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Question: Why do you breed rats? Answer: Breeding rats is a beloved hobby that I have made into my profession. I have goals with each litter such as improving a hooded rat’s stripe, but my ultimate goal is to create the best pets possible by improving the species as a whole so that everyone can love the best examples of domesticated Norway rats and see just how much love these well-bred little companions have to offer. It's truly amazing to see how much better my rats are as pets compared to pet shop rats due largely to the fact that I breed for temperament and raise them in proper environments. I aim to ever improve temperament and health in my animals so that you can enjoy years of love from your rats. See the "How I Raise My Rats" page for information on breeding for temperament. It's so important!
Question: Where did your bloodlines originate from? Aside from one line, all of my lines came from other breeders. A few of my past animals have not come from named ratteries such as my own. I found them through networking. I received my dwarf, fawn, rex and Aussie lines from a breeder in PA who has acquired some of the best bloodlines in the country. Some of my lines can be traced back to Canadian and Australian breeders. The longer I work with my lines, the more I can understand them and improve them.
Question: How did you get involved with rats? Answer: I love ALL animals, but rats have been a favorite of mine for a long time. My aunt is the person who started my interest for these amazing and highly intelligent creatures. When I was around nine years old, she mentioned to me that you can have a rat as a pet. The idea seemed crazy to me. I thought, “Who would want a rat as a pet?” I found myself looking at them in pet stores. I had never noticed them before. I didn't even know they were sold as pets or at all. After seeing them I fell in love with the idea of a companion rat. I felt it would be an unusual and cool animal to have. One of my first pets was my first rat. He was a beautiful black male whom I named after a Lion King character. He was purchased at a pet store. Even though he was sickly due to being poorly bred and raised, he was a good pet. I had three rats after him over time. After the third passed away I took a break from rat ownership. In 2015, I decided it was time to be a rat parent again. I thought about how these animals would be really rewarding to breed and how there a not many breeders around where I am located. After some planning, researching, and searching I began my breeding program. The animals I learned from initially were animals from feeder stock. After a while, I stopped breeding them (aside from one line) and acquired better animals to work with in early 2016. I have since continued to improve the lines for temperament, color, size, structure, and more.
Question: You look so young! How old are you? Answer: I’m a 23 year old full time Stony Brook University College student. Obviously, due to my young age I am not a home owner. I occupy an apartment inside my parent’s home that can be entered through the home’s main door.
Question: Do you take in rescues? Answer: NO. I have in the distant past, but I now no longer do so.
Question: I saw you in public; why didn't you say hi? Answer: That goes both ways! I meet a lot of amazing people as a breeder. I am not good with facial recognition and even if I do recognize you I will not say anything because I don’t want to be wrong! So if you see me out and about somewhere and I don’t say anything to you, please don’t be offended. Feel free to say hi to me!
Question: Why do you breed hamsters? Answer: Also a hobby! I very recently got into breeding hamsters in mid April, 2017. I want to give locals a better option for sourcing their next hamster companion. After checking out two different local small business pet shops, I was horrified by how the rats and hamsters are being raised and housed in each store. I asked to handle them in both shops and was saddened to see the poor temperaments on them. While hamsters are overall not as loving and tame as rats, they should not be screaming and flaring teeth when they are touched by humans. Such bad temperaments need to be bred away from so that they not only make better pets, but also happier pets. Pet shops, and backyard breeders who sell to pet shops, throw pretty animals together without breeding for betterment and healthy temperament. An animal that feels the need to naturally scream with human contact should not be bred from. Genetic temperament is highly hereditary (see the "How I Raise My Animals" page for more info on breeding for genetic temperament). Hamsters are not as domesticated as rats regarding temperament and this could likely be due to the fact that hamster breeders tend to believe in only socialization instead of improving temperament too. So my hamsters are not only bred for natural temperament, but they are also socialized before going to their new homes. I try to only socialize them once I have my picks for my next breeders so that I can pick based on natural temperament among other things.
Why do you breed Short Tailed Opossums? How did you get involved with them? Even though I looked into having this species shipped to me from an out of state breeder a year ago, my opossums were stumbled upon. The only STO breeder on the island had to give them up for personal reasons and they found their way to me. I'm super excited to have them! These animals are incredibly rare to New York. The original breeder acquired them by traveling to Ohio and Michigan. I hope to have healthy available baby opossums soon.
Being a breeder is not easy. It's certainly not for the faint of heart; it is often heartbreaking and very stressful, but it has incredible positives too. It is truly a labor of love.
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