Hello! My name is Ash and I run Blue Heart Rattery and am the President of the International Fancy Rat Society! I've been in the rat world for over 13 years now and breeding nearly that long as well! These little creatures, which I lovingly dubbed "my Familiars", are definitely a passion in my life. I breed for friendly, people-oriented, beautiful show quality animals that have only known love from the day they were born.
My life has always had animals in it. From working at animal shelters, to becoming a Professional Dog Trainer, and then working my dream job- training dogs in bite and protection work, I'm incredibly lucky to have accomplish most of my dreams at a young age! Now, I'm working on another dream of mine, making the Rat Fancy as popular and serious as the dog breeding and cat breeding world! I want the IFRS (International Fancy Rat Society) to be the AKC and TICA of the rat world!
I started out keeping rats as pets as a young girl, and that blossomed to me wanting to breed them as pets when I was a teenager. I met my mentor then, and I learned all about the depths of rat breeding from her; like how to necropsy! My Russian Blues comes from her lines. She devoted over 20 years to breeding them and I plan to continue her lines for even longer!
My mentor, who I even called my 'second mom' passed away a few years ago. I miss her but know she will always be with me in spirit and in her rats.
Anakin, my Belgian Malinois. He passed away in October of 2020 from cancer.
Husbandry is a bit of a big deal over here at BLU. I'm always trying to do better and be better, but not overwhelm myself with too much.
We use a variety of caging over here! Retired adults are kept in large cages with lots of soft hammocks and enrichment. They have given me wonderful offspring so they get to live out their lives in style and luxury.
My juvenile and breeding animals all live in large bin cages, with lots of toys, hammocks, and dig boxes to forage in. We found bin cages to be the BEST way to keep a larger number of animals clean and smelling fresh! In my home, if my rats do not smell like clean laundry, then they are dirty! Large barred cages are nearly impossible to keep spotless with young, crazy ratties, so our large bin cages work best here. :)
Our rat's eat a base diet of holistic dog food, with grains, veggies, and other table scraps. This keep their coats shiny and healthy! We also use Camarattery's grain mix in our rattery!
My goal is to go completely plant based/vegan with the whole rattery in 2021! It is a work in progress!
We use a mix of bedding, like fleece for older/retired animals, and aspen or paper pellets for younger animals. Sweet PDZ (granule form) is also used in the bottom of our litter boxes/bin cages to combat any ammonia.
We also make our own enrichment/toys now! We do our best to recycle and reuse things like boxes, toilet paper rolls, crinkle paper, treats, and any other creative things that I can cut up and hang on a string for the rats to destroy!
Our rats also have a large playpen that they get to play in multiple times a week, with tons of toys, love, and human interaction!
Every single rat born here is important to the Rattery. Because of that we are a "NO CULL" Rattery. We are a PET RAT BREEDER.
What does that mean? We do not cull healthy, happy, rats for any reason. We do however, euthanize rats that otherwise would have poor quality of life.
Here are the definitions to the what "cull" and "euthanize" mean!
to reduce or control the size of (something, such as a herd) by removal (as by hunting or slaughter) of especially weak or sick individuals. [LINK]
the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (such as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy. [LINK]
Each and every rat born here is important to the documentation of the lines that I have here! Culling a healthy animal due to them being the wrong color, or the litter being "too big", is not done here. We would lose valuable information that cannot be replaced by culling any of our rats.
Our rats are family here, and beloved pets. They are cared for and loved from the day they are born to the day they die. We will always take a rat back for any reason! Always! Each little life is important here.
Whenever a rat passes away in the rattery, a Necropsy is done on their body. We do out best to know our rats from the inside out, and finding out the cause of death and what other aliments our rats may have is key to breeding more healthy, happy animals.
We have pretty simple goals here at the Rattery, and that is to produce the BEST rats there are! We focus on every single detail of breeding, while pairing up rats that would only result in offspring better than themselves!
We keep detailed pedigrees with notes on any medical issues, general health, and temperament, along with doing necropsy's on any animals that pass away.
We really know our rats from the inside out! Literally!
When it comes to varieties, we plan on having the best Blue, Siamese, Black and Chocolate rats in the world! It's a steep goal, but it's one that I KNOW can be accomplished. While there are a lot of other cool varieties out there, those four varieties are my main focus in this rattery.