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Old 05-30-2010, 12:40 PM   #1
LyddicleaveBurrow
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Default Acacia Rat pups

Hi,

I am lucky enough to have some Acacia Rats. These beautiful creatures can become as tame and interactive as a Fancy Rat, and are amazing creatures to keep. They are very intelligent and inquisitive beasties.

As their name suggests Acacia Rats are often found living in and around Acacia trees. In the wild Acacia Rats are found in Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Malawi and Kenya.

Acacia Rats are seasonal breeders in the wild and in captivity they seem to start breeding around February. Acacia Rat litters are small (three on average) and Acacia Rat mothers often just have a single pup in a litter.

One of my Acacia Rat pairs, Amara and Mosi, have recently had a couple of litters. On 21st April Amara gave birth to a single pup. This pup turned out to be female. Nia the pup is gorgeous, very tame and very cheeky!!!

On 17th May Amara gave birth to a litter of three. To my suprise one of the pups is a banded pup. Banded Acacia Rats have been bred in Germany. However, although there may well be others, I only know of one other banded Acacia Rat pup that has appeared in a litter in the UK.

The banded colour is a recessive colour and the German breeders have been working with it for some time. The white bands can vary as much as the banded markings in Syrian Hamsters and can vary from a narrow or broken band to a wide or clear band. It's quite a striking colour.

It's early days for Amara's babies (Acacia Rats are weaned at around 30 days), but so far Amara is being a wonderful mum. If all goes well with her three new babies Amara's pups (and Nia her older daughter) will stay with me and join the other Acacia Rats as treasured members of my rodent family.

Attached are some pictures of Amara, Mosi, their older daughter Nia and their new babies and a picture of Masai, a male pup born in February to another pair - Ash and Akili.

Heather.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Amara & Nia 28th May 2010 1.jpg (99.5 KB, 45 views)
File Type: jpg Amara & pups 29th May 2010 1.jpg (97.0 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg Amara & pups 29th May 2010 2.jpg (82.2 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg Amara, Mosi & pups 29th May 2010 1.jpg (63.6 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg Masai 16th May 2010 1.jpg (96.3 KB, 42 views)
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Old 05-30-2010, 12:45 PM   #2
wofunny
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Default Re: Acacia Rat pups

Awwwh! I can't belive how different they look! They are so cute and... Exotic?! x
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Old 05-30-2010, 01:11 PM   #3
WinterbellHams
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Default Re: Acacia Rat pups

They are very cute! Their faces remind me almost of flying squirrels. Are they anything like African Soft furred rats (multimammates?)
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:14 AM   #4
Blue Dragon
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Default Re: Acacia Rat pups

I have eight Fancy Rats as pets, so I love to see the differences between other kinds of rat. I've never heard of anyone keeping Acacia Rats in aaaages, are they hard to keep? Do they need special care or feeding?

They are very cute : ) I'd love some now... but no room left at the inn unfortunatly!
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Old 05-31-2010, 05:24 AM   #5
LyddicleaveBurrow
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Default Re: Acacia Rat pups

Hi,

As with African Soft Furred Rats - Acacia Rats are nocturnal and social, but otherwise they are in a league of their own.

Acacia Rats are not difficult to keep as pets. In the past they have had a reputation for being nippy, almost "hands off" beasties, but my experience with these animals has been very different. All of my Acacia Rats are very tame, and most crave attention. Masai, the pup born in February, races up to the doorway of his enclosure to be taken out for a fuss.

As they are tree rats Acacia Rats need to be given the opportunity to climb. My guys are bedded on Aspen bedding and are given hay or shredded tissue as nesting materials (many seem to prefer the tissue). They love toys like cardboard tubes which they often pull to the entrance to their nest.

Acacia Rats in the wild survive mainly on a diet of the leaves and buds of the Acacia trees and bushes. They also gnaw the gum from the bark of Acacia trees, and forage for berries and roots. Insects are occassionally eaten too. In captivity Acacia Rats have shown themselves to be quite adaptable and eat a variety of rodent mixes. They do have high energy requirements.

My Acacia Rats are fed on a mix based on a premium gerbil mix. To this I add a parakeet mix containing dates and Acacia seeds, small seeds, a little softbill bird food, and dried mealworms (sprinkled with a calcium supplement). The rats have daily portions of fresh fruit, and about twice a week their fresh fruit is drizzled with Acacia Honey. They also have red nectar, which they adore.

They are really wonderful animals to have as pets and I adore mine.

Heather.
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:59 AM   #6
Blue Dragon
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Default Re: Acacia Rat pups

Thank you for telling me more about them Heather... you've made me want some even more now! : )

My Fancy Rats live in a five-foot high 'Tower' cage and have a ton of stuff to climb around on, but there too big to fit into cardboard tubes X ) They do have a carpet tube to play in though!

I'm suprized about them being so adaptable with their diet. I would have thoght they'd need something quite simmilar to what they'd have in the wild.

Thay are very cute. They look like they're trying to be scary bandits... but not quite getting the effect right X )
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:02 AM   #7
annie81
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Default Re: Acacia Rat pups

they are so gorgeous....and so different from "normal" rats
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:31 AM   #8
LyddicleaveBurrow
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Default Re: Acacia Rat pups

Hi Blue Dragon.

Yes - Acacia Rats have proved to be highly adaptable as regards their diet, which helps them to thrive when kept in captivity. The red nectar and Acacia Honey replicate the high energy foods such as nectar and Acacia gum that they would have in the wild. There are suppliers of Acacia Gum in the UK now, and I intend to try this with my Acacia Rats.

I had forgotten to say that Acacia Rats forage for seeds around the Acacia trees, and the seed mixes that pet Acacia Rats are given replicate this natural food. I use a parakeet mix which has Acacia seeds in it as part of the mix that I give to my Acacia Rats and they love these seeds. Pumpkin seeds are also a firm favourite. The leaves and buds of the Acacia trees are more of a challenge to provide, but the fresh fruit replicate the berries that these beasties would find in the wild. I have found that my Acacia Rats won't touch vegetables, but have a very sweet tooth.

Your rat's home sounds wonderful. They will be very happy and contented rats.

Heather.
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:32 AM   #9
Blue Dragon
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Default Re: Acacia Rat pups

Thank you again Heather. It's very interesting.

I suppose a lot of fruit doesn't cause problems then, as it would for other furries? Like weight gain etc. It's funny that they won't touch their veg. Not even sweet veg like peas or sweetcorn?

My lot love sweetcorn. As long as it's got sweetcorn in it doesn't matter what it is, it's scrummy!
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:40 AM   #10
LyddicleaveBurrow
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Default Re: Acacia Rat pups

Hi Blue Dragon,

No - the high fruit content of their diet doesn't cause any problems with obesity providing that they have lots of room to exercise.

In the wild these animals have quite a sweet tooth as they will forage for berries, and gnaw the gum from the Acacia trees as well as having the nectar from buds and flowers.

Heather.
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