Mum rats refusing to feed their babies

Question: I have a litter of ten baby rats, born on Thursday or Friday. Their mother is avoiding them. I’ve been trying to hand feed them all night, but they just won’t feed from me. I’m terrified that they’re going to die. If you can offer any advice, I’d be really grateful.

Answer: Feed lactol which is a small animal / kitten milk, from a pipette; cotton bud; or rubber glove finger pierced at the end. When taking milk, if they open their mouths really wide, this means they are enjoying it. If milk comes out of nose, then stop – you could choke or drown their lungs.

After the baby has eaten / drunk, stimulate their genitals in order to make them pee and poo. Use a warm cotton bud and rub it over their bits (this is what their mum would do to make them go to the loo).

Once that the rat’s eyes are open, start feeding mushy foods plus the milk, Weetabix, baby food etc

If you are a member of a Rat Club or www.fancy-rats.co.uk, see if anyone has a foster mum that can feed the babies. Try rescues in your area as they may have new mums in too.