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Feeders Any and all issues about raising rats, mice, or anything else that you feed your cornsnakes.

African Soft Fur Rats
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:46 PM   #1
African Soft Fur Rats

Well, I decided to try raising ASF's to keep my rodent buying within my limited budget. I couldn't find any advertised anywhere, so I ran a "wanted ad." I found a woman just 10 miles away who gave me 19 young ones for just $20.
I have laboratory breeding cages so put them in one until I can set up more.
The funny thing is I brought the rodent cage into my snake room so I can watch to make sure the rats are able to drink from the rodent bottle. All my corns immediately came to the front of their container with tongues flicking. I can't smell anything, but they sure can.
Old 01-11-2019, 08:27 AM   #2
Congrats on picking up some ASF's for a good price. How is their temperament? Mine can be touched or petted without issue but if you try picking them up they will come flying out of your hand like a little kangaroo. Wait till you start feeding off the soft furs, they truly are like crack for snakes. My only complaint about them is that they take a lot longer to grow out compared to a mouse, plus they love to chew on things. Their food and water consumption seems to be less than that of mice.
Old 01-11-2019, 10:08 AM   #3
The ASF's I bought are rather small, and so far I have been handling them with no bites. I won't be handling them much anyway, once they are old enough to breed. I'm not able to sex them yet, with no obvious bulges on the males. But my son will come over to sex them, since he raised them in his rodent colonies a few years ago. It was spooky going into his rodent shed back then, with 2,000 eyes staring at you. LOL.

When I went to buy the ASF's I assumed the breeder had a dozen or so to choose from, but she brought out 6 or 8 large containers with 20 or 30 young in each. She said she bought a colony at Repticon about a year or so ago, thinking she would feed the offspring to her ball pythons, but didn't have the heart to do it. So now she is overrun, and was hoping I'd buy all the young. Yikes!
Old 01-11-2019, 02:07 PM   #4
After I get moved and settled, I plan on starting a feeding colony, including ASF's.
I had a colony of ASF's a couple years back, for one of my IJ's, and I didn't keep it too long, because I quickly became over run with them, and had to cull the colony.
Old 01-11-2019, 02:35 PM   #5
When you get the 19 sorted by sex what is your x.x goal for each colony?

Currently I've got a 2.4, and two 2.3's going. I started with 1.4 in my original colony a few months ago. I had a slight setback when my male had gotten eaten by the females, so I had to wait for another male to grow out. Having 2 males together doesn't seem to be an issue for me and saves from having to try reintroducing a new male into the colony from the grow out tub.
Old 01-11-2019, 03:46 PM   #6
ASF's are more community oriented, and if started young, you can have 2-3 males with 5-6 females (In an appropriate sized enclosure).
Old 01-11-2019, 06:30 PM   #7
I'll probably keep 2.4 colonies going if I have enough females. I've only found one nipper so far. He won't be here for long. I'm not going to feed any of them to my adults until I have plenty stacked in the freezer.
Old 01-12-2019, 09:02 PM   #8
I forgot to mention, forget everything you read that says ASF's don't stink. I'll admit they aren't as bad as mice, but you will be cleaning cages frequently. The breeder told me she changes the aspen bedding every 2nd day. 3 days and I start smelling them, and even aspen is getting expensive.
Old 01-29-2019, 08:37 AM   #9
I started an ASF 1.5 Colony in August 2018. I keep them in one of my very large rat breeding tubs. there are currently about 24 Adult ASF's and about 45 babies ranging from pinkies to hoppers in the tub. I plane to make a second breeding colony this coming weekend. Take note, I feed off 4 Medium sized ASF's every weekend to my Corn Snakes. The ASF'S once established breed fast and furious. There also does not seem to be a problem if there are multiple males in the colony, but this may be because they have all come from one father.
Old 01-29-2019, 10:44 AM   #10
My son raised the ASF's and said as long as males are reared with each other, or the females, they are accepted, even when reaching maturity. However, if you take the male out and try to re-introduce him to a colony later the others will attack him and try to kill him unless you intervene. Since the ASF's I bought are young I can't even sex them positively yet. I did get 7 that were a little older than the other 12, so looks like I have 2.5 in that container. I bought 5 laboratory rat breeding containers on EBay, so can set up several colonies. I'll be happy if they breed like wildfire, as I'm up to 28 corns now. 5 adults, 15 sub-adults, and 8 young ones.

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