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Planned Litters and Breeding Philosophy

CSR breeds strictly to our carefully prepared breeding plans. We know what rats will be bred in the future, and what the expected result will be.

There are four basic requirements for a breedable rat, shown in order of importance:

* Temperament

* Health

* Colour

* Type

Temperament is the all important factor in breeding any domestic animal - nobody wants a rat that will have your hand off for looking at it.

Health is the secondary factor. We must stop selecting rats that are prone to certain diseases and body malformations, such as tumours, for the sake of the poor rats that have to suffer the effects of our breeding decisions in the future.

Colour is my third concern, because I have to carefully plan ahead the breedings that are carried out. An example of this is that blue rats bred with black rats carrying blue genes tend to produce darker blues (via the polygenes that help blacken the black).

Type is the fourth consideration. I am often told that type should be an important factor in breeding rats - well it is. Type is concerned with the size and shape of the rat and therefore if it conforms to the 'General Conformation' standard. I think that this can be taken too far - we are breeding rats and not the Aarrian race. Type is an important factor, but as long as the health of the rat is not compromised then it is not a primary concern. Who says that the biggest rats are the best rats?

At CSR we also stick to one other breeding ideal, all our rats kittens are (if only distantly) a decendent of my first rat Spit and one of my friends rats Psyche. This is important to me.

As rat-keepers we also use a gut instinct that anyone who has witnessed rats growing up will be able to use. That is the ability to choose which rats have the most 'young' features. A well documented theory in domestic animal breeding is that animals that are bred to have immature features as adults are more likely to be friendlier to humans.

In terms of rats, we are talking about the position of the eyes and ears and the bluntness of the nose etc. This is why in some ways I feel that the 'General Conformation' of the NFRS could be seen as smothering. I believe that this conformation should be updated so it is less restrictive and a little more general. (For the General Conformation of the National Fancy Rat Society please visit their website - see links).

Breeding Plan

Early in 2001 we began to breed especially to produce a rat that exhibited a number of different phenotypical characteristics; the Blue Variegated Dumbo Rex.

In 2003 the first rat that matched this description was born.

The main aim of the Rattery is to promote the Blue Variegated Dumbo Rex and to continue to breed this line to improve the line in all its aspects.


Who with Who?

So over the course of 2006/07 I will be breeding a number of rats (probably about 5 litters) and I will get various rats that I am sure will be very popular. Please find below a breif desciption of the litters I expect and when i expect them to be born:

Jan 06: Marked Down Under Dumbo and Top Eared 50% of which will be Rex. Various colours, expect champagne, blue, black and chocolate.

Jan 06: Marked litter of black mis-marked kittens 50% Rex, expecting capped possibly variegated 25% will be Dumbo, all will carry Down Under.

May 06: Marked Down Under Dumbo litter, 50% Rex with Russian Blues, chocolates, blacks, probably blues too.

Oct 06: Marked Down Under Dumbo Litter 50% Rex probably all black.

Feb 07: Marked Down Under  Litter 50% Rex, 50% Russian Blue, 50% Blue.

June 07: Double Blue Variegeated and Capped Down Under Dumbo Litter (50% Rex )

Alright - it won't go as planned - but that's the general idea, I will have to get other rats in that time, hope for no illnesses, infertility etc. But that is the general plan for the next year and a half - if anyone would like to help then please get in touch - 

So What Are The Chances?


If I was to have a Blue Variegated Dumbo Rex and mated it with a Blue Variegated Dumbo - what would the chances be that there would be a Blue Variegated Dumbo Rex in the litter?

Slim!! The chance would be about 25% (1/4 of the litter) which means in an average litter of 12 you would get about 3 Blue Variegated Dumbo Rexes in the litter!!

The maximum percent of the litter that can be Variegated is always 50%, as it is heterozygous dominant. The other main varying factor is the Rex genetics - the only way to guarantee that you will have a litter that has 50% Blue Variegated Dumbo Rexes would be to mate two Double Rexes together: however the outcome of this would of course mean that the litter would also suffer from sporadic balding and would probably be difficult to rehome.

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