Breeding Rats for Profit and it can be a very Interesting Business. A Pair of Single Rats can become 482,508,800 in three Years if unchecked. Rat demand is growing because of several industries. The Pet business is Booming and Research Needs are Growing.
Albino rats and mice are mainly used in laboratory experiments. They are very easy to breed and can reproduce from few to hundreds in a few months.
If you want to learn how to breed rats, and what their feeding requirements are, read the information below.
To do a successful albino rat farming, three main steps are followed cleanliness, a sufficient quantity of a balanced ration, and avoidance of significant changes in temperature. With these cares, success is assured.
Breeding Rats / History of Rat Farming
A team led by Takashi Kuramoto at Kyoto University in 2012 collects albino rat strains from all over the world and do research on their genes. This research shows that albino rats descended from hooded rats, and all the albino rats descended from a single ancestor.
Is Rat Farming Profitable
Yes, Rat Farming can be profitable. The Biggest obstacle is securing your market. There are Breeders that range the whole size of the market from commercial operations to small operations just supplying food for their own Pet Snake. It is very appealing due to the fast Reproductive cycles of Rats.
- Large Commercial
- Small Markets
|Type of Farm||Lifespan||Gestation||Baby Rats per Litter/Yr|
|Rats Per Year||Low / High Cost||Year Possibility
|Winstar / Lab||2 years||21 - 24 days||12||1,250||$ 22 / $ 455||$ 27,500|
|Feeder Rats||2 years||21 - 24 days||12||1,250||$ 4.25 / $ 6.50||$ 5,312.50|
|Frozen Rats||2 years||21 - 24 days||12||1,250||$ 4.25 / $ 6.50||$ 5,312.50|
|Pet Rats||2 years||21 - 24 days||12||1,250||$ 10 / $20||$ 12, 500|
Can a Small scale Breeding Rats Be Profitable
Yes, they can, and it is wise to start small and get your feet grounded as you learn Rat Farming. That also allows your investment to be as small as you learn. The mistake you might make will have limited financial consequences.
Also, this allows you time to Develop your Markets
Who Buys Rats
Your Market for selling Rats can be divided into three segments
- Chain Stores
- Retail Markets
Larger Operations usually work through Distributors depending on your Farms Output numbers
Keeping Rats as Pets
Rats make great pets. they are reasonable to buy. It can be raised just like hamsters a lot of enjoyment for Children. One big Drawback or Blessing is that Rats have a Short Lifespan of Two Years.
There are so many different varieties and colors of rats they can be very attractive Pets. Also, they are relatively easy and forgiving to raise. Places to sell pet Rats are Breeding Clubs, and Pet Stores.
- Pret Rats are very smart and can learn Tricks
- They can recognize their names
- Are Affectionate and cuddly
- Our Grandaughters have had several – the last being named CupCake – last time we were over the oldest Grandaughter she is (5) came out with Cupcake and she had put here doll shoes on the poor animal. So he was wearing Pink Pumps…
Rats as Snake Food
Raising Rats as Reptile Food is a very Good Business for the small scale Breeder. You can find your local pet stores and set up recurring orders for supplying Live and Frozen rats for them to sell. These are Called Feeder Rats. We Found This 21 Page Study on Feeder Rats – by Scott Hardin PIJAC Science Advisor
Most Rats that are sold as Feeders are sold to snake owners. They are sold Live and also sold frozen. Adult Rats in some instances have been knowing to kill a snake. So different age rats are fed to different snakes.
An Adult Snake – Depending on its size will eat a Rat Meal every 7 – 10 Days
Rats are also used to feed larger “Birds of Prey”
- Feeder Rats are sold shortly before or right after weaning.
- Facilities will be Clean but not sterile
- Three Size Farms – Large Scale – Small Market – Hobby
Rats used for Research
Rats that are bred for research – generally require much more of a controlled environment. Depending on the type of Research they are being Bred For. Some use extensive disease management and sterile environments and clean rooms
- Absence of infectious agents that would skew Research Results
- Some labeled Specific Pathogen Free SPF
- Sophisticated Facility Design
- Air Flow Filtration
What are Rats used For
Rats are used constructively for Farming. There are some cultures that still use rats for food Source. Although today’s Rat farms grow them for three basic areas – Pets – Research, Wistar – Reptile Food
How Fast do Rats Breed
Rats Breed at a Very Fast rate. This can also be a cause of great concern but to the eyes of an Entrepreneur an opportunity.
What Are The Different Breeds of Rats
The Rat and mouse Club of America Categories rats into Main Categories, there are four main types and then many more different breeds recognized in the UK. Here is a list of the different Breeds
- Powdered Blue
- Cinnamon Chinchilla
- Russian Pearl
- Albino – Pets and also Scientific resaerch
- Wistar – Scientific Research Prices from $22 – $ 455 a pair – See our Article on Wistar Rats
What are Frozen rats / Pinkies
Frozen Rats are used to feed Reptiles. It is a handy way to feed your snakes. You can keep them possibly up to a year. take them one at a time to feed your snakes. It makes storing them easy.
Pet Stores sell these, and you can buy them for the proper size you need for your snake. Here are some of the advantages of providing frozen Rats for your Customers
- A rat cannot hurt – Snake or Lizard that is being fed
- The owner can not be bitten or scratched
- Freezing kills parasites
- Better on a Cost basis
- Easier to store until needed
- A rat cannot escape and take up residence with you
- Very Sanitary
- You can insert Medicines for your reptile in the rat / easily getting it to your snake
- Rats are killed humanely – avoid the being eaten process
How Much Space Do I need to Breed Rats
Raising Rats is very attractive because of the limited space needed. If you are raising them in small amounts, in cages or aquariums. Once you move into larger operations, they can be raised with very little floor space. It can be done completely indoors. A garage could maintain a small Rat farm quite well. You need to be able to
- Control Temps – so they do not get too hot or cold
- You need adequate ventilation to keep the air fresh and not have an accumulation of ammonia gas
- Need Availability of Freshwater and Feed
Equipment used in Rat Breeding
Typical equipment used in albino rat farming is cages, feeders, and water equipment.
Types of Rat Cages
The cages in which Albino rats are kept are made of a quarter-inch galvanized wire net with all corners, edges and doors tied or reinforced with galvanized iron.
The length of the cages should be 12 inches tall, 18 inches wide and 24 inches long. A partition is made between cages that divides it into two compartments and is made of woven galvanized wire, fitted with a sliding door.
The cage doors are of such a dimension that it is easy to reach all parts of the cage. The front side of the pen is left flat to facilitate the cleaning of the cage. The cages are placed in such a place that they can be easily lifted when cleaning is necessary.
- Can be cages – Tubs
- Designed to prevent escape – Closed Rack Systems
- Needs to be free of Sharp edges
- Adequate ventilation
- Automated Feed and Water to minimize Waste
- Made for easy Cleaning and Sanitazatiob
- Bedding should have good absorption qualities
- Wood Shavings
- Avoid scented – may cause respiratory issues
- Protection from insects
- Light sources
- Isolation Portions for new stock / Breeding/age Levels
- Freedom Breeder Systems – Rack Systems for Rodents – USA
Clean, fresh water is supplied continuously to rats. For this purpose, special inverted bottles with airtight rubber stoppers and a glass tube of 5 mm diameter are used.
The bottles are attached to the wire with the help of spring clips, these clips allow easy removal of the bottles for filling. At the lower ends, the bottles are held with the help of two bent wire nails between which the glass tube passes.
Automatic Watering Systems will help with This type of set-up keeps rats from getting wet, spoiling bedding and feed.
Rats are omnivorous and will eat almost anything a man eats. Rats feed once a day; require 30 g of food daily.
Their food consists of broken corn, leftovers from the table, green things, such as lettuce, cabbage, etc. If you are raising a large number of rats, it is advisable to organize the leftovers of a restaurant or hotel.
If you are thinking of a balanced diet chart, table scrap can meet the requirements of a balanced diet. If table scraps are not available, you can feed cooked beans, nuts, and meat two to three times a week.
Always try to give more food than the rats require. If rats are fed a sufficient amount of a well-balanced ration, they are very prolific and grow rapidly.
If you are planning Larger operation, you will need to move beyond table scraps, for ease, clean up, proper nutrition levels.
- Should be matched to Rodent Nutritional Values
- Avoid Feeds using anti biotics – Especially if you are looking to the research / Lab Rat Market
Breeding of Rats
For breeding purposes, a pair of young rats is placed in each compartment. Female rats go into heat every five days, and their gestation period is approximately 21 days.
The gestation period can last a few days if the female is nursing a litter of young during this time. Mating has been seen to occur on the same day young are born.
Caring for Young Ones
A female can give birth to a litter from one to fifteen; the average number is six or eight. Albino rats grow very fast and can be weaned between 30 and 35 days.
It is highly advisable to wean the litter at the proper age that will prevent the starvation of the newborn. If the litter is very young (25 to 35 days), milk should be added to their diet.
If you want to keep a pure breed, young should be separated at the age of 50 days, as it is likely to breed at this age.
To avoid inbreeding, rats are separated by sex and raised in separate cages with adequate feeding.
Separation of Males and Females
The sexes in the young may be distinguished by the following characteristics:
Male and females are also separated based on their body characters. The males can be recognized by a greater distance between the anus and the genital papilla.
In males, the genital papilla is larger than the female. When the hair covers the body of males, a small area immediately below the anus is seen, which later developed into the scrotum.
In females, nipples become visible at the age of 15 days. When the hair covers the body, a strip extending from the anus to the genital papilla remains almost bare in the female. Females become sexually mature at the age of 70-90 days.
Sexual activity in the females may continue until they have reached the age of 600 days. A significant difference is noticed in the ability of females to produce young. Some appear to be sterile, while others have given birth to as many as nine litters.
General care of Rats
The cleaning process should be carried out at least once in two weeks, without handling the rats and without danger of leaving the compartments to which they belong.
Cleaning is done by placing the entire cage on a wide table, lifting the top about an inch and a half, and bringing it to the bare table. Old sawdust used for bedding is now scraped, and a new supply of sawdust is added.
Rats can grow better in a well-ventilated room; it is advisable to save them from extreme temperatures.
If you want to send rats long distances, feeding and watering requirements must be managed on routes.
Rat Diseases and management
- Most important for prevention is a healthy diet.
- Maintain Wild Rodent and Pest Control
- Protect Feed Storage to discourage Wild Rodents from getting at it
- Watch for signs of Illness – Lethargic, Mucus, Hard Breathing, Weight Loss, Eyes, Tumors
- Keep Records of Illnesses
- Isolate sick Rats
- Be Particular when buying breeding Stock
- Clean and Disinfect Cages, Feed, and Watering Bowls
Zoonotics – Rat to human Diseases
We will give some thoughts to consider to protect your Rats and also any possible diseases and Parasites that might be transmitted to people
- Insect control – mosquito prevention – many diseases transmitted from insect bites, Misquotes, Ticks, Fleas, Mites
- Available hand washing for staff
- Sanitazatrion of Breeding Equipment
- Drinking and people eating not taking place in Breeding quarters
- Pregnant women or those with Respiratory difficulties should avoid breeding areas
- Detailed Record on Sick Animals
What is the Largest rat in the World
There are records of very large rats. Here you will see Ratzilla – who measured 16″
Black Rats can get to a range of 13″ – 16″.
The Largest Rats are the Philippines and can get to a weight of 5.7 lbs, and 2.5 feet long
Rat and Mouse Association
- Rat and Mouse Club of America
- American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association
- National Fancy Rat Society / UK
Breeding rats is a profitable business, as they are primarily used in experimental laboratories, colleges, and universities. They are also used as Pets, and Pet Foods. They are the best experimental animals in research because they are small and easy to handle. Just be careful with them and they will grow quickly.