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Bongo Fury Rattery

 


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About Us

 

I got my first pair of rats in 2000. They were a Black Berkshire called Samoth Hieronymous Bosch and a Silver Fawn called Wilhelmina Kotzwinkle. I didn't know about rats then really, and in hindsight, I probably didn't give them the care they deserved. I did my best by them – but I should have done more research.

My family moved to Ireland in 2001 and Samoth was the last of the pair to die in 2002. I didn't become the proud owner of a rat again then until I met Karl, and we decided to get a pair in 2004. We got Tubbs and Edward Rattsyrup and that was the start of the LoGrats. We have taken on pet shop rats, rescues and breeder rats since that time, and all have been faithful companions and loyal friends.

At the beginning we were not very receptive to advice – I suppose we were stung by the harsh reality that we knew nothing about keeping rats properly. Eventually we came around to most people's way of thinking, and we have done what's best for our rats. We got to this stage with a lot of advice and support off several people in the Fancy – and we owe a debt of thanks to far too many people to name. They know who they are.

Our own rattery name, Bongo Fury is taken from the Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart collaboration album of the same name. Captain Beefheart has been a firm favourite for some years now, and it seemed only right that we should name all our breeding rats after something Beefheart related. Rats for breeding from other breeders are named after Zappa related things, and rats we breed and keep, with the Bongo Fury prefix, are named after Beefheart related things. This theme has now fallen by the wayside, since we have passed on our Russian line, and now we use all sorts of different naming themes for our Cinnamon Pearl line.

We have recently moved back to Ireland, to the very beautiful area of West Cork, where we continue to breed these fantastic pets, and try to work on a fancy in Ireland. We have already built up a good community here, and have had a number of social gatherings, and our first show.

We feel we ought to mention that due to our move to Ireland, we no longer attend as many UK shows as we'd like, and when we can attend shows, we can't take many rats - thus it may take us a bit longer to earn our stud name than most breeders. This also explains why we now attend so few shows.

We hope you enjoy the site, and please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any thoughts, suggestions or queries.

We are entirely non profit making, in fact, we make a loss, which is fine, as this is our hobby, and any donations made upon sale of rat kittens goes towards the rats, feeding, showing and other activities we do with our pets.

ETHICS:

We never cull any animals here at Bongo Fury - all animals live out full and happy lives. The only time we have an animal euthanised, is in the event of it being terminally ill. We have an excellent vet who treats our animals whenever we feel they need it - and can provide details of this vet for anyone who might need it.

We accept back ANY kittens that are no longer wanted - or that cannot be cared for, no questions asked. They are our responsibility as we brought them into the world.

If you would like to enquire about kittens, please get in touch via the contacts page. You will be required to fill in an application form, so that we know that our kittens are going to good homes, and so that you can do the best for them.

Successful applicants will be placed on a waiting list for a minimum of a pair of rats. We do not let rats go singly unless you are getting another single baby - if this is the case, please contact us to make arrangements.

All kittens are sold under pet only contract unless otherwise expressly stated. We only sell to approved breeding homes - where the breeder is either long established, or is under the guidance and mentorship of a long established breeder. Please don't ask us if you don't fit these categories - as refusal often offends.

All kittens go to new homes with kitten packs which include a supply of food for the first two weeks of life in their new home.

We expect regular feedback - if there are any problems at all, new owners must let us know immediately so that we can help remedy this. We also need to know of any health troubles or concerns that arise. This is vital for us to improve on the health etc of the rats we breed.

We no longer breed Russian varieties - we have made excellent headway with Russian Silvers over the years we have been breeding them, but for several reasons we have decided to move on, and so, with very heavy hearts, we have passed our line on to several UK breeders, who we are sure will do them justice. If anyone is looking for Russian variety rats, we can pass on the details of these breeders.

Please remember also that if you are after a specific variety, you may have to wait until we have one available for a pet home. Breeding homes are always given priority, so please don't expect to have first pick.

GENERAL HUSBANDRY:

We recommend the Shunamite diet - as printed in the Scuttling Gourmet by Alison Campbell, and found on her website: www.shunamiterats.co.uk We find this to be a very healhy way of feeding our rats - especially when supplemented with fresh fruit and veg, chicken, fish and egg.

Since we moved to Ireland, we have found the components of this diet especially hard to come by, so we have now switched to a basic diet of Mr Johnson's Supreme Rabbit Food with added cereals, dog kibble and pasta. We feed Cedé instead of the Orlux we used to use, and feed mostly fresh meats and tinned fish.

Our rats are all kept in a heated and insulated outside shed. This is a wooden bulding, and suits the rats very well, as the insulation makes it nice and warm in the colder months.

For cage substrate we use Woodpecker Woodshavings, which we find to be very suitable. The flakes are large, and it's not dusty. It doesn't have a strong smell at all, and the rats enjoy running around with large flakes of it and nesting with it!

All cages are spot wiped daily, and cleaned thoroughly once a week. Food bowls are washed regularly, as are water bottles. Hammocks are washed weekly, unless they are badly soiled in which case they are washed twice weekly.

If you have any queries about how we operate, or on specific parts of our care/practices, please, do not hesitate to contact us.