ratty_moma982 (ratty_moma982) wrote in cnyherpers,

Fancy Rat Breeder looking for "Feedback"

x-posted to several other snake comms.
My name is Tess M. Miller, and I've been working almost 6 years as a Fancy Rat breeder, just recently entering the world of professional breeding and showing. Since I'm relatively new to the breeding scene, I'm running into a lot of new opinions from long time breeders and judges. I've noticed that the one thing that everyone seems to agree on, is the absolutely gross living conditions in Wholesale Rodent Manufacturers (or "Rat Mills"). If you don't know what one is (or if you care) you can check out what I'm specifically talking about at (http://pawofjustice.org/index.php?cat=11)

Anyways, the rats are raised in mills that produce up to 100,000 a month to sell to petstores, zoos & independant buyers. These animals live an awful life. So breeders specifically don't support this trade by not visiting petstores of major chains, and encouraging their adopters to do the same. However, the one thing that bothers me about this argument is that we also do not sell our own stock as feeders, we are fitfully against it, and will never sell to a reptile owner.

I'm currently writing an article called Breeders & Feeders: Are we making the problem worse? Where I bring up the idea that the animals from our litter that are not part of our breeding programs, might be used to sell to herpe owners as a way to cut down mill demand. By telling herpe owners that they cannot adopt from us, we are basically saying your options are to go to a petstore, and buy a mill rat, and support the industry. Even those of you who breed most likely bought your breeders from a petstore, therefore supporting the mills. If we really wanted this to stop, we would do something about it and live up to our argument. We argue that all rats (even if they are food) should be given a good life up until that point. So why don't we offer that good life, instead of closing doors and creating more mill demand?

So before I post this article to the rat community (which will probably crucify me for suggesting it) I wanted to get any feedback I could from actual herpe owners and breeders. If you have the time, please let me know:
  • How often do you purchase feeders, and it what quantity?
    If you breed your own feeding stock, do you offer them a good quality of life before feeding?
    Even though your love is in snakes, do you not think that rodents deserve proper housing and care (not in a mill)?
    If breeders of quality Fancy Rats began to offer their stock as feeders, would you purchase them and play your part to lessen the demand of rat mills?

Thanks for any info that you can provide!
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