Why temperament is so important to us!
Temperament is super important to me as a breeder! I work very hard in selecting only the best tempered rats in my lines. I only adopt babies that I would keep or use for breeding myself. (I do keep quite a few babies to keep my lines going but I can't keep them all!) Some of my lines are very active and smart (they are great for teaching tricks and playing with mini agility courses!!) while other lines have a super mellow disposition (great couch potatoes TV watching buddies!) and I strive to breed out and never produce aggressive or skittish rats!
I am very hands on with all of the babies since birth. I believe epigenetics is a great tool to use when breeding and raising rats (Scientific Studies are linked at the end). I want my babies to have an easy transition between leaving my home and coming into your home. With that in mind all of my babies are raised with and used to:
Different toys and cages
Starting at 3 to 4 weeks of age all of the babies get daily free range time. I introduce different toys daily and change their free range setup often allowing them to familiarize themselves with an array of different situations. They become very bold and outgoing at this stage.
I evaluate every single baby until they are 8 weeks old. I take notes and watch their progress as they get older. It is very time consuming for me to do this with every litter and every baby but it is very rewarding in the end!
If you want to see how I socialize my babies follow Pacific Gems Rattery on FACEBOOK!
Scientific Articles on Epigenetics
Attachment Learning in Rat Pups - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3602827/?fbclid=IwAR3WDboGj9NYS4SmB_V820bgS1lXRPn5qEMWn4xr_-7wZ0Hk49TR5jYWTWc
Sensitive Periods in Fear Learning and Memory - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4336785/?fbclid=IwAR0JMEKQFDKIF9DwyoDQxF1I5Sk41f1RjKTCCY5O5X0aRZ9Q9NAup-mXJ8Y
Developmental Rodent Models of Fear and Anxiety - https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bph.12643?fbclid=IwAR1XOcnLQOLuIY5dnu6rhksCR0HG8GDwtn9C6v5MERqHM40Yi1QisxclYIU
Regular Music Exposure in Juvenile Rats Facilitates Conditioned Fear Extinction and Reduces Anxiety after Foot Shock in Adulthood - https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2019/8740674/?fbclid=IwAR2T3sEyDWuaxflFTjZZkl4ti_VWovD6SH_kuDpcCfpONXhLsqm2tX_inzE
Epigenetics - The Science of Change - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1392256/?fbclid=IwAR368TnQeqKkNs4yrBqV96zrCTN8SG0F1IVwhR7yy2YfirZDBzRLGt9J6HM