Pyma Rattery is located in Pierpont, Ohio about 7 miles south of Conneaut, Ohio. Pyma Rattery is a closed rattery for the safety of our rats and other pets, the safety of our adopters, and the sanity of my roommate. Pyma is home to the rats, a bunch of horses, six dogs total (three belong to me, one of which is the main reason your safety is in question if you visit Pyma Rattery), and five spoiled rotten cats who run the entire house.
The person behind Pyma Rattery is me, and by me, I mean Amber. I am in my mid-late twenties, an ex-veterinary assistant currently in my junior year at Kent State University, earning my Bachelors degree with a double-major in History and English. I am an avid equestrian, concert goer and music freak, and animal advocate. Those three things pretty much define me as a person when I am not studying. I work very closely with the Ashtabula County Animal Protective League as a foster (which explains the numerous foster failures in my house), volunteer, and transport assistant.
I board a couple of horses on my small farm, do free-lance writing from home, and of course run the rattery. Because of some health issues I have experienced over the last few years, I am home more than I used to be when I was working in the Veterinary field and running Pymatuning Valley Rattery.
That's right, if you missed it, Pyma Rattery used to be Pymatuning Valley Rattery. Tragedy struck the rattery many years ago when a horrible accident caused my home to fill with gas. I lost the majority of my rats and virtually all of my breeding stock. I had to basically begin again, and for the last few years I have only been breeding quietly, locally, and without functioning as an actual rattery. I was doing enough to secure my lines and keep my home full of lovely ratties. Now I am back, ready to take the east coast by storm. I do not wish to go into many details here about the gas leak, because it is too painful to think about. I basically dropped off the map, especially within the rat fancy. It was too difficult to explain what happened to the rattery, and too heartbreaking to realize the full extent of what I had lost.
Back to the good news, though. We're back and ready to do bigger and better things than ever before.
I do not expect to breed more than six litters a year. Health, temperament and type are the first three considerations. By type, I don't mean ear type or coat type, but the conformation of the rat as a whole. What areas can be improved? I see so many breeders, including those in my area, breeding the "next big thing" without regards to what makes a beautiful rat. It's not the newest coat color or type that makes a rat beautiful. What good is a Harley Coated Burmese Manx rat if its dumbo ears are folded, its snout is short, and its temperament stinks?
A cage for babies.
A modified Ferret nation for babies/young adults/females.
Ferret Nation for adult males.
Critter Nation set up, hammocks in the wash.
Another set up with hammocks.
Critter Nation currently housing young males who are too small for the large double Ferret Nation.
Future plans include updating to ALL Critter Nations and selling the Ferret Nations, so if you are interested, please drop me an email! Will be asking $100 for a used double FN.
The above photo to the left is an example of a nursery cage. This is where young babies are born and raised until they are separated into male/female groups. This photo was one of the first ones I had made, so it wasn't the best model, and I will get updated photos soon of some of my better nursey cages. This is also the cage set-up used for breeding pairs, geriatrics, and quarantine. The nursery cages when being used for babies are kept in the living room instead of the rat room. Here they receive optimum socialization and exposure to all sights, smells, and other animals.
The rat room is currently being rennovated with new paint, flooring, and decals (paw prints, yay!)
Rats get bathroom free range time while cages are cleaned. We have too many pets here at PYMA for the rats to have free range in other parts of the house without direct, constant supervision. They usally get a treat when they are free-ranging, and twice weekly they get their vegetables during this time.
Here is a PYMA rat having freerange time with the rest of the house. NOTE: I do not recommend socializing rats or any other small pet with dogs or cats, however, my rats are all used to both species, and vice versa. The rats are only allowed around the other animals with close supervision, and any animal that might pose a threat is removed from the room before the rat(s) are brought out.
As you could tell from the photos of the cages, the rat cages are decked out with recreational toys and exercise supplies. Many of my rats know how to fetch, and they are provided balls to play with both in and out of the cage. I also provide many bird toys with bells, toys that are chewable, etc. Hammocks are always a must. There is a Wodent Wheel in every cage, usually a SR. or Wobust Wheel. I have smaller wheels for the babies. Rats spend a good majority of their time in their cages, and the way I figure it, I want them to have the option to play as much as possible while they are not with the humans.
Some senior PVR (Pyma's Previous Suffix) rats enjoying Oatmeal night.
Pyma rats are fed a staple of Harlan Teklad Lab Blocks free-choice. However, if I am being completely honest, if I were a rat, I wouldn't want to eat that every single day of my life! Therefore, once a day the rats are given a measured portion (per number of rats per cage) of modified Suebee's Mix. Despite the fact that they are getting the Harlan, I still include a low-protein high quality dog food within the Suebees mix. Currently, I am using 4Health Healthy Weight. 4Health dog food is a high quality, corn, wheat, and soy free diet for dogs. The reason I do this is that a lot of my rats are not a fan of lab blocks, and I want to make sure they're getting adequate protein and aren't just picking through the Suebees mix when it's fed once a day, ignoring the lab blocks completely. Pyma rats are given fresh water daily.
Vegetables, fruits, and treats are given on a limited basis. I try to provide fresh vegetables at least 2-3 days a week, but this is dependent upon what the human(s) have for dinner usually. If I cannot give them fresh veggies, I will give them some baby food instead (they love bananas in this form). Treats are typically Yogies for rats (I stock up on these in mixed flavors and store them in a container for freshness). I also will give them high quality soft dog training treats because they're easy to break into teeny tiny pieces for training the rats.
The rats also get leftovers occasionally. Their favorites are spaghetti and chicken (rats are omnivores, feeding them meat is totally acceptable and encouraged). I will always make sure my nursing moms and geriatic rats are given extra protein in the form of fresh food. Usually this is chicken and rice, scrambled or hardboiled egg, or meat and pasta. Expectant and Nursing mothers are also offered a high quality kitten or puppy food with their Suebee's Mix. Geriatics are also handled much the same way depending on their condition (we don't want any obesity).