I just wanted to find out about Lady Luck because she is my hubbies piggy, and he loves her sooooo much. He just doesn´t know what kind she is.
He originally wanted a rat. I said no way. Next time I was out looking at pigs, I saw her, and said ´Oh, that´s the piggy for him!´
- Little Jo Wheek
E-- I know where you´re from, but where I live there is no such thing as an American Crested! Nice try, lady. It´s Self Crested (or perhaps English Crested if you´re so located).
- Little Jo Wheek
In the US, we have one recognized Crested breed: The White Crested. As its name implies, it has a specific and hopefully perfect white crest. There are many requirements as to size, position, etc. There is no allowable white anywhere else on the pig. The "English" or "Self" Cresteds are non-recognized and are able to have the crest the same color as the body color. Since they are not really ever shown here, I am not familiar with the standard of perfection for them. What people usually do is just slap the word "crested" onto any breed they wish, although there isn´t a precedent among show people to do the same. As far as the pigs go, they probably could care less what we called them. It´s just us darn perfectionist fanciers who stay within the lines.
I don´t remember my rats peeing on me. It´s been quite a while since I had any. There was a big difference in personalities from one rat to the next--one I had was really playful, another pretty sneaky, and one was the sweetest pet I ever owned. They always seemed to be getting tumors, however, and dying no matter how hard the vet and I tried to save them.
American Crested has a white crest. I guess they´re called White Crested in the US.
English Crested have a crest the same color as the rest of their body.
American and English are the same. Just not American Crested and English Crested.
It´s the other way around, I´m pretty sure.
- ...what, what, what?
Rats are wonderful pets, too. And once they are used to you, they don´t pee on you anymore. ;)Lynx: Lisam, I seem to remember someone saying rats would pee on you (where usually guinea pigs don´t once they aren´t afraid any more). Is that true? I have a daughter thinking of getting a rat just before summer vacation next year. She´s doing some research on it.
The tumors are, unfortunately, common. I´ve lost rats to them, as well. Buying from a reputable breeder (augh! that word on this board, am I going to be reamed?) is the best way to assure a healthy rat, as this is a concern to them and they don´t breed rat lines that are known to be susceptible to tumors. Probably because they are a source of snake food, as well as their relatively shorter lifespan, rats don´t seem to have the rescue problem that guinea pigs do. Although checking out a rescue is probably always a good idea. Pet store purchase is still a no-no.
An excellent place to ask questions is the Rat Fan Club Forums. They would no doubt be happy to be helping someone learn before they purchase the rat, for onece. The Rat Fan Club Website is a good source of information.
If your daughter wants rats, she has to get two - they are just as or more social than guinea pigs, and really need a buddy. My rats don´t pee on me, but they do mark me. They will fear-poop early on, but that will go away once they´re comfortable with you (it won´t take long). My only problem with them is that they pee out of their cage, so I have to have a big plastic tablecloth down under their cage, which is ugly, plus it needs to be wiped down daily. Their urine also smells strong, and the cage needs very regular cleaning (I put mine in my shower to clean it). Rats are friendly and nice, they know their names, and you can train them to do all sorts of fun stuff. They also REALLY like to be around you and will cling to the cage asking to come out when they hear you. Younger rats are all hyper, but boys are usually less so once they´re older, if you can take the very large testicles (some people can´t).
Nurgle gave great links, those should really help her out.
I think you can understand (only 13 and innocent -- at the moment).
We would be getting a lab rat. A neighbor works at UVA in the animal experimentation area (yipes). Some are healthy but once the experiment (perhaps intelligence?) is done, they have no homes.
So that´s where I´d look first. The people who handle them often adopt some of these rats but they can´t take them all. We could ask for a friendly girl. I´ll have to talk to her about getting two. She may chicken out but I would love to have the experience of having rats in the house.
My neighbour used to take in rats and guinea pigs from the lab. She says often they were perfectly healthy, and were going to be euthanized simply becaue they weren´t "needed" anymore. Another advantage of rescuing a lab animal is that the workers often know about their personalities.
I´d love to have rats someday. Definitely get two - from the reading I´ve done it seems that rats really don´t do well alone. One article I read at VIN (it seems to have disappeared since the website changed) even went as far to say that it was animal cruelty to keep rats alone.
I hope your daughter doesn´t chicken out - I bet you would enjoy having a couple of rats around! As for being innocent, she´s probably still at the stage where she´s pretending to be innocent but really isn´t...
- Little Jo Wheek
Just a word on the rats and cancers: It does seem to help to spay/neuter the rats to prevent the tumors, which are caused by estrogen in both sexes. Finding a competent rat vet would be in order, but rat people tell me it also lengthens their normal life span of about 3 years to 4-5 years on the average (which is a lot for any rat)!
- ...what, what, what?
You would need to get two. Rats are very social, and absolutely need the company.
Maybe it is just my area. I couldn´t find a rescue, but really didn´t know where to look when I started. I´ve looked since, as well, but still only know of one that works with rats. Small pets just don´t seem to be the ´thing´ here. Rats as snake food, aplenty.
You really need two rats, it´s not really a choice. I had my first rat alone for three weeks in quarantine before I adopted her friends, and even with lots of interaction with me, she was beginning to get quite depressed (very lethargic, not interested in food, etc.). She perked up quite a bit when I adopted her "sisters", and is a very happy girl, even if I´m not able to take them out for playtime on occasion. Rats need friends almost more than cavies do.