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Minnie on how to raise a good litter

Hi, I’m Minnie.  Let me tell you how to raise a litter of great new born baby Dumbo rats!

Hey, I know what you’re thinking: but I’m not always this fat!  In fact, this is like 1 day before I gave birth to my litter of babies.

And here is my litter, already a couple of days old, in the nursery.  When we rat mommies first give birth, our human friend puts us in a safe place with our babies so he can easily take care of us, and make sure that the other rats don’t bug us.  The nursery also makes sure that my babies all stay together, and my food and water are within easy reach while I am nursing them.

We all stayed together in the nursery until my babies were old enough to open their eyes and walk around by themselves.  This took about 1 or 1 1/2 weeks.  Then, my babies were all carefully transferred…

…to the Rattie Kindergarten!

As you can see, this provides a rich environment, filled with places to hide and places to play.  They can swing, jump, climb…

..and even try nibbling some food or drinking a bit of water…

Because we are social animals (like humans, or so I hear), we learn from each other.  So, when one of us figures out how to do something fun, the others want to try it too.

Hey, Sis, come over here and try this water.  It’s great!

Another important thing about rat Kindergarten is during the day, when our humans are home, the cage door is always open.  The cage is in a safe place, were mom and babies are free to explore the outside world.  And they do!

They soon discover that not everything is tasty, but it’s fun to try.

And, when they are done exploring, they are always free to return home.

So, they learn that the outside world is not a scary place, and it’s fun to go outside and explore.

As you can see, my babies are really tiny next to me.

Can you imagine that someday this little guy will be bigger than me?