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Our Lines

If you would like pedigree and/or health information on any particular rat
or line, please don't hesitate to ask.

 SITH Rattery has worked with  
the following varieties:

 

Our show winning European Roan line 

 
CH JOY/SITH Snowball
fawn rex roan
shown as a baby
CH JOY/SITH Snowball
pure white at age 2 1/2
JOY/ROUS Lady Luck
on right - agouti roan
shown as a baby  
JOY/ROUS Lady Luck
as a juvenile
Lady Luck
at about age 1
 

When I first saw a rex coat on a pedigreed agouti rat, many years ago, I knew this was the main color and coat type I wanted to work with.  The roans came later, but not very much later...

European Roans are a marked variety that fade to white, or near white over the lifetime of the rat.  They start out with a white blaze and white underbelly, with colored banding running down their their back and over their sides to the base of the tail.  V shaped blazes and straight symmetrical markings are preferred.  Their non white coloring is solid colored at first, but from the age of about 4-6 weeks, they start to exhibit roaning. This is a steady increase in the amount of white hairs intermingled with the solid color. With each moult of their fur throughout their lifetime, the rat becomes progressively lighter.  The slower their color fades out, the better in terms of show quality.  Roans can be bred in any color, but generally darker colors are preferred as the color lasts longer and is more noticeable. We currently breed roans in black, agouti, russian blue, russian blue agouti, mink, and cinnamon.  We are only working with dumbo eared roans now, in both rex and standard coats, with the occasional double rex coat. 

European Roans, are also known as European Huskies, but should never be confused with North American Huskies or "high whites" which can carry the megacolon gene.   European roans do not carry this fatal gene, at least they won't until some irresponsible breeder somewhere decides to mess theirs up.  So far this line has not been crossed to anything other than healthy pedigreed selfs and irish marked rats.  They have been doing very well in terms of health and longevity, with most making it well over two.  CH JOY/SITH Snowball, shown above, from whom all my current roans are descended, made it to over 2 1/2 and was never sick a day in his life.  More importantly, this line is renowned for their amazing temperaments and we have many satisfied past adopters whose all time favorite rats came from this line.  More about the History of Roan rats in the Pacific Northwest.

 

 

Our Dalmatian based lines

Possum Variegated Masked Black eyed white
According to RatsPacNW club standards, which are the standards we breed to, a true dalmatian should have numerous non-symetrical color spots on a white body.  They may not have a fully colored head but may have spots on their head.  Obviously we are not producing many true show quality dalmations.  We actually prefer to work with markings such as possum, variegated, masked and black eyed white, and these markings can originate from either North American husky or dalmatian lines.   We make the distinction that we are breeding "from dalmation lines", in order to reassure adopters that we are not working from North American Huskies, which could carry the "high white" megacolon gene.  Yes, I know, I keep mentioning this, but providing alternatives to this problem and showing others they can do the same, is the main reason I got into rat breeding.  From having pedigrees going back 10 to 20 years and more, we know for sure that our lines are dalmatian based.  We have been working with these lines since March of 2006, with no problems.   Our dalmatians are particularly well known for their calm laid back personalities and good health.  We are currently working with Russian blue, russian dove, black, and mink, sometimes with a little bit of agouti mixed in.  All are dumbo eared, and some have velveteen coats.

 

 

Our Solid and Shaded lines

Russian blue Self Sealpoint Siamese Wheaton Burmese Black Self
Our solid line includes self, black eyed Siamese and Burmese, both russian blue and black based.  The colorpoint side of this line comes mainly from Mischief of Remis Rattery near Boise Idaho and we have only been working with it since 2009.  We had originally worked with a previous colorpoint line, but unfortunately it got crossed into a tumor prone line and we were forced to discontinue it.  So far our current line, which has origins with both UK and North American colorpoints, and has been much healthier.  Descriptions of Siamese and Burmese rats can be found here in the RatsPacNW Standards.  We have crossed these more recently acquired colorpoints into the self line that we have been working with since we first started breeding, a line well known for great outgoing personalities and better than average longevity.  At the moment most of these lines are only available in standard coats but we would eventually like to  introduce our show winning rex coat into this line.

 

 

Our dwarf lines

Dwarf rats are the result of gene mutation that first occurred in a California lab in 1977.  Eventually they made their way from the lab to the pet rat fancy, and we were among the first to start breeding them in the Pacific Northwest.  Our primary goals as breeders have always been to improve health and longevity, while maintaining the best possible temperaments.  The lines we work with can in fact be traced directly back to Spike and Angel, the pair mentioned in this article, which explains the history of dwarf rats in more detail.   The dwarf rat gene simply inhibits their growth, keeping them 1/3 the size of a regular rat, or smaller.  In every other respect, such as behaviour and personality, they are the same as full sized rats.  What first attracted me to this variety were claims that dwarf rats were tumor free and lived an average a full year longer than regular sized rats.  While this may have been exaggerated slightly, they are now well known to be resistant to both cancer and benign tumors due to their much slower growth rate and development, and I have never seen, nor heard of either problem in our dwarf lines.  Due to this same delayed growth rate, on average I would say they live about six months longer than regular rats, with most of our original line making it well past 3. We are currently working with both solid and dalmatian based dwarfs.  Most are dumbo in fawn, agouti, black, mink, blue and russian blue.  Some are velveteen or rex.  Because they are smaller and more delicate, we do not recommend them as pets for young children, but they are perfect for seniors, or for people with disabilities that limit them to keeping a smaller caged pet.  Dwarf rats can be more difficult to breed, and because of their size, their litters are very small.  If you are interested in this variety, we strongly advise getting on our waiting list a year or two in advance.

 

 

Australian Cinnamons

 
TOPI Adam of JOY - Aussie Cinnamon Irish TOPI Eve of JOY - Aussie Cinnamon Irish
Australian Cinnamon is our newest line at Small Joys Rattery, but it's one that other Pacific Northwest Breeders have been working on since 2002, when it was first imported to California.  We got our first Aussie Cinnamons from TOPI rats in Portland, in early 2012.  They are still a bit of an unknown for us, but so far the personalities have been great.  RatsPacNW has only recently standardized this variety, although the standards/descriptions have not yet been published.  I will include them as soon as they are available.  Meanwhile, I think these photos speak for themselves!  Our first Aussie Cinnamon litter can be seen here.  More information about Australian Cinnamons and their history in the Pacific Northwest, can be found here.

 

 

Berkshires

Berkshires were the very first variety we started working with in 2005.  This is a rat with a solid colored body, a white belly and white feet.  Blazes or headspots are optional, but most of ours do tend to have them.  Our current Berkshire lines are mostly russian blue and/or mink based colors, often with a bit of agouti mixed in (we love our agoutis!) all dumbo, with standard or velveteen coats.  We have not been working with these lines quite as much lately, but we certainly could if there is enough interest.  Needless to say, like all the rats at SITH and Small Joys, it is an incredibly sweet tempered, healthy line.

 

 

We just can't work with them all and maintain manageable numbers

We are frequently asked about Hairless/Sphinx rats, Tailless/Manx, Harley coats, Hooded, Downunders, and paler colors such as American blue, cream, beige, and pearl-merle, just to name a few.  We don't work with any of these varieties, and for various reasons, we have no plans to, but if you are really determined to have them, we may be able to put you in touch with someone who does.

 

 

 

 

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