This article is from the WSSF 2009 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
Breeding & Stuff
Amanda Brewer, Bloomingfield Rattery, CA, e-mail
Q If a rat, at say 4 months, does NOT have a square butt can he essentially turn into a square butted rat?
I’d love to learn more about the type and breeding. I was wondering is there any way you can actually tell any type on a young pup? Or do you basically choose on size?
I know I’m young and if I were an adult, I doubt I would trust myself either. But I’m willing to learn, and I don’t “give” up easily. Not in the sense of being nagging, but I see SO many breeders come and go very quickly.
Anyways, thanks for your time.
A I wish more people would ask questions like this. We would much rather have this discussion now rather than explaining it once an entire litter is born with square butts.
Let’s start with some basics so you’ll understand my philosophy on breeding. The core group of breeders, those you see winning at shows most often, believes in breeding “from the inside out.” We don’t all say it that way, but it all comes down to the same thing. Here are the basics in order of priority:
7-week-old Black Satin female showing a very square butt, owned and bred by Karen Robbins.
Black Variegated Standard male showing good tail set, owned and bred by Karen Robbins.
Russian Blue Standard female showing a good tail set (nice taper from hips to tail) and thick tapering tail, owned and bred by Karen Robbins.
Now, all of that said, I’ll answer your question. Because a square butt is often based on bone structure, it’s something that can change as the kitten matures. But once they’re about 6 weeks old you pretty much know what you’ve got. If a rat developed a square butt after 6–8 weeks, I would be very concerned that there may have been some kind of degeneration in the hips. But chances are he had a square butt as a baby and it was just missed. Carol Lawton
Ed. Note: see the new Official Rat Standard page on the web site for photos of the ideal show rat www.afrma.org/stdsrat.htm.