girls and and boy. One of these does had to be euthanatised due to rough handling by my 2 1/2 year old who caught her skin on a sharp edge of the cage. Whilst young one of the remaining does seemed to have a bit of a dribble from her urethra and although she doesn’t in adulthood I decided it may be best not to breed from her in the future.

I have bred a little from the remaining doe which has again produced a couple of tailless rats. Also I have bred the tailless buck to other rats to produce tailless rats. Interestingly, there I have only bred one tailless buck, all the rest have been females and interestingly most of the litters have been relatively small.

Tailless rats and the down under gene

I am confident this is a dominant trait, and as this line is a down under line I am fairly convinced the tailless strain has something to do with the line being down under.

Having spoken to other breeders they have also heard stories of these micro-tailed rats coming from the down under line, although the ones that I had spoken believed the trait to be recessive which I am convinced it’s not (in fact I’d go as far to say it’s the same dominant trait that is working on the down under colouring that’s causing the taillessness – although that will only be proved in time).

Micro Tailed Rats

The tailless rats also aren’t really tailless, they all have what I like to refer to as micro-tails. These micro-tailed rats have a small appendage that when fully grown ranges from half a centimetre through to 2 centimetres in length, although I have not dissected an animal to know for sure, I am fairly convinced the micro tail is still connected to the rats spine.

Dumbo Down Under Micro Tailed / Tailless Rats

I am regularly getting dumbo in the line I’m working with however at the moment I’ve not bred a tailless dumbo (I’ve only yet bred male dumbos from this line), however I believe in the net litter I should breed a Dumbo tailless rat.

In all likelihood this next litter will contain Dumbo Down Under Tailless rats. At this point I’d be really keen to work with another rat breeder who’d be interested in helping me take the line forward and developing it further.

Please let me know if you are interested.

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