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SOUND OFF!!! Ever have something REALLY bugging you and nowhere to vent about it? Well, this is the place. It does not have to be fauna oriented at all! Get it off your chest right here.

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Old 05-20-2019, 02:45 AM   #1
STUART
Rat Prices

Can someone tell me why Rats are so expensive now? It wasn't long ago that I was paying 1.00 or a 1.50 for large rats and now some places are closing in on 5.00 for a large rat? I used to buy pink rats for a quarter each now they are like 1.00 Seriously!? Can rats possibly cost more then a good steak soon? Don't get me started on guinea pig and rabbit prices. I'm just glad I don't have burms, or retics anymore. Please let the "ratflation" end!
 
Old 05-20-2019, 07:58 AM   #2
Insomniac101
A few reasons I can think of, and probably more that I haven't. I breed my own mice, but not rats. The mice smell, no matter how often I change their bedding. We installed a ventilation system that pulls air from the rodent room, and vents it outside.

Also, high-quality feed is expensive, as is bedding, and other supplies. I spend several hours a week feeding, watering, and cleaning. There are also utilities that have to be paid for. Lights, heat, water, and electricity to run the fans; and this is just to supply food for my own snakes. I couldn't imagine trying to produce enough to satisfy market demand.

I'm seriously questioning if it's worth it. The cost, the odors, and the physical labor that is required to keep them happy and healthy, is not trivial. I suppose, for me, I like having feeders of all sizes immediately available, as I have snakes of all sizes. I euthanize with Co2 before feeding, so it is nice not having to pull frozen feeders from several different bags, and deal with buckets of water for thawing. For my larger snakes, I buy live rats from a guy locally, and euthanize before feeding.

If I thought breeding and raising mice was a lot of work, rats are far worse! They need a lot more space, more food, and their odor is much worse than mice.

So, I can certainly understand why rats aren't a dollar anymore. I honestly don't know how these guys make much of a profit, after paying all the overhead. Not only all the stuff I mentioned, but also outside help to clean and feed. Employees are probably the largest expenditure of all.

I hope that shed some light on the seedy underbelly of the rodent breeding business!

Kathy
 
Old 05-20-2019, 09:27 AM   #3
Socratic Monologue
Quote:
Originally Posted by STUART View Post
I was paying 1.00 or a 1.50 for large rats and now some places are closing in on 5.00 for a large rat?
You can still get cheap rats. Just scanned that other classified site and found Lg rats for $2.25.

It may be that you're seeing the addition of quality feeder vendors to the hobby. Some vendors tray pack clean, uninjured, well-fed feeders, and this costs a lot to produce. I've seen pics online of feeders people have gotten for low prices; these pics have convinced me that raising my own feeders is worth it no matter the cost.

I agree with Kathleen that the overhead and ongoing costs in money and labor of raising rats and mice is high. Kent rat food is $20 a bag; sure you can feed cheap dog food, and the rodents look like trash. I've done it, and now happily pay for good feed. I run an exhaust fan and a carbon can fan, and clean cages every few days. CO2 equipment isn't cheap, and gas fills are an ongoing cost. Rotating breeders out to control mites with Ivermectin is a logistical challenge, too.

For what I put into raising rodents, I wouldn't sell a lg rat for $5. Simply not worth it.
 

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