G M R : Every rat owner’s favorite phase of ownership

On Saturday, Hans and I decided that it was time to GMR (get more rats).

There are six new boys in our house now!

Two of them are really young, maybe four or five weeks.  One is an agouti, and the other is topaz, both have dumbo ears and are self.  (Colour definitions are at the bottom!)  Because rats of their age sometimes change colour as their adult coats come in, I’ll let you know if their colours change!

Four are older, maybe even six months old already.  One is a black Berkshire dumbo, one is a Siamese dumbo, and two are the type of hairless which happens because the double Rex gene causes the hair to be quite fragile- one of them has forward facing ears, and the other has dumbo ears.

Not everybody shows up in the video below, since they were still settling in to their new home, but you can see the Siamese, one of the hairless, the black and the agouti quite clearly.

Terms You Might Want to Know:

Agouti: a ticked coat that looks brownish grey, having black guard hairs and a lighter grey belly, the eyes are black.  Fun fact: Agouti is the colour most often seen on wild rats.

Berkshire: a marking description, indicating a solid coloured rat with a white belly, often with white feet and tail tip.

Black: a dark glossy coat, chocolate to black in colour which is often ticked with silver, the eyes are black.

Double Rex gene: hairless rats are a coat variety characterized by varying levels of hair loss. They are bred from curly-coated Rexes and range from having areas of very short fur to being completely bare. They are genetically produced by breeding different combinations of the genes that cause Rex coats, and since Rex is a dominant trait, there only needs to be one Rex parent to produce curly Rex-coated offspring. When two copies of the trait are present, the genetics cause hairlessness and earning such rats the colloquial name, “Double-rex”.

Dumbo: a variety of rat with ears placed lower on the head, named for resemblance to Dumbo the elephant.

Ruby: Rats can have black, ruby or red eyes.  Black and red eyes are immediately apparent, while ruby eyes often appear black until seen in the light.

Self: a single colour to the coat, with no white markings at all.

Siamese: typically a gradient of colour along the body, darkest at the base of the tail and nose just like in Siamese cats.

Topaz: a ticked coat in orange to ginger colours with a distinctive slate grey undercoat and ruby eyes.

(As usual, I used http://www.dapper.com.au/whatrat.htm#agouti as reference to make sure my markings and colour information was correct.  I also used Wikipedia to make sure my explanation of the Double Rex Hairless situation was properly accurate.)

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