It all began with a few pet store rats as pets back in 2000 while I was in college. It was then that rats, most notably Ozzy the rat, forever won my heart. Unfortunately we lost a lot of them young due to poor health and genetic issues and we were overrun by litters from rats that were bought (unknown to us) already pregnant. We knew there had to be something better. Through the Internet, we discovered the rat "Fancy" and begun our research- we wanted to adopt healthier sweeter longer-lived rats. These rats even came is a wide variety of colors and shapes that we had never seen before. The dumbo variety was our first passion along with the platinum color. We were also very fortunate to have meet with Bella of Bellaratta's Nest who was most instrumental in us beginning over on better ground. After my roommate left the hobby I began rethinking seriously getting into good quality breeding and wanted to form a rattery that would reflect that. Phoenix Gate Rattery was born in January of 2002. The name Phoenix Gate comes from the idea that through the ashes of the past I can began anew- a better and more passionate ratter.
About the Rattery
At Phoenix Gate, we specialize in certain varieties and focus on improving the rat's overall type and look while still keeping consistent attention to health, lifespan and temperament improvements. As of 2010, I am exclusively working with 4 main lines:
Russian Blue Line
My oldest and most established line. This line traces back to the beginnings of Px and we sought strong foundation stock to get it going. A breeding pair from DCR (DCR Hot Topic & DCR Witchy Woman) along with the infamous Jasper of BN became this line's foundation. This line is going on its 7th generation of being bred here at Px and has the best temperament, type and color density of any line I have had the chance to work with. This line gives us almost exclusively Russian blue self dumbos at this point and is our main line to use as an outcross line.
My 2nd oldest line here which holds a special place in my heart. After becoming very interested in the chocolate variety, I was was very honored to be able to receive and work with the UK import line from Alpha Centauri (UK) and SRR in 2005 with our first breeding pair (SRR Mousse Tracks & SRR Razza Dazza). At the time and still true as of today, it is the only known established true genetic chocolate line in the US and is on its 5th generation. This line is almost entirely self top eared chocolate and blacks, with classic lilac and cocoa on occasion.
One of the newest lines here at Px. This line was received in 2008 from ANR's very established dalmatian line with a founding breeding pair (ANR D'Angelo & ANR Firestorm). We are on our 3rd generation of this line here at Px and so far it has been very rewarding and proven to be a strong solid line. We were quite surprised and lucky to have had the "moons" (or Russian blue champagne) develop out of this line around the same time the Russian blue line at BN also was developing its Moons. his line gives us a wide range of markings from BEW to selfs with white toes, both top and dumbo ears and in black, russian blue and moon colors.
Burmese/Black Eyed Mese Line
The newest and still developing line here from back to R2R and SRR burmese and black eyed mese stock that traces from the second import of burmese to the US from Alpha Centauri (UK). This line is still very much in the first two generations here at Px and we will be working throughout 2010 to get it established.
When we consider any breeding, we strive to improve upon the rat as whole. We do not breed to produce more rats nor pets to fill a pet demand, though we hope everything we breed becomes the best possible pet. When choosing the mates for the litter, we consider all aspects of the rat. We only breed rats that are healthy, of fabulous temperament, of good type and compatibility, and a background. No rats are sold for food, sold/given to pet stores and all potential adopters are screened and interviewed. All babies are handled from the day they are born. We are known for producing rats that are the sweetest with the best in temperaments.
We are members of several rat clubs, including the Florida chapter of the Rat & Mouse Club of America, and the ratter is registered with the North American Rat Registery (NARR) and listed on the Ratster under the initials "Px". We are looking to join a chapter of the Rat Society of America soon. Information about any of these clubs is located on the links page. Of course, we register all of our rats with the NARR. Every rat's health, temperament, longevity, etc. are tracked and maintained through pedigrees and health/temperament histories. We also can serve as a mentor for new promising breeders. We are always available for rat-related questions and post adoption support.
About our Rats
Our rats are beloved pets and companions above all else. They receive the best possible care, attention and love -and are royally spoiled. Be sure to check out the boys page and the girls page for pictures and more information on each of individual rat. We feed a balanced diet which includes lab blocks available at all times in a hopper and a homemade dry mix given each day. Clean water is available 24/7 through water bottles. For more details on what we feed our rats, please check out What We Feed Our Rats in the nutrition section of this site. We house our rats in rat-suitable cages with the most amount of room possible. Each cage is filled with toys, hammocks, chewables, tubes, etc. The rats also get daily out time. For a complete tour of the rat's living places, please check out the rattery tour page. Cages are spot-cleaned daily and given a complete through wash down once a week. We used aspen in the pans/birthing cages and corn cob in the litter boxes.
We were featured in the Savannah Morning Times (July 8th, 2005) for an article on "Rats! Good Pets?" Zacharius the rat was pictured with Tony the cat. We were honored to be able to do some good rattie PR.