Advice by Cathy
While letting ALL your rats die before getting new ones is one way to make sure you never have too
many rats, it can be terribly sad. Inevitably you are left with just ONE lonely rat. The way you can
prevent that is called the 'Four Rat Rotation Method.'
If you have room in your life and cage and
budget for four rats, this works REALLY well -- it even helps with quarantining. It goes this way -- when you
are down to just 2 rats, you get two more young ones. They go through quarantine together and then you slowly
introduce them into your colony. So for awhile you have 4 rats, then 3, and finally you are back down to just
2 rats -- and you get 2 more young ones. This way no rat is ever alone and you always have 2 rats go through
quarantine together. Also, knowing that you will have 2 BABY ratlets join your household at fairly regular intervals
really does (at least for me) help with the pain of losing your older rats. This works very well because you
never have less than 2 rats and never more than 4 -- and really, 4 rats shouldn't strain a budget TOO much.
method also keeps you from having all old rats at the same time. It can be difficult to handle vet bills
if you have several older/sick rats and it is tragic if you have many rats die around the same time, because they are
all older. The Four Rat Rotation Method solves that problem. You can even
adjust this method if
you want to adopt rats from a rescue -- let your current rats get to be about 2 years old, then you can adopt a couple
of rescue rats who are about a year old. You still will have a good spread of ages and you will be giving
homes to rats who need it!